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Windows 10 Mobile should've been Microsoft's bridge to the future — not an afterthought

If Microsoft truly wants the Windows Store to be anything more than a vanity project in the coming years, it needs to outline the store's value beyond the desktop screen sooner rather than later.

Microsoft is proving to be a company that has amazing ideas and headline-worthy demos, while being consistently bad at bringing them to market. Now that Samsung has trounced Windows 10 Mobile to the mainstreaming of Continuum with DeX, and the arrival of the "Microsoft Edition" Samsung Galaxy S8 in Microsoft Stores, Redmond is effectively telling us that Windows 10 Mobile has no business even existing.

But here's the thing: For the Windows Store to be anything more than an extra hoop to access services available on the desktop web, UWP needs a mobile endpoint. Otherwise, UWP might as well be thrown onto the scrapheap along with Windows 10 Mobile.

Waiting for a paradigm shift is folly

Yes, I know UWP will support future paradigms, such as Windows Mixed Reality, but Microsoft hasn't given us much reason to think that it can beat Apple or Google to the mainstreaming of the technology first. To both developers and users, the technology doesn't matter as much as the ecosystem. So far, augmented reality's biggest app is Pokémon Go, which we all know isn't (and probably won't ever be) available on Windows 10.

HoloLens was unveiled back in 2015. It's available at a premium for developers at the moment, with third-party consumer solutions on the way. Microsoft recently announced that Windows Mixed Reality sports a "whopping" 150 apps so far, which I'd argue isn't particularly impressive considering UWP apps are supposed to be platform agnostic. What's taking so long?

Every day, the march of technology makes Windows on desktop PCs less and less important.

It's slightly hyperbolic of me to write off Windows Mixed Reality as an endpoint with UWP, but with Windows 10 Mobile's slow demise, the Windows division has told developers that it's a company that throws in the towel. If Microsoft has given up on its mobile endpoint, who's to say it won't give up on Mixed Reality, too? Whether that's a fair point to make or not, it's the signal Microsoft is giving developers, consumers, and the media. Apple and Google have the mobile ecosystem to back up any paradigm shift in this space, while UWP languishes at the back, largely ignored and unaccounted for.

We can only speculate about the value of UWP holograms as an entity in the future, but at least for the long-term foreseeable future, PCs and smartphones are right now and firmly here to stay. And every day, the march of technology makes Windows on desktop PCs less and less important. The way Microsoft has complacently opted to "retrench" and stop investing in its own ecosystem exudes a lack of foresight on the same scale as Steve Ballmer's snobbery towards the first iPhone.

Microsoft is clearly waiting for the next paradigm shift before proposing another jaunt in the mobile space, but when that paradigm shift comes, nobody will care if the ecosystem isn't there to back it up.

UWP on desktop is weak

As much as I personally enjoy them, I'm willing to bet that it's only a very small percentage of Windows 10's hundreds of millions of reported users that know what a "live tile" is, let alone UWP's other unique features. Microsoft isn't actively marketing the Windows Store's intrinsic value on the desktop, and maybe, that's simply because it doesn't have a great deal of value.

As a fan of live tiles, actionable notifications and the like, UWP apps on the desktop are far from a necessary, "killer" feature, which speaks to why the Store has seen very little traction despite the OS's install base. There's certainly no real evidence that the Windows 10 Store is seeing a huge amount of usage.

UWP apps on the desktop are far from a necessary, "killer" feature.

If the hundreds of millions of reported Windows 10 users were actively downloading and using UWP apps, surely we'd see far more big-ticket items in the Store than we have so far. While the inclusion is welcome, it speaks volumes that Facebook couldn't be bothered to provide a native solution for its services, giving us clunky OSMeta iOS ports that don't even make use of UWP's unique features. And even then, Facebook.com provides a better experience on a laptop than its app.

Groove is the best music service nobody uses.

Groove is the best music service nobody uses.

A huge amount of desktop UWP apps in the Windows 10 Store needn't exist. Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, Slack, YouTube, Twitter, and even Microsoft's own apps like OneNote and Groove Music, either have websites, more feature-rich Win32 desktop versions, or they face vicious competition from rival, web-based services. Where UWP apps might struggle for relevance with the web and Win32 legacy programs on the desktop, they gain a big edge on mobile touch devices.

UWP apps shine brightest on mobile

I'm by no means suggesting UWP apps on mobile would help Windows 10 Mobile compete with iOS and Android directly, even with new hardware and a marketing campaign, but at least nurturing that mobile ecosystem would've helped Microsoft prepare for the future in ways that the desktop can't.

The best desktop apps in the Windows Store are generally third-party solutions for services that are available, fully-featured, on the web. For example, Readit for Reddit and MyTube! For YouTube. The same is true for first-party apps. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter generally have better experiences on the web than they do in their respective UWP apps, making them an unnecessary, often debilitating hoop to jump through for many. Most modern TVs come with video apps and media casting baked in, so it's not even like you need a laptop or an Xbox One for many of those features anymore. It's nice that we can get UWP apps on Xbox One, but the focus there is always going to be on games, especially now that the removal of Snap Mode has gutted its multi-tasking capabilities.

UWP on the desktop competes with the web, and in that endeavor, it will never win.

UWP apps on the desktop compete with the web, and in that endeavor, they will never win the fight. Not every service has a website, but as "universal" as UWP aims to be, on a desktop, it'll never be as universal or as up to date as a website can be. Websites can be designed to function on virtually every modern platform, with little difference between the major web browsers. Instagram might not allow you to upload from a browser, but there's no real reason it couldn't include this feature down the line, making the Windows 10 apps, once again, pointless.

So far, UWP apps primarily shine on small, touch devices, where web solutions often struggle. Readit, for example, is far better than Reddit's website when browsing on a phone, allowing you to swipe through posts with ease. Getting notifications on a phone, when you're more likely to be mobile is handier than on a desktop, where they're more likely to be a distraction from a more intensive task.

This overly ambitious UWP chart might as well only contain PC right now.

This overly ambitious UWP chart might as well only contain PC right now.

There are multitudinous reasons why mobile is a more powerful endpoint than desktop for UWP apps, even when you ignore the install base. Apps on your phone command more of your attention than the multi-task heavy, distraction-laden desktop. Solutions on the phone don't compete with the web to the same extent nor do they compete with the millions of legacy Win32 apps that Microsoft doesn't see a shred of revenue from. If desktop was a truly good environment for these services, the likes of Instagram and Snapchat would have seen their birth on PC, rather than iPhone. Mobile is crushing desktop, and there's nothing Windows 10 can do to stop it.

When it comes to personal, leisurely computing, increasingly mobility is king, and Microsoft knows it. The company went as far as to put "mobile first" in its contemporary motto. So why does the company seem so willing to throw in the towel in this paradigm, which is steadily chomping Windows' market share?

Desktop is becoming obsolete

Despite some amazing hardware from the likes of Dell, HP, Razer and Microsoft's Surface line, the PC market is still in decline, and mobile is to blame. The days of the "family PC" are over, with more and more consumers realizing that they don't need a home PC at all anymore. A high-end smartphone not only gives you access to all the most important services, but it also contains all the latest social fads and entertainment.

Android might have a whole host of its own problems, but the ecosystem obliterates Windows right now, and the market share says it all. Android has overtaken Windows for the first time as the primary method for accessing the web.

Microsoft's desktop dominance is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

The only thing a PC can do better than a phone, right now, is high-end professional tasks, such as Adobe CC, core PC gaming, and word processing. However, as mobile chips become increasingly powerful, even these features will begin to migrate away from Windows if Microsoft continues to move as slow as it has been.

It's not likely that we'll see the "Android version" of Steam running Battlefield 8 on a DeX-powered Samsung display any time soon, but it's an increasingly possible scenario, especially when you factor in Thunderbolt-powered external hardware for the extra juice. I'm simplifying the complexities, of course, but it's designed to illustrate the fact that Microsoft's desktop dominance is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

Simply put, Microsoft needs to wake up. The idea that Microsoft incorrectly expected Windows 10 to be on a billion devices by now alludes to the fact that the company doesn't even realize how rapidly Windows' significance is fading away.

Windows 10 on ARM might not be enough

Microsoft's plan seems to be focused on bringing full Windows to the mobile space. CShell, combined with Windows 10 on ARM, will make the OS more friendly on smaller screens, mimicking a Windows 10 Mobile-like touch experience. These are great reasons to keep the faith in the idea of Windows mobility, and I've previously outlined my reasons for retaining Windows 10 Mobile as my daily driver before. However, if Build 2017 fails to address these concerns, it could prove to become Windows 10's event horizon for any aspirations to get UWP into the mobile space.

Regarding CShell, Surface Phone, and Windows 10 on ARM cellular PCs, all we have right now are leaks and rumors to go on. Like the Surface Mini, Project Astoria, and various other projects Microsoft has failed to see through to completion, these features might never even see a public release.

Continuum is already obsolete.

Continuum is already obsolete.

Even if Microsoft succeeds in bringing full Windows 10 to a new generation of Snapdragon-powered ultramobile cellular PCs, what guarantee is there for devs and consumers that the company won't abandon these efforts too, as it has with Windows 10 Mobile?

The way Microsoft has handled the slow, miserable death of Windows 10 Mobile is a case study in bad decision making. On the one hand, the company is still shipping modest updates to the OS, throwing existing users a lifeline, while actively denying the platform's existence with the other.

Despite OS updates, it's obvious that Windows 10 Mobile has no future. Microsoft just refuses to admit it.

Despite OS updates, it's obvious that Windows 10 Mobile has no future. Microsoft just refuses to admit it. The Windows 10 Mobile diehards left (including myself) exist only as guinea pigs for the Windows Insider program, while Microsoft strips all mention of Windows phones from its stores and marketing efforts. They have very effectively alienated what fans the platform had while convincing the developer community that the company isn't serious about UWP as a vehicle for cross-device applications. What good is UWP if you're using an Android or iOS phone alongside a Windows PC? I know from my own trips to Redmond that Windows 10 Mobile users are as rare there as anywhere else in the world.

This seemed like a good plan. So, what happened?

This seemed like a good plan. So, what happened?

If Microsoft wants Windows to survive, it can't afford to be this unashamedly complacent about UWP's mobile endpoint, because it's the mobile component that makes UWP a viable proposition. Things like Project Rome, the adoption of futuristic and new highly-mobile paradigms, session handoffs between devices, the synchronicity of login details, cross-platform notifications, and, dare I say Continuum. These are the features that make UWP an awesome platform, not the fact that I can get live tiles in my laptop's Start menu. Microsoft should be nurturing the ecosystem for the future, not retrenching.

What happens if (and when) Apple gets it right? Microsoft won't be able to respond ...

It feels almost as if Microsoft is waiting for mobile to come to Windows rather than the other way around. But this is the entirely wrong approach. It's iOS and Android with the more exciting ecosystems, while Windows languishes shackled to its legacy Win32 apps that are atrocious to use on small screen devices, that consumers want to use, rather than have to use, for work and school.

Windows fans often laugh at devices like the iPad Pro, but iOS is vastly ahead of UWP as an adaptive ecosystem purely by the merits of its app breadth alone. UWP might have the feature set needed for apps to roam between form factors, but what happens if (and when) Apple gets it right? Microsoft won't be able to respond because it didn't work hard enough to make the Windows 10 ecosystem exciting.

For UWP, it might be too late

Microsoft shouldn't have waited for a Surface Phone messiah, nor should it be waiting for Windows 10 on ARM with CShell to be complete. It should never have stopped making and marketing contemporary mobile devices, even with the app and share gap, if for no reason other than to build confidence and let the world know that it was still in the game. If, indeed, it is the plan for Windows as a Service to succeed.

Form factors are becoming less important than ecosystems.

Form factors are becoming less important than ecosystems.

From an outside perspective, Microsoft's strategy for mobility seems to rest somewhere between incompetence and "we have no idea what we're doing." The company has the opportunity to set the record straight at Build 2017, but the huge bout of radio silence has damaged its ability to command any authority in this space.

Windows 10 Mobile should have been a bridge to the next paradigm shift, rather than another fruitless reboot.

Microsoft's vague non-committal comments, the odd leaks we get, and Windows 10 Mobile Fast ring updates simply aren't enough to convince developers, consumers, or the wider tech media, that those scalable UWP apps have more value than Win32 or web solutions. And without confidence in UWP, the entire proposition falls apart. Windows as a Service will flop along with it.

I'm by no means suggesting that Windows 10 Mobile ever had a chance to take on Android and iOS, but sticking it out with Windows 10 Mobile would have shown confidence that Microsoft was willing to persevere in new areas, rather than give up, while it waits for the next big thing.

Windows 10 Mobile should have been an ecosystem-nurturing bridge to the next paradigm shift, rather than another fruitless reboot.

Jez Corden
Jez Corden

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

443 Comments
  • Fantastic write up. Just hope someone at Microsoft realizes this as well, otherwise it could very well be too late. Really starting to doubt that Nadella gets it.
  • I agree totally. Jez's write up about the absolute blunder that is MS's re-entrenchment is coherent - especially compared to the total lack of coherent thought coming out of Readmond lately. If I didn't have an iPhone to use as part of my work I would have pitched my 950 quite some time ago. Hardware with no focus, no direction, doesn't deserve my time and money. As it is, my 950 has been relegated to a toy - a mere hobby. It's sad really.
  • I don't have much confidence in them. That Nadella didn't already "get" the fact that mobile was crucial to UWP's success does not bode well. He took over Microsoft at the perfect time to ramp up mobile efforts and take credit for Ballmer's work. By late 2013, Windows Phone had about 5-6% global market share, with double-digit share and ahead of iOS in dozens of markets. Ballmer accomplished all that with minimal advertising, no regular cadence of phone releases, and carrier-exclusivity deals that limited phone availability. That they rose from nothing to something--just on the tipping point of increased growth--despite coming years late to the party where the iOS/Android duopoly already existed, despite rebooting their mobile OS mid-way through, and despite not heavily promoting it--that they did all of that just to throw it all away (even after dropping $7 billion on acquiring Nokia's mobile division, mind you), means that Nadella is short-sighted. He's done some good things at Microsoft, but his "retrenchment" decision was a huge mistake, and that will become even clearer as Android and iOS continue to rise and eventually merge with ChromeOS and OSX while Windows drops to third place in the operating system wars. Had he doubled down efforts on promoting Windows Phone / Windows Mobile, they'd likely be approaching double-digit global market share by now and the app gap would be nearly nonexistent instead of exacerbating.
  • Well said!
  • Man this continued deluison that Windows mobile could have made it if only... Its dead. Just like desktop windows won in the 80' and 90's Android has is the dominant OS on mobile with iOS second. The mobile crowd its starting to sound more like OS2 fanboys in the 90's and the Linux crowd in the 2000's. Nadella just saw the obvious and stopped throwing good money after bad. Get over it people.
  • You clearly have no idea where WP was at the hight of Nokia when you spout this nonsense. WP was ahead of iOS in many European markets, it was gaining serious ground in many developing markets, the only slow push was in the USA, everywhere else WP was gaining ground and if Microsoft continued Nikias legacy after they bought them out and as Balmer planned WP and the whole Windows ecosystem would be in a much better place then it was now. If Stephen Elop was appointed as Microsoft CEO after Balmer, Windows and Microsoft would not be in the death spiral they are in now under Nadella.  
  • haha, oh Johny boy... WP was gaining markets because of low end Lumias sold for bargain. Those phones where faster then any other cheap Android phone... but time changes and nowadays WP cant control even the low end segment because manufacturers like Xiaomi, One and many other are releasing good HW with a nice price tag... so people dont need cheap Lumias anymore and btw: Android itself isnt as bad, bulky, slow, buggy as it was 6 year ago
  • "nowadays WP cant control" LOL nowadays??? You mean after Microsoft trashed everything and everyone they got from Nokia; yeah thats a real surprise genius. If nothing changed and Microsoft continued in Nokias footsteps instead of trashing it all after Nadella took over, we would be in a completely different place today; and not the in graveyard that is Windows Phone.  
  • You are making all that up. Nokia wasn't gaining ground. It maxed out at 2.7% and that was just by selling the Nokia name on the cheapest hardware possible. It dropped after that and Nokia called it quits. Unless you have some magical data no one else has, everything you said was wrong. We will wait for some link that shows then selling more than 10.5 million devices in a quarter.
  • LOL
  • "Android itself isnt as bad, bulky, slow, buggy as it was 6 year ago" Which would be MS' marketing theme if Andorid was theirs.
  • Oh so true, It's like the fans see it but Nadella's truly blind
  • Quite simply Nokia should have been left to operate as they were doing with a bigger financial push from MS instead of "purchasing" their phone division. It would have been a much better investment as Nokia had the mobile expertise as well as international market presence. I had said this back then and some ppl laughed, once the Nokia branding was removed from devices, it was going to go downhill for MS phone division. Nit only was the Nokia brand valuable for sales, but as with WP8.1 many features happened because of Nokias input and many apps such as WhatsApp made their way to Windows Phone through Nokia ..they simply knew how the mobile business worked but they seemed to be on a leash.
  • Quite simply Nokia should have been left to operate as they were doing with a bigger financial push from MS instead of "purchasing" their phone division. It would have been a much better investment as Nokia had the mobile expertise as well as international market presence. I had said this back then and some ppl laughed, once the Nokia branding was removed from devices, it was going to go downhill for MS phone division. Nit only was the Nokia brand valuable for sales, but as with WP8.1 many features happened because of Nokias input and many apps such as WhatsApp made their way to Windows Phone through Nokia ..they simply knew how the mobile business worked but they seemed to be on a leash.
  • I agree. My home is in the US but for the last ten years I've lived in Europe for several months every year and I remember the huge presence Nokia had before the acquisition by MS . You were overwhelmed by its videos on large screeens in railroad stations, airports, etc in Germany, France and Italy, advertising the Nokia 97 and laterr the 900. Everybody wanted one. Nokia was the dominant brand in Europe. If MS had looked at the marketing strategy Nokia had in Europe and adapted it to the American market, instead of retrenching, with the aim of keeping at least a double-digit penetration in NA, it wiould have had  a stronger base to launch its mobile platform here. Microsoft dropped the ball (sadly, for the second time).
  • China and the USA kept WP market share in the single digits. If those markets had shown the same trajectory as other parts of the world Windows Phone would have reached 9-11% in 2013 easily! Satya's refusal to wholeheartedly back the Windows Phone platform after Microsoft's 7 billion acquiring of Nokia's handset division was a huge mistake. Microsoft had the cash to launch a full scale global campaign to push their platform forward. But a change of vision in the Chief Executive Officer (from Ballmer to Nadella) made it virtually impossible for the mobility side of Microsoft to achieve what they set out to do. A huge miscalculation at the part of Nadella. Maybe he didn't expected market share to crash and burn this quickly, or that OEMs would have picked up the slack in a bigger fashion then what eventually happend but non the less the fault remains his!
  • You're pretty clueless. Nutella CAUSED the downfall by ignoring WP. Read coip's post again.
  • Since Nadella is there, I miss Ballmer!  I never thought I could miss Ballmer, but I do.  Ballmer wasn't scared to do crazy things, Windows 8 was released under his leadership, some works, some don't, but he tried. Nadella came in and said "all for the cloud"... I knew right then that Microsoft was transforming into something I wouldn't like (I'm no shareholder, so money doesn't come in my judgement). Windows Phone was becoming something when Ballmer left, Windows 8 on desktop was not a success, but 8.1 fixed most of the problem and Windows 10 was around the corner.  Nokia deal was just completed. Then Nadella wrote off Nokia, fired most people, basically stopped making phones. Come On Nadella, wake up, the cloud is nice but what will happen when the sun comes through and clouds dissipates ?
  • I somewhat agree with this even if it's clearly the unpopular opinion. Reason being it was *never* a secret that Nadella was prioritizing buisiness and the cloud over all else. Heck, there were MANY Windows Central articles saying exactly that. The problem is I think a lot of us Windows fans saw the long game the wrong way. They thought Nadella would eventually turn back to mobile when it sounds like he barely ever had the intention.   Is it confusing that they threw money after UWP then? Absolutely. Maybe there was some other purspose there we missed out on. Maybe it was a stab in the dark. Maybe it was honestly just poor managment. Either way, it was obviously never the primary focus for Nadella, and now it probably never will be.   It's hard to say if this is the right or wrong thing to do... Nadella always said he wanted to turn Microsoft into a services company. But the time he's done with them that's all they might be. A cloud and office service. Blackberry says hello.
  • Very well said coip; History will show that Nadella was the thing that took down the whole company, while the board of directors and the shareholders were sitting on their hands waiting to go down in the burning ship with the worst CEO in tech industry history.  
  • Indeed. If I wanted to ruin my company or one of its division, I would do exactly the same things as Nadella :D
  • Worried about buying ******* business facebook instead of putting that money into mobile and really pushing it....They had something great but FAILED greater!
  • The board does not care as long as the stocks are high...those people are careless whether the company has lost it's trust and image. For me at least, ever since Nadella came, MS is nothing but another company that delivers poor quality products, lies a lot and does not give a damn about respect for it's customers. I sure hope someone from MS with a higher grade reads all these comments (although I doubt it)...yeah MS = mediocre quality,lies,layoffs,cheap working,lack of trust!
  • Exactly my thoughts. That "Nadella" doesn't know anything.
  • Nadella is king of the "CLOUD" (pun intended). You might know what Hawaai quille means in hindi :D
  • I'm sorry? What pun?  
  • He means hot air, I think
  • Windows phones had no where near 5-6% market share. People keep saying that and it just isn't true. At its peak, it sold 10.5 million phones and that was just 2.7%. For them to hit 5% they would have had to sell 15 million devices at least. It never happened.
  • I suppose it depends on context. I'm on mobile at the moment, but here's a link to an article from Oct 2014, and if you scroll down a bit, it shows Windows Phone with a 4.3% share in the US which it notes was down 0.3% from the prior year. So unless this data is wrong, at one point the US market was around 5%. The article also shows it's share in the big 5 European markets to have been around 9% at the time. So not worldwide share, but share in important Western markets in the context of the sort of developer support most posters here are concerned with. Granted low end devices we're a big part of this and you can argue about the sustainability of that... http://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-phone-sales-are-hitting-new-highs-b...
  • 5% and dropping is not going to compel developers. You are still going to be third string and well behind the leaders.
  • Sure, but the point that is being made is the lost opportunity to at least stabilize the marketshare they did have. Coming at this from an old Apple fan's perspective, in the late 90s (post Jobs' return) into the early 2000s, Mac marketshare kept dropping, but never precipitously. There used to be a guy on the Ars forum who'd post graphs of the trends regularly. But Apple managed to keep it from collapsing, and kept the fan base intact enough to be there for the next big thing. (Even with their success, the Mac line still isn't a huge seller marketsharewise.) How successful would the iPod and eventually the iPhone have been if there weren't any Mac users left in the early 2000s?
  • Why stabilize at 3% when they are just going to reboot it again? We don't even know if they even plan to do anything with mobile. They very well may not.
  • Why stabilize at 3% worldwide (including ~5% US marketshare and ~10% in the big 5 Western European market)?  Well, I alluded to it with the question about iPod success without Mac users.  Who is most likely to be your initial customer for your next big thing?  People who are already your customers, happy with your services, apps, etc? or people who aren't interested and/or are deeply invested in your competitors' ecosystems?  At 3% worldwide (and ~5% US, ~10% Big 5 Europen countries), that's 10s of millions of customers potentially willing to look upon your new product favorably, especially if their data, apps, and services will transfer easily, even if they need to purchase new devices.  However, you've got a hard or even impossible sell if they feel burned by past resets, have moved to other platforms, and have started to depend on apps and services not on your platform.  That also spills over to people who would potentially be the second wave of customers, who might be interested, but seeing what happened to previous customes are not going to risk getting invested in the new hotness you're trying to sell.  Even if the future of mobile for Windows is exclusively WoA and won't run on any existing phones, that's not a reset in the same sense of the Windows Mobile 6.X to WP7 transition where basically nothing transferred.  It's not even the same as the reset from WP7 to WP8 because it would basically be the core of WM10 (NT kernel, UWP runtime) with CShell and the Win32 + X86 emulation layer. Honestly, there shouldn't be a reason that a basic version of WM10, compatible with future UWP apps, couldn't be maintained going forward for some time to come.  In fact that would be important to provide a userbase to target for UWP app development while the next big thing is ramping up.  While WoA will offer the ability to run legacy Win32 apps when docked, it's still going to need UWP apps when in mobile mode. Note that even with the massive changes between WP7 and WP8 (different kernel, different runtime), WP8 had good backwards compatibility with WP7, and even with all the complaining from the userbase at the time (me included), WP marketshare continued to grow initially.  (The biggest long term complaint was probably the change from Zune to Xbox Music.)
  • I had a windows 6.5 phone.  I had a windows 7.0 phone.  I had a windows 8.0 phone and had to wait months and months for Verizon to allow my phone upgraded to Windows 8.1  Then I bought a windows 10 phone.  At one point microsft had 40% of the smartphone market (this was before the iPhone was released).  If they keep Windows 10 and windows 10 mobile going without rebooting again, maybe, just maybe they can build a mobile ecosystem. I dont know if iOS can ever replicate the power of Windows 10.  But is the power of windows 10 neccessary? I have an android phone (but my new battery arrived so my 950 can run again).  Hate it.  But it was only $50. 
  • It was 5-6% in some countries. Stop posting the crap over and over.
  • You didn't say some countries, you said worldwide, which isn't true. Selling the L520 for pennies in a couple small price conscious markets isn't a success.
  • In the UK it reached 8% with as many mid range to high end handsets as budget. That may not have been the case everywhere, but in some markets it was working.
  • Some useless markets. Nokia wasn't sticking around for a reason. The L520 was the vast majority of sales. Any graph that breaks down Windows phones will show that.
  • Yeah, worldwide. The thing I'm getting at is that Nokia/MS didn't have to totally withdraw, just focus on the ones they were doing alright in, like the UK. Also, define 'useless.' Any market where you make decent enough progress in cannot be useless. Countries like the USA, however...
  • Those are really small markets though. You are not moving many devices even if you hit 20%. Certainly not enough to keep a big manufacturer like Nokia interested. Developers also aren't going to care, especially if they are only selling low end phones.
  • Nokia wasn't really a big manufacturer though by your standards if they weren't selling anything meaningful... Nobody said W10M would have don't amazingly in those markets. But as long as they covered their costs in a certain market, it would have made sense to keep trying there. It's the same as a small local shop. As long as they sell more than they spent, regardless of whether its 3 million smartphones or 15 sofas, then they're doing alright.
  • What are you talking about? Nokia was a massive manufacturer, used to selling tens of millions of devices per quarter. Do you really think they care about selling a few thousand L520 in Italy? Do you really think that would keep them afloat? Nokia was leaving for a reason. Windows phones were a massive failure. They always were a failure and always will be a failure. Until Microsoft completely changes their strategy​ and product, they will never be successful in Mobile. The market has spoken, no true fan would want them to continue a failure.
  • They *were* a big manufacturer, definitely. But they went all in on WP. You literally just said that Nokia didn't shift many Lumias and when they did it was only low end 520's. So in the context of our discussion they can't be considered a massive manufacturer in this respect. Do you see where I'm going with this?
  • I saw what you were saying, but it still doesn't make sense. When a product fails and you lose your position in the market, you don't sit on your hands and continue down a proven failed path. You either change your path or sell out. Microsoft made them a huge offer so they wouldn't go with Plan A.
  • Why do you keep bringing up the 520? At one time there was, what, around 15 different Lumia models and that was probably too many.
    Bottom line is this was an up and coming OS that was gaining some market share and nobody ever said it would overtake either of the other two. We''ll never know what % market share MS would have been happy with. With the decisions they made the couple years they just blew it.
  • It never gained much market share. Unless you think climbing to 3% after 5 years is some great accomplishment.
  • Suppose 3% was 5 million devices? Not enough to support? Whatever bleachy boy.
  • No where near enough to continue support when competitors are selling 300+ million each quarter. 5 million is nothing. We aren't talking about some small business, this is Microsoft. 5 million is peanuts.
  • And do you really think MS was ever going to sell 300 million devices? Pretty sure they didn't think so either. So according to your logic they should have given up in 2011.
    And 5 million devices is still plenty to support. Depends on what their expectations were back in 2010.
  • After Windows Phone 7 failed so hard, they should have come back with a new strategy and UI. Instead, the only thing they changed was the kernel as if that was the issue with WP7. WP8 flopped just as hard and what did Microsoft do? Did they change their strategy or make any meaningful updates to the platform? Nope. Another change to the underlying code and that was it. They didn't learn after the first two failures and surprise, W10M also failed. They need to either get manufacturers behind them or take over and only make high end, gotta have hardware like the iPhone. I think the only way to get OEM support is to give them more control over the platform and allow them to innovate and differentiate with their products. C-Shell is a perfect chance for that. Allow the OEMs to create their own mobile shell that then turns into W10 for Continuum. This would allow the OEMs a chance to create their own product and take some ownership of it. They would then be more compelled to market the devices and push developers to support them. It worked great for Android. Google barely had to market it. Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Verizon and everyone else did it for them. Their marketing efforts and innovation is what caused Android to blow up. Microsoft could also just make their own first party hardware, but that is going to be much tougher. They would be in charge of everything from development to marketing to sales. I think option 1 is best. They could also create a reference device or "Surface Phone" to show the OEMs what is possible with C-Shell.
  • MSFT bought Nokia's entire smartphone business.  Microsoft owned the factories.  Why did they shut them down?  Because they could not sell phones?  Sure.  But this is not the point of the comments or the article.  How do you build a mobile ecosystem if you dont build any phones?  If Microsoft, by owning Nokia manufaturing business, was going to sell over 90% of all windows phones, does anyone believe an OEM was going to try to compete? The other simple fact is that Windows 10 was not fleshed out a year ago.  Windows 10 will get pretty strong this spring with the creators edition.  Stability is good.  People will move away from win32.  But what about web ages?  How long do people code web pages?  Will they have the same legacy as win32?  If Android and iOS start to displace windows PC/Laptops, tablets etc...  Why use web pages?  What if the Drudge Report (Matt Drudge) decides to build a UWP for the desktop and firgures out how to sell more ads?  What would that do for Matt Drudge personally.  How would that change the dynamic.   I am thinking the newspaper business is basically bankrupt and unimportant.  I pay WSJ a yearly subscription for the news.  If they make money selling ads, I dont seem to notice.  But the whole ad business is changing and I am not sure we understand how this will play out as people move from newspaper to the Web (we do and it is annoying with some of the webpages I come across and immediately dump) and then to mobile.  Do I really want to see an ad on my 5 inch smartphone screen? If PG is pissed at Google for falsifying their ad clicks (or whatever) and reduce their ad buys from Google, then you know this digital ad business is not settled. Yeah, Microsft should have built three phones (but that lastest all of 6 months).   
  • Been saying exactly this for ages
  • 100% Accurate!! Well said, and what's wrong with MS!!!!! They better wow at Build 2017!
  • I would argue it's already too late.  Windows is a legacy OS that is ony relevant to workers and the occasional hardcore gamer.
  • "Workers" as in, people who use a computer at work?  That sounds like a significant market for some time to come to me...
  • For sure.  It'll be around for a long time.  But there is almost no new development targeting Windows anymore.  All new products -- even those made by MS -- hit Android first and, if not made by MS, Windows never. Existing products continue to be improved.  But I can't think of a single new mainstream consumer product introduced in the past 3-4 years that works on Windows. Thus, Windows exists to do work and for a very select few, play games. No apps will ever come to UWP because nothing new is ever coming to Windows again.  As a platform for new products, it's dead.  
  • "For a very select few, play games..." Jesus Christ. Basically 95% of gamers I know are PC gamers. You act as if PC gaming was some fringe thing; it's not.
  • >95% of gamers I know are PC gamers This tells us nothing. The plural of anecdote is not data
  • Ever heard of 'Steam'? I think there are quite a few gamers over there... 
  • You know how many people play games on their phones?  I'd bet billions...every day.
  • 'Only' That's still a ton of people, and crucially, in areas where Windows is extremely unlikely to be replaced. Nobody wants to give up their Steam catalogue on Windows and no business wants to invest in an OS upgrade until it's absolutely necessary - an OS UPGRADE. Like hell would they want to switch to a different OS altogether.
  • My point is that nearly every app that will ever exist on Windows already exists on Windows.  Existing products may continue to be improved, but nothing new is ever coming to the platform again. And as those legacy programs are replaced or ported, the role for Windows will ever diminish. With no new development to speak of, thereis no reason to ever write a UWP app.
  • It may be too late and it may also be we in the public are late to this realization. The fact that this is the stage W10M is at right now means that decisions were made about this a lot earlier than today, or yesterday, or last month, or perhaps even last year. Nadella did say we're going to see Microsoft be more of a software company focusing on apps and services, not an operating system. This whole "last version of Windows" may have meant more than we realized at the time.
  • Your "last version of Windows" insight seems quite inspired.
  • He also said "mobile first" and then promptly stopped producing mobile phones.
  • He emphasised "mobile experience", not the hardware.
  • Even so, the experience is in the crapper if there's no hardware to experience it on.
  • Spot on. Nadella has done nothing but crap on mobile since he took over. Actions speak louder than words Nadella!
  • Nadella's "Cloud First, Mobile Last" execution would bring disastrous failure to Windows mobile as well as UWP.  His success in cloud business has overshadowed that threat.  His speech in July, 2015 had broken the back of WP for good.  The market share has been freefalling quickly from near 4% to 1%.  That's Nadella's achievement.  Steve Ballmer had vigorously promoted WP while Nadella is vigorously demoting WP.  We are the victims in the end.  Now he is promoting S8 so WP would die quicker.  Sad. 
  • Steve Balmer vigorously pushed Windows phone for years and where did it get him? 4% selling the cheapest devices possible. He caused Microsoft's​ mobile issues, not Nadella. Nadella is just cleaning up his mess. Eventually Nadella will release his mobile strategy and then you can blame him.
  • Balmer was a disaster on mobile as well, but at least he tried.  Nadella doesn't even appear to be trying.
  • what desktop can do is give you privacy. Microsoft seems to disregard this fact eyes closed.. there are optional desktops ..
  • I think many ones at Microsoft realized it. The question is when the one will realize it.
  • Agreed but with one correction: Instagram is NOT better on the web than the app is. Not even close. The website it's borderline worthless
  • Just wow.
    Finally a writer here speaking the truth and telling it like it really is.
    So sick of the never ending WP is actually ahead of the curve BS while we all bury our heads in the sand nonsense.
    MS is in a very bad place right now with the long term game in mind, but finally someone here had the balls to tell the truth.
    Excellent article.
  • Yeah.... Explosive and sober articles like this a few and far in-between. This is how i feel about MS efforts.
  • Wow, Just wow 😲. Nothing like a bit of negativity to round off the day. This a WC consensus then... Windows on mobile is dead?
  • you mean reallity 
  • No Windows on a mobile devices isn't dead. Next phase is full Windows on pocketable device. The current iteration should not have been relegated only to enterprise with a near complete lack of visibility in consumer space and a statement that the platform was enterprise focused. That was wrong. I said it before and stand by that. Particularly when you have actual and potential partners like Alcatel and WhartonBrooks in the consumer space, along with a small but real consumer user base. You're telling developers and potential partners you have no mobile play, so why invest.
  • Jason, full Windows on a pocketable device will face the same fate as W10M because its main advantage is still in one area, the desktop and not the mobile space. Ask yourself, away from a desktop setup what advantages does full Windows bring to a mobile device that makes it so much better than W10M or other mobile platforms? If there is no compelling answer to that question then why would anyone be interested in buying such a device?
  • What advantage? There are multiple advantages why Windows on ARM is the future. UWP is one of them. Just because MS is switching from Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile to just Windows 10 does not mean they are shifting away from mobile. All it means is that they are working towards a unified OS to run on all devices. One OS on all devices... An OS that adapts depending on the device it's being used on is the future. UWP will work just the same as it does now. Only that developers need to make just one app. That's a much more attractive proposition, and one that bridges the app gap than any current situation MS is looking at. People will still need a dedicated PC for heavier workload related tasks, but having Windows on ARM and being able to run x86 apps, even if emulated, is huge. Especially for the enterprise market. That is where MS has it's strongest foothold, next to home computers. So it makes sense from a business perspective to target their mobile strategy where it would have the largest impact....the enterprise market. As we all know, MS is a software company first. And we've seen them refocus their strategy with the inclusion of a 'Microsoft' version of the new Samsung Galaxy S8. We will see this with an iPhone as well.
  • These are just theories. UWP does not need an OneOS, after Microsoft will completely unify W10 with W10M (or other versions), UWP will not be impacted at all. It is obvious that they will be able to obtain an OneOS, because it depends only on them and it's only a matter of time, but they still have to attract developers - after five years they failed. Once again they have to start from scratch, they must somehow bring users using marketing, and then to convince developers with a decent market share.
  • Developers arent making apps now and UWP is available and runs on mobile, so what will change a developers mind by having Windows on a smaller form factor?
  • Yes but I need Microsoft to tell me that not you. I'm tired of everyone saying ms is planning this and ms is planning that all while ms is sitting quite in the corner selling galaxy s8 phones.
  • @Phkejo
    This ^
  • uwp is useless without mobile! get it through your thick fanboy heads already. on a mobile phone you need mobile apps!! cut the crap with win32 emulation and stuff.
  • Hi theefman:
    I am aware that similar challenges will be faced by the next device if Microsoft doesn't do something BIG and do it FAST. (My short response was to address that Windows on mobile goes on).
    To your point, it is often difficult to have these discussions because often each comments section is treated as an isolated microcosm where previous statements, articles, comments, points made seem to be forgotten.
    I agree with everyone that the ecosystem is key and even groundbreaking hardware won't fix that, that's why I wrote these two pieces in the past:
    THIS IS WHAT HAS TO HAPPEN FIRST FOR A SURFACE PHONE TO SUCCEED : http://m.windowscentral.com/what-has-happen-first-order-surface-phone-su...
    and
    IF MICROSOFT DOESN'T KILL AT BUILD 2017 THE SURFACE 'PHONE' IS DEAD ON ARRIVAL: http://m.windowscentral.com/if-microsoft-doest-kill-build-2017-surface-p...
    In both pieces I drive an argument that the ecosystem must be matured on various levels and various aspects to ensure he success of the next phase, the anticipates paradigm shift. I even make an appeal to MS in one of them to get the ecosystem in order.
    Trust me I get it. That's why I wrote about it and hoped MS saw it😉
  • And thats the rub, with those things in place there wont really be a need for full Windows on mobile because UWP would still run on mobile devices and would be the natural bridge. But with no sign of improvement in those areas it wont matter what OS the device runs but this point is always missed in the rush to proclaim Windows on ARM the new savior for Microsoft in mobile.
  • Serious question Jason.  Do the people who matter (Microsoft execs) ever visit this site and read the articles, the comments, the forums?
  • I would actually love a single and same OS on all my devices.
    1. To feel at home on each device because they will have the same settings, apps, features so it will be very easy to use.
    2. Because of the synchronization between them like we already see with Edge (partially) the photo apps, Groove or apps that use the "Continue App experience"
    3. With a single OS we can expect more interests from dev
    4. We can expect faster development from Microsoft
  • but again the problem is still the same you wont work on a mobile phone the same way as you work on a desktop pc, a mobile phone wont have the same "power" as a desktop pc so you wont do the same on a mobile as you would do on a desktop and thats why a full W10 on a mobile device wont save the platform. If you want to do anything serious you will need to use a laptop
  • @papple that's why the Ultramobile Surface PC won't be a mobile phone, but it will actually be in every sense of the word a PC and positioned as such. It will, if my analysis is right, also have telephony. It will be a first generation device of its sort, utilizing current tech. But just as Zach Morris'( from Saved by the Bell) forearm long cell phone was an early iteration of the touchscreen mini tablets with telephony we call smartphones is today, the ultramobile PC category introduced in the near future will be just the beginning of what evolving technology will enable in that category in way of processing power and utilization of other tech like mixed reality going forward. You have to look beyond first gen and current tech. Everything starts somewhere. 😉
  • If the Surface PC is not a phone but some other kind of ultramobile device even with telephony wont people still need an actual phone? And wont being ultramobile come with the same inadequacies due to its size? The kind of device you seem to be alluding to comes across as being just a small form factor PC and if thats the case it still wont be anything more than a novelty to most buyers and would still do nothing to improve Microsoft's mobile position.
  • Hi Theefman, my comment above also states that it will have telephony. Precluding the need for a separate phone in that regard. With Continuum you have a desktop environment when you need it.
  • The flip side is the surface "phone" would not be a good mobile device either becuase......you guessed it APPS.   In the true mobile space,  not the imaginary "everyone just carries their phones to another desk windows fanboy vision",  but the one where you actually use your deivce for more than surfing the web and checking text messages,  it's still dead.   Apps make your mobile device.....mobile.   Things like hotel apps that let you unlock rooms, the hotel after hours, check in by just tapping etic....NOT available on windows mobile/10 etc.   Rent a car,  most now have apps that I can just unlock adn flash the lights to find the car by my phone because I don't need to goto the check in at the rental agency,  I book online,  walk to the car and go.  Deposit checks, payments etc via apps on my phone...another thing you cannot do with windows.   I could go on regarding apps.  But its useless here.  Windows mobile fanboys just make web wrapper apps, pin websites to their home screen and text. 
  • Just curious Steve, why those app examples you gave couldn't be made as a web wrapper app pinned to the home screen? Wouldn't it be more attractive to the car rental company or the hotel chain to make a single web site that could run on any device, rather than make two (or three) separate apps that require individual support? Just curious why this functionality has to be an app?
  • Because web pins have very limited functionality simple.  You cannot "DO" things with web pins...only see things.  Websites are not intereactive with the outside world.   That is the entire point of mobile apps...and the reason windows mobile is crappy for .....mobile. 
  • First of all thanks for a nice article. I've been a faithful user of windows mobile devices since the PDA/pocket PC times. I've silently watched as other platforms came to be then died off or even overtake the market. Back in the early 2000s you could basically do most of the things you needed from a mobile device on the PPCs of the time. And I always thought about the day when the pocket PC will be a full PC. Now that it seems so close, I am wondering if it matters what OS it will be running. My point is that any smartphone nowadays can be considered to be an ultra mobile PC. Why would a windows offering persuade anyone into getting on to a "new" platform( that's what it would mean for ppl coming from the other OSs) if they already have, dare I say, more on the platform they already use?  
  • - W10 apps are ever increasing with the expanding W10 user base (1 billion+ eventually). You can't say the same about W10M or WP apps.   - If a foldable screen is equipped with the cellular PC, you can run W10 apps and web apps efficiently at anywhere.  The app gap issue will be greatly lessened if you can run full W10 apps and web apps. The pocketable PC is obviously targeting at the business and enterprise W10 users initially.  With CShell, W10 on ARM and foldable screen, the cellurlar PC would be a very attractive device for users in those sectors.
  • I am sorry yangstax,  full windows 10 app...whatever that means,  are terrible compared to true mobile apps,  and they are not magially going to increase in function or number because windows runs on mobile devices.
  • Windows on mobile isn't dead...Windows is dead. Sure, it still hangs around on your office desk.  But that's it.  Outside of the workplace, who cares?
  • I care, I don't want to live in a world that is full of MACs :D
  • Macs are also dead.
  • Macs have held the same marketshare for a long time. Yes, that share is small, but it is only premium devices sold. Most of Windows and Android share comes from low-margin devices. This is how Apple can make so much money without being the top seller in any product category. 
  • I understand that, but even Apple has been putting less and less resources towards Mac. They were down 10% in 2016 too. They make so much money on iPhone, it makes sense why they wouldn't put much effort into Macs. The desktop thing is slowing and mobile is where it is at. There isn't much innovation left to come to desktop.
  • Almost all gamers for one. It rather looks like someone's brain is dead. Waste of time. NOFI.
  • I am sorry but any notion that windows is dead it pure nonsense. It may be less popular in the consumer world now where many people didnt really do any serious computing anyway, but in the corporate world and for people who work from home its still huge and will remain so for a long time yet.  
  • In a sense, this does push the belief that our next 'phone' might be more a portable PC with a phone than the more traditional phone. It's sort of a shift in understanding that we might not own a Windows Phone, but a Windows device that has a phone. We can still own a Windows Phone, it just won't be marketed as such. But the clock is ticking on this. 
  • Jason, you keep repeating the WOA story and selling the message that it is the next big thing and MS are ahead of the game.
    As a long time fan, Id like to believe this but that's not the message MS are sending.
    They've moved on...clearly. That makes you message very hard to believe.
    Very Happy for you to prove me wrong but it's all over, very sadly windows in the mobile space-even with WOA- is stone motherless dead IMHO.
  • Nadella just rofld hearing abt whartonbrooks
  • To add clarity: I agree with everything in your piece. Just think it is put in the most negative possible context. I believe there is staggering potential, but - as you put so well - it is highly likely that Microsoft's vision and promises will be delivered elsewhere, faster... as has happened time and time before in the past.
  • Only Jason Ward (and Zac depending on the time of the day) continue to live in the delusion that Windows Phone / 10 Mobile isn't dead. Everyone else has already accepted reality. But I guess until Microsoft says it clearly: "Windows on phones is dead" some people will continue to reject reality with all their efforts.
  • I see death and life as absolute states. When something is dead. It's dead, no development by the maker of the platform, no investments by OEMs, etc. Until that happens its literally not dead. Even if in a poor state.
    Also, you're speaking in exaggerated terms when you say 'everyone'. Clearly HP, Alcatel, WhartonBrooks and many Windows phone fans don't see the platform as dead. 😉
  • And me! Im still hoping For the surface Phone
  • Wharton Brooks hasn't even sold 50 phones! Very poor example of being alive!
  • HP, Alcatel, and... uh.. WhartonBrooks.
  • By that logic, BB10 is still alive then? Because it still has BlackBerry support. Barely anyone uses it anymore, developers have dropped it like flies but it's still supported. Exactly the same state W10M is in. If you accept BB10 is alive, then sure, so is W10M. But when we use REALISM, it's not. Users are leaving it en masse. Developers keep dropping the platform (and yeah, when Facebook drops their apps from the version of WP that has the vast majority of users, that says something). And Microsoft's development of W10M isn't actually real. The updates are a side effect of the development of Windows 10. Name 10 features that Microsoft has developed for Windows 10 Mobile specifically.   Now, HP released the Elite X3. True. Which is a flop. They're supposed to release another one sometime in 2017. It won't be any more successful. Alcatel released a rebranded version of a phone they already released with Android and with a BlackBerry logo on it. IN THE USA ONLY. I hardly think you can call that "OEM support". As for WhartonBrooks...Ahahahahahahahahah that entire thing is a joke. Seriously...let's not even go there.   "many Windows phone fans don't see the platform as dead" Yeah, sure. And many people believe Elvis and Tupac are still alive. And that Hitler lives in Argentina. That's how they see the World. They're absolutely bonkers, but hey...THEY believe it. Same thing applies to the remaining few Windows Phone fans ;)
  • Ok Jason,  it's NOT dead....its in a vegetative state hooked up to life support,  never to recover...but has forgotten to sign the D N R on their will...
  • It's not dead yet but it's on life support and MS better put some effort into it, and soon, because it's starting to piss me off.  I hope Windows phone makes a full recovery but it's all up to MS now.  They can't keep trying to create an artificial vacuum and hope other vendors will step in.  It's not happening nearly fast enough.
  • Mobile is as alive as rt at this point.  We all how alive that is 
  • Why do you care? You moved on years ago. No, bad mouthing other people's opion is a great use of time. A joke really. And no, Windows on phone isn't dead. How is Sony doing :)
  • He's just a butt hurt Nokia fanboy that likes to trash MS when he can
  • @squire777 yeah...so butthurt... Nokia is back (as I said they'd be), selling more of just one phones in one country than the entire WP portfolio combined worldwide and Windows Phone is dead. Maybe you'd like to re-evaluate who's the butthurt there buddy...I'm not the one desperatly clingging to a dead OS amidst the shattered promises Microsoft made WP-fans in September 2013.
  • If you want to know more about Sony I'd suggest you ask Sony. The only thing I know is that they're selling more phones than all of W10M OEMs combined. Not that it's that hard. Nokia sold more Nokia 6's in China alone than all Windows Phones sold in Q4 of the 2016 fiscal year. And just to update you (since your deluded self is stuck in 2014 clearly): I've since had a G4 and I'm currently using an S7. So...get up with the times, mate.
  • Selling more phones than all current windows phone combined!
  • The only thing that died was Nokia lol
  • Yup. So dead... back in the smartphone business and selling more units of a single phone in one country than Microsoft sold Lumias worldwide is really really dead.
  • that's a bullshit.
  • Agree with you.. Happy to see Windows Mobile is dying. Karma hurts, Microsoft Enjoy your burning platform 
  • It's not negative, he's facing the truth head on. Refreshing to see a realistic article saying it how it really is, if MS doesn't wake up to the mess, its all over for them in the mobile space.
    Most likely already far to late.
  • Microsoft will release Ms store on android which build bridge 🌉 between desktop and android apps. UWP+
  • It is sad that my response is to sigh and think that this is in fact a more likely scenario that seeing Microsoft attempt to salvage Windows 10 Mobile and push the Windows UWP model forward.
  • They already have a bridge between desktop and android. It's called Xamarin. That purchase was not by accident ;)
  • Not saying anything we havent been saying for years, Jez. Out of the gate WP7 and each successive iteration of their mobile platform seemed like an afterthought to Microsoft and you would have thought they would have realized how important mobile would be to their UWP push but Mr Retrenchment seemed to think it could work with no mobile platform at all, so here we are.....
  • This is a great piece Jez, I hope MS gets it😉
  • I hope some of the staff here with connections in Microsoft would forward this article to them.  I really want to see UWP come to full light.
  • Jez cares for the platform too and very articulately expressed his great frustration about the potential and the opportunities missed/wasted.
  • Cheers, I love the platform, I don't want it to be squandered. I hope they have a grand plan, but right now it's just hard to see.
  • Microsoft's silence tells you everything.  No grand plan therefore matters because any future effort would be watering a dead plant.
  • MS aren't being silent at all.
    They have started selling Android phones, that right there is shouting it from the hill tops.
    Time for us all to move on sadly
  • You forgot to mention the remix3d website, which has the potential to become another YouTube.
  • with 3D scanning app they demoed, Remix3D will go places.
  • Jez and Jason, i like your articles. well, i don't frequently comment but this justifies. Good to see you both comment. Bring Daniel to the party :)
  • Daniel is busy playing Mario Run on his iPhone, shhh
  • I hope YOU get it, Jason!
  • Truely said. Microsoft just wants the windows phone fanbase to die out.
    Brilliant ideas but no execution. No PR for mobile, as if MS pretends Windows 10 Mobile doesn't even exist. I will hold on to my 950XL until it dies out and get the next best device in the market, but will there be a windows phone for me to buy then? Strange times.
  • Happy Birthday, Microsoft! Love, Jez
  • I know Microsoft employees who do not trust in the success of Windows Store, and that says a lot. It's obvious that Microsoft is trying something new with UWP (on paper sounds great), but they do not invest 100% in this technology. Performance is not the best, it's still not stable and after all this time they still do not have a complex design language.
  • I think the stability is an issue too. With Win32, if an app install fails, there is usually a good reason for it. In the Store? You get an 0x0 error code that is usually less than helpful and if you're lucky, a restart and a retry works, but other times, not a chance. I had the Mail and Calendar app crap out and fade out on my Start Menu yesterday, and it recommended a reinstall in the Store. Great idea except a) why did it even do that in the first place? I thought the Store simplified and compartmentalized apps so they 'just worked' and b) even the reinstall failed, downloading most of it then throwing another useless code. If a Microsoft app does this, what hope is there for third-party apps? I love the idea of UWP and I love the idea of the Store, but the implementation is so piss-poor that I barely poke around in it anymore because of the issues I've had with it.
  • UWP isn't new. Android implemented the same thing way back in 2011!
  • I meant that UWP is (or was) new for Windows ecosystem.
  • Absolutely agree with everything in this article. Retrenchment was a bad idea and the 'next big thing' (Augmented reality?) is not coming soon enough for MS. The mobile platform is going to retain its importance and though the Hololens give MS a great early start in AR I'm confident that it's not going to just break cleanly from our current mobile paradigm the way they might be imagining. Current mobile apps are going to adapt and AR is what Android and iOS will become. Letting the window10 mobile ecosysystem stagnate was a terrible decision.
  • "Retrenchment was a bad idea" Something many of us were saying years ago, but were shouted down by the Microsoft fanboys and apologists, Windows Central being among them with the ever so dream-on articles about how it was the right move for MS; now the reality is starting to set in, but its way too late for UWP and Windows 10.  
  • Windroid Central?
  • Heading that way with all the S8 coverage....
  • Microsoft Cloud Services Central
  • agreed 100% John.   Fanboys just don't get it.  I called the death actually once they backpedalled on the Projects, and the big promise of every denim equipped windows phone getting all windows 10 updates...that was when its fate was sealed.  DONE over with.  No apps,  alot of users once again left in the cold with having to purchase new devices YET again,  a load of horse crap!  
  • Microsoft's marketing has to be absolutely the worst in the tech industry.  Just look at what marketing can do for a now lackluster and non-innovative piece of tech like the iPhone.  Hasn't changed that much in years - heck they are now pushing out different colors simply to keep sales up - but their marketing has the i-sheep running to get the next iteration of their phone. Microsoft needs a really good and consistent marketing campaign to get the story and capabilities out to the masses.
  • Their marketing almost always appears an afterthought. Wasn't it Samsung that was spending $1B per year in advertising just for the Galaxy S4 back in the day? The S4 was such a turnaround for them, yet it wouldn't have just happened on its own. Marketing is essential. And it's not like Microsoft can't do marketing. While the original Surface ads might have slightly missed the mark, they were at least doing something. And the Surface Book launch ad, while simple, looked good. It doesn't strike me as requiring a whole lot of tweaking to get their marketing on track, but at this point it's as though they're not even trying anymore.
  • Why was Samsung marketing the GS4 and not the Ativ S?
  • Ativ S running on OS that Samsung can't make its interface look like iPhone's?
  • That is my point exactly. It is lame, but iPhone was the revolution and Samsung became successful by emulating them. Windows Phone didn't give them that option.
  • It'd be a good question to run past them, though purely academic at this point. I think Microsoft's licensing fees were low, so it's not as though there was more to gain (or less to lose) selling Android phones. But I believe the Ativ S was released on GS4 hardware but a year after the GS4 release. (As we've seen happen with other WP devices based on Android-first models.) So it might have been one of those situations where if the GS4 is selling millions of units, why both more than a token gesture towards WP? Again, I dunno. At the end of the day though, it comes down to the almighty dollar, whether we like it or not. :(
  • Unfortunately Microsoft is inconsistant about their mobile plans. And by the time they release the C-shell and Windows 10 on ARM, world will already be moving and looking for something new. They are doing great job with Windows 10 but it seems they are also taking their sweet time with it, because so little changed with the Creators update yet it has been more than 6 months to release the not so major update. if the entire process takes this much time, by the time they finish, we will already be moved on the next best thing and nobody will wait for Microsoft. Mobile is a hard consept for them. Of course I understand how hard it is to develop something so big and still make it flawless but world is a cruel place and mobile market is especially cruel. I really liked my windows phone until they left me in the dark so I switch to iPhone 7. I hate it, I guess should go to android no matter how much it drives me crazy. I wish best to them and I am hopeful for a surprise.
  • My only consolation about Redstone 2 is that more features were culled simply because they're working on C-Shell as a more permanent replacement. My concern is the immense amount of time Microsoft incubates these things. Like you state, it takes so much time. We're not even hearing whispers of this being what we'll see on Windows Mobile, so one can imagine how long it would take to implement, even if they announced it now. Furthermore, I'm pretty certain that the Snapdragon 835 is a requirement for Windows 10 on ARM, which would, once again, alientate everyone else who bought earlier devices. Granted, C-Shell might in some way be able to operate on Windows 10 Mobile as a replacement for the current shell, but on its own, it strikes me as a watered-down approach to the platform. So it either ends up a shadow of itself on current devices, or requires everyone once again purchase new devices. I do not think there is a feature set or markeitng plan in the world that could convince users to do this again.
  • You're right. But don't you think that at this point old devices are too old. Like Lumia 950 uses Snapdragon 808. I mean it is not crazy old but by the time they release the windows 10 on ARM even Snapdragon 835 will be considered old. And the upcoming software is not light as well. Like 835 is a minimum requirement so it requires powerful hardware and none of the old ones can support any version of that software. But since Microsoft haven't released a phone or alike devices, many people already in need of an upgrade. So I don't think that upgrading thing will be a huge issue, but of course it is still inconsistancy and rightfully makes some people angry. And not many people bought and will buy the likes of HP Elite x3 or something, becuase they are not consumer devices. If Microsoft manages to release Windows 10 on ARM and somehow offers a great phone and a set of devices, and be consistant and commited, all the fans and new customers will happly adopt the platform since it will be even more paralel to the Windows in general so people will also be more confident and trusting with the platform, I think it will attract even the devs to bring their apps to the platfom because UWP will make their apps available to even more customers than previously possible.
  • True. I suppose it is difficult to tell how well it will run on older hardware until we see it. Though was it the x86 emulation that required the 835? Maybe without emulation, maybe full Windows-on-ARM could work on the x3, 950, 950 XL, Idol, etc. with C-Shell so at least apart from emulation, they'd have a common platform to work on. I think the 550 and 650 are great devices in their own right, but you're right, I don't see them operating a full Windows-on-ARM. (WARM?) Even then, the end result isn't going to be leaps and bounds better than what we're running now, I'd imagine, but at least they could focus bugfixes, etc. a bit more. And the marketing push would have to be absolutely incredible. It's a landing they'd need to stick perfectly in order to pull off. And unfortunately, with how they operate, I just don't see that landing as anything other than the parachute failing - if they even remembered to pack one.
  • Wasn’t there an article very similar to this at WC reaching the same conclusion, but was like 2 years ago before the official launch of Windows 10 Mobile? That Mobile was an essential piece of UWP?
  • Probably, I haven't been around that long though haha, I hammered this out in frustration the other day.
  • The site is much better off with pragmatic pieces and legit Xbox leaks from you than pie-in-the-sky fanboy fluff from Jason Ward.  Keep up the good work, FNG.
  • Well, thanks for sharing. Was a good read.
  • Nadella gave up. Retrenching and not fighting to save their market share has killed Windows Mobile. That, plus throwing most of the loyal 8.1 users under the bus with no upgrade path and a piss poor selection of W10 phones to select from. But hey, the Cloud business is doing great.
  • Top article.
    Well said.
  • I agree fully with Jez. When MS abandoned mobile, windows 10 will suffer... And surprise...it does. In couple of years "everybody" will use phone as primary device and MS aint even there when shaping the future. Running still with my 950XL but will jump, like rest of the millions already left the platform. MS have no other than themselves to blame.
  • They'll be there with apps and services. They already are.
  • With a few "thousands" left and no phone push, 1,5 year since last phone people are leaving just like the marketshare for windows 10 ...so yes they will be there but it is way to late. It thats a bomb to return back and easy step away from W10M...and that bomb aint surface phone, if it ever will be released
  • Many of them requiring an Office 365 subscription to work fully, and the competition will continue to push the superior integration of their own directly competing productivity, etc., apps with their ecosystem. As a software-only company (not even defining the OS), Microsoft doesn't control the narrative anymore.
  • My 950XL is also starting to show its age and sometime within the next 12 months I'm gonna need a new phone.  What will my options be?
  • No could be, but it is pointless... Lets admit it, engineers, architects and other professionals do not need apps in Hololens, and neither gamers do in Xbox... With WP dead, whole UWP project is pointless and will also die soon. And after him Windows Store will die. It is simple as that.
  • A real feel-good piece.   Now where did I put that Pixel....
  • Great read Jez!  I think Cortana is fading without a mobile device as well. If Microsoft is waiting for "Smart Phone" to be irrelevent, it will be waiting a long time.
  • Yes... Cortana. She can only thrive on mobile and IoT (forget desktop. These days I don't even remember to use her). If her own mobile OS dies, she is a distant third-class citizen in other digital assistant's home turf. That is a long road to a frozen Siberian winter. And which iOS user will think of looking for an alternative, hobbled, assistant, with many of them using Google Now even on iOS?
  • They will sell Cortana to Apple and parts of her will live on under a new identity.  
  • I for one am frankly starting to get "Pissed off" for lack of better term. MS fails so often it is really hard to justify using it anymore. I will not go to Google, but Apple is waaaay overpriced/overhyped. Why can't MS just make the product that we actually like work better?
  • You can use Android without Google.
  • I love MS products but HATE how they drop them at a moments notice, I still use my Lumia 950 and love it but it is quite sad I have to havce a plan B involving an Android phone if MS drops WM10 without anything to move to. MS REALLY needs to market and follow through with long term entrenched support for all their products. Even if WM was a failure if MS was still marketing and visibly supporting it I'd at least have confidence the company behind the product wanted it to succeed.  
  • I'm with you on that.  Also getting pissed off at MS because it's like they teased us with a nice alternative to iOS and Android and then they pull it away.  "Oh, you like this phone?  You want it?  You want it?... .Suckerrrrr!  No phone for you!"
  • First of there is no such thing as a UWP holograms.  UWP apps run as flat screens on the Hololens. The cool holograms are written using Unity.  UWP can fall off the face of the earth and Hololens will still have holograms. The majority of if not all of the Hololens apps in the store are these Unity apps. UWP is a great idea coupled with the Xamarin and you can truely have a universal app. The problem is all the cool apps are written in native iOS and Andriod. Most companines are not going to spend the money to rewrite their apps to support a platform that has less than 1% market share.  Believe Microsoft has tried to pay for these apps and those companies still said no thanks.  Even if there was a massive influx of the "cool" you would still be hard press to get iOS and Andriod users to switch especially if they have paid for any apps on thier current platform the will not pay for them again to move. Shrinking full Windows and sticking it on a mobile device will still not solve the problems of apps not being  there. Again people are not going to abandon a platform where the apps that they and their friends use to stay connected. Without those apps you are left with the one common app that people don't use to keep in touch...the phone! I love Windows Moble. I have had a Windows phone since WP7. I recently switch to a Moto Z and once I started using apps that others are using I relized and increase in productivity. I curse Andriod every day.  So much so I keep thinking I may have to get an iPhone.  When I get that itch I think will Microsoft do something to woo me back and I back away from the iPhone ledge. The Windows Mobile OS is not to blame. UWP is not to blame.. Hardware is not to blame.  Microsoft being late to the game and not getting the market share early on to make app builders need to develope for the platform, is to blame. Is Windows mobile dead...maybe not but it is on life support with no cure in sight.
  • Well it seems the question is no more "is windows phone dead?" it is rather "when will windows die?!"
  • In my opinion, and I say it as a Windows fan, Windows will not survive the end of next decade. But MS surely will, like IBM did. Or Sega. But WTF is Sega? :)
     
  • Like IBM, MS and Windows will survive for ages in the corporate world.  The corporate world isn't going to convert to Unix, as it's going in the opposite direction, coming from a former Unix guy that now lives in a world of Windows Server, SQL Server, Citrix, etc. They'll just have less and less visibility in the consumer world if they don't change course in the near future.
  • MS path is already set, corporate software and cloud services.
    The rest of their business is either dead or fatally wounded.
    They know this.
  • exactly, Windows in consumer world still lives mainly because of games and huge gamer community.
  • Cad and corporate accounting are not performed using cloud based apps. They are local site based functions performed using software that needs a local OS. The cloud is not the be all and end all,  its useful for some things but dont underestimate the importance of site based computing.    
  • Neo Geo!
  • EDIT to my neo geo comment.  Comparing windows phone to sega would imply windows phone was once popular and happening.  Therefore it was the NEO GEO of the phone world.  BB was sega
  • Does Windows Central have any "ins" with Microsoft? I know it's such a desparate thing to ask, but desperate times...  It's just frustrating that the situation is so obvious, yet they seem so oblivious. We know that the situation is beyond dire yet part of me wonders have they just not seen it? (Though the pessimist in me feels that if they don't see the writing on the wall now, that even if they did somehow pick up the pieces, it'd just be until next time.) Are their other media sites that focus on Windows, Windows Phone, etc. that WC could work with in some last-ditch effort to try to make Microsoft realize that there is still this vocal, committed community that want to see things succeed, and to maybe offer some input that they've maybe not quite considered? It's just... I'm no genius. I know this. But you guys, and a lot of the other fans here, they know a lot about business, they know a lot about these little aspects I'd never think of. And part of me wonders if somehow, for whatever reason, no-one at Microsoft has either? I just don't know how to proceed myself. It was just a year and a half ago I was so excited to pre-order my 950 XL. Now, I can't even buy a replacement battery from Microsoft, they barely acknowledge the platform at their stores, and the mothership isn't communicating at all. I don't even know where I'd go if my phone just died right now. I was a diehard Apple fan for years, from the old PowerPC days to the x86 days, and owned so many iPhones. Yet Windows Phone just clicked. It looked good. It offered that blend of ease of use while looking good, offering customizability without being clunky and obviously 'designed for engineers, by engineers.' I used Android for years, and poke at it from time to time still, and it's so much better than it used to be. Yet it's still not Windows Phone. I just wish there was a way for Microsoft to not only see what we see but to put a gameplan in place to turn this ship around. I fear it might be too late and they realize this themselves, yet don't want to admit it. I hope I'm wrong. But _any_ sort of acknowledgement, either from them to fans or from them to WC and other media outlets, would be better than the radio silence we're getting. :(
  • Microsoft does get it. The "vocal, committed community" is less than 1% of mobile users. How can you justify spending on hardware if there would not be a significant ROI. They would continue to lose money and eventually go out of business (granted it would take a while given the cash reserves and revenues from other buisness units). Then you would be in the same boat as before which platform to switch to.... BTW i have the alternatives.  
  • I'm referring a little less to the platform for the sake of the platform (and users) and more from the article's stance of being able to at least show what UWP is capable of. I understand that market share is low, but with zero uptake there would be even less of UWP to showcase. I admit though that I don't know what the answer is. Yeah, throwing good money after bad isn't necessarily the best stance, but I think I'm leaning more towards the 'what-ifs.' Like, throwing money at the platform two years ago? That might have helped. But yeah, right now... it's all but beyond hope, I fear. :(
  • If they actually started producing, selling and promoting Windows 10 phones, that 1% marketshare would grow exponentially because it's a good product.  The reason the 4% turned into 1% is because Microsoft "retrenched".  That was stupid and now they're the only ones who can fix it. My buddy a few weeks ago said he needs a new phone and wants to give Windows phone a try.  So I told him to head to the Microsoft store as that's the only place you can still find them, and when he got there there were no phones to be found.  They no longer sell Windows phones at the Microsoft Store. What the hell Microsoft?????  I'm literally sending customers your way and you're refusing to sell them your own products?????
  • Yea I wish I couldactually talk to a high ranking exec at MS and just ask them WTF are you doing? Canceling flag ship phones 2 out of the last 3 years for WM was a death sentence. Sometimes even failed hardware is better than none. Also radio silence while maybe prepping something else just leaves consumer in a bad state. I really just want to shake an MS exec and ask them WTF??????
  • I feel that even an incremental annual refresh of phones, even in their current forms, would be beneficial in that it would at least give the impression that they're still in it. Something simple, like a 555, 655, 955, 955 XL, etc. It doesn't need to be a complete reinvention of the phone, but more memory, more storage, and whatever the current processor is in that device's niche, would go a long way to at least inspiring some confidence that they're still interested in the platform. I honestly have no idea why they're still holding on at this point.
  • I fully agree. WP was not killed by lack of apps, or by users, but by MS itself. Lumia 950 was presented two years ago, and other x50s in early 2016. Since then, nothing. Acer M220 in May 2015. WP are not being sold by carriers or retailers anymore in Slovakia. For example, today, I urgently needed to buy a phone for my mom to replace her old one. I could not find any Lumia 550, 950 or any of older types except for three - 640, 950XL and 650 in some smaller shops. This is the end. Next time, I will have to buy android :(
  • Exactly. When I went to the Microsoft Store to see the Elite x3, I found that the entire phone section had been removed and replaced with laptops. They gave me a song and dance that the X3 demo units were being stolen at a remarkable rate. Made me wonder if they were seeing more stolen that purchased. If that was truly the case, why not put them in a display case and supervise users demoing them? Or put the fake mock-ups out until someone wants to demo one? It just sounded more to me like the decision was made ahead of time and phones going missing just made it a decision they could live with more easily. Frustrating. It's not as though there is a pile of selection through the carriers either, so where _does_ one go if they need a fix immediately? There used to be a mom 'n pop cellphone shop in the city that would bring in the harder-to-find Lumias like the 1520. (We never received that one in Canada for some reason.) Great place. But when I recently checked their web site stock, even they barely had any.
  • I feel your pain bro.
  • Someone you email this article to MSFT CEO. Period.
  • Would he bother to read it?
  • Good article.   Finally someone tells it like it is.
  • Great article, summarizing everything we've been talking about (the folks who really care about MS's future, and know when to be critical, not just trollers and fanboys). Only part missing is how also MS doesn't show long term commitment to a technology it acquires or creates...like Glance...or the Band...
  • I think you bring up a good point regarding people who care vs. fanboys. I do like Microsoft and their products, even despite this recent turn. But it's more than that. I have liked Microsoft since I grew up using their products in the 80s, and I truly want to see this platform succeed. The selfish part of me hesitates saying I want _them_ to succeed because I've come to accept that is likely going to mean W10M is eventually dropped entirely. Beyond nostalgia, why do I care? I don't know. I wouldn't even register on Microsoft's radar. I guess we all need something to hold on to. This is mine.
  • Yeah. There are several I love, particularly ones that are available not just on desktop but also mobile and/or Xbox. But I'm not sure I know anybody else who actually uses UWP apps. Most people aren't necessarily experimenting with the newest thing for the fun of it and aren't using more than one Windows device. They all just do everything through a browser and/or win32 apps. For those people, what motivation is there to use UWP or other Windows Stores apps? Automatic updates is probably the best selling point, and I don't think most people ever think about that. Settings backed up automatically which saves a few minutes the once every 5 years they need to install a new Windows? Live tiles are fine on desktop, but even I still put the majority of stuff I need regularly in the taskbar where it is faster to access. I basically put my calendar and weather in my Start menu. That's all I can come up with.
  • Great article, Jez. I hope they get it and are going to do something, before Windows on phones is gone and UWP becomes useless.
  • Many of us were telling for a very long time now that Nadella isn't the guy Microsoft needs. He is in it for his own benefit. Making money, getting rich. He doesn't care about anything else. It was obvious when he started thousands and thousands lay offs. Next step is dividing Microsoft up and selling piece by piece.
  • Indeed, Nadella is good for Microsoft when it comes to money. But when it comes to consumers, Nadella is clearly the wrong CEO.
  • Yes, Nadella=short term gain but long term pain
  • I absoluttly do NOT agree with you.
  • They're not pointless without mobile. They help make the desktop more mobile like, which makes it more familiar to what everyone using nowdays. UWP apps are also more secure and touch friendly. And they're easier to discover and manage.
  • Well you are saying what I've been saying for years. All the movement from users is from mobile -> anything else what is to come... Mixed reality, or whatever..
    Microsoft does exact the opposite, they think they can attract users via their desktop platform to the next revolution. Trust me that won't happen. Even if they are 'first' with something revolutionary the user base will take time to grow. By the time it has gained traction Apple, Google or Samsung will have copied it and then automatically introduce whatever it is to its huge userbase.
    I'm afraid it is already too late now unless Microsoft starts pumping billions into mobile. I'm talking at least 20 billion. That's worth more than buying a ****** app like Minecraft or Skype.
    On this path Microsoft will see Windows as an OS become irrelevant. As a logical result OneDrive, Skype, Office and many others products and services will cease to exist. Not to mention that they have no userbase left and that it gets harder and harder to introduce new products with succes.
    One other thing Microsoft, stop selling your stupid old grumpy name. Rebrand the **** out of new hip products. Don't stick the name Microsoft on them. Like with the Xbox where the word Xbox is prominent.
  • Minecraft has already paid for itself many times over.
  • Hahahaha yea right! Even if it did, it shows Microsoft is only about money making and not about securing their long term existence.
    And how is it worth it to spend billions on an app and not on mobile? If you can make mobile a success with all the cash you have, use the ******* cash and just do it. Microsoft just sits on it.
  • The developer of Minecraft, Mojang --- which Microsoft owns --- brought in $1.192 Billion in profit in 2015 alone. Microsoft paid just $2.5 Billion for the company in 2014. They've owned the company for nearly 3 years now.... Mojang was a great investment that paid for itself in less than 2 years.
  • Great article, and a rarity among the Microsoft apologists that run this site; hopefully we will start seeing more real reporting and the reality will set in for Rubino and others on Windows Central who seem to be always coming up with excuses why to trust and believe in Microsoft despite all the lies and deception and constant abandoning of fans and supporters each time a product or service gets stut down or 'rebooted' by Microsoft. Keep the great reporting and articles coming Jez Corden; hope to read more down to reality stuff from you.  
  • Why would you support a company you believe is lying and deceiving you?
  • Who said anything about supporting Microsoft?
  • Could not agree more, MS is making itself and their OS irrelevant. The entire article is right on the mark.
  • Microsoft continues to do a very very very poor job at marketing their brilliant products.  The solution is so simple.  Hire a different marketing firm.  So sad to watch.   The success of Android is simple.  It is a WalMart world.  Customers are cheap and don't know enough to care about security.  Give the customers what they want, cheap disposable junk.
  • Yep I really love MS products, I find them better than anyother competing electronic company in pretty much every category. I hate how MS drops products at moments notice nad always ends up screwing people that actually put time and money into owning their products.
  • They don't believe enough in their own products to position them long-term. I only imagine what the teams that develop these products feel when their hard work gets shot down by the "brass".
  • Couldn't have said it better myself. Great piece!
  • 920-1020-950-S8. The writing has been on the wall for awhile but it has been fun to stick it out and I have enjoyed windows phone/mobile tremendously (for the most part) the past 5 years. Pre-ordered an S8 yesterday. I'll still keep my 1020 for the camera, my 950 (also for the camera) and to play with new builds, but the present and foreseeable future for mobile as a primary device for me is android. I hope WM makes a comeback with surface phone or something, but I'm ready to get a new flagship device and the S8 is the best choice for me at the moment.
  • The S8 camera is streaks ahead of even the 1020.  It's been a bit of WindowsCentral propaganda for the past few years that Windows Phone cameras are somehow better than other platforms' flagships.
  • Good read, I agree with most of it but I am unsure if MS could do significantly better without the retrenchment. Microsoft changed strategy too many times and, in each one, lost customers and OEM confidence. Although they could build from the secondary markets in which they were strong, I believe they would always consider it a fail unless they became stronger in the US market, which was already out of reach by the time Nadella became CEO.
  • They stopped marketing in those "secondary markets" and closed factories and stores, and reversed promises. I don't see them turning that around without a miracle.
  • I've been saying this myself --- Microsoft should have invested in Windows Mobile for at least another 3 years starting from the release of Windows 10. They did everything right to build the necessary hype and excitement leading up to the Windows 10 launch....then they released 3 handsets with zero promotion and kind of pretended the never even developed a new mobile OS. ...all while trying to garner love and attention for their all new "Universal Windows Platform". XBOX has it's own apps, Desktop has it's own legacy applications. HoloLens is still in early development. So you can't push UWP across all of the platforms without the most key platform that makes it all makes sense...mobile.
  • why not copy paste this to the windows feedback app and share the upvote link? Its a complex issue.
  • It definitely is, I really didn't wanna come across like I was oversimplifying things, because that would be totally unfair. But Microsoft isn't doing themselves any favors with their behaviour. Xbox and Windows are worlds apart when it comes to communication, that's a huge problem.
  • Microsoft realizes all this. They mentioned when they announced Windows 10 that Windows only had a 17% share of all devices. They have moved ahead of the curve, but you guys as a mostly WP fanbase don't see it. They're focused on cloud, producitivity, and enterprise apps across all platforms.
  • we see it but we also see that without a mobile phone offering their cloud will eventually become irrelivant in both the consumer and business space.  Its the people of today thatll be runing businesses of tomorrow and most of them have apple or android phones and as a windows mobile phone user and big fan, i left 12 months ago to a s7 edge, and why, to many apps missing and to many being abandoned followed by no decent windows mobile handset.  Yeh maybe windows can put all their software on android and iphone,,I hear some people cry, Well my ipad air 2 doesnt even have a groove app and on my s7 edge groove cant read a sd card,so theres a good reason not to buy into the windows eco system. You have one of 2016's best selling phones not able to work correctly with microsfts own groove app and you have a very popular tablet thats being ignored.  Still that onedrive 100gig free storage i have on my android device beats my 15 free gig on my windows lumia device lol im just not gona buy anyhting music or video related on my phone from them cause it doesnt see my sd card. Want them to hear our crys cause windows mobile would be my choice of platform if they had all the apps and brough us all the features we were used to before windows 10 abandoned them like gestures beta.  Its situations like these that has killed and continues to kill microsft dringling consumer market.  DEsktop will always be about well for a long time yet but for most people their reliance on windows as a os and as a eco system is not that far from complete user abandonment.  Well thats how i feel and i love windows 10 mostly(new tab restrictions and app issues aside.
  • I just wish they would get as many decent apps like iOS and android on the windows 10 store especially from Google and that
  • As long as they have Xbox, they can justify UWP.
  • is that the xbox one always on line?   have you ever heard of games for windows, microsft abandoned it many years ago and made alot of expensive games stop working over night.  Unless you hacked them ofc
  • Microsoft: a bunch of liars. They scream for years they made one OS for every device and they nearly finished it, but in reality they are far from, cshell and stuff still has to come. Microsoft is an old slow cow and will collapse on itself. Nutella has no clue what he is doing. He should have stayed in a dusty enterprise corner at Microsoft. Mobile and cloud focus my ass. Things got less mobile and less cloudy. Google photos beats Microsoft photos in the cloud by 20 million light years.
  • yeh agreed, they take things away then only give some back in a 2year time line.  It took outlook 12 months to get a weekly view on the calender, a view most people us lol, it took about 11 months to get linked email back too, this was in official releases lol.  Today ive waited over 2 years to get gestures beta back, ive screamed about edges inability to open new tabs to your default home page, like prety much every browser including ie has done, even tabs draging in a multi screen envoirnment sucks.  Still 2 years later and even skype doesnt have a audio or video setting area complete.  Its geting worst to worst for microsft.  Shame apple and android didnt have a desktop os that was taking some of the pc gameing market, cause id be gone.  they could release the best ever phone of all time but people arnet gona buy it.  Trus has gone, microsft has shown us they take to long to give you new features, hell they do this while removing old features we all love, theyll then wait 3 years reboot windows os or update creater version 3 and leave the very expensive phone without updates like my lumia 930 for example.  Still if thats nopt enough dont worry its only cause they dont want a consumer business, they want to sell to businesses only lol.  gz microsft.
  • This article reminds of the line from that Nicholas Cage movie. "When I found out the world was ending, I thought there'd be something I could do to save it." Microsoft looks more and more like IBM these days, only instead of selling the laptop business early and going full enterprise, you can almost imagine Microsoft clinging to the edge of the precipice longing to be like Apple. But not knowing how. I honestly wish Mr. Nadella would just crap or get off the pot. Go full in and damn the torpedoes. This dipping his toe in and seeing how it works is tedious to us end users. Mr. Corden is right. New Windows 10 Mobile devices did not need to be stellar, just a solid product or two every six months or so. Let developers know you're in, accessory makers know you're in, and tech pundits know you're in.
  • 28 BILLION $ spent on Linkedin.
    Imagine if they spent that on mobile advertising instead.
    They just needed a few good phones, spend that on good marketing and get serious about mobile.
    The current path will mean in 5 years they are no more than a cloud services company.
  • no a fantastic phone is not what they need.  Apps and developer suport is what they needed but it really is too late now.  Even paypal and ebay left windows store,  gestures microsfts own app is alsa abandoned.  Windows phone needs to be awsome but it will need google app suport out of the box, wireless mobile pay that works in the shops, it needs all those litle apps everyone uses to mostly be there, banks and service providers included and that is not gona happen unfortunatyly.  They had a ok market share before they threatened to take away onedrive free storage and then followed that with a cheapo plastic flagship phone without a finger print scaner, two weeks after.  its not difficult to see why people have now truely abandoned windows mobile, hell microsft continues to abandon its customers.  Give it a few more years and microsft will truenly be a ibm.  Its the iphone and android users today thatll be runing businesses tomorrow, well in the next 5 years, and weve seen some of that already, they are not gona want to invest in microsfts cloud services when microsft cant even invest in a mobile phone offering sucessfully, hell there isnt even enough mobile software on the windows store anymore. 
  • yep rebbots to many times and haveing years without a new device has killed the windows mobile areana, so so sad.If they just released a 940 1 year after the 930 id still be there, a 950, a decent 950 not the crap they cave us but a proper cucessor to the 930 then theyd have increased market share, also ebay, paypal, myfitnesspal would still have apps, here maps the best sat nav would still be on a windows phone and hell other developers would have joined in, yeh google wouldnt have but windows phone would now be in alot better position and with a wireless android pay equivilent.
  • Amen to that...
  • Did anyone read the whole article? I just read some comments and the obvious ones were there. Then I also stopped reading them. Funny internet, all those so called knowledgeable people.
  • What do you want to tell us?
  • You must be new here. He never has anything useful or insightful to say.
  • They should be leading the shift. Not waiting for it...
  • Very well written article Jez.
  • I'm a developer. Been following this site for years. Never commented on an article before.  This is the most realistic approach I've ever read on here. If I could, I would send this as a must-read to all and any Microsoft managers and employees, so maybe someone up there could see the light. If this isn't a wake up call, nothing is, although, it might be too late anyway. 
  • Wait I though Microsoft was " positioned ahead of the curve in mobile" ? Yeah ahead of the dead end curve! All those fluff article by mr ward where just that. All this was to expected from ms " retrenching" . So why all crabbed out? Maybe down the road something may happen with windows mobile but not in our life time. Mean while we're reading on android device soon iPhone's will grace wc articles. As soon as news that wc was no longer to become wpc, that would be the begging of the end  of much winmobile news feel bad for those that hung on to what was left of windows phone. Unfortunately there's no money in winmobile and people have to eat!
  • Yes, the plan was that with a "unified core and app platform", the dominance of Windows 10 users on the desktop would drive use of UWP and the Store.  I would say it is clear that plan has had limited success with both the Store and UWP.   It is likely that on the desktop UWP programs were largely unnecessary as browser access to the appropriate web page was often superior to the UWP app.  In this Mr. Corden is quite accurate. I do believe that Mr. Corden is overstating the irrelevance of Microsoft's domination of the desktop.  Comparing total number of mobile OS's and desktop OS's ignores the idea that a family would most likely have multiple phones, but may have only one desktop.  Mr. Corden is also understating the uses of a desktop, they are not just limited to "high end professional tasks" or gaming.   A full sized keyboard and large monitor are very significant features in addition to the inertia of decades of use of Microsoft products on the desktop. I do agree with Mr. Corden that the retrenchment was a major error.  I also question the idea that Windows on ARM will prove to be a significant paradigm change.  I see Windows on ARM to be almost entirely a long term play, a play that is put into jeopardy by potential moves by Google or Apple to extend their dominance/mindshare of mobile to the desktop.
  • Microsoft now risks to loose the desktop to Linux if Vulkan beats DX12. Already Vulkan shows great promise in games on Linux over OpenGL and brings the experience to Windows levels. If Vulkan takes over DX12 then MS is in danger to lose PC desktop as well... On mobile they are clearly more interested in iOS and Android than Win mobile ... How much long ago did they took over SwiftKey ? there`s nothing on Win mobil about it... and most used apps Facebook / Messenger are just plain slow to load even on a Lumia 950.
  • These are the type articles I like to see. REALISTIC ones. I mean this is something we've all known and felt for years now. But to read it and see it written in words makes you wanna scream "thank you Jesus". I personally think we're all dillusional and should jump ship immediately. The time is now. Galaxy s8 is out in a few weeks. I want to downgrade from my buggy HP elite x3 and get a 950xl because it's more stable and has a stellar camera. But I shouldn't be DOWNGRADING.... Logic tells me to upgrade and go with something more secure, like a galaxy s8. I know my hesitation is simply because I dont want to learn an operating system I never truly used before for an extended amount of time. But that's just laziness and fear on my part. I know tha tthe galaxy s8 is a GOOD phone!
  • Learning to use Android or iOS is not difficult.  What kind of UI is better is mainly a matter of preference.  I get around with each of those quite well.  I do prefer W10M,
    but if W10M is not hyped up by Microsoft at BUILD 2017 
    I can and will switch to an Android device within a day and be all set 
    if I feel the need to. .
  • It's partially that nd also knowing I need to convert my texts over, and praying OneDrive is as easy to use. I also have been on groove since zune. I hope the android groove app is up to stuff. It's the fear of the unknown. Windows is so comfortable and familiar to me
  • I am sorry to hear that you've had a buggy experience with the HP EliteX3.  That's surprising, but I haven't been paying A LOT of attention to it.  I DO really like my 950.  I am not one to immediately say that Android is laggy or something like that.  I like Android to a certain extent and enjoy it on my second generation Nexus 7 tablet.   That said I REALLY prefer Windows Mobile aesthetically over Android.  I would also say that Windows Mobile is MORE secure than Android.  I haven't been tracking security issues with the most recent versions of Android, but it has a long and fairly recent history of various security issues.
  • I gave up (sigh) - pre-ordered the GS8.........my Lumia 950 will live on as a toy for my kids, except, it doesnt get all the best games or apps that the other platforms..........so, essentially, its going to be a paperweight, with a good camera on it, that has a limited connection to the internet (RE: a mobile browser).  The app gap has been frustrating, i gave it 3+ years, and (2) phones (Lumia Icon, and Lumia 950).  Unfortunately, the gap has only widened with time - no fantasy sports apps, home security app, Ford, Lexus, Paypal, Chase, HSBC, First Republic, Spectrum (Formerly Time Warner), Fios, Optimum, Amazon, Amazon Music, Amazon Video, Disney, Autodesk A360, BIM360, Google anything (other thank clunky 3rd party apps), NYTimes (the one for W10M is horrible), Snapchat, Soundcloud, Tinder,  HBO Go, Any Airline, Zillow, Redfin, MTA Etix,...........i am positive there are many more that i am forgetting.  Its rather frustrating, ive been one of the biggest proponents of this all - the potential is there, as with many Microsoft products and features.  MS needs the Surface Mini more now than ever!!  A 7" device that gives UWP apps a reason to exist on a smaller screen, with LTE built in, unlocked and able to be used with any carrier........that 7" screen aspect ratio would automatically scale down to a 5.5-6" phone. .......unfortunately, again, we need more people using UWP apps - perhaps MS needs to make their UWP apps on Android, or W10 needs to support Android apps, with a separate store, or something.  The current path, is not working. 
  • Well, Microsoft does not seem to care, why should you.   .
  • Precisely why I am sadly moving back to Android
  • Great article! I said the same things on another site a couple weeks ago. Just not a Nadella fan
  • One thing I really love about Jez is unlike other Windows Central writers (we all know) he goes to the point and tell the truth instead of defending Microsoft no matter the step they take. Keep up the good work Jez, we got your back cuz you on the path to GREATNESS!!!
  • Lol leave Jason alone
  • Thank you for this article.  It's bothered me that I haven't seen much push from Microsoft to get developers on board with UWP.  I hope this changes soon before potential dies and becomes lost forever.
  • nailed it, sir. well said.
  • Very true. I remember many MS hardware projects started and abondoned right after, e.g. MS Sound System, it is the best sound system till today I ever used. Why it was dropped? Now, I have Lumias 1020 and 950 which I use instead of my Canon... So hardware is there, unfortunately software is not following it. The full windows on 5" screen? Why there is no browser working yet on 5" screen as well on 24" inch screen yet? Same applies to tablets including Surface. The Windows system has not been fully adapted to touch and as such is too complicated to use by majority of people. I see no effort to further develop anything with the software, just somehardware here and there. Windows Phone? Without mobile platform everything else has no sense to me. This is the time when Mobile Device decides about everything. If there is no Windows Phone, the rest will become obsolete.
  • This article. Five star.
  • I agree on all points except where the author refers to Win 10 as WaaS (Win as a Serivce), because I prefer to call it WaaD (Win as a Disservice).
  • Why dont we, Windows 10 (Mobile) users, start a campaign or make an open letter, along with the help of Windows Central, and send it to Microsoft to let them know Windows 10 Mobile still has some users and chances of growing market share only if they make an effort to push the mobile part, which would be the more logical way looking at the future and also the present times. In every video review I see lots of people and fans saying that it is a great phone but with no marketing and no new hardware no wonder everybody is saying is dead. I d say a couple of millions of users would turn up around the world to wake Microsoft up before even Windows desktop gets obsolete in the future years
  • Maybe they will use this Microsoft Edition of SG8 thing to start asimilating Android into UWP?! At one point they were running android apps on W10M, now universals are going to run on android... then both on iOS... und zen wi wil ruul ze world! :-)
  • Amazing article. Pure poetry. Good job!!!
  • It's not too late, if MS really wanted to, they could revive Windows Mobile.
  • It's All Nutella's fault
  • BUILD 2017 is the watershed for W10M.  They either have a story to tell
    or the credibility of Microsoft regarding mobile and mobility will trend towards null.    I am still happy with my Lumia 950.  However, should I need to buy a new device I will default to Android.  It will take Microsoft a lot of effort to convince me otherwise. 
    Currently I do not expect any efforts from Microsoft to make W10M more popular.  Microsoft did not only retrench,
    they outright seem to suffer from acute narcolepsy
    when it comes to Windows 10 Mobile.   - . .  
  • Yeah. If they continue with the same fluffy, vague, nice-sounding language and repeats of what they have said in the past few presentations (including the WoARM, Hololens, etc.) without a bold, clear, definite and marketing-driven PLAN, then there will be nothing to "build" on. That would be the end.
  • This sucks. I've been on the iPhone 7 since it came out, and I ******* hate iOS. I'm getting rid of this POS as soon as possible and going back to Windows. Among everyone I know who has an iPhone, people love the phone, but either don't care about the OS or hate the OS. I've never met ANYONE who loved iOS the way I've seen WP fans loved Windows.
  • And that's it in a nutshell. Nothing out there prevents Microsoft from releasing a sleek, clean device that hardware-wise is similar to iPhone (not too similar, mind you - no lawsuits!) and slapping W10M on it. I'd likely stand in line to get a device like that. I think that's what bothers me. All this talk about retrenching and needing to reinvent this mobile space. Screw that - it sounds good as a PR piece and paying lip service to enthusiasts, but my friends? My parents? Yeah, iOS has its fans, and that's great. But I'd suspect if you made a pretty device like the iPhone, slapped Windows on it, and marketed the hell out of it, you'd see sales.
  • Nothing will save the mobile now, unless it runs desktop aps.
  • And this will only save them in an enterprise environment. (And WP fan environment.) It's a neat prospect, but one that most smartphone users wouldn't give a toss about, sorry to say. That's the frustrating thing. If Microsoft cleaned up W10M as it stands and tried to bring some sort of feature parity between it and the desktop, if for no other reason than for regular optimizations and bug fixes, and then released 2-3 new handsets per year for entry, mid, and pro levels, and then marketed the hell out of it, they would have a better chance in the consumer environment. But I fear even all of that would still barely make a dent. Too many people burned and too many people happy with Android and iOS. The device would need to be godlike in order to pull users away from those platforms now and I simply don't see that happening with their track record. :/
  • I find a lot of the apps that I need in the Netherlands aren't there, aren't there anymore or just haven't been updated in over a year.Never mind uwp apps, just apps in general. You cannot expect companies to take Windows Mobile serious and as a priority OS if Microsoft doesn't. I for one am ending my relationship with windows mobile after my contract runs out. I've enjoyed it for plenty of years, stayed when others left, stayed through all the promises of it getting better in the future, but the love is over. I don't love Microsoft anymore, and Microsoft doesn't show any love towards me.I feel they don't have the ambition to make mobile as great as it can be. Fair enough, but that's me gone...
  • Excellent, well put peice. You need to send this to someone at MS. The problem is who? Ain't nobody listening
  • Maybe mail it to them physically? 😹
    But in all seriousness, how?
  • Good article. 2017 Build event should be interesting, They should have a lot to talk about. 
  • I agree. What is Microsoft doing anyway??? They tell us that they committed, but actions do speak louder than words...
  • At this point in time, I'd be happy if we got actions _or_ words from Microsoft.
  • I believe that if Microsoft had kept serious attention to the platform, kept advertising, kept releasing phones, and showed that they were really committed- the user base would've been by (highest estimate) 10-15%... With lowest of 5% user share...
  • Yeah, if they were more persistent like Surface, after they loss 1billion but kept going. Surface is doing well now.
  • Exactly! Then also on a smaller scale (of sale numbers against Sony) would be Xbox as an example.
  • Thank you Jez for putting into words what so many of us have been feeling. Even if Microsoft stopped making mobile devices in the hope that OEMs would fill the vacuum left behind, they still needed to lead by example. Every single app Microsoft released should have been full UWP from the get go: SWAY Every single app Microsoft released should have showcased every feature available to a  UWP app, like Live Tiles and the Share contract: Skype There is a case study to be made at a latter date about unintended consequences.  I don't think Microsoft full appreciated all of the knock on effects walking away from their mobile market share would have. (right back to the cancellation of the McLaren).  Watching users migrate away from WP has inevitably led to them completely losing interest in many other things MS is doing. I read Gruber's article on Apple's apology to the Mac Pro faithful this morning, and the first thought that came to me was: I wish Microsoft could be this forthright and honest with Windows phone users.  Either come out an explicitly tell users you're going to fully support the platform, or take it out behind the woodpile and put it out of it's misery.  Meyerson's vague "we're committed to mobile" pronouncements do nothing but muddy the waters and cause frustration.
  • Tell them, well it has been a long run bye w10 mobile, hello android
  • Im on the edge of my thread for Windows Phone.  If I don't see that Surface Phone before this fall, I am forever out of the Windows Mobile! Sad. Very Sad!
  • And I don't even care about the apps.  I just wanted to see if Microsoft still cares about its users!
  • UWP is important for every touch enabled windows device, especialy for 2in1s. Without mouse and keyboard, browser is not that good... At least that is my experience with SurfacePro.
  • Everyone use social media and let Nutella and others at Msft see the article, or just let them know your thoughts
  • ...For the 1000th time.
  • I don't just say things,I do them and we'll need much more then 1000 https://twitter.com/rollindadice/status/849370003426213889
  • I'm just saying, we've been feeding MS this type of feedback since Windows phone 7.5. Still nothing, so I'm way past burnt out.
  • many say just on blogging sites and in comments, we need to actually tweet and get word out on social media and uservoice feedback
  • already did on twitter @northfacehiker, Jason Howard I believe...I asked them to wake up already! waiting for the next thing is pointless.others will win again , while posting this article. His answer was somehow the same all talking but nothing real, as MS is been doing the past years: You must mean that others are waiting for the next thing. We're busy over here creating it. So, honestly, I do not think they even care or realize what is going on...They look like those guys at Hooly, that were paid to do nothing :))
  • Microsoft should open source the UI layers of Win10, if they were really planning to survive on their service ecosystem, and good hardware hardware (both surface computers need thunderbolt 3 for next iteration, or íll move to HP)
    There is no way MS can build and run a fast mobile OS with the ****** touch experiences they come up with for mobile and desktop.
    Everything in windows 10 mobile had an interesting design language, full of possibilities, absurdly subutilized and executed with the crappiest performance on ARM processors (for how minimal it is, android and iOS have had the graphics preformance and responsiveness for what they are just now starting achieve with Project Neon).
    The problem is that microsoft hasn't been able to run experiences that match the framerate and reliability of OSX, iOS or Android, it actually runs and animates and responds to touch poorly (like android gingerbread) on most devices, even running on high end GPUs in sweet gaming laptops the experience is poor, task switching is awful, the login graphics stutter, the triggered gestures that leave you lost without a context (they should follow your touch), the lack of touch experiences that perform like paper under your fingers, the screen glitches everywhere, the abrupt changes while drawing, the frames dropping, every glitch is augmented by the fact that you run this crap in premium hardware and still are getting a ****** experience, All the OS application language and interactions have a profound gap, between win 32 apps that make you feel in 1995 and modern apps that are frustratingly minimalistic and lazily under designed, not a barely decent webpage would risk to build UI stacked like a bad webpage, the default controls render with margin problems, alignment errors are propagated all through the system designs, all sorts of service unification in settings apps that should be engaging, useful and logical to use, wasted.
    Microsoft cannot clear this hideous gap of an OS looking and performing like it's running on 1995 computers, with their developer base, propietary software stagnates, they won't drop any significant value to their user base in the following years, they will be always shadowed by Android or iOS mostly for it's consitency and attention to details, and a performance that beats easily Windows 10 mobile running on qualcomm processors, Android moves a bit like windows 10 running on a gaming rig, it herds app resources reliably and with diligence.
    MS simply doesn't have the developers, designers and clientelle to offer a shift of their product, maybe if the usage drops significantly to a point that no old user is claiming back their old experiences, file explorer oldschool look or any other win32 settings app that is there for a new generation that expects consitency at the OS design level. I wish they opensource for that matter, all their front-end should be open sourced, and the core shell and services should work like an API, to try where the next generation would take it with pull requests that merge into the future of windows.
  • Wow,  finally someone who gets it.  This is exactly whats happening...no one cares about UWP on desktop,  Microsoft could give two ***** about mobile...hence we have what we have in the app store...Garbage!
  • Yeah the windows store is a trash dump of third worlder science projects.
  • This article is absolutely spot on!! I enjoyed reading it. Thanks.
  • The future are mobile phones not the desktop or laptop as microsoft think. As we can see today android has won in using the internet.
  • I don't think I leveraged any blame at Nadella. I love my 950XL too, and see no reason to stop using it, but I'm concerned about Windows' future.
  • If you're concerned about the future you should See where the blame lies,all in leadership
  • Sure, but when your 950XL dies there's nothing to replace it with. I got the extended family hooked and hopeful about W10M last year. They all loved it because of stability and no lag. App gap not important at all. Now what? Thanks for nothing, MS!
  • Fantastic article and you should be placing blame on Nadella. It not just Windows phones. He hate consumer products period. Try to find 1 interview or statement from him that showed any passion for any consumer product. Surface, Xbox, Windows phone, even consumer PC's. Sure he walks the PR line when he has to but he has zero interest in consumer products. He cares only at Cloud and Enterprise and he was brought in because of that. To change MS and make quick money for the Board and Investors. They have sacrificed the long term for the short term and Windows and MS will die because of it.
  • You maybe never Jez...but you SHOULD have.  it's 100% his fault that microsoft is blundering with their OS side of things.
  • Great insight! What if Microsoft actually had your understanding? As a 950/SP4/MS fan working for an IT company practically married to MS, I now find myself increasingly looking for cross platform services that support Linux(!). I've been a Linux-on-desktop-hater for years, but MS's terrible way of treating their "own", is leading me to greener grass. I will avoid an MS-Droid at all costs! Sorry, but I had high hopes in W10M.
  • I totally agree that UWP dies if mobile isn't a huge piece of it.  I don't necessarily agree that desktops are obsolete. If VR really hits it, the real power behind that is going to be PCs.  Plus, gamers who don't do consoles (or simply prefer the power of PCs for gaming most of the time) will need desktops.  And, by desktops I'm also including similarly-powered laptops.  I don't think I can remember a time when there actually was a "family PC", since we all insisted on having our own.  Even now, that's the case.  And I can't see any smartphone of any platform being powerful enough for some time to do all the things my wife and I currently use our Surface Pro 3/4, laptop or PCs for.  If the majority of home users truly are just "consuming", then, yes, I agree with the premise.  I think most have simply added the smartphone as a more convenient extension of the consuming.  But, by themselves, smartphones suck at anything more the 140 characters, quite frankly.  IOW, they are annoying and painful to use if you actually want to exchange substantive emails, enter posts like this one (which I would NEVER do on my phone as is) and similarly involved "consuming" exercises.  If you're inane enough to be one of those "candy crushers", then I suppose gaming is fine on phones, but everything else is a joke on anything other than a console or PC. As for live tiles, sure, probably most users, in their migration from Win7 to Win10 have continued the idiotic practice of completely covering their desktop with dumb icons and/or plastered their task bars similarly.  I happen to be from the camp that fully GOT and fully embraced Windows 8 and continue to be VERY angry that a lot of the Start functionality I enjoyed w/Win8 is nonexistent in 10.  I have yet to see Microsoft listen to my request to allow the Start menu stay on one screen at all times if I choose.  I have all my machines configured permanently for Tablet Mode and everything running full screen.  Except, when you add a second monitor, all that goes out the window.  Stupid Microsoft.   The fact is, Microsoft is moving TOO SLOWLY to UWP and has, with few exceptions, neglected making sure all the capabilities of the Win32 programs are there in the UWP version.  And touch is STILL absolutely HORRIBLE in Windows 10.  In Windows 8, touch was near perfect.  Microsoft really isn't working this issue very hard or successfully.  And, while we have a couple of Lumia 950s with Continuum, I've only used it a couple times for testing and my wife has never used it--we both have Surface tablets, so why on earth would we need Continuum?  I find Android's DeX completely laughable, and I think it will get about as much use as Continuum.  Let's be real, here.  Anyone even anticipating they would need to do something on a bigger screen, more capable device, will already be carrying an iPad, Surface or some other tablet. Does anyone actually believe the average user is going to carry around a dock and look for monitor, keyboard and mouse?  Maybe anecdotally. 
  • I couldn't agree more! Apparently Nadella doesn't recognize how critical Win Mobile is (was) to being relevant in the future. There is really no impetus to develop UWP apps without Win Mobile. x86 apps run fine on Windows and are more powerful. And with powerful processors, newer browsers, big screens and fast data connections other apps are fine web-based on a PC. I had partially developed a few simple apps in UWP and would have spent the time and effort to finish and release them if I felt there was a future for UWP INCLUDING mobile. I did not. Nadella just doesn't like to spend money on risky things. He seems quite tight with the cash. Look at what's been canceled under his watch:
    - Windows Phone
    - Microsoft Band
    - a new version of HoloLens Yes, it would have cost a lot to get Win Mobile to 10 or 15% market share. But if they were to try it now it would cost 10 times as much. The only rational that I could see for giving up on mobile is that Nadella doesn't care that much about Windows in general. He won't care where their products run. They will make money selling Office and cloud services in the future, I guess.
  • Don't forget he dropped out of many international markets also.
  • Finally a proper article addressing the real issues instead of fantasy of Windows on mobile suddenly gaining traction with consumers and developers or the Surface suddenly being a magic fix. Well done for this, if only MS heirarchy could read it and understand it.
  • The thing Microasoft has to do is find out WHY DEVELOPERS WONT make UWP apps that can run on Windows 10 mobile devices. once they know thew resons. they can destroy these obstacles and get more apps on windows 10 mobile devices.as far as Windows smart phones are concerned it's been 18  months since the debut of the last Flagship Windows 10 mobile Smartphone this is forever in the world of smart phones and people may think windows smart phpones do not exixt. Iwant microsoft to stop change smart phone operating systems lately Windows smart phones went from windows Phone 7 to 8 to 8.1 and now to Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft stablize Windows 10 mobile and improve it. stick with it and no morw jumping jack OS games if developers know you are sticking to a certain operating system they know their Aps going to work on a Windows 10 mobile device for a long tome.
  • The simple reason developers don't want to develop for UWP. No demand! No mobile installed base. No need to use UWP apps on the PC. Developers will develop if their apps get downloaded and they can make a few bucks with adds or by charging something.
  • "The simple reason developers don't want to develop for UWP. No demand! No mobile installed base. No need to use UWP apps on the PC." The reason UWP is important is to support mobile. Mobile is important to create a reason for UWP to exist. It's like the automated factory of the future. It will have two employees, a man and a dog. The man is there to feed the dog, and the dog is there to make sure the man doesn't touch anything. I need a job to pay for my car. I need a car so I can get to work. See the circle?
  • 'From an outside perspective, Microsoft's strategy for mobility seems to rest somewhere between incompetence and "we have no idea what we're doing." ' I'm gonna go with "we have no idea what we're doing." for 900. Ding! Ding! Ding! Correct!
  • To add to the "we have no idea what we are doing" rationale, Microsoft was the sole supplier to Ford for their automation systems 10 years ago. (5 YEARS BEFORE APPLE AND ANDROID!) MS made some massive changes to the system (sound familiar? Win 8, Win 10) and completely f***ed it up. Ford kicked Microsoft out about 4 years ago.
  • Nadella has no idea what he's doing with mobile
  • 10/10 would read again. But seriously, as a WM lover, I need something to go to in December. I would happily take a revised 955xl. Slightly smaller bezels, an 835 in, and you have got me. Why they don't karate yep options for all MS apps is beyond me. Europe had a decent market share, they should have looked beyond the US, where cellular providers seem to have way to much influence on the hardware makers, and focused on Europe and emerging markets. They had the perfect marketing tool by having a foreign national in charge, could have leveraged that with ease.
  • Best article I've read in a long time on this site!
  • Agreed
  • It seems you score a very solid point. Retrenching is one thing but killing off afterwards is worse and gives fatal signals concerning the reliability of Microsoft.
  • OMG, cue the maudlin violin music... O______o
  • UWP is weak? YOU'RE WEAK!!! =p
  • I couldn't help this, it was what popped in my head and it's my favorite line from GGGR... lol
  • Nadella lacks faithfulness to the ecosystem as a whole. He was never on board with the purchase of Nokia, which is why he basically wasted billions of dollars. Considering MS had already committed to that plan, ditching Mobile hardware was a mistake. Retrenching was initially a good idea, with the idea that MS would get back into the game sooner than later, and a clear thought out plan. As someone already mentioned, there have been some good ideas. This article is correct about MS reacting to slow to the market. I think some of this mindset is what Blackberry suffered from, and ultimately led to its death as a viable Mobile option. It's sad, because I liked Blackberry. I was hopeful that Blackberry and MS's entry into mobile would give people options. Now, MS is showing that mobile is an after thought, sadly. I will still use mobile for the foreseeable future, but I can't say that my next phone will be a MS product. I'm hopeful, but I'm realistic. I hope MS can maintain some glimmer of hope, with something that will capture the attention of consumers in a positive way. Until then, i will just wait and see.
  • Everyone tweet this to that dummy Nutella
  • Neah, he is too busy trying to figure out which engineers to fire and which interns to hire in replacement, because why not? Quality does not matter.
  • this article might be correct. That actually the whole windows ecosystem is going belly up. Knowing people working for MS, they only thing they care about is cloud revenue. I am sticking with MS, simply because no other ecosystem has all the parts... desktop, cloud, mobile and hardcore gaming. I just do not want to be stuck with windows computer, android phone and playstation console. But Microsoft might actually push me that direction one day.
  • Finally someone at Windows Central has some guts to say how it is instead of telling fairy tales about some 5-years-too-late WhartonBrooks company and stories about paradigm-shifting mythical surface phone that is already way too late to the market. If Microsoft doesn't come up with something BIG, REALLY BIG within a year they're totally done. They will end up like IBM - focused on specialized enterprise services with declining revenue and profits. And looking at how they do things I'd say that's exactly how things will progress. This whole surface phone will be no more revolutionary than zune was. If it ever sees the light of the day. It's a shame, I really like the platform. I can't stand my Android phone and its unintuitive, overly complicated interface. And iPhone and macos are somehow repelling, too
  • THIS ^^
  • I rate Elop way higher than Nutella where windows phone efforts are concerned
  • I agreed with a lot of this. I have been telling people if Microsoft doesn't show a presence in Mobile and keeps dragging their feet they will become obsolete. Desktops and laptops are mostly obsolete for home use and businesses are beginning to see less and less need as well. I spend more time staying up to dats with Mobile now than desktop. Maybe the 2-in-1 surge will help but that could just as easily die.
  • Good, solid and constructive criticisms. I do hope Microsoft stop living in their bubble and set up smaller departments that can move at the speed of startups to start reconnecting with the market.
  • Theefman. Couldn't agree with you more. No one, aside from the people on this shrinking enclave of diehard fanboys, is remotely interested in the possibility of either 'full Windows on a pocketable device', or 'Windows on ARM. That's no one. Count em! And even if they were, what's the chance of the company that has fallen at every fence in the mobile sector suddenly turning into a world leader in marketing. Zero I'd say.
  • I hate this article. It makes me very angry. Because it is 100% true.
  • THE UWP IS NOT POINTLESS W/O MOBILE!!! WHAT A NARROW MINDED, SHORT SIGHTED COMMENT!!!
  • How about elaborating, pointless statement if you have nothing to back it up with.
  • An excellent article!
  • I was thinking about writing a comment with my opinion in it, just to discuss it with people. But than I realized, that lately, if I say that I love Windows, and/or I'm a Microsoft enthusiast, or maybe, just maybe like Nadella too, people will downvote me, and write sh*t comments trying to hurt me (which won't work btw, LOL 😁). This is supposed to be a Windows news site, for people who care about Windows and Microsoft in general. I love you guys, Jez, Zac, Dan, Jason and everyone else, and the problem isn't with the article itself (as it never is), but with the cancer that the comment section became... I remember being happy about being here...
  • Oh come on random DS,  you sound like a whiny little baby.  The comment sections became a Cancer in your eyes because you are the typical MS is the best and nothing else is anywhere as good person.  Where as others view this place to voice REAL opnions of what happend with the steaming pile of crap that Nadella has left the mobile side of microsoft in.   I was all aboard with windows phone,  UNTIL 1.  Dropped support for denim devices for no good reason...2.  Dropped support for the "projects"...that one is probably more invovled like WE made up the entires thing to try to get developers to come over....but I think it's they just dont give 2 ***** about mobile.   So .....make your comments using your feelings....and own them!  NO one is trying to HURT you...just voicing opposing views that you dont agree with and can't handle.   btw,  my downvote for you was a joke.  
  • Totally agree. And it's so frustrating, because Windows phones were so good compared to the Wild West of Android. You can sum it up with this one paragraph: "Microsoft shouldn't have waited for a Surface Phone messiah, nor should it be waiting for Windows 10 on ARM with CShell to be complete. It should never have stopped making and marketing contemporary mobile devices, even with the app and share gap, if for no reason other than to build confidence and let the world know that it was still in the game. If, indeed, it is the plan for Windows as a Service to succeed." I lay the blame on Nadella, the guy's just another old-school desktop clone. He should have been dumped long ago, but the Board of Directors is just as clueless. BTW, today we learn that Android has overtaken Windows as the World's most popular OS. Backs up my argument here.
  • microsoft definitely needs to think something differently otherwise it going to go the IBM way in few years... one way they can do is to bring windows ten roms for popular android phones from the likes of xiaomi, oppo, one plus etc and allow user to install windows ten roms damn easily. common microsoft.. is it that difficult?
  • "Desktop is becoming obsolete"? business may be conducted on mobile but it certainly is not powered by it.
  • It's not powered by the desktop, either.  It's powered by servers, and the cloud.
  • Great article, I think Microsoft wasted a lot of years trying to convince us that NokiaX was not needed, and today we see how Android the OS that many WP fans said it was slow and buggy, is dominating the world.  I have to be honest, I'm a fan of Android today and I think Microsoft still has a chance in Mobile if they fork Android and bring an appstore of Android apps backed up by Microsoft cloud services.  Just my 2 cents.
  • Windows is certainly not dead or likely to die due it's massive enterprise market. Windows on phone..... I don't see it existing as it is but I do think MS have heavily invested in it as a stepping stone to the ultra mobile pc. The idea seems great but this article highlights how MS have not really focused on the whole picture, not marketted their products well enough and not done enough to encourage developers in an effort to close the app gap. Never say never, MS may yet claw back a chunk of the mobile market but it'll take an amazing but of hardware, a massive marketing push to tempt users away from the platforms that they're already invested in. I'm a Windows fan and I hope they, MS, pull it off as I certainly prefer Windows over Android and Ios BUT it's looking more and more like MS will end up as a company that provides software and services to industry..... Who knows!
  • This article sums up my experience as UWP developer so far, I have released novel writing apps called ScribePad, but without a Phone, my apps lost half of its potential.   UWP apps have been advertised to run on Desktop, Phone, Xbox, and Hololens. But it doesn't make sense for the user of my app to use it on Xbox, or Hololens.    
  • F8R,  do you develop for google and apple to?
  • This article was written with the appropriate level of disgust that Microsoft has left its loyal fan base with. Unfortunately when the talented coder Nadella took the reigns, he concentrated on businesses which is fine, but then he told consumers, the 400 million of them that use this f-ing OS, to go F themselves. So tired of this crap, it’s a shame. That’s why Joe Belfiore left for a year, they took his baby, Windows Mobile and the tossed it in the pool with no water. Surface phone in 2018? You have got to be kidding me; always wait, wait, wait. F- that. So sick of this crap.  
  • Nicely said.
  • Best article in a long time. Great job Jez. // Antoine
  • Best article in a long time. Great job Jez. Antoine
  • What's going on with this insane strategy? Why won't devs write apps for Windows 10? It's a stunning platform
  • I like this guy. Finally someone at WC realises MS blunder. Was really tired of the Jason Ward BS.
  • I think that it is difficult for non-developers to understand quite what UWP is and what it isn't. From a developer standpoint there have always been several ways to write apps for windows (Win32, WinForms, Silverlight, WPF to name a few). UWP is, in my opinion, easier than the rest in a lot of ways and harder in a few. You don't need to use the store to distribute UWP apps, but asking users to side-load your app isn't a great user experience. While having a thriving mobile platform would have increased the use of UWP quite a bit, not having mobile doesn't invalidate UWP in any way. Also, UWP is still being used with Xbox and HoloLense. I think that we are all disappointed that WP10 is failing, but it wasn't stable or performant when released and its hero devices were lazily designed. UWP was the least of WP10's problems. 
  • A little bit too doomsday. It's their birthday today, we should take it easy on them. They must have a plan. Taking way too long now, but they must have a plan... Right. Microsoft sold patents for Band to Casio maybe patents for phone to Samsung..
  • Amen to this great article!
    I agree with you 100% except for your conclusion:
    I believe that Windows 10 Mobile had what it took to compete against iOS and Android: it is a much better and much more