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Smartphones are dead part III: How Microsoft, Apple and Google are preparing for the shift

In the two previous installments of this series, we established that our current smartphones are indeed mini-tablet PCs. Our dependence upon them for activity previously reserved to the desktop PC based on their expanding dimensions have led us to this conclusion.

We also posited that this "mini-tablet" phase of personal computing is a transitory stage between the smartphone and the next step in personal mobile computing: ultra-mobile PCs.

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We argued that Microsoft's bold and unprecedented assault on the very structure of the smartphone industry is one that seeks to erase the software, operating system, development and user experience barriers that separate the smartphone and PC environments. This approach is indeed a stark deviation from the current smartphone paradigm; but if successful it can ultimately put the power, and through Continuum, the comfort of the PC in a form-factor that has the mobility of a phone.

We also saw that Apple and Google, which have a combined 98% of the smartphone market, have committed to a course that keeps their mobile strategies in line with the "phone-focused" paradigm that evolved with the smartphone industry. A model designed to keep the PC and smartphone as distinct platforms.

In this piece, we will take a closer look at what Microsoft's rivals Google and Apple are doing to meet the increasing demands for more complex mobile personal computing. Microsoft's Unified Windows Platform, Apple's Continuity and Google's limited "merger" of Android and Chrome are each different approaches to the same challenge. Philosophical and fiscal reasons, as well as the firm's market positions and core strengths, are some of the factors affecting the courses to which each of these companies has committed.

Continuity, continuing a different path

Not everyone sees value in a "one platform to rule them all" strategy. For instance, in direct contrast to Microsoft's unified platform approach Apple's CEO Tim Cook is committed to keeping OS X and iOS distinct platforms.

"We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad …what we're worried would happen, is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants."

That said Apple is progressively bringing these two disparate platforms closer together with Continuity. Apple's Continuity is a thoughtful solution to the challenges of modern personal computing.

In a world where computing leaves the desk, continues in our pockets, is revisited on our couches via tablets and returns to the desk, Continuity offers a limited solution to keeping select tasks flowing across form factors.

Technically speaking, Continuity uses peer-to-peer Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, iCloud and the Apple Push Notification service to facilitate Handoff, Continuity SMS/MMS, Continuity calling, Instant Hotspot and cross-compatible Air-Drop to bridge a user's activities between devices. The solution offers some practical benefits such as a user answering phone calls on his or her Mac; or continuing experiences on one Apple device, through Handoff, which were initiated by the small selection of supported apps on another Apple device.

Like any solution, there are pros and cons. One of the major perceived drawbacks is that Continuity reinforces the separation of the PC and smartphone environments rather than resolving it. As such, though there is a more intricate relationship between iOS and OS X the platforms are still distinct.

Thus developers targeting Apple's personal computing ecosystem must target multiple platforms. To bridge the gap between platforms developers must code Handoff-specific instructions, for instance, into their apps to give them the limited ability to transcend form-factors the solution provides.

By contrast, though there is also specific coding required to tailor Universal Windows apps for each form factor, the Universal Windows app from its core to the user interface is thoroughly conformed to each form factor. In essence, it is the same app, carrying the same user data across different devices; or in the case of Continuum for Phone across different device modes. Though still in its infancy, the UWP potentially allows for a deeper and broader level of "continuity," as it were, of a user's experiences than what Apple's Continuity solution provides.

Microsoft's UWP potentially allows for a broader level of "continuity", than Apple's Continuity.

If the industry is indeed continuing its transition toward a position where our mobile devices are expected to handle more complex PC-like tasks, Continuity keeps Apple on the path toward the smartphone-focused "hardware enhancing" dead end we discussed earlier.

Despite this probable outcome, Apple's particular business model fiscally motivates the firm to keep their platforms separate. A bulk of the company's revenue is derived from the iPhone. With its high margin market positioning the iPhone garners the lion's share of the industry's profits.

Furthermore, though Macs have less than 10% of the PC space their market position allows Apple to command a premium price for these devices as well. Given the financial success of Macs and the iPhone, in conjunction with the firm's legacy in having initiated the current smartphone paradigm, Apple's decision not to merge their mobile and desktop platforms likely has less to do with an ideological stance than a financial one.

Still, Apple has been known to surprise. If not for the iPhone in 2007, the industry may not have been pushed to produce the innovative range of products we have today. Candidly speaking, without the iPhone, we might not have Windows Phone. That said it is conceivable that Apple's Continuity may be the firm testing the waters for a more sweeping move to bring iOS and OS X together in the future. One can only wonder.

What goes up must come down

Still, Apple is facing the challenges of the current smartphone paradigm that they were instrumental in forming. The smartphone markets in most developed and affluent regions, where Apple has found most of its success, are saturated. That market flooding means that most people who want a smartphone have one. Naturally in such a market there is little opportunity for growth. This 'where to go to next' is of particular challenge for Apple whose devices occupy the high-end of the market (opens in new tab) with no true low-end offering. The low-end space, particularly in underdeveloped regions or first-time smartphone consumers in developed regions are, however, where any substantial growth exists.

The 4-inch iPhone SE is Apple's low-end strategy not a reversal of a trend toward 5-inch plus devices.

This dilemma has left Apple nowhere to go but down. High-end hardware, as discussed earlier, has reached a point that offers little differentiation. And since the company is intent in not following an evolutionary flow toward an all-in-one device their next iPhone will likely follow the established pattern of a faster, lighter, shinier device with a better camera. Of course, this will satisfy those in the Apple ecosystem, though it's unlikely to generate needed growth. Especially since the majority of consumers of Apple's expensive high-end iPhones are individuals already in Apple's ecosystem.

In a mature and saturated market, Apple's commitment to a continuous pursuit of a better specced rather than a new type of device has positioned the company for stalling growth. This is where first-time smartphone users and consumers with limited income come in. This demographic is the group who have historically purchased the less expensive previous year's iPhone. Apple's recent data revealed that there were about 30 million of these consumers of the older, less expensive and smaller iPhone 5s. Since the introduction of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Apple has positioned this device as the entry level model of Apple's phone portfolio.

Of course, Apple framed the 30 million sales figure of the smaller 5s within the context of high demand for a smaller phone. I am confident that there are indeed a large number of individuals who desire a smaller smartphone. However, I am also inclined to believe that price was the motivating factor for the vast majority of the 30 million consumers of that more affordable and smaller iPhone that Apple intentionally positioned as its entry level device over a year ago.

Apple's seeking opportunity with smaller devices reflects the "smartphone focused" paradigm has reached a dead end.

Thus, contrary to what some may have surmised Apple's 4-inch iPhone SE in my estimation is not a reflection of a reversal of a trend that has led to 5-inch plus "mini-tablets" designed to accommodate a broader range of personal computing activity. It is rather Apple revisiting a "low-end" strategy that failed with the iPhone 5c. A strategy that the firm hopes will entice users with high-end features in a package that is less costly for the company to manufacture and less expensive for users to purchase.

Seeking opportunity with smaller devices while the industry has settled on a "mini-tablet" form factor may succeed. But in my estimation, it simply reflects my analysis that the current "smartphone-focused" paradigm has reached a dead end.

Google getting it together

Whereas Apple is publically opposed to a merger of its personal computing platforms, Google is pursuing a limited merger of Android and Chrome. Google's SVP of Android, Chrome OS, and Chromecast, Hiroshi Lockheimer had this to say:

"While we've been working on ways to bring together the best of both operating systems, there's no plan to phase out Chrome OS."

With well over a billion users of Android and an app store boasting above 1.5 million apps, a successful implementation of the strengths of Android in a desktop environment would likely have a tremendous impact.

Additionally, a generation of a billion mobile users that are intimately acquainted with Android on their mobile devices would find the ecosystem in a desktop form factor very familiar. Moreover, because Google would likely implement competitive functionality that bridges experiences on an Android phone to Android on the desktop, the potential for a positive market response is likely high.

The fact that some PC manufacturers have diversified their product lines to include Chromebooks the infrastructure is in place for an Android/Chrome OS introduction as a PC. Though Chromebooks amount to a relatively small number when compared to the rest of the PC market presence, shipping under 3% of all PCs in 2015, there is niche success in the US education sector. Google's position in education (though still smaller than Microsoft's global presence) positions the company to introduce children, to the Android portion of Google's personal computing ecosystem through this partially merged OS.

If this OS merger launches and it became a popular desktop environment, a complimentary Continuum-type function would likely fit well within this ecosystem. An Android/Chrome OS on the phone that scales to a larger screen may be conceivable. That said if Google can overcome the myriad barriers (and there are many) to the merger of these platforms they have a clear advantage over Microsoft. They have mobile users.

The fact that most computing is now mobile and Google has the bulk of mobile users they would be approaching the converged mobile-desktop strategy from a position where they won't have to win users to the dominant personal computing form factor. Their desktop efforts may, however, be difficult to establish in the face of Microsoft's entrenched PC platform and the success of Windows 10. If, however, they succeed with an app solution that mimics Continuum-type context sensitivity and scaling their much larger mobile base potentially puts a PC in the pockets of far more users than Microsoft can and in a much shorter time frame.

That said, there is indeed a vast host of technical challenges that Google must work through to make some degree of an Android/Chrome OS happen. How will they make apps universal? With only 2.3% of phone users on the latest publically released iteration of Android, how will they handle fragmentation, which is certain to affect how widely distributed the new OS would be? These are just two issues the company must face.

There are certainly more. But with a scheduled introduction of the platform this year and a release in 2017, per a Wall Street Journal report, it is certain these questions are being answered.

"Google engineers have been working for roughly two years to combine the operating systems and have made progress recently, two of the people said. The company plans to unveil its new, single operating system in 2017, but expects to show off an early version next year, one of the people said."

An Uneasy Road

As the mobile industry shift's to a more cloud focused paradigm, all of the big players are faced with the challenges of ensuring a mobile computing solution that offers the most seamless experience for users.

We've talked a lot about Microsoft's UWP and the challenges it faces, but Apple's Continuity which keeps the phone and desktop platforms separate is wrought with its own challenges. Google's partial merger of Chrome and Android, which like Apple continues a phone-focused solution and is still challenged with fragmentation, also faces challenges.

That said there is a shift occurring. And each company is seeking a solution. I contend that because the cloud is critical to managing a user's mobile experiences, which is the foundation of this shift, Microsoft and Google are better positioned than Apple.

A unified front

An interesting point of speculation regarding Microsoft and Google and their platform unification efforts is this: Most people on the planet with a computer have a Window-based PC. Moreover, most individuals with a smartphone have an Android phone. Given these facts, a reasonable deduction is that the vast majority of these users are the same people. If we were to view this data on a Venn diagram, there would certainly be large a degree of overlap of Windows PC and Android phone users.

Furthermore, at least one of the goals of each of these firm's unification efforts is winning users to the full range of each company's ecosystem of personal computing devices. If we were to play this scene forward several years, toward the supposed goal of these companies, Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform would be represented on over 1 billion of its 1.5 billion PC install base. Speculatively speaking a "unified" Chrome and Android OS would be on a billion Android phones.

With each company boasting unified platforms, they will each be positioned to offer consumers a rich continuity between both a PC and mobile environment. This level of device integration is something that Google cannot currently do, and Microsoft is still in the early stages of positioning. Thus, Microsoft's PC consumers are currently relatively "safe" from Google.

While each company has a particular strength in one area and not the other, each firm is "content" to share these users and serve them from their sphere of power. Microsoft with PCs and Google with mobile phones. I contend that if Google is successful with any degree of a unified platform, this "necessary truce" won't always be the case.

In several years with a form of Android successfully implemented on a PC form factor it is certain that Google will aggressively initiate a pursuit of those billion Windows PC users who are also Android phone users. They're trying it now with a far inferior platform in Chromebooks after all. Though such an assault won't be easy against an entrenched Microsoft, due to the popularity of Android and what will likely be a deep unity between Android phone and a "unified" Android/Chrome PC, Redmond will not brush this assault off as easy as it does Chromebooks.

Thus, Microsoft's investment in Android may, in part, be in anticipation of this result of Google's "unified" platform. It is certain that even if Microsoft's efforts with the UWP and Windows Mobile succeed, the result will only be a comfortable position in mobile and not sweeping claim of market share. Thus, Android will always be the dominant player.

Microsoft's efforts then, I contend, are to strike first by not only increasing the unity between Windows 10 desktop and Windows "phone", but also Windows 10 and Android. We've seen some cross-platform apps make their way to both iOS and Android of late. But we've also seen what appears to be a deeper integration of the Microsoft ecosystem on the Android platform such as with Microsoft's Messaging Everwhere. Part of this Android choice is just that the platform is more open to this type of system (whereas iOS is too locked down for Microsoft to implement a similar service as of now).

If Microsoft is capable of establishing a deep integration between Android, and Windows Redmond can likely diminish the impact of a "unified" Chrome/Android platform which will also be seeking to build unity between desktop and mobile platforms. Microsoft's dominant PC install base and success with Windows 10 installs (270 million to date) is an advantage for Microsoft. If this analysis is correct, Microsoft's goal of 1 billion installs of Windows 10 in a few years time frame takes on a greater sense of urgency. They need Windows 10 PCs in place that will benefit of current and coming integration with Android mobile phones.

Wrap up

In conclusion, with both Microsoft and Google investing in varying degrees of unified platforms and Microsoft's progressively deeper integration with Android, Apple, in the future may find further growth a challenge. For one, the company is already experiencing limited growth due to a saturated market, and even the company's "low-end" attempts are no match for Google's.

Two, as Microsoft and Google hunker down with unified platforms, Microsoft's 90% dominance of the PC space and Googles 80% dominance of the smartphone space, will tie hundreds of millions of users more tightly in a broader range of their respective ecosystems. Consequently, there will likely be less churn from Windows or Android to Apple.

Whatever lies ahead, we are only nine years into the mass consumer smartphone age initiated by the Cupertino company. And we now seem to be on the cusp of a shift from the smartphone's infancy, and a predominantly device focused industry, to something more mature. If nothing else, things are about to get very interesting.

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

221 Comments
  • Thanks again for reading folks! As we know, context is key and nothing exists in a vacuum. Therefore it's important to keep Microsoft's efforts in view within the context of the larger landscape. Both Apple and Google as we know are not static and are offering their flavor of a solution. I contend however, that Microsoft's efforts offer the most comprehensive solution to the convergence of personal computing. What are your thoughts? LET'S TALK!!!
  • Great write up as always!!! Well android on desktop sounds something weird to me !! Hoping it will be better polished to suit up!! I moved from android because of buggy software, big battery drainer and unnecessary process in background though it has come far but issues still persists!! If microsoft is able to tap the bridge , with a great anticipated surface phone !! Then tables can turn pretty sure, windows for tablets, pc's and smartphones ;)
  • Honestly I'm really impressed with these articles, they're well written and very professional. Keep doing what you do :) Personally I think Microsoft is ahead of the game for continuity and the bigger picture, but I don't know if they're too early. Continuum and UWP is an incredible feat but not many consumers seem to know or recognise it. Microsoft is definitely creating incredible things though and hope they continue to do so (especially hololens!!).
  • @eddp77 Thanks for the support. Yes MS is indeed pushing the envelope. I think their strategy is very bold and unlike some of their initiatives in the past - their sticking to it!
  • This article reads like you're trying to prove your theory with a lot of speculation.  The reality however is that Microsoft was unable to breakout of the 3% market share in mobile just like Google was unable to break out of that similar market share on PCs.  The PC market isn't growing. 1.5 billion is about it. People who could never afford a PC or have no way to even power one will be using smartphones as their first "computer". They won't have the baggage PC users have. They won't miss the desktop apps, browser, large screens, etc. Their productivity won't be worse because they never had a PC.  So for what you're calling the next phase (which I just think is another feature really) Microsoft has a ceiling. Yes, they can compete with Google for the 1.5 billiion current PC users but the rest will be smartphone only users who most likely come from Android and won't seek an experience like their PC for writing documents. That would make most of the users in that next phase Android users and could move PC users in that direction (especially those who only use Word and a browser...) Microsoft understands that which is why it's supporting Android with some of the Win10 integrations in redstone. They would do the same with iOS if they could. They hope it will stop users from switching to an Android based PC OS but again, it's just a way to retain current users. There's no growth there.    On the technical side, the Android app platform has supported multiple screen sizes for a while and because of the different screen sizes of the phones themselves developers were compelled to support multiple sizes. Many of these apps might scale to a larger screen without any added work (that's not true for most WP/Win8 apps).  The fragmentation claim against Android is also a little outdated. It's true that new OS versions take a long time to reach the market and many users never get updates passed 1 year but for developers it's not a major issue anymore since most APIs have backwards compatability libraries or are part of Google Play Services.  Google can intoduce APIs as external libraries to enable handoff like scenarios. They don't need OS updates for that.    Google is much better positioned than Microsoft for this next stage.
  • I don't think so. Smartphones are transferred to PCs and not the oposite. And PCs are MS domain.
  • ...Google can prepare his version of Continuum, but he has nothing to offer, there is app gap. Why users to buy a new Android 'phonePC' and connect it to the big display when there will be no useful app?
  • Hi eshy: Actually when you look at the "next billion" in underdeveloped regions, it is Microsoft's contention, actually one of their foundational premises of why Continuum and a Universal Platform are important: Because for that demographic a smartphone is their first computer. Nadella and Belfiore stated this in their conversations about Continuum. So yes those folks won't necessarily "miss" the more complex computing found in the PC environment, but as the UWP progresses and matured and the "continuum-enabled phone" follows the planned and natural progression to the ultra-mobile PC, Microsoft will be able to deliver on a broad scale a"PC" that offers users far more than "smartphone" alternatives the competition may still be offering. On the technical side, though Android apps "can" scale they don't do so with the context sensitivey and UI adjustments that make them simply "fit" the nee form factor efficiently and ready for productivity in the smooth, seamless and natural way Universal Apps that are designed from the core outward to do so. The fragmentation claim is still relevant because the OS features that are exclusive to latest iterations of the update are still exclusive to that latest update. The 97.3% users Android who don't currently have latest update still won't have the OS specific features even if certain app level benefits are "updatable." I see strengths and weaknesses to each firms plans. Still the fact that there is one core power the entire Windows platform is a huge advantage of scale.
    -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Your argument is fundamentally flawed. The average price of a PC being half that of an average smartphone. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Not really, the way google implement stuff is horrendous.... Even for developing countries Android is not the better choice.... A low end WP does a better job than its Android counter part... That being said OEMs have zero interest to let google dominate like MS does in the PC space.... If they can avoid a similar situation they probably will
  • Very well written! As both an Android (formerly iOS) and Windows user I would definitely love to see Android and Windows grow closely together. However, overall, if Microsoft is able to materialize a TRUE x86 Surface Phone anytime in the future (I really don't care how long it takes), one that can easily replace my Surface Pro 2 (which is already replacing multiple other deivces) without any compromise, I would proudly hop unto the Windows Mobile platform, leaving Android behind. True Continuum is the future, Android/IOS SmartPhones are meh companions at best to my Surface Pro 2. A Surface Phone on the other hand, would be my ONLY computing device, seamsleslly tansforming between 4 PC (Personal Computer) form-factors; SmartPhone, Tablet, Laptop and Desktop.
  • Smart phones never die!
  • They will, everything is transitory.
  • Wonder where the money is......selling a device (smartphone, tablet) or the follow on profits from the Store for music, film, tv series, games and apps?
  • they are evolve
  • 'Smartphone' will die (literally!)
  • Phone.smartphone, next....
  • They're just MIA!!
  • inb4 Windows phone is dead
  • But Windows Phone in form of Windows 10 has a lot more potential than Anroid or Apple would have in the future. If the predictions here will happen as said.
  • No apps, no potential.
  • Given the sophistication for human needs with potential to do more (Windows 10 altogether growing to become more), apps will not be a problem anymore...
  • With Smart Bots having links to Cortana, Skype and Office, for example, there is a potential to side step the app gap.
  • No, there is not
  • Well, that's what major players like Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon are implementing right now and see this as the future. Even Google and Apple are going that way. Of course, they could all be wrong and you could be right?
  • I am thinking, if the phone could project a screen /display, it would allow for improved mobility and be easier to use because you would not need to hunt down a display. Posted from PornHub
  • My take: websites are dying and soon so will the app model for services with the rise of AI and bots. There is a lot of talk in the industry about both of those points behind closed doors.
  • What if the future goes to a point where people don't read much but only speak? That concerns me so much... From manuscripts to Books to Webpages to Voices (of ai)?
  • I see bots as becoming a gateway to sites.  I can't imagine shopping on Amazon exclusively by asking a bot questions, but I can see the bot escorting me to right where I need to be, then eliminating the need for an Amazon app.  I'd still want to browse other options and read reviews, etc.  Alternatively, I might not need an AT&T app if the bots can securely handle payments and show me bills, etc.  In that instance, the app/site is just a delivery device that's not adding much. It will be interesting to watch how this all evolves.  Would Apple/Android remain dominant if bots and AI become the "norm" and are platform agnostic?  
  • Megaman.exe? L950
  • "The rise of AI and bots" sounds like a line taken from the Terminator movies. Anyway, these technologies have potential but AI have to improve a lot before we can rely on Cortana or Siri to actually be our mediators to services available at the Internet.
  • But almost all these app will come to android and iOS, maybe in years on Wm... I was super happy when for example Garmin connect came to Wm... But till moment when I realized combination of my L930 and Forerunner 220 not working!!! Why??? And this kind of disappointment are almost on every Wm app... Same as your app for w10... Good things from 8.1. Missing lot of features missing too
  • That talk in the industry behind "closed doors" has been going on for years. There are many reasons why websites aren't going anywhere. It will be a long long time before AI and bots will fully replace websites and apps. 
  • You live way to far in the future. AIs like Cortana or Siri are pretty useless right now for consumers and bots? I bet 90% of PC/Smartphone/Tablet Users don't even know what that's supposed to be.
  • What a ridiculous statement. Bots right now are nothing more than a replacement for an unskilled call centre worker equivalent. It will be a very long time before they are doing any more than reading a dumb script based on very basic command recognition. As a result it isn't going to be more efficient to use them in replacement of a full featured website until the availability of AI far more advanced than currently available. We're talking turing-test level AI and perfect intuitive command interpretation to make this anything other than a 'f*ck it, I'll go do it on the website myself' annoyance. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Open you eyes. We have "Bots" now. Things are happening pretty fast now!
  • Win10 = win10m in future. Which means: A hole lot of apps. Which means a lot of potential.
  • Which means no snapchat, clash of clans, no market share, preety much the situation we have now
  • You think the future of computing depends on two apps? What a visionary you must be...
  • Hahaha!
  • If it would "only" be these two apps, W10M would be in a good shape. Although snapchat is a pretty huge deal.
  • Wich also means non of the probable 16,000 million x86 apps ported to touch & movile for Apple... So then there would be many more apps on W10 folled obvousily by Android, leaving Apple with Snapchat & Clash of Clans to bragg about!
  • There are over 15 million Windows apps.  More than ten times as many as Apple.
  • No one is looking for apps from 2005. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • No apps, no potential you say? But I have 400 over app and mostly purchase and only 10 is installed on my phone. Tell me what the story.here.
  • You know that you are not the center of the world and that other people want other (more) apps then you?
  • It's what this series is trying to say but is too ashamed to.
  • Ashamed? The same writer of this article, I think, made an article called "Windows Phone is not dead", you should have seen his arguments, he was like he was on a idealized world where everything Microsoft is doing has gone according to the original plans, like people being attracted to Windows Phone just because it is "the same" across all platforms, and other bullshit
  • But Apple is trying the same thing; "Continuity"? Please! The only difference is that Apple has to sell as many diverse devices as they possibly can! Google and MS have OEMs for that!
  • Actually Max, you may want to read those articles again, because I did not present in those articles an idealized image that people are being attracted to Windows phone because it is the same across platforms. Actually I didn't present that the plan was a success,(one because its execution is not yet complete.) What I did present is an analysis of Microsoft's strategy and what their desired or ultimate outcome would be (not is) if the strategy is successful. I think what some readers fail to discern is a difference between the presentation of the firms strategy and the expected outcome and an idealistic view that doesn't see past Mirosoft. I'm an industry watcher who writes about Microsoft. In order to write effectively I NEED to know what the other players are doing. I think its clear therough this piece that I can objectively see the strength in the strategies of other firms. Thanks for the input. but agiain please review the Windows Phone isn't dead series and you will see that the content is a presentation of the strategy, outlining expected outcomes of that strategy, not an idealistic presentation that those outcomes have come to fruition.
  • obviously, people on this website don't know what inb4 means.
  • http://letmebingthatforyou.com/?q=inb4
  • You could just use English instead of stupid shorthand Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Well windows phone 8.1 is dying. Support will end soon just like windows 7 mobile, like old xbox servers etc. Windows 10 mobile is the supported future currently.
  • That is phasing out not dying.
  • Phasing out is the stage just before death. Would you say windows 7 mobile is alive? No it got phased out and it's now dead.
  • This is an "argument" based on semantics, they are still smartphones, in fact because of their increased capability they are smarter than ever but still smartphones and far from "dead"..
  • It's actually more than semantics. It's a paradigm shift in how we will compute.
  • Yup. Today's smartphones are like cell phones/feature phones in 2005-2006. Everyone has one and the model is done. Everything is about what comes next. I feel bad for people who cannot see how this is happening as it is so obvious (and a repetition of previous technology)
  • I agree with regards to the software and OS but believe that the main players are making their main profits in different ways. Google - search
    Microsoft - cloud and software
    Apple - devices and AppStore As the potential paradigm shift occurs how will the main profit change from above. Apple also has a billion devices out there (reportedly) so they will remain as strong as they are now, as will Microsoft and Google. Or does anyone see the profit making going through a big change?
  • I'd disagree with Google or rather state that the company is definitely diversifying and getting away from that model of 'search = main business'. There's a reason why they are investing heavily into VR, connected devices (e.g. Nest), voice, AI, self-driving cars, etc. See how Facebook is becoming a real threat for advertising to Google. Google is like FB: they know they cannot be about just one thing.
  • Google is stable on the ground as its powerful and solely profitable search Engine isn't going anywhere but Apple could collapse if they don't bring something as portable and sophisticated as the tech is growing to be... As for the app store, it may need a rebirth. I think Msft is on the right track...
  • Google's core advertising/data mining business is being threatened on several fronts, the EU anti-trust investigation, the Ad-Blocking software and the concerns about privacy (not just Google but they're caught up in the general security awareness), Facebook is fast becoming a one stop search/advertising engine and also the growth of Windows 10. This said, they've got much of the infrastructure to compete with Microsoft but not all the pieces plus they've mis-fired on a few key projects in recent years which could mean they'll struggle to break out of their core industries.  Microsoft has several areas of profits, cloud, enterprise, entertainment (Xbox, etc), Surface and Office. Out of the companies they can ride the tide of losses better than any of the major companies over the long term. The main problem is trying to shake the negativity that surrouded it's brand and win back the users. Plus we've no idea what MS has beening doing with all their R&D over the last 15 years for example they kept a very tight lid on HoloLens. One thing you can say about MS they tend to be adaptable, even if slow about it. The next 5 years for MS is what'll make or break them at least in the consumer market. Apple is by far has the weakest infrastructure to support their products. They are just too reliant on third parties and they are going after the car market to try and get out of the one trick pony hardware but they're been rebuffed by several manufacturers and Apple is learning the hard way that their bully boy negotiation tactics doesn't always get them where they want. One aspect of Apple that other companies envy is the extremely loyal base. We do know that how we interact with companies will change over the next decade, voice and visual interaction (such as AR and similar systems) how these companies adapt and develop products to take advantage of this will be telling.
  • Time for Blackberry to strike...lolz Posted from PornHub
  • i believe apple's rev is nearly all iphone driven.
  • The evolution is dependent on a marketplace buying into the evolution. Thus far, I see zero evidence of a shift other than some interesting gadgets from MS and friends. Contrast this to the introduction of the iPhone, where there was a critical mass of willing adopters that grew steadily over time. The Jade Primo and X3 will likely flop worse than the 950. You and Ward will be like Linus and Sally waiting for the Great Pumpkin while the rest of the world enjoys the massive integration between their phones and the rest of the technological world - CarPlay, payment systems, TVs, smarthome, transit, etc - where W10M isn't even part of the conversation. Too busy "shifting..."      
  • Some people around here can't just make their point; They have to try (and fail) to throw in clever jabs or insults.   The iPhone isn't the only example a shift in a market. The combustible engine automobile stumbled at first and took time for adoption, as did television and then color television. Some people saw "no use" when home PC's first came out.  Some things are bigger shifts than others and thus have a longer adoption timetable.   Hey...keep jabbing and digging, though. That's productive.
  •   You missed the point. MS has to work first on making their products compelling for consumers. Continuum without apps / integration is gravy without meat. Where are they on car integration? How did Amazon beat them to the punch with Echo? Where is the low cost XBox "slim" that ties to the phone? Where is the virtual desktop capability (W10 in the cloud) for consumers that ties to continuum? Why are the MS apps on W10M at least at parity with other platforms? It's like they aren't even trying.      
  • Exactly, continuum at this point is still a gimmick, with a possibility to be used practically and in a productive manner. W10 is not yet there, W11-12 may be, but by that Apple and Google would have caught up already and due to thei marketshare in mobile devices they'll surge ahead.
  • I wouldn't call it a "gimmick" as there are already people using it productively and it has a roadmap.  I plan on using it, especially now that you can run your own stuff in a virtual window of a Windows 10 machine.  Actually, I usually refrain from calling something a gimmick so early on in it's development.  OEMs are just starting to take advantage of the tech, for example.   Apple and Google are huge and will resist any change that threatens their status quo leadership positions.  This is a pattern of corporations that I don't see changing, especially with Apple's stance that they don't intend to merge their operating systems.  Market share today has little to do with a future environment where bots and AI take the lead. Those are platform agnostic technologies.   
  • Continuum JUST came out. Geesh.  Give developers some time.  I already have enough with Office apps to ponder some real world uses.  I'm hoping that one of my photo editing apps will work with it and then the social networks like Facebook and Twitter will jump on board. With those kinds of tools, I think a lot of people will find use. I'm not going to spend a bunch of time going through everything. I never expected them to develop an Echo product. Amazon beat everyone else to that.  That's how things work.  I don't know where these other things are anymore than I know what Apple or Google has up their sleeves.  
  • Without W10 desktop in the cloud (Azure based VDI), Continuum is like a single walkie talkie. MS needs to bundle a VDI desktop subscription with the 950, not Office 365 personal. That's just for starters.
  • You don't think it's time for a shift? Its been a decade...
  • The same guy who wrote this made an article called "Windows Phone is not dead", don't expect great argumentational power from this guy
  • He's made fantastic arguments in all of his articles. Did you even read them? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Its still all theoritical and WP has not moved at all, meanwhile surface phone is delayed by a quarter or so isnt it?  
  • Only delayed by the expectations of speculation.  MS never gave a release date nor did they even officially utter the words "Surface Phone". That was all rumors until MS *did* bring it up and it was later than the rumor mill was putting out. 
  • Of course it's theoretical, it's an opinion article. Like, 99% of his articles are opinion articles Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Oh the irony. It is you that no one should expect any kind of 'argumentational power' from. Comment after comment and you haven't actually made any arguments whatsoever. You're devoid of anything intelligent to say either becasue you're ignorant to the extent that you'll critique something you haven't read or you're only just about intelligent enough to use a QWERTY keyboard.  
  • You mean smartphones are PCs as in Personal Computing devices, just semantics, right?
  • Hi theefman. Actually as I argued in Part one I believe that this is much more than semantics: EXCERPT FROM PART I: "For those who may advocate the position that the identifying of smartphones as “phones” or “tablet personal computers” is merely an exercise in semantics, consider the following. Words carry with them the power to convey a thought or an idea. This thought or idea when associated with something serves to identify that object. Thus, how something is identified is often followed by how it is then perceived or classified by the masses. The classification of that product determines how it is subsequently positioned in the market. Consequently, a products market position, particularly in the tech industry, affects its ability to take advantage of the direction and trends of the industry and ultimately affects the products impact in that market space. In a nutshell: words matter." Based on the arguments of their evolution beyond their initial iteration and their current use case and dimensions as mini-tablets, I contend that they are no longer smartphones. I won't go into the whole argument here. Part I delves into that pretty deep. :-) Thus my contention that "smartphones are dead" is because I don't think their jus smartphones anymore. :-) Of course you may disagree but look at the whole landscape and not just the device in our hands. What defines the device isn't just the hardware, but how we as users have evolved in our usage of the devices, our expectations of what they should do all play into what he device "is." If someone from 1985 traveled to our present day and spent the day taking a bus ride, sitting in a park and dining at a restaurant, he would see hundreds of people faces down-turned with fingers pecking and swiping away at 5inch plus , touchscreen tablet devices. If he had any imagine without asking what the devices are, based upon his observation of how he saw u use these devices he might surmise that we were using very advanced pocket sized computers. On the rare chance that he saw somehone hold the device to their ear and talk (given that phone calls rank 6th beneath PC-type activity like checking facebook etc) he might surmise that WOW, that computer works like a phone too! If, our time traveler stopped off in an earlier decade, he's see a totally different manner in which we interact with our devices. Phones calls, even after phones "got smart" still ranked higher in how we used them before apps and social networking become so central to how we interact with our phones and have put our heads in a perpetual bow to the screens. I think combined in how we use them and what they are technically smartphones, as I presented in Part I of this series, have outgrown their name. :-)
  • Phones are getting too big. I'll never need or want anything more than a 4.5" phone and laptop. I've already had to concede and get a 5.2" phone and it's just too big.
  • Yep - I'm selling my 950 & Blu Win HD LTE for that reason, and instead throwing my lot in with a 3.5" iPhone 4S. It may be old, but it still works exceptionally well. & the apps....OH, the apps! I didn't realise how much I was missing out by sticking with WP for so long.
  • Yeah I started loyal and tried ignoring the app gap for a long time but have been playing around with my girl's Galaxy and just wondered "what exactly am I holding out for or trying to hold onto?"
  • I just picked up the Samsung S7 Edge on Friday. It's a nice phone and works well. Do I prefer it to Windows Mobile, No. I see it as the lesser of two evils. My current contract was up and after much thought I decided to move platforms. This way I have a phone until hopefully the Surface Phone comes out in 12-15 months and if not and WM ends I still have the 2nd best choice.
  • Can't you see from this article, that windows is winning the next stage in technology evolution. You see back in the 90s it was desktops. In the 2000s, it was laptops. In the 2010s it has been smartphones and tablets. Microsoft is clearly winning with their strategy to convert the phone into an actual desktop! Despite what these glowing articles by Jason Ward and comments by Daniel Rubino would have you believe. All this technology change has been incremental. Even the Earth shattering iPhone was an incremental change. Smartphones existed with touchscreens, but held onto the need for a keyboard. Jobs helped simplifiy the design as he loved to dropping the keyboard and improved the ability to deliver apps with a store design. After that more incremental change: thinner, lighter, more durable, longer battery life, more sensors, etc. A lot of the other changes deal with social media, and different ways to participate.
  • Not sure how any of that relates to my comment, but okay...
  • @cecgor lol Of course the shift in the past have been incremental, as is this current shift. No where in this series do I posit that a transformative change will happen or has happened over night. As a matter of fact I state the opposite. Here's an excerpt from the "Wrap Up" section from Part II of this series: "This strategy is a long play. It involves teaching a 1.5 billion PC install base, bloggers, analysts, developers and the industry at large to rethink what a personal computer can be. This shift will take time, marketing and thorough communication from Microsoft and its partners. That said how OEMs package these ultra-mobile PCs is also critical to how they will be perceived." So we seem to be in agreement. What may have thrown you off is the fact that we are in the midst of the shift discussing it in "real time" and offering detailed projection of what the outcome will likely be based upon analysis of past and present conditions. Such discussion may give the illusion to some that these are be presented as shifts that will happen at the snap of a finger rather than in the gradual procession we are observing. That is one of the reason I deliberately added the excerpt I shared above from part two. Though careful reading from part one to part three very clearly shows that I've presented these shifts as a gradual progression. I actually begin the series talking about how much of the technology we use now was first in science fiction stories- BEFORE we they became science fact. In part one I paint a very progressive picture of our gradual progress from imagination, to phones, to feature phones to smart phone, to mini-tablets and end the piece with the segue to the ultra-mobile PC. Please remember this is a series thus each piece is a PART of the whole. Given that fact, Part I clearly does in great detail what your comment claims I have not done: I do indeed paint a thorough picture of gradual incremental change. Thanks for joining the discussion! :-)
  • I agree with you both. Anything above 5" is not needed by me. I use my phone basically really and usually have my SP3 with me so will WiFi hotspot to look/work at anything more. If I just have my phone then I can wait until I'm home. I am moving to iPhone in 5 weeks when my contract ends due to Microsoft software and services being ubiquitous and the app gap and Apple Pay. Can't decide on the 6se or 6s, but it will be one of those. Had Microsoft not made their software available everywhere I may not have moved.
  • You are not the norm though. Consumers are using PCs less. Their phones are always connected, easy to use and have all the apps they need. The need for a PC is shrinking and sales are showing it. When your phone is your primary computer, bigger is definitely better. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yes, I am unique in a way but as people who watch videos and play games on phones probably lead the desire for larger screen size. Maybe the average user will change to smaller phones for calls, texts and social but not need 5" plus phones? Just as PC's are less in demand by general users but still wanted by gamers. The general user will change to a tablet and phone or Xbox and phone..... in my view anyway.
  • @offbeatbop
    110% agreed
  • Curiously I didn't really notice the shift in size when I went from my 4.5 920 to the 5.2 950. Pretty much all the size increase was vertical.
  • Yea smartphones are dead except my lumia 640
  • Mine too..
  • So, you're excuse for not acknowledging that Windows Mobile is actually dead, is telling that all smartphones are dead? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • WP fanboys are running out of excuses, so they come up with a lame one.
  • How about you flex that grey muscle and actually make an argument that goes against what is written here? Or is the 'fanboy' thing all you are capable of? 85% of this article is about what Apple and Google are doing, not Windows Phone. Had you read that, your comment would reflect it.
  • You know they didn't read the article. They have their insults and bashes prepped in copy/paste.
  • "So, you're excuse for not acknowledging that Windows Mobile is actually dead, is telling that all smartphones are dead?"
    I love how you demonstrated on your ability to read titles and not the content, otherwise, you would have made an actual point. The majority of this article is about Apple and Google strategy not Microsoft's.
  • How much of what MS is supposedly doing should have been done already, yes smartphones may be dead, personal computing devices are the next thing, at this point knowing MS strategy we may say its placed well but we dont know what Apple and Google are doing. once they comeup with something similar to continuum, but with accompanying hardware(we all know 950 isnt the one) before surface phone launches then we might see an article finally that WP is officially dead. Before Apple / Google strike MS needs more partners like HP. and also sort out buggy W10M soon.
  • Looks like he needs a proof reader too.
  • And how each of their strategy's are bad because they are not the same as Microsoft's. It doesn't matter that your devices are all running the same OS. You still need to prove that is required to be successful. Today your data is easily accessible on any device, whatever the platform. The cloud solved this issue years ago. Microsoft is still stuck trying to solve problems from 2005. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Hi @Jerome first please look here docs.com/Jason-ward and you will find a collection called Windows phone isn't dead where I address in a six part series why it is not dead. Part I - Keeping the vision in view Part II - Nurturing the ecosystem Part III - No consumer left behind Part IV - OEM partnerships Part V - Alcatel's VP of Marketing and Communicatoin talked about the company's plans with implementing a Window based product line Part VI - The App Bridges, Xamarin and Microsoft as a platform for mobile app development So as you can see a great deal of thought has gone into this topic. Now I would encourage you to read each of the th
  • Now I would encourage you to read each of the parts of this series Jerome, to see clearly the arguments presented and note that the title Smartphones are dead is actually because they have evolved to be something more. - mini-tablets. As a side note I can understand how the pseudo-anonymity of the web may embolden folks yo make what they feel are really witty remarks to place others in a negative light. What actually occurs however, is that when it is evident to the maybe hundreds of people who read the comments, that a comment was made by someone who clearly didn't read the piece that person stands out as a sore thumb in a glaring negative light of their own devising. In a nutshell. It really doesn't show the best of what you have to offer. You may disagree with me, but at least do yourself justice and equip yourself for an engaging discourse by reading the piece. If however, decline the invitation for fuller discussion and choose not to read the pieces, please don't put yourself in a negative light by putting comment out there that doesn't really reflect level of intellectual discourse I'm sure you're capable of bringing to the table.
  • This makes sense, but the new "mini tablets" currently lack all the outputs needed to compete with PCs.
  • Wireless and docks
  • Carrying adapters and cables for wireless to work is horrible! I hated when ultrabook did it too!
  • Bluetooth solves that for the most part, and when you need stuff like HDMI you're better off using a display dock anyway.
  • Windows Phone thanks to iPhone, have you been drinking too much? I bet you now very well, that there were Windows Phones with pens years before the first iPhone. I bought one in 2004 manufactured by HTC, branded by T-Mobile.
  • Windows Mobile was v.v.different to Windows Phone.
    Windows Phone was the result of Microsoft's hand being forced by the juggernaut that was the iPhone.
  • How was it different? I had apps and the ability to make and receive calls. I was more impressed by the email apps back then than those now regardless of platform. And that's because it's 2016, no excuses for a good email app. Recently ran into an iOS issue that affects our iPhone users when sending attachments, do a search on iPhone and email attachments with Microsoft exchange and you'll see what I mean...the workaround was to push out an airwatch email client to end users.... Are you kidding me?????? No such issues on windows phone or android.
  • I think the point was iPhone made the smartphone popular. Bill Gates demoed a tablet years before the iPad but sales were not great. The iPad perhaps made the form factor popular.
  • I still have mine... :)
  • But the kind of innovation that iphones started driving was never seen with windows phones with pens. Or mayb they were too ahead of their time. Iphone bought a major disruption of sorts. That is what Jason is saying.
  • Hi yes, Joscelin, my Cingular 2125 was a Windows Mobile 5 power edsmartphone before the iPhone hit the scene. But my statment was regarding Windows Phone, the touch-friendly mobile OS that Microsoft engineered from the ground up in response to sinking market share after the advent of the iPhone in 2007. Thanks for the input! :-)
  • Totally agree with all who say it was Apple which created the breakthrough for mass adoption. Often reminds me of the Dutch electronics company Philips, which was first with many, but lost out in time to market to the Japanese frequently, not getting it out of the labs in time or using traditional market introduction policy of skimming pricing for innovators. Japanese were having a much more aggressive pricing policy to get market share fast. Take Microsoft Photosynth, it was ahead of its time, it never got out of bêta, Google took over in popularizing photo spheres and Photosynth hasn't seen development for more than a year and now is becoming obsolete with the advent of 360 cameras for consumers. I have the impression that if it wasn't for Nadella, Microsoft wouldn't be on track now to get so many things out of the labs.  
  • What do you call Windows Mobile then? Deader than dead? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Windows Mobile is not a smartphone, it is an operating system. With an all in one computer, the mobile operating system is used when the device is not plugged into a display dock like the HP Elite X3 or the 950. Sent from my PC because my 1520 can't get Windows 10 because AT&T hates us.
  • Funny!
    Mine works!
    Green with envy you are?!
  • W10M:
    Still has users
    Still gets updates
    Still has money put towards it
    Still has devices being sold
    Still has OEMs producing new devices
    Still brings new features That's a funny definition of dead. The thing I've noticed is that people who claim W10M is dead are the ones that see success as market dominance and failure as anything else. W10M is a niche product, always has been. There's nothing wrong with that. I don't care what the numbers are, some people enjoy using it.
  • Windows Mobile is Windows 10. It isn't going anywhere.
  • I don't think Apple is worried about converging iOS and OS X because ultimately their end game is likely to just keep building out iOS to the point where most users of their platform don't need OS X.
  • Apple can make people buy anything
    (APPLE FAN BOYS) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • More than likely, they would consider this to be the ideal path forward. Scaling a thin platform up is easier to achieve from a technical standpoint but it will be difficult to expand the platform's capabilities up to the point where it can run robust applications.
  • 4.7 inch is more than enough.. And u guys can stop this series of posts because smartphones never die...
  • "And u guys can stop this series of posts because smartphones never die..."
    You should really read them before commenting, because you sound really uninformed right now. The main point is smartphones as we know them is dying as we moved towards a converged future. But hey, just reading the headline is easy just like making snarky comments, I get it. Just don't' expect to be taken too seriously if you're showing up and didn't read last night's homework. You're better than that.
  • I have used my brother's iphone for a day. I got bored by using it. There is nothing in the operating system that can impress except speed. I think Apple & its fanboys have created a phobia about the apple logo on the back of the phone. They have created the big Apple bubble in people's mind. And after reading this article I can see that the bubble has reached to its max capacity and will blast soon in the future.
  • Well, let me start by saying, that I haven't used an iPhone, but I know that the app gap is indeed there and its not just about snapchat etc, W10M in terms of app gap, as well as features is not yet ready to compete with IOS  
  • You click on the icon and the app opens. What more do you want? Staring at the home screen is pointless with a robust notification center. Randomly flipping icons isn't that useful. There is a reason anything with a tile interface has failed. Zune, WP7, WP8, W8 and W10m have all failed miserably because of it. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • As your eyes age, you may find yourself disagreeing with your own comment.
  • Thanks Jason. You made some interesting points, and I do hope you're correct regarding Apple. iOS is long over due for a complete overhaul, and I hope Apple continues to be blind and arrogant toward the current mobile market until it's too late for them to recover. I also hope Apple's strong focus on revenue, and not the future of mobile computing will ultimately be their undoing.   As for Microsoft's plans. I agree they have the best future plans for desktop and mobile, but unless they kick their bad reputation, their plans will fail... again. They need to be seen as "cool" or Google, and Apple will win by a land slide even if their offerings are sub-par at best.
  • Cant wait to see what WWDC brings this time. Apple has been quiet for an awfully long time. IPhone SE and a rose gold retina MacBook. Seriously? They need to come up with smthing really good this time.
  • quiet for a long time? No. just released small iphone SE.
  • I'm using Android and Windows phone and windows pc
    For productivity I use windows for sure
    But still using phone I like how phones can do more
    So I don't think smartphones is dead 5 inch is enough people still buying lumia more than 2 million device
    My point is people are comfortable with the idea of separating system but it's still cool to use your phone as pc but not for productivity till now. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • As long as we can hold a device and make calls off of it and at the same time make a back deposit, and slip it back in our jean pocket, it's still a smart phone. I don't agree with this series but I'm sure cult followers here will.
  • I realy like Windows Mobile but this system is not ready for daly use and has no apps at all.Even Edge is so crappy that i have to switch to another os cause i cannot do my job without apps or a good browser.My company was a supporter of Windows Phones for years but after June 2016 they wont give me any of the apps that i need for my daily work.So goodbye when even IT companys that are loyal for years give a **** in supportng my fav platform.And i dont think any of your articles ,even if their realy good would save the plattform.Im a die hard windows 10 fan but i would not recommed anyone to buy a Windows Mobile device now.
      Maybe in 2-3 years they will be ready for real enterprise use but not now.The only chance is continum.
  • I do agree with the article, and I am glad that Microsoft is looking ahead and not just with the melding of pc and tablet/phone but also the Xbox as more than just a game machine. The way tech worked a decade ago will not be the same it works coming soon.
  • Apple is nothing compared to Android (80%), its 20% of people is just too stupid to decide where market will go.
  • Windows Phone for example is already dead
  • I'd be more impressed with this if you didn't just parrot a single line and instead argued against what Apple and Google are doing in the smartphone space.
  • Define "dead".  They are still selling millions. There is still investment and a roadmap from Microsoft. There are still apps being released.   The snarky comments with no logic backing them are really just Internet litter.  
  • Windows Phone/Mobile has 1% current market share, combine that with Microsoft saying that it will not focus on phones now, and that's why people are saying it's dead.
  • People saying it doesn't make them right. It's exactly NOT dead.  Market share is a comparative tool, not a brand health indicator; There are still millions ofWindows-powered mobile devices being sold. That's not dead. Terry M. used an unfortunate choice of words and Nadella cleaned up the mess a day or two later.   When you (mis)quote market share do you mean last quarterly sales, or total units in use?  Are you factoring in the people who skipped buying to hold on to their L1020 or L1520, but are actually still using Windows phone?  Where did you find 1%?  
  • There we go again. Its too early to call "Smartphoes are dead". But its the right time to call "Windows Mobile is dead". So lets not lump Apple and Google - who seemingly are doing just fine with Microsoft in this game. And without Widows Mobile putting on any show, we don't see what is the point of UWP - the so called Unified Windows approach. Yeah, lets not start bringing out the HoloLens and iOT points here - as there are no where near mainstram mass market devices. ​If as Nadella said - that having Windows apps and services on ALL platforms is the "Mobility of experience" - which I totally agree with - but this has nothing to do with the Unified windows strategy. True, it benefits the cloud strategy, bit it doesnt extend the UWP strategy in any way. ​So, everytime we say UWP will save Windows, I dont see the corelation of that with the Windows services on all platforms strategy that Micrsoft is stronlgly behind at this point. Google investing in the unified approach makes sense - as they are strongly backing Android as well as Chromebooks and bringling synergies across the two platforms. ​MS on the other hand has as much as given away the mobile strategy - so to what end if the unified strategy working towards ? MS services and Apps on Google and Apple is not a unified approach in any way. Its a cloud streagy which plays to Microsoft's advantage. But calling that a UWP win in any way is a lie. If Android an Chrome can pull off a unified OS win in any way, there will be a churn from Microsoft to Google. On the reverse, MS not having any mobile component to the unified strategy (thats how it looks right now) doesnt show what the advantages are.
  • I totally agree I don't see the point of UWP it's not making developers go for windows phone
    I can see
    Android , iphone and the web
    The idea of the store was so good but people don't use that much app even office 365 still installing it from the web. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Web is dead. Everything is going social. Regarding UWP it alone will not save Windows 10 and Mobile. Far from it. Combined with Bridges, Bash, and Xamarin, however, and now we have a larger, more interesting ecosystem for developers to leverage. Toss in Microsoft Cognitive, AI, and bots and things start to get real interesting. App model is going to go away in the next few years for many - not all - services. It's not sustainable for a small business to pay a developer $50-70K a year to make an app and multiply that by hundreds of thousands.
  • Dan, agreed, app model will go away in the future (it still has a lot of clout as of now, lets admit).
    ​My point is, if MS has not been able to win in this app model world and if its thinks smartphones as we know it is not its forte, then why even spend that last 2 years pivoting from Windows phone 8 to 8.1 to Windows 10 just to try and get the Unified approach working ? What did it benefit as of now ? ​I cant predict te future of what MS will do with the UWP strategy. In fact I bet you will know more about MS's short term intentions than me - just a reader - but do tell me, what wah the point of this whole pivot to UWP - which made is lose mindshare a lot - if it does not show any result in the near term ? ​So now the ball game moves away from Unified windows to Cognitive Windows ? I grant that any company has to move with the time and Cognitive AI and the BOTS framework are great efforts to get into - but again - what result will we have to show for it now, 2 years from now, 5 years from now ? ​As users, developers on the Windows platform, am I to now think that the UWP strategy doesnt offer me anything, so let me get on the MS Cognitive AI bandwagon next ? Am I sure that they will land a viable platform for the next step ?
    So while I garee with Jason or you on a very broad sense, in yerms of actual implementation I think there isnt any boots on with Microsoft - not yet.
  • UWP is a risk and for things like 1800 Flowers (which is a W10 UWP app now) likely a short-term play for users. Long term, AI will supplant something like a 1800 Flowers app, which is the right direction otherwise users have 100s of apps, 90% they use once in awhile. UWP is sort of a hedge. It gives devs a platform without Microsoft committing to one type of screen e.g. TV, PC, laptop, tablet, phone, or even no screen (IoT). Also, AI/bot stuff only goes so far and it won't work for games and some other types of apps that pull data e.g. messaging/social. Windows 10 is more about building a Windows for a future that is not yet defined. It lets them take Windows off of the PC-only desktop model and go anywhere. PC/desktop is not so much dying just as becoming another screen amongst many for users as they compete for attention. The biggest story that even our own audience here misses is that Microsoft made Windows 10 mobile as a whole. That's the irony as everyone calls WP dead. The shift from 8 to 8.1 to 10 is one of course correction. Windows 8.x was under different management and different strategy. Windows 10 is "fixing" a lot of bad bets that Microsoft made in the past.
  • OK, that does give me a bit more flaviour of the "beyond the app" strategy. I like the 1-800 flowers example. And I agree - a plethora of apps which are used only once in a while (and I grant my latest UWP app is such) is a bad way of utilizing the "smarts" of the smartphone. ​But the UWP as a hedge still make me wary of Microsoft. So all the talk of Continnum being "the next big thing" becomes a bit wishy washy if the UWP strategy doesnt take solid roots.
    While the long term viewpoint of Nadella is good - to compliment the long term strategy - there has has to be te shorter term commitment and the resilience , financially and support wise, to stick to that commitment - which is where we see MS faltering and "course-correcting" a lot. I wholeheatedly agree and understand what you mean with the AI and the future of smartphones as a whole. But the other side of the coin is the ability to PUSH the agenda and make the market adopt a new technology. This has been done by Google a lot - see how tthey keep pushing Chrome insite of it being a laughling stock a few years back. You cant give up on what you believe. This startup mentality is missing in the Mobile implementation story of MS. To add : I find your explanation of UWP a very good one so far - to go beyond the dependancy of the PC as a screen.  
  • You wrote it in your own argument there, iOT and Hololens are indeed niche market products for a small subsection of customers. So are Windows Mobile devices. Everyone seems to think a product has to be mainstream to be 'alive' and successful. It doesn't.
  • Well, in that case of Windows Mobile is considered to be a niche market product (I dont agree with that, since smartphone market is not niche), in that case the whole point of UWP is all the more moot. So what exactly is your point ? ​Its not like my argument was about the success of failure about Windows mobile devices. It was about the unified approach and how that helps MS
  • The unified approach could very well help Microsoft disrupt the market.  We are only really seeing the beginning and I suspect that with the HP offering and the 2017 stuff that Microsoft is bringing that we'll see even more. Maybe we'll see Continuum built into SmartTV's like Netflix and we'll just be able to fire up a workstation anywhere.  If the phone is powerful enough, that could disrupt the market.  USB-C is starting to show up on more phones, so it is possible that even without wireless, that this could all become a single cord connection.   I'm not going to spend a bunch of time getting into the definitions of niche, but one can have a niche market inside of a larger market.  OK, moving on. UWP isn't moot.  It's just not mature.  It's as if things need to have their full potential upon initial release or the cynics dismiss them as "gimmicks" or "pointless".  It requires a little vision to see where these things are going.  If MS can disrupt the market with something new and useful, that will lend itself to success.  This stuff is growing and improving every week.  I, for one, am excited to see where it's all heading.
  • Continuum isn't going to disrupt anything, especially on the TV. Android and iOS have been doing that for years. Continuum is also pointless. PCs are cheap and powerful while your data is already ubiquitous because of the cloud. Carrying around a laptop shell with no processing power of its own is the most ridiculous thing. What really is the point? Laptops are dirt cheap and much more powerful than a phone. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Well, if you don't know the difference between what Continuum does and what "Android and iOS have been doing...for years", then it's not really worth reading the rest of your rant.  
  • He was speaking specifically about it being built into TVs. Android had been doing this for years and Apple also has its solution. Microsoft is so far behind it is going to take something truly revolutionary to make any impact at all. A Windows desktop interface, even coming out of your phone, isn't going to do it.
  • I'm gonna rephrase my use of 'niche' to 'not mainstream'. I was referring to how you weren't bringing Hololens or iOT into it, when they're in a not too dissimilar position. W10M is not a mainstream OS, it's being used by a small section of the market looking for something specific. Near-niche, then. It may not have set out in that direction, but it's ended up where we are now. The UWP thing is about helping those non-mainstream product lines to become a bit more mainstream in the long term. It's aim is to help with the one main barrier W10M faces - apps - and to get people involved in the MS ecosystem. But really, it's long-term planning for, as this article sets out, 'the next thing'. Computing that is a bit more flexible and personal than it is now. In the next generation of technology, the presumption is that the aim is for W10M to possess the edge, ( UWP apps, bringing a consistent experience in everything, Continuum - which of course harnesses UWP apps) in order to take advantage of the new trends and get a head start. Well, that's my take on it anyway.
  • Of course.there is no phones even for the people who wants to buy one
  • Honestly, I don't think it'll work out. If UWP is seen to be even a remote success then Apple and Google will just hire a crap ton of developers and get their continuum offerings out in double time and say "We've got it, with apps too!" and given a lot of apps will work well with mouse and keyboard on Android at least, Microsoft will never be able to claim the top spot. I'll certainly stick with Windows mobile but I doubt we're ever going up in market share ever again.
  • Apple's OS's are different and the current CEO intends to keep it that way.  They would be years behind if Continuum takes off and Apple decides to catch up.  Blending OS's into a single core that adapts the way Continuum does, isn't as easy as deciding to do so and then hiring people and announcing it 6 months later.  Android, doesn't really even have a proper OS on computers. Chromebooks fill a niche, but they are not full computers. Both companies would have to spend a lot of effort to catch Microsoft in this area.  Also, that "with apps too" means that all the developers would have to then rewrite their apps for that, which you can see from our experience, takes time.  The crazy world of tech repels concepts like "never" and "always".  
  • Jason says smartphones will die and then in the process as he explains it just seems that smart phones will be the main part of this era he is talkin about Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • No, you missed the point. Smartphones are evolving to be the one and only computer that we use on a regular basis. However, in order for that to actually happen, they need to become more powerful. Apple, Google, and Microsoft both have a desktop and mobile operating systems. How is each taking on the challenge of a mobile world? Your point is analogous to feature phones are not dead because we have smartphones now. I mean, they're just all phones, right? I'd say that is a poor argument.
  • Modern smartphones have only really existed for 8 1/2 years... do you really think they'll stay as they are forever?
  • So let me get this straight from the title alone [no I did not read the article nor the other 2 but I will] is the general premise of smartphones being dead because Windows Phones are dead and they must be dying [smartphones] to justify the failure of Microsoft regarding it's mobile platform? #TeamLumia 950 XL
  • No. Just read the article and save us the trouble of explaining it to you, lol
  • This guy writes the most cringeworthy articles trying to somehow rationalize MS's failure in mobile.
  • I'd say 90% of this article is about Apple and Google, not Microsoft. But hey, attack the author and don't challenge the argument is always a good fallback I guess. You folks are very disappointing at times in comments. Bring your A-game, not quips.
  • You missed something. AI. At Build showed off it's conversations as a platform idea. Also just a day or so ago Sundar Pichai said that he agrees we are going to move from a mobile first to an AI first world.
  • That's true and many are arguing that AI will supplant a lot of the app model for services.
  • @zoom44 Lol...Yeah. I'm hitting that in part IV. :-)
  • What I miss in the article is the attractivity to developers of the all encompassing development and cloud runtime platform Microsoft is offering them, being able to target the user device platforms Windows, Android and iOS. The idea in the article seems to be that if Microsoft needs a unified user device platform, then others need that as well. I don't think so. Windows with Continuum targets a user device adaptive context as far as user interaction is concerned: screen size and user input tools. If Google would create something Continuum like for Android then they would facilitate desktop setups for all their Android users in one go. Same for Apple. However, most business applications do not have a browser front end, but do have Windows (32) front ends. UWP only is a too limited scope. Microsoft is bringing far more to the table to change the rules of the game and become the leader of the pack in Mobile. Their Mobile is all their still growing Azure cloud services. Apple has no role in this and Google is offering not much more than raw computing power and storage. If it happens that Microsoft is not going to own the user device, it will own the majority of services making these user devices usefull, through businesses and developers as their backend customers. Oh, and lets not forget the disruption or paradigm shift that the acceptance of conversational bots is going to bring about, Facebook will be a player to take into account.  
  • If WP was king these articles wouldn't exist and everyone here knows it. MS screwed the pooch and they have choice but to try to change the narrative. It'll be interesting to see how they adapt to not being the platform of choice and instead just another software vendor. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • But they don't have to be king, do they?
  • "If WP was king these articles wouldn't exist and everyone here knows it."
    I disagree. These articles are about how the smartphone model could (and likely is) evolving before our eyes. No different than people who predicted the rise of smartphones in 2004-2006 but were laughed off too (my friends all mocked my Treo in 2006 because who checks email on a phone? Just do it when you get home they said.). However, if you think that in 5 years the smartphone in your pocket is going to the same thing as it is today (but faster, slimmer) than that's on you. Some of us think technology changes as it becomes more powerful like the rise of modular computing in PCs.
  • I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you that the market and tech changes but up until now MS has been the defacto platform and now they're not so they're tying to spin the narrative to apply to their need (not necessarily desire) to adapt themselves to iOS and Android. It's all about bots, etc. And they're wanting to be there if/when it takes off. I have no doubt though that if WP was king these points of view and initiatives wouldn't be there. We only have to look at their history to know this. There might be new management but this is still Microsoft we're talking about here. It might sound cynical but that's just how I see it. We can agree to disagree though it's all good. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Can people just saying in every topic "windows phone is dead" :/ :|
  • Yeah. At least they should change it to 'it's a zombie'. Just kidding. :p I hate 'wp dead' comments, and I totally agree with the point of the article here. Sent from a black hole.
  • Much of the thoughts and ideas in this article are for me are adressing the public the private users but we all know what really matters are the data packages that are moved on this platforms and i believe that nearly all important is Microsoft.
    Try to install a equivalent OS on a PC something like RemixOS or Android on a pc and than start your work just as you do on Windows 10. What matters to me personally most is that i really use my Lumia and the user expirience of Windows Mobile is just fantastic. No Lags the reaction of the system is just constant. As i said earlier when you work in the office there are many people using a plain PC and they will like Windows and the constant expirience forever so the shift to a mobile PC seems logical. If only MS would put some more work in public appearance adverts etc.
  • The basic claim in this series of articles is that users will carry around a single computation node (handheld device containing CPU, GPU, ram, storage, and small display) and connect it to different human-interface devices (HIDs) like monitors, keyboards, mice, etc. when more productive work is required. A second, equally important claim, is that the same/similar program will be used in both scenarios. Why would users prefer to plug their handheld device into a bunch of HIDs instead of linking two or more separate optimized-for-their-size systems (e.g. phone, tablet, laptop) via the Cloud? It can't be cost since inexpensive laptops cost far less than a single smartphone. Data portability is what people want, not computation portability.
  • "Data portability is what people want, not computation portability."
    I think it's a bit of both, but TBH computation portability is exactly what has been tried for 30 years ever since the first laptop came out. And today's smartphone's are nearly as powerful as laptops a decade ago. Smartphones are just small computers after all, just their UI is different. True, the cloud is adding a lot to that and in the end, we may just have dummy terminals that are our phones/computers. Look at how the HP Elite x3 runs Win32 apps: virtualized. That is a great example of mixing cloud with a device that "goes anywhere, is everything". Now, the x3 is hardly a slam dunk on that model as it is still hindered by today's hardware limitations, but that too will go away. Regardless, Microsoft knows this. Windows 10 runs on everything from devices without screens (IoT) to giant displays (Surface Hub). Windows itself may become a cloud-based OS like Chrome tried (but failed) to do.
  • Yep, the whole article starts off with the expectation that MSs strategy is the inevitable future, and comes out with the result that MS is best prepared for that. When it is just as likely that we will have a separation of smart and phone, with phones getting smaller, possibly integrated to different things.
  • I honestly see apples approach being more successful than googles. Googles reliance on a crap OS like Linux that while in some degree offers some features is still inherently horrible. Being open source isn't always a good thing. The virus and malware on that platform needs to be focused on before I'd ever consider android again. Its worse than PC ever was. I have had zero crashes/malware or virus with commercially released Lumia 920 or 950XL using win mobile 10. Both phones are solid with the OS, hardware and very useful with work. Apple in many cases offers close to that quality if not for the OS choice to separate mobile and desktop. I don't see google staying the same course without a major direction change. On google play out of 1.5million apps 10 are probably not included with malware. So the percentage of quality apps is far lower for android be windows or iOS.
  • The majority of servers run Linux, not Windows.
  • You do realize that OSX and iOS are also UNIX (closed source Linux) underneath right?  I guess not.  And viruses Malelware are more theory than real experience on Android, unless you do something dumb like download and install an apk from. Somewhere outside of Google Play. 
  • I think Microsoft has the most leeway in the mobile industry to innovate Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • Jason, As you can surmise from many of the comments, the headline of this series has lost many would be readers but that is okay. I have been a student of Windows convergence since Longhorn. While Microsoft integrated shared components between Server and Workstation products long before then, it was Longhorn that expanded the premise of shared components into a converged platform. For readers who lack historical context, it is difficult to understand the scale of what Microsoft has achieved with Windows 10 and more specifically, OneCore. I wouldn't say that this kind of historical precedence belongs in this series but in my view, OneCore is the realization of the dream that was Longhorn. It could help some readers to include some historical context and more specifically, how convergence allows for better agility and efficiencies of scale for all platforms. It introduces modular development to a huge footprint of platforms without the overhead of developing and redeveloping code for each target platform. That could be pushing the faculties of the average Windows Central reader but as one of them, that is what I think about when convergence comes to mind. It is the ultimate modular platform. Furthermore, this illustrates how enormous the challenge is for Microsoft's competitors. The only precedent for what Microsoft has achieved with OneCore is what Microsoft has achieved with the platforms that precede it. In the past, many of Microsoft's competitors have criticized them for this path including Google and Apple. But with the introduction of Windows 10, the competition may have realized, for the first time, the gravity of what Microsoft has been up to for all these years. At best, they are now on a path to replicate a similar experience but they lack the underlying platform to help them realize the associated benefits. Microsoft is now able to leverage smaller, focused development teams with more collaboration while the development teams for their competitors are growing and becoming less agile. That is a profound differentiator and this shift marks the first time, on this scale, that the competition is actively pursuing anything that resembles convergence. They have realized just how far behind the curve that they really are. They are years behind where OneCore is. Bolt-on experiences aren't going to cut it. Microsoft has never been more dangerous that it is right now and it has only just begun.
  • http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/24/11500082/chromebooks-android-app-suppo... as per this verge article and what Jason said..google is knocking on the door
  • I think the shift has started because of Microsoft. They had no other option. If you cannot win a war, make it irrelevant and create a whole new empire. That's the Microsoft's strategy. But Apple has the surprise element and Google can "copy". So Microsoft has to dismantle their empires quickly.
  • Man, Dan really has his plate full today with all these trolls going off about about how Windows 10 Mobile is dead, and that smartphones aren't dead and how the author's title is such a big lie. Some of them seem to be doing it just for fun and giggles, while some just can't bother to read beyond the title. 
  • Thanks for the article, it was interesting.
    When mobile devices reach the capability of running the 16 million Win32/.NET applications available for Windows, I think devices that only can run iOS or Android apps will be considered limited. This number 16 million was stated on the last Microsoft BUILD conference.
    Making 16 million applications takes a huge effort. All the drivers and device support for the Windows ecosystem is also very significant work. I think it would take decades for something to take over from that.
  • Great Editorial Jason. I have been using Continuum on my 950XL to do work on my SP3 back at the office and works flawlessly albeit via Team Viewer. Microsoft are playing the long game and moving incrementally in the right direction. However, I do not think Apple will shift until they see a definite cut into their market share. They did when they created their phablet as Samsung were taking a lot of their market share. They still haven't got touch screens on their Mac's because they don't want to cannibalise their own devices. No matter how good UWP becomes I think their is still room for Apples separate ecosystem. Friends of mine are very happy with their iPad at home and PC at work cause it suits their needs and its simple. You need to extend yourself a bit to use Continuum and the need to have a screen, keyboard and mouse introduce connectivity problems that some people cannot handle so I believe you will always have people that stick with the easy option of an iPad. But, if I am wrong you can be sure that Apple will move with the consumer just as they did with the iPhone 6.
  • It's not smartphones that are dying, it's just Windows Phone, or as some say "Windows 10 mobile"
  • Hmmmm how about you die? Read the article and give yourself an hour, two hours, or a full day even if you still don't get it. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I've read a lot of your comments here on this article but please, be productive with your thoughts and don't just say the SAME damn thing. God, are you 12???
  • He's just speaking reality that blind fanboys refuse to see and come up with such articles like this one that all smartphones are dying :)) no my friend, windows10mobile is dying because MS managed to f*** it up again. Keep your delusion 'till the end if you like, but the reality is this whether you like it or not.MS has no idea about running a mobile division, and when they had people who actually knew something about making a mobile phone, the great "Genius Satya" laid them off...
  • My favorite part of the article is that Microsoft is deepening the integration between Windows desktop and Android mobile in anticipation of Google's unified offering in 2017. I didn't think about that. Brilliant.
  • The different form factors (whatever you call them: smartphone, tablet, smart watch, or PC) that facilitate our lives are almost established and going no where. What the technologies shifting towards is how these form factors provide us a unified, seamless experience.
  • Applause!
  • Seems as if MS and WC is betting on Smartphones to be dead in order for MS ans Windows to survive, but if that doesnt happen, i.e if Apple or Google bring out a new innovation that prolongs the so called death of smartphone then W10 ( consumer ) will be dead for sure. in that case W10M consumer efforts will be shutdown and MS will work more closely with Android and IOS and even promote them for enterprise.  
  • Terry Myerson already told devs not to bother with W10M and most of the Microsoft marketing for devs and enterprises has iPhone front and center.
  • What are you all talking about, nothing is going anywhere. When you really have serious work to do there is still nothing close to a mouse, keyboard, monitor and full blown software. Even a browser is still better than apps
  • I'd love to just swipe windows across devices like Tony Stark does. Can't wait to try Handoff and Continuity features. Sounds interesting. I can see our phones paring with VR/AR headsets. IMO, Google Glass was way ahead of its time. It'll be back when peeps are ready.
  • ... For me is WM almost dead... I want to bring new phone from my carrier (orange)... I have 3 options ... Super lowend 550 and 650... On the other hand super expensive 950 (no XL in offer)... Normal price of 950 in carrier is 630€ !!!
  • 630 is wayy overpriced! In fact, in Romania at Orange the 950 is 449 EUR contract free and still does not sell because this price is also too high for this phone. people here started to go iphone or galaxy s6/s7 more and more after MS managed to f*** it up again! Not really that the 950 is not nice, it is OK as a phone, but that mediocre OS experience is what prevents users here to buy it...after so many months after this was released, and still has severe issues with wifi and battery drain! and if in Romania, which is a very small country, people preffer a more expensive iphone or samsung, in other more developed countries in Europe what do you think the situation is? Users are not idiots, as MS may have thought...so yes, I feel your anger, but this is the new MS: cheap working, low quality and lots of bullsh** talking.
  • Pro
    1. Continuum
    2. Super camera
    3. USB type C
    4. Support almost any BT, usb, WiDi, usb 3.1 accessories.
    Con
    1. Less apps
    2. Limited and expensive development tools
    3. Weak support
    Weak business strategy. OneDrive and office 360 toward also Lumia. Lumia phone sales has already weaken and OneDrive should have not cut to 5GB. Continue limit to storing 15GB or larger for Lumia pictures only should be much a better business go. That way can prove Lumia best with its camera more. by allowing publishing Lumia's photos in public like yahoo flikr but this will only for Lumia to sync.
    Wouldn't that something that can be interesting to know Lumia and attract people to develop more apps?
  • All of your pros are basically standard on the other platforms. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Continuum is fascinating and could be a great way forward for ever-more PC-like smartphones. But I contend that there is still enormous potential in the smartphone sector. It's not to do with computing power or apps. It's simply to do with battery life. When the first smartphone comes out with a battery that lasts a week without charge the smartphone market will be lit up again - going from saturated to fresh. Battery life is where the investment should be. Battery life is the future.
  • Intel based Surface Phone will have battery life of hours not days.
  • Windows phone is really dead in India
  • Nice article but the facts remain: Apple and Google are doing fine in the mobile world, MS ****** up! again!
  • I firmly believe that MS has not abandoned WP. And this is why. Windows 10 for PC and WP10 share the same code (they are not the same OS, but they share a large part of the code). Windows 10 is trying to be an all-devices OS and it is doing extremely well. WP10 with Continuum is showing the direction of Microsoft's strategy. They have invested billions of dollars to this strategic plan (the unification of the platforms under one OS), they cannot abandon it like that. See how Google and Apple are trying to achieve that but they are failing. MS is at a great starting point and in my opinion, the reason they are not advertising WP10 so much is because the next 1-2 years, phones will be even more powerful and capable to run the full Windows 10. Sent from my Lumia 640
  • Apple said point blank they are not trying to achieve that and we have not seen Google's attempt yet. Hard to say they are failing at it. Hard to say it is even the right thing to do. Microsoft certainly hasn't shown that it is. Have you seen the sales for the most recent quarter? They are certainly failing with this strategy. It is going to be harder to come back when your market share is
  • Actually regardless of what Apple says, it is trying to move towards the "unified platform" with their Continuity. But they know they have not the adaptable OS to do it, so they are just trying to make people use iOS even for productivity. Their strategy is to force the people on one platform and make them adapt their needs and habits to it. Microsoft on the other hand is trying to create a platform that adapts on the user's needs. And lastly Google. More Android apps are going to Chrome OS, with Google Play being the last one. Another Google strategy is to make the apps scale when you connect the phone to a big screen. But then you lack many things such as taskbar, etc So how is this not a try to merge all the platforms into one? I think MS has the best foundations proceed because phones are close to become so powerful to run a full Windows 10 version and not the skinned down Windows Phone. That's why they have shifted their focus from WP.
  • Jason, your articles are awesome...although I'm starting to find the mobile discussion turning into (while still somewhat exciting) kinda bleeehhhhh...not that its boring or anything but very soon it all might just become matter of fact and par for the course. Although maybe that fits into the whole topic, where Nadella has even said that they don't wanna get stuck into the same trap that they did with the PC, so Mobile needs to not be about the smartphone anymore, kinda like what you just said. Transitions are hard man... lol =p Ugh, I'm at work...so boring lol =p
    Windows 10 RULZZ yer FACE!!!
  • While I love the idea from Microsoft, the sad truth is they upset so many mobile users by not pushing the sales of current win 10 phones. So 3rd and even 1st party software continues to be limited or dated. Snapchat is agood example. They have little love for win 10 support even with over 100 million users. And obviously no win phone love either
  • No matter how well W10M does, Snapchat will continue to refuse to make an app for it.
  • I like that you look into the future. But (as I can read in the comments) many people IMO are already too far in the future. AI and Bots wont replace apps or websites in a long time. Things like Cortana or Siri are pretty much useless right now for consumers. Maybe MS has good plans for the future, the problem is that the present also counts. Google can do both, they surely do have plans for the future but are focusing where the customers are right now. And the current customers wants apps, for all their local services. They don't want bots, they don't want AI...jet. Because they are just not good enough. That was the major thing that annoyed me at Build 2016 and those people who praised it. It's all really nice and good, but it's way to far in a future, where we don't know if everything is like now. Of course many will not agree with me, thats just my opinion. But for me, too many people here see a bright and shiny feature and forget that the "right now" is pretty important for the future. "Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift, Thats why it's called the Present" Don't forget that ;)
  • As always, Jason: great work! Your thinking and analysis on the matter goes so much deeper and further than just about anyone I've heard speak or write on the matter, and even more profoundly, much deeper and further than pretty much all of us in the comments section - myself included. I'm sorry I have gotten so far behind on your articles. I got through your "Windows Phone is not dead" series and also read "Help, my wife is considering switching to Android". Otherwise, I have stalled. However, perhaps the chief contributor behind why I have so many open tabs in Safari on my iPhone is because I have one for each of your articles that I have not read - a tangible and good faith sign of a sincere desire to get caught up - which of course I've finally begun to do these past two days getting read up to this point. Hopefully I can get parts IV and V read today and get done with this series. To the question of the differing approaches of "the big three", first let me say that I revel in the electric excitement of having three approaches that are all so vastly different from each other, and yet strive to solve the same quandary. While I personally resonate most deeply with Microsoft's strategy, resonate least deeply with Apple's (I'll call it) "Silo City", and have the most questions and doubts over Google's "FrankenChromeDroid", I personally find all three approaches intriguing, exciting, and fraught with all sorts of both promises and pitfalls. They all have their merits and demerits. But above all, the thing I like the best is that we don't have a copycat among them. They truly are each quite distinct and novel strategies! It's Super Nintendo vs Sega Genesis vs Turbografx16/PC Engine all over again, and that's just the kind of tech scene I want! Now, to my own "idiot's armchair prognostications" I think the first question is whether the mass of lay consumers will resonate more deeply with what MS and Google are trying to do with integration, or whether they will resonate more deeply with the "shaking hands over low walls" neat, clean lines of Tim Cook's grand vision. Too soon to say, I think, but I do think that Apple really has no chance of coming out of this in the middle of the pack. If the pleb agree with the Satya and/or Hiroshi vision, then Apple's going to find itself in deep doodoo, whereas if they kiss the Cook, Apple's gonna clean up. I get what you're saying about dead ends, and do not disagree, but I vividly recall trying to defend MSs strategy to two people (one Apple fan and one Android fan) who both view MS's mobile endeavors as hopeless and their desktop position as becoming an increasingly irrelevant data point, and when presented with the prospects of UWP, their unified response was "who'd want that?" So I think it's too soon to say which way the winds will blow. Only I think that Apple will either come out top or bottom in the exchange. For as different as Google and Microsoft's visions and strategies are, and for as polar opposite as the directions they're coming from is, I think their strategies are more fundamentally similar, and thus, their fates will be more linked than Apple's. As such (and with as potentially attractive to the non-high-end lay consumer as a Chromedroid would be), I think Google poses the more immediate threat to Windows than Apple. Put another way, Google is the more direct and relevant competitor. While I see no threat to MS whatsoever from Google in the "power user" space, nor in the high-end gaming space*, I absolutely see a threat from them in the soccer-mom and cool high school kids and all other causal users space.....a HUGE threat! One that MS needs to take more seriously than perhaps anything else anywhere in tech, I think. I also think MS is smart in getting in bed with Android.....so long as such a move does not end up precluding their Windows 10 Mobile ambitions and the future of Windows "phone". Anyway, I look forward to getting the rest of the way caught up with your articles! And I'll keep in touch! :-) Cheers! *=Actually, with things like Wine being able to play Windows win32 games, and Steam being on there, I think it's actually the Linux scene, of all places that poses the greatest risk to Windows in the high-end gaming sphere (ESPECIALLY if MS phases out Win32 after UWP catches up - that'd only push all the Steam users to Linux). As such, I think it poses an EXPONENTIALLY greater risk to Windows gaming than either Google or Apple.....combined. As much as I love my Mac, Apple is a total joke for high end gaming! This is a big reason why I hope they never phase Win32 out, although it would suddenly make my attempts to try to find a regular place for Linux in my life soooooo much easier! :-)
  • It's apparently not letting me edit. That was supposed to open with "your", not "you're".......DYAC!!! :-) p.s. Any idea why the edit button never seems to work on any of the mobile nations sites from Safari on iPhone? It's a HEEEEEEEUUUUUGE source of frustration for me!
  • .....sigh.....now it worked!
  • Whoever makes the best OS for desktop, console, tablet, TV, mobile will have all my sales.
    I just want to purchase an app once and have it on everything