Skip to main content

Steve Ballmer tried to name Cortana 'Bingo' before leaving as Microsoft CEO

Cortana Play My Emails
Cortana Play My Emails (Image credit: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer tried to name Cortana "Bingo."
  • A former PM at Microsoft shared the history of the company's digital assistant, including why it failed.
  • Microsoft ended Windows Phone in 2017 and discontinued the Cortana apps on Android and iOS in 2020.

Microsoft's digital assistant Cortana almost had a different name; Bingo. The former CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, tried to name the assistant Bingo as one of his last acts running the company. Those plans fell through, as the leaked name of Cortana proved popular among bloggers and gamers. Satya Nadella took over for Ballmer as CEO and Microsoft decided to stick with the Cortana name.

That tidbit of information comes from a conversation between Alice Newton Rex and Sandeep Paruchuri, a former project manager at Microsoft. In that discussion, Rex and Paruchuri run through the history of Cortana, including its development process, launch on Windows Phone, and ultimate demise as a competitor to Alexa and Siri.

Cortana, which was supposed to be named Alyx, was shaped by several moving parts within Microsoft, including the development of Windows Phone 8, the growth of consumer-focused AI, and the decline of Smart Search. Apple's Siri also played a role in the birth of Cortana. Microsoft's assistant competed with Apple's, but it took a different approach.

"Siri had recently launched, and it felt like the beginning of something exciting. But Sandeep's team felt Siri was too reactive; you still had to ask it to do something," explained Rex. "So they started to wonder: how can you do what Siri does, but get ahead of the questions people are going to have before they ask them?"

Cortana focused on delivering information to users in scenarios, not just in response to questions. For example, the assistant would pop up with a reminder to purchase flowers when a person walked by a flower shop.

Microsoft also injected Cortana with a personality. This earned positive feedback, as did several aspects of the digital assistant. Unfortunately for Cortana, its success was short-lived. Windows Phone, the platform that showcased Cortana, was shut down in 2017. The Cortana apps on Android and iOS were discontinued in 2020.

Cortana Commuter Reademail Android

Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

Cortana lives on, but it has a different focus than initially intended. Microsoft baked Cortana into apps like Teams and Outlook as a productivity tool rather than having the digital assistant compete with the likes of Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant.

A combination of factors led to the downfall of Cortana, but an internal shift within Microsoft played a role.

"Across the company, anything that was AI or ML started being branded Cortana, so the name ceased to stand for anything at all," explains Rex's post. "It was the beginning of the end. With the rapid dilution, the brand faltered before it even had a chance to truly reach the masses."

Perhaps Ballmer was right. Cortana did fail as a consumer AI assistant and has since shifted to being a productivity helper in Teams and other Microsoft apps. If he had his way, maybe people would be saying "Hey Bingo" instead of invoking Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

97 Comments
  • Cortana was a great assistant for its time and could have competed with Siri, Alexa or Google, had they focused more on home connectivity and adding skills that people would use. It was great on their mobile platform and I hoped it would get a reintroduction with Duo/Duo 2, but Cortana is essentially dead. Does anyone actually use Cortana in the way Microsoft has positioned it to be used? I feel like MS really doesn't want it to succeed.
  • "I feel like MS really doesn't want it to succeed."
    Without its own mobile platform, the endpoints for Cortana were effectively removed. Voice/AI on the desktop really hasn't proven to be a "thing" (how many are you regularly use Alexa in Windows?), and Microsoft was way too late to compete with Amazon/Google for home (even Apple struggles here). They tried Cortana on Xbox and, well, who used it? And MS never solved the localization problem. So there just isn't much for Cortana to do. Third-party AI apps on foreign platforms rarely get traction (See Bixby, Alexa vs. Siri and Google). Maybe Microsoft could have pushed through it with sheer investment and trying everything, but I'm not sure it would have succeeded. With Apple blocking default assistants on its platform and Google defaulting to Assistant, it was a massive uphill challenge. The real failing here is Windows Phone. Once that declined so didn't the need for Cortana, Groove, Maps, and Band. These things really only make sense if you have a phone OS to leverage them.
    "I hoped it would get a reintroduction with Duo/Duo 2"
    I wouldn't say no to this, either, but Duo just does not sell in volume to make a dent in this problem.
  • Agreed, but my takeaway is that MS never really wants to go for full localization.
  • "The real failing here is Windows Phone. Once that declined so didn't the need for Cortana, Groove, Maps, and Band. These things really only make sense if you have a phone OS to leverage them." The things Microsoft really needs to work on is music and maps and an assistant. Satya just doesn't care to be a consumer product to rival Google and Apple. They need to make a version of Android. More than a Launcher.
  • I really hope yours is a sarcastic comment.
  • If this was 2016, maybe they'd have a shot.
  • Azure to rule the world.
  • Microsoft put a lot of money and resources into Windows Phone. I don't think we can question that. What we can question is where the money and resources were applied. I think that the music, maps, and digital assistance were all at least as good if not better than their competitors. We can go back to Zune if you want regarding music. I thought the entire Zune interface was so much more user friendly and optically superior to iTunes. Groove was the same thing. I loved how you could play the associated video with the music track you selected. Remember the Here Maps application were you could put your Windows phone up to the area you were in and it would scan for restaurants, shopping, local hot spots, and other random places of interest. That was such an intuitive application and fun to use. Cortana just had a personality that Google Assistant, and Alexa don't have. The issues with all these products, and really a lot of products Microsoft introduces, is marketing. How can you expect something to succeed if no one knows about it? Apple owns this space and it's why so many people use their products. When was the last time you saw a Siri commercial? It's been baked into the minds of consumers so there's no need to produce them anymore. However remember when they did produce them. You saw the likes of Samuel L Jackson and other famous faces in the commercials. There wasn't a movie or premiere TV show that didn't have a device with an Apple logo in it. Apple has lived in the consumer space for decades. Microsoft is trying to play both sides of the field and although they have found some success it's evident they are an enterprise focused company first and foremost and they have done pretty well to be hesitant to change the paradigm.
  • Pierre, iTunes/apple store and Google Play are the reason iPhone and Android dominated the market. Every time MSFT went from windows 6.5 to 7 to 8 to 10, they forced every developer to rewrite their code. If MSFT stopped at Windows 8.1 on the phone they might have kept enough market share to be a viable 3rd mobile ecosystem. But by then everyone saw the market conditions and went Android. Some with alot of cash went Apple.
  • I appreciate the insight and perspective. I felt like people were still getting their feet wet, when it came to digital assistants. Amazon managed to make their assistant successful, without a mobile platform and I just feel like Microsoft could have done more. I get there are many moving parts that lead to it being unsuccessful. I was just venting. I can remember how great it was connecting my Windows 10 Mobile to my car and having Cortana verbally indicate who called or texted me, reading texts outloud, if I needed it to and placing calls or texts by voice. My experience with Google assistant has not been as good AND it didn't require your car's stereo to have any special software for this to happen.
  • " Amazon managed to make their assistant successful, without a mobile platform and I just feel like Microsoft could have done more."
    Partially true. Amazon made Alexa so you could buy things with your voice. Data from a few years ago said something like 1% of Alexa uses do that. Alexa has basically failed at its business model: To get people to buy more stuff from Amazon. Instead, it's a proxy for Spotify, trivia, and your home lights with all the marketing data harvested. It's really the last thing, market data, that is of value to Amazon, otherwise, how are they making money? But, breaking it down: Alexa: Home ✅; Mobile ❌ (Yes, they're mobile, but how many use Alexa as a default assistant?) Siri: Home ❌ (barely there); Mobile: ✅ only on iPhone (no one uses it on Mac) Google: Home ✅, Mobile ✅ Bixby: LOL Really, only Google has everything nailed. Auto, home, TV, phone. It's not on PC, however, which is a big omission (IMO). Then again, Alexa is on PC, but I don't remember hearing if anyone actually uses it. Siri "wins" for Apple simply because of its large market share combined with lock-in. Not sure many actually enjoy Siri, however. Personally? While I have access/accounts with all of these, I don't use any regularly. They're all kind of dumb, still.
  • I think they had Google Assistant on PC, at least they announced it some years ago, but it quickly disappeared.
  • I owned every generation of windows phone. Used Cortana all the time. I still remember the day the voice recognition software evolved from one version to the next. Then over the proceedings months Cortana knew what I wanted. originally, it was a three or four step process to text my wife I was headed home from work. Over six months I ended up only saying "Cortana text Jamie I am headed home." then Cortana would say "message sent". I was hoping Cortana would make the next step and all I would have to say is "Cortana, headed home". My wife and kids have used the iPhone for over a decade. None of them use Siri for any meaningful purposes. Who knows? When Apple builds its first car with Siri and level 5 self-driving, maybe Siri will ask, "Where do you wish to go?" Apple certainly has the money and time to make that happen. On a related task, since bleach chose to chime in, the whole voice activated assistant simply does not resonant with how people's brains work. This is the argument over dual screen versus foldable screen. At the end of the day, maybe voice assistants just don't work with how people's brains work.
  • However, I do see where digital voice assistants and AI will work out well. I once had to call Georgia Power about an issue. The digital assistant asked the right questions, heard my answers and solved my problem quickly and efficiently. In a structured repeatable question and answer environments, this technology can shine.
  • I was the same way with Cortana on my Windows Phone. I used her for everything. Sending texts, getting directions, playing music. Her connection to my car was still better then than any assistant now. When I gave up on Windows phone and moved to Android, I was done with voice assistants within a week. I got so tired of, "Sorry, I didn't get that.", "something's not right." Cortana was far more intuitive and just flowed. Every time my wife uses Google, it goes something like this: Google.....gooogle......gooogle. (Beep) "who is the main character in the new spider man movie?" (Google response) "Here's some pictures of spiders I found on the web." It's completely useless.
  • I wish MSFT could have allowed 2 invokes to "hear each other" and link into a stereo configuration in a room.
  • Yea I used to use Siri when I first got it in the very first months. And even back then I had to remind myself to ask it questions. They don’t add much for me, too basic.
  • Cortana in the car was a true hand's free experience. She was so fluid and intuitive to use. This still is the best assistant in the car, hands down still the best against any assistant today.
  • What about the Moto X that had the exact same functionality?
  • I agree with most of this. It really showed a lack of vision on how products affected each other. Without a mobile platform, a lot of things made little sense and/or fell apart. Much of it was the constant "restructuring" and rebranding of teams and applications. They were inconsistent in hardware delivery, like cutting off WP7 users with WP8 and doing it again from WP8.1 to W10M. Having the 830 be the 920's successor while barely being a different device (since the 930 was renamed the ICON and thrown on a Verizon) hurt, since 920 users were left with a 3-year gap to the 950 before a proper upgrade path was available on AT&T. They rebranded their music service from Zune to Xbox Music ("Xbox" being overused in a similar was to "Cortana") to Groove Music. As to Kinect, it was hard to justify using Cortana when it was tossed in after the thing was essentially dead from neglect (Kinect Sports Rivals was basically the only first-party support the Kinect got after launch). An inability to establish a footing in mobile, mostly due to their constant reboots, pulled the rug out of a lot of things. Band no longer made sense. Cortana made little sense, which made the Invoke speakers and the Kinect functionality make no sense. Groove (and its predecessors) no longer had a meaningful home. It had a similar effect on their eBook platform, and I wouldn't be surprised if their other media offerings (like movies and TV shows) are barely worth keeping alive. That all stunts the incentive for consumers to experience the supposed ecosystem within the Microsoft Store, since users have been fragmented across all kinds of platforms to meet their needs. Most of those competing platforms offer better (if not equivalent) storefronts that better work for them, so it led to a LOT of missed markets for Microsoft.
  • Yeah, there's very much a "whole is greater than the sum of its parts" that the MS of today seems not to understand. I'm not sure if it's ignorance (that seems unlikely), political infighting, or just priorities that relegate all of this to low-importance, so instead of doubling down and investing in success, they scrap these at the first sign of trouble. Many people now say that Windows Phone had already failed. Data supports that. And there is brand inertia (if the market generally believes Windows Phone is dead, it's less likely to even give anything else built on that a fair shot). But if there are enough positive pieces that all come together, that can suddenly flip things. Conversely, dropping any piece of the ecosystem, damages ALL the other pieces. Would it have been worth it for MS to keep Windows Phone/Mobile going (at huge expense, especially if they didn't believe it would ever catch on), in order to help boost Cortana, which in turn would have helped other services and platforms? Maybe. It quickly becomes a fairly complex array of interacting business lines with different team leaders for a proper cost-benefit analysis.
  • I have 4 invoke speakers. They do produce nice sound. I now link to them via bluetooth.
  • I also own 4 Invokes. And when Cortana was removed, they just collect dust since I can no longer just walk into a room and say, "play x song". I now have to grab my phone, connect the device, then open the app I want to play a song. Then make sure I disconnect otherwise all audio just goes through that. I really wish they would have just put Alexa on these instead of just saying here is some cash, we are neutering your devices... There could have been an optional change to Alexa but instead now I have these units that just sit around looking dusty. Another stain on consumer devices from Microsoft. Hell, I guess I'm so brainwashed that I still took a chance on Microsoft with the Surface Duo even though I've been burned on all of their consumer devices except Xbox.... Last week I caught myself walking into the kitchen to cook a huge dinner (I had some time finally do cook a huge meal and love music while I do so) and I tried to invoke "pun intended" Cortana and quickly remembered, she was no longer there. It felt like being the Master Chief after Halo 4 and she was gone. But in all seriousness, Cortana on the Invoke vs Alexa on the Echo was a much different experience. Alexa was so stupid and didn't seem to understand context at all, especially when it came to Smart Home stuff. Cortana just knew what I was asking and boom done. Now she's Clippy 2.0 and it sucks.
  • You definitely hit the nail on the head @daniel with no mobile presence any voice assistant would just flop. They really are only good on mobile. However I do like that MS didn't waste the good parts of the AI and just natively integrated them into their services.
  • It feels like Microsoft has too big of a ship to pivot to meet market trends. It seems they could use Amazon's pizza rule to shake up their bloat. When Cortana was released, Siri was a restricted robot, "Ok Google" couldn't even talk and Alexa didn't exist until 7 months later. Yet, we didn't get a Cortana smart speaker until 3.5 years after Amazon released theirs and it was 4 times the price of Amazon's. (If you want something to succeed in a tough market, you cater to the masses, not the classes) We only ever saw patent drawings of a smart screen, but it never materialized. Hololens has existed for years and yet, it's still basically a development prototype. Windows mixed media hadn't had anything noteworthy since release, while Facebook of all companies moves forward with innovation and upgrades gaining mind share along the way. It feels like Microsoft has become a me-too company in anything outside of Office and Azure. They don't lead, they just me-too years later. They clearly don't believe in the products they release else they would develop them for the good of their customers. But it's like they don't want to be left out of the party either, so they create half-baked never refined me-too devices.
  • Does anyone use these voice chats? The best use of them was "Xbox on" and I do miss that but not enough to buy google or alexa to replace it. Smart speakers? Just buy a Sonos and be done with it. Buying something dedicated to google/alex is kind of lame these days. Hololens? Still trying to figure out a market. Personal VR is cheap and Facebook err meta is subsizing the **** out of their gear. Microsoft already has the Xbox brand and doesn't nee to subsidize another market and not sure VR or Augmented reality is going to take off in ways that will pay for the subsidies for someone like Microsoft when corporations are already buying hololens where it works great - engineering, military so on and so forth. Every company is a mee too company these days. Search was around before Google. Pay per click was around before google, email was around before google, video chat was around before google, hell Android was around before google. Apple pushed forth with a designer MP3 player, but we already had many on the market. They pushed forward with a smart phone - but several were already doing it. Apple was a me too with deep wallets and an obsession about design that paid off while Microsoft was happy just having OEMs pay billions in license/royalties without regard for design - and that's changed. What's kind of funny is Microsoft acquired/developed "tellme" before voice assistance actually became a brand, so you can say they were ahead of the curve but just didn't know what they had until someone beat them to re-defining a market they took for granted.
  • blahism, clearly you are correct that Hololens is not a competitor in the consumer market, but it is quite successful in the enterprise space. Many companies do use them for training, marketing, monitoring and testing, etc. I really miss the voice control for Xbox from the old Xbox One (and the Hello-like login via Kinect's camera), but not enough to start using Google or Alexa. While the gaming advances of the Xbox Series X are nice (or will be when more games come out to take advantage of its tech), it's a functional downgrade from my perspective from the Xbox One -- it takes me much longer to fire it up, sign-in, change inputs on my tuner (because no HDMI-in for TV through Xbox). I had to go out and buy a used Harmony remote. Why used? Because Logitech stopped making them, recognizing that the rest of the world is moving away from universal remotes just as Microsoft moves backwards to require one by removing all the automation controls from Xbox. If any device was positioned to be a Home hub, it was the Xbox One.... pissed that away, Microsoft. But I do think Microsoft takes a good 1.5 to 2 steps forward for each of these steps backward. They get a lot wrong, but I find they get more right overall than their competitors.
  • And the US army wants to spend $22 billion to equip all their infantry with the IVAS, which is just a combat version of HoloLens. MSFT has had engineers working at Ft Beinings advanced Infantry school for years making HoloLens a force multiplier for the Army.
  • B-I-N-G-O, and bingo could have been her name-o.
  • I feel this is another in a sad list of things MS failed to push and work on. Cortana in the early years was so far ahead of the other assistants. The way Cortana could be ahead of the questions as mentioned in the article was truly unique. The personality was fantastic and to this day I feel Siri and Alexa are still not up to what Cortana was in that aspect before MS started lobotomizing her. She sounded like a person you could actually converse with and wanted to converse with.
    Ohhh and Cortana, the way she responded with incoming text messages. It was so well done.
    Oh Cortana. I miss you.
    Signed former Invoke owner, who was turned into a revoked owner.
  • I love Steve Ballmer and everything he has given us. Especially the laughs.
  • Windows Phone, Band, Cortana, Mixer, Groove and others. So many great things. And all was destroyed by marklar that currently run the company... Someone will be satisfied because Microsoft is one of most valuable companies, but I don't. It means nothing to me. Microsoft was doing just fine before, and was kept all those great things alive.
  • All companies kill products. To put it in perspective here's the thing Google killed just this year: Android Police: Here's everything Google killed in 2021.
    https://www.androidpolice.com/everything-google-killed-in-2021/
  • "And all was destroyed by marklar that currently run the company..."
    100% False. Ballmer flubbed Windows Phone by his own admission. Bill Gates conceded the same thing. Microsoft didn't see the importance of mobile and missed it. That's just the reality. When it finally did try, it was too late and nothing post-2017 would change that trajectory. If you're don't acknowledge that, you're a fanboy living in a fantasy world. Windows Phone 7 was already 2 years behind when it came out. That's under Ballmer. The whole thing was a race from behind against two of the largest companies who wanted it more. Nadella gave WP a chance. He took over in 2015, gave them 2 years to turn it around. They did not. Let's admit it: PEOPLE WERE NOT BUYING THESE PRODUCTS. It's OK, take a deep breath. That's the reality.
  • Very true. Will we ever forget Steve's derision at the first iPhone. "No one will buy that!" or words to that effect. And Bill Gates has publicly stated that he was too distracted by the various antitrust lawsuits taking place around explorer and office bundling to focus on the emerging mobile space. Hey, at least we have Duo.
  • Balmer couldn't see that people don't want a PC in their pocket. For years they thought people want Windows on a tablet too.
  • It can't be 100% false. Windows Phone is not abandoned under Ballmer... They were behind, but willing to fight. Nadella announced, when he came, that if OEMs will not make Windows Phones, they will. They never did, because x50 Lumia series was before him. Nothing came after that. Big chance he gave to it... Let's say it this way, if Nadella was running Microsoft when Xbox came out, we wouldn't have Xbox now, with his mindset. Probably a lot more, like Zune, and others. Maybe they wouldn't even try in mobile at first place.
    He didn't came up with anything new during his time as CEO. Or Microsoft, under his leadership. All things he is now praised for, was before him. Azure started many years before him, and always made money. The difference is Microsoft willing to spend that money to try something new and different. Now we have only canceled products and services...
  • Nadella was hired because he was running the part of the company that became Azure. Guess where we his focus was directed when he became CEO? They bring him in front of the board and ask him a simple question. What is the future of MSFT. Nadella says "the Cloud". MSFT was a $35 stock when he said that. 7 years later it is a $350 stock.
  • "MSFT was a $35 stock when he said that. 7 years later it is a $350 stock." Who cares? Microsoft is irrelevant now, for normal people...
  • I thought the thread was a discussion about the long-term strategic decisions of MSFT. Did Gates and Balmer drop the ball on mobile phones? Yes. Did Nadella drop the ball on the Cloud? No. Do we wish MSFT had recognized the cloud two
    years earlier? Sure, and Nadella admits this. Same with Mobile. the Iphone was introduced in 2007. Windows Phone 7 in 2010. three years late and obsolete. then Windows phone 8 then Windows phone 10. With each generation, MSFT recognized their blunder until 2017 when Nadella said enough. While you might not care about Azure, I would guess that most of the tech you use on a phone/PC is supported by the cloud and probably would not work without the cloud. WinTel was not a consumer facing ecosystem. While many people bought PCs in the 80's and 90s, these were not consumers products. They were important investments in info technology. They were not bought to meet some consumer need. Did companies feed the WinTel ecosystem with consumer types devices and services? Sure, gaming became a thing on PCs. I guess my point is if Windows phone 7 appeared in 2007, would Android exist? Would Nadella have risen to the top and pushed Azure forward? What would have be worse for MSFT. Losing the Cloud race or the Mobile race? MSFT can port their services to Android and iOS. Without Azure, what can MSFT provide strategically to the Globe?
  • I didn't say I don't car of Azure, but Azure was there before Nadella, and was doing just fine. I don't see what Nadella addressed there. He just abandoned everything else...
  • If I am not mistaken, Nadella was the executive in charge of the Azure group at MSFT before he became CEO. Now we know that the board at MSFT looked at the company, was convinced the cloud was a thing, then pulled Nadella up to the top and here we are today. MSFT an also ran headed for trouble tied neck to neck as the most valuable and important company in the world (other than Aramco, which cannot really be considered a publicly traded company).
  • You haven't argued how they were going to turn it around. Windows 10 Mobile was worse than Windows Phone 8.1, not better. The Nokia acquisition was Ballmer's work and Nadella was against it. Nokia went down the toilet as a result (because people at Nokia did NOT want to work for MS or relocate). I see you haven't pushed back on Ballmer's "biggest regret" and Gate's own admission of failure, but somehow it's Nadella's fault? Please. He inherited a disaster and you have not explained how Windows 10 Mobile was going to escape that trend especially once China started making very good budget phones. The ONLY time Windows Phone had a shot was the Lumia 520 (2013!) and that disappeared quickly when China got involved. The Lumia 520 was the best-selling Windows Phone. WP flat-out peaked in Sept 2013 and it was downhill from there. Ballmer jumped ship in 2015. That's the reality.
  • Lumia x40 series was better. x50 started bad, because of Windows 10 Mobile, but they could improve it. They did improve it. They just had to keep improving it, and come up with new series, which Nadella promised when he came, but didn't accomplish. As I'm aware, Lumia 520 was bestseller for a while, but it was overtaken by some of x30 and x40 series. Even some of 6xx Lumia's had better sales than Lumia 520...
  • He means total sales.
  • Because Balmer was in to deep to admit it wasn't working. Nadella was right to kill Windows Phone. Maybe you were young at the time but trust me Windows Phone by the general public was totally ignored. People just didn't want it en mass.
  • "PEOPLE WERE NOT BUYING THESE PRODUCTS." Maybe not in USA. That was the biggest problem of Windows Phone, too much focus on US market. In Europe was becoming the 2nd best mobile platform. In some of the biggest European countries was already in front of Apple.
  • Sales of cheap devices in price conscious markets doesn’t make a product. The 520 gained sales in these small markets as it was cheap and ok, but Motorola quickly leapfrogged them and Microsoft had no way to compete with the Moto G. 520 sales weren’t even that great in the first place.
  • Don't talk about things you don't have idea. In Europe they never been cheap. And they still get good sales. When people talked about how Lumia 640 sells for 40$ in USA, and no one is buying, in Europe we bought it for 150 euros, or something like that. And people were buying it here. And it's not small markets.
    In the beginning of Windows for PC's, they didn't become the most dominant OS in the world by focusing on USA... And stop talking about Lumia 520. You just showing how clueless you are, android fanboy. Many other Lumias outselled 520. Some of Lumias x30, and especially x40. Saying that it simply didn't work is 100% false. If they wanted it to succeed, they would make it.
  • "Many other Lumias outselled 520"
    They did not:
    "In September 2013, the Lumia 520 became the best-selling Windows device in the world, selling more units than any other model of Windows phone, PC or tablet.[6][7] By July 2014, the Lumia 520 has had 12 million activations, and has played a key part for Nokia and Microsoft"
    Windows Phone peaked in early 2014 and went downhill from there. It never rebounded.
  • Again, Lumia 520. Best selling Windows Phone to date. In 2013. Market share went downhill from there. Lumia 525 did not live up to the 520's success. Why are you not acknowledging this? This was Ballmer's legacy.
  • Ballmer, Ballmer, Ballmer... Ballmer didn't abandon Windows Phone. Nadella did. Even when Ballmer was gone, and this guy shut down everything, Ballmer said he wouldn't give up on Windows Phone... As he is not given up on Xbox, and now Microsoft have gaming platform - the only thing left for consumers...
  • “Maybe not in USA. That was the biggest problem of Windows Phone, too much focus on US market. In Europe was becoming the 2nd best mobile platform. In some of the biggest European countries was already in front of Apple.” Spain and Italy are not “Europe”. The fact is, the U.S. matters. So does Japan, Australia and China. A couple small countries in Europe where WP was #2 in 2013 is nothing to brag about. Windows phones failed. Just admit it. Relative to Apple and Android, the fact is "PEOPLE WERE NOT BUYING THESE PRODUCTS." Here is a stat for you. Over the entire life of Windows Phones (7 years? 8 years?), about 120 million were sold. Apple sells that in a year. Android sells that in about 2 months. THAT is the reality MS was looking at. THAT is a failed product.
  • I see here a lot of people with short memories, sadly... Spain was about 90% Android. Better markets were Germany, France, UK and Italy. Best selling series was Lumia's x30 and x40.
  • How many Lumia 640 did Microsoft sell? 630? They certainly did not sell 12 million like the 520. You are just wrong.
  • Argh Americans talking about Europe like it's a country of states. EUROPE IS A CONTINENT OF 50, YES 50, COUNTRIES. And just over half are in the EU. So boring. Windows Phone was not doing well "in Europe", maybe a handful of European countries. Which I doubt.
  • Not everyone here are Americans...
  • Ballmer certainly had his missteps in mobile, but if memory serves, it was Nadella who was against the Nokia acquisition and led the "retrench" effort that was essentially a winding down of Windows phones. He also took over in February of 2014, so he oversaw the launch of the Lumia 830 and the omission of the 930 from the AT&T lineup (with the Verizon-exclusive ICON). In terms of "real" launches, he basically gave Windows 10 Mobile one launch cycle where they gutted the portfolio. Releasing the Lumia 950/XL and being shocked when no follow-up led to a lack of growth shouldn't be classified as much of a chance. W10M never saw a second generation of devices--Duo has already surpassed W10M, in that regard. Ballmer DID at least put forth a concerted effort to try to get Microsoft into the mobile space, even if it was late and flawed. The mobile efforts under Nadella feel more like an attempt to quietly end the business without making it too obvious. It seems he felt the needed effort to succeed in mobile wasn't worth it, and while he's done well to lead MS as a whole, his approach to mobile is one that I think is an overall mistake because of how far-reaching a mobile platform could have carried them into other markets.
  • The Rubino swoops in for a strike 😂. You should've shouted BINGO 😉
  • Ballmer made fun of iPhone publicly and he had to eat his words. It was his disaster and as a last step bought Nokia and killed it.
  • It's like they don't have a functional marketing department, or a grown up in the room.
  • no grown up in the room ... so, who's in charge?, one might ask. this read is a rather interesting take and insight into things at MS during the great Joe Belfiore days: https://www.fastcompany.com/1665814/sometimes-microsoft-designs-great-th...
  • Well, there was that time they decided to release the Microsoft Band with no event or real press announcement...
  • Bingo is kinda catchy and goes well with Bing. This was probably a better choice than Cortana. I don’t play Halo, so I don’t get it, just like the majority of people buying these things.
  • Oh wow, I confess that because Bingo is such a well known expression, I hadn't even thought about the connection to Bing. I feel stupid for missing that. Makes it a slightly cleverer name. Still not good though. It's too hard-wired into our minds (at least in the U.S.) as an expression equivalent to, "That's right!" or "Got it!" Not a terrible association for an assistant, but it is not a name, it's an expression. One could argue a digital assistant doesn't need to have a name and a personality. Maybe true, but that would have been a fundamentally different development path at the start.
  • You say that as if the general public had some relation to Siri or Alexa when they came out. What even is the significance of your comments?
  • My only real issue with bingo is it's a term that's engrained in my mind as a response to something, rather than the initial dialogue, so it would feel weird for me to say "bingo, blah blah blah". But that is probably just me.
  • That doesn't make sense. Bingo sounds extremely lame, like the kind of thing you'd expect your grandpa to call Bing because he messes up words and doesn't understand what it even is. It's not as if Siri and Alexa weren't made-up things. For the non-Halo fans, Cortana falls into the "name Microsoft made up," which is inconsequential. For those who know the name, it adds some marketability to their digital assistant that Siri and Alexa never offered upon launch.
  • Oh Microsoft, your myopia is astounding. Siri and primarily Alexa have successfully monetized home automation, and continue to gobble up larger slices of the pie while also selling every tidbit of information about their users. Shockingly, it's not too late to release a real phone to compete with Android and iOS, but your narrowing tunnel vision continues. I guess you're just a game store now.
  • Siri? You mean Google Assistant. Siri is not making inroads in the home. Google is in Chromecast, Android phones, cars, and Chromebooks.
  • Car automation, whatever that means, is a thing. Not sure about home automation. Most cars today support android and iPhone integration, except for luxury cars that want their own branded system that will link via Bluetooth to your phone.
  • I do have my phone synced to my chevy express van. It is kind of clunky process. Waze and Audible play over the vans stereo system which is nice and when i get a phone call, the vans system overrides the other apps and suspends them until I hang up. This is nice when I am driving long distances and I am listing to a book while Waze will work in the background. Is this Car automation? I think so. Not sure if this makes Auto play a must have in my next car. But it is nice to have the on-dash touchscreen to see the map from Waze or the fast forward button on Audible or Spotify etc. I could just go out and buy a $200 aftermarket car stereo to make that option avaible.
  • Bingo actually doesn't sound bad. 🤔
  • Like 'Maverick' and 'Ice' ...Steve 'Bingo' Ballmer.
  • All the voice assistants were bad during the time cortana was released.
    Sadly due to failure of windows phone and Microsoft pushing cortana on windows, people stopped using it.
  • Cortana did one thing that I have always missed since it disappeared. It read out text messages to you when you were on headphones. This was the game changer for me and I no longer have that functionality five years later which boggles my mind.
  • Siri will do this for calls and texts, but one needs at least Airpods Gen 2 for it to work.
  • It's good to see at least one other assistant reading out texts, the fact that you need a specific earpiece is just plain stupid though. It was such a great feature when I was riding my bike I could get Cortana to read my text and then decide whether I wanted to respond or not without having to stop. It's the only functionality I've ever had from a digital assistant that had actually improved my interactions with my phone.
  • Phones in the past have had it like the original Moto X. Google Assistant will also do it if you ask.
  • It does not matter what they called it. It would still fail. One more time: MS is NOT a consumer products company. It never has been. Yes, they tried, but EVERY consumer product they had was a horrible failure in the market. MS lots BILLIONS on consumer products. So, they did the only thing a well-managed company could do. They killed all of the money-losing consumer products and focused on their traditional strength: Enterprise. Then they wisely invested in Cloud. The result? MS is now a trillion dollar company, with its highest stock price ever. End of story.
  • "It does not matter what they called it." A rose by any other name still has thorns. Some may have more thorns than others.
  • Good point. I was going to say Surface but that's still really a business product first. Outlook.com formerly Hotmail is a sucess. That's all I can think of though. They could've even manage to keep Skype's consumer success they paid billions or.
  • I miss Steve Ballmer. He was more passionate about Windows and Microsoft than Bill Gates himself.
  • George Lucas was deeply passionate about Star Wars but he got too close to his baby and look how his final trilogy turned out.
  • I think its clever considering Bing is the search engine for MS.
  • Google and Alexa have dedicated devices. Siri is integrated with the Apple ecosystem. Cortana didn't get any of those things. Plus she turned into a galactic tyrant who had to be killed off.
  • THAT'S why they made Cortana go bad in the games, to get people to stop asking for the digital assistant back. It all makes sense now.
  • Bingo might have worked (compared to Cortana). It might even have become a new verb like Google.
    Unfortunately, Microsoft decided to use words like Vista, Zune, Cortana, Kaizala, and other names that most people can't identify with or have trouble warming up to. I thought Cortana (the apps/assistant) had a lot of potential, and as a hobbyist, I made a video about Cortana in 2016 as I was so happy with the direction she/it was going. Maybe younger people have a different opinion. As a middle-aged Windows enthusiast (53), we've witnessed the changes, successes, and failures that have happened with Windows over the years. I'm not sure if it's because Microsoft took on younger staff who couldn't relate to the past (like how great Windows 7's Start menu experience used to be), or whether staff got too old and tried to be young and hip by choosing such silly names - like one from a gaming character!
    I still like Windows, but you are forgiven nowadays if you feel the need to use third-party apps to enhance your Windows experience.
  • Bingo is already a verb. Terrible name. Would just make you think of the game. Bing is a terrible name, to close to Bin. I'll just Bin it, not Bing it. Cortana didn't become a verb because Google was already a verb. I can't see Have you Bingoed it taking off personally. How is Google any more identifiable as a word? It's just as random. Windows is irrelevant to young people. They'll only come into contact with it at work and home if they're not the sort to buy a MacBook. Microsoft knows this. It's why Windows 11 exists. Windows 7's Start Menu is identical to Vista's and it wasn't that great. All the My Docs/My Pictures shorts few used. Windows 7 is the best Microsoft operating system but not because of the Start Menu. It was clean and quick. All the annoying in-box apps were removed. Don't forget IOS and iPadOS are popular precisely because you can't customise them. I'm not saying that's the right approach but worth remembering.
  • I wonder if Steve's dog was named Bingo ...
  • As much as I don’t like Ballmer for his excessive eccentricities, Nadella is worse. Non-stop security issues and Windows 11 rollout have been a disaster. Remove some more features. Require more hardware for win 11 install. See how I don’t “downgrade” to that UI featureless glorified re-skin called windows 11. Idiots run that company. MS could add features and enable security on devices that have the hardware. But no. Nadella the nincompoop runs the show.
  • Balmer = Vista / Windows Phone
    Nadella = Windows 10 / Surface / Azure You're right Nadella is way worse 🤦. So we've learned you just dislike Windows 11. Show me your source for your claimed Windows 11 rollout disaster? No wait you can't. Love Windows 11. Start Menu could be a bit more customisable, otherwise definite improvement over Windows 10.
  • Vista was most beautiful Windows ever. Windows Phone was the best chance for Microsoft to stay relevant. Surface, Azure was there before Nadella. Nadella = nothing - cancel everything. Windows 11 is not an improvement. It's doing a lot things worse than Windows 10 + unreal requirements...
  • Windows 11 has a lot of less obvious nice to haves (like touchscreen keyboard improvements / spacebar, remembering window layout with multiple screens etc), but does sadly handicap the start menu and to a degree Taskbar too. The former is why am waiting till they improved the start menu (they already added an option to show more icons). There is also some big features but that is not yet fully finished yet (like widget related stuff and android apps iirc).
  • Dude, you must of by high on some banned substances of something. Nadella hasn't created any single product yet, while Ballmer created Windows Phone, Surface, Azure, Bing, Cortona. Whatever Nadella is taking credit they were all started by Ballmer. The world would never forgive Nadella for killing of Windows phone. Without a own mobile OS MS has lost it's relevancy in personal computing.
  • “Nadella hasn't created any single product yet, while Ballmer created Windows Phone, Surface, Azure, Bing, Cortona.” That’s not exactly at list worth bragging about. Windows phone is dead and lost 10 billion dollars. Surface is just another PC, with shrinking sales. Whoopee. Azure is great because Ballmer put Nadella in charge of it. It is making tons of money. No one uses Bing. Cortana is dead. So, out of that list Azure is the only success. Since Nadella has been in charge, MS is on its way to being a 3 trillion dollar company with its highest stock price ever. If you think Nadella is doing a bad job because he is “not creating products”, then you don’t understand what a CEO is supposed to do. Hint: Nadella is doing EXACTLY what a CEO is supposed to do.
  • This putz was the reason I simply couldn't have anything to do with Windows and why I paid through the eyeballs for Macs. I switched at Windows 10 and haven't looked back. Tim Crook isn't half as bad as Ballmer, but still enough reason to avoid Apple.