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What it's like to keep clinging onto Windows Mobile's sunken ship

Microsoft's Windows phones are the pariah of the tech industry. It wasn't always this way. Pre Windows Phone Windows Mobile once occupied a dominant position in the smartphone industry as a platform for professionals and techies. Then the iPhone pushed "smartphones" into the mainstream, and everything changed. Microsoft would never again approach the 40 percent mobile market share it once achieved.

The iPhone's 2007 launch initiated Windows Mobile's precipitous fall which Microsoft sought to stall with the touch- and consumer-friendly Windows Phone's 7, 8, 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile. Conceding Windows-on-phones market defeat, Windows 10 Mobile was infamously realigned with the enterprise sealing its fate. With each OS "advancement" Microsoft's smartphone market share continued to fall. Many fans held on hoping for a turnaround that never came, and a deeper commitment from Microsoft that never materialized.

Most diehard fans have since left the platform for greener iPhone and Android phone pastures. A few of us remain more or less content with the vestiges of a platform that honestly began to disappoint, around Windows Phone 8.1, even before the bottom fell out. Still, I've been using Windows phones since 2006, and my Lumia 950 XL with Windows 10 Mobile is still my daily driver.

What drew me to Windows phones?

The idea of "Windows in my pocket" drew me to my first smartphone (which was my second cell phone), the Cingular 2125. It was a candy bar shaped Windows Mobile 5.0 smartphone with a physical keyboard and a "big" (for the time) 2-inch screen that I bought in 2006 for $299. It allowed me to surf the web, watch saved movies from the SD Card, download apps from the web and much more. My Cingular 2125 Windows phone was superior to the flip and feature phones my peers and others were using at the time.

My Tilt and Tilt II, followed my 2125 with Window Mobile 6.0 sporting slide-out keyboards and larger displays. Their design combined with Windows 6.0/6.5 made me feel like I was carrying a min-laptop in my pocket. Modifying the UI of this open operating system (OS) was one of my favorite parts of Windows Mobile. So after Apple launched the iPhone with its closed OS and locked-down UI, I was disappointed with the overly simplistic, closed Windows Phone 7 OS and UI Microsoft launched in response.

It wasn't until Windows Phone 7.5 and the "massive" HTC Titan that Live Tiles, Hubs, the OS level integration of social media platforms, the UI fluidity and more won me over to Windows Phone. I loved interacting with Facebook friends directly from the People Hub as if FB and Twitter we part of the OS. I enjoyed posting to social media from the Me Tile and the aesthetic and social network integration of the Photos Hub. The person-focused Messaging Hub which provided a continuous conversation stream centered around a person even when I switched from a text messaging to Facebook Messenger was a joy. When Windows Phone 8.1 brought welcome additions like Cortana to the mix, while ditching the power of the Me Tile and more, the "progress" was bittersweet.

Windows 10 Mobile with the addition of hamburger menus and eradication of the large fonts and the carousel aesthetics all but killed the beauty of the OS that drew me in. I'm still here, however, because I still prefer Live Tiles (I know there are Android skins), the platform still works for me, for now, and the cost of getting what I want, a Galaxy Note 9 at $1000, is more than I can justify paying right now.

My Ode to Windows Phone 8

Do we really need top of the line smartphones?

Windows Phone 8.1 improved upon and took away from the Windows Phone 8 experience.

I'm a techie so of course, I want the latest and greatest tech. But as a Windows phone user who is using a three-year-old device what I, and perhaps most of us, need and want are very different things. I'm not a heavy app user. And statistically, most people only use six top apps 90-percent of the time. So statistically most people are not heavy app users. And those apps that are most used, like Facebook, Instagram, and others, are found on Windows phones (for now).

Now I am painfully aware that many apps many people use, like my banking app, is no longer available on Windows Mobile. Apps that my wife and I need for our small business are also missing. And many apps like my favorite News program and other advertised apps are missing. But for what most of what most people do most of the time: surf the web, watch videos, interact on Facebook and Twitter, email, message and more, even in its declining state, Windows phone still does the job. Would an iPhone or Android phone do things better? I'm convinced that yes, they would, but they're not Windows phone. I'm also aware that the lack of some apps on Windows Mobile is a barrier to certain jobs. I'm not trying to convince anyone to switch to or hold onto a sinking ship. I'm sharing my experience.

I know that the tech industry and many of our own internal motivations convince us that we need the latest and smartest devices to participate in the modern age of mobile computing. I believe that that urge in most cases is driven by want rather than actual need, however. As someone in tune with the tech industry and immersed in this world I contend we could get along just fine without catering to the annual ritual of spending hundreds of dollars for an incremental step in device evolution at the behest of tech companies in their quest for more profits. Especially when the device we spend $1000 for this year will be used to surf the web, listen to music, watch videos, message friends and take pictures just like the device we spent $1000 for last year.

Let's be honest, no one really needs a $1000 smartphone

What lies ahead?

I'll eventually move on from my three-year-old Lumia 950 XL. It will likely be to a $200 Android phone or perhaps a $1000 Galaxy Note. That's if I don't hang on long enough to reap the possible Surface Andromeda fruits of Microsoft's Windows-on-mobile strategy of which Windows-on-phone has always only been a part.

My switch to Android or Microsoft's Pocket PC (if it makes it to market) is inevitable folks. When the time comes I'll be sure to let you know.

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

180 Comments
  • Jason, I also still use my Windows phone and feel very much the same on all points. I'm really hoping we get Andromeda in 2019 and that it will be possible to use it as my main pocketable communication device (whatever it is). With even MS dropping Windows Phone support for its apps (like Teams and SMS sync in Skype) and Live Tiles no longer working for others (Weather Channel, including on desktop Windows), it's harder to avoid moving to Android, but I continue to wait. I actually have some Android handsets lying around for app development testing, but the phone I carry remains my Lumia.
  • I got a Note9 recently. The things that my 950 do better are...
    1. The camera on the 950 blows my $1000 Note9 out of the water.
    2. The Windows Phone start screen is more beautiful, and dynamic.
    3. WP is still more fluent with scrolling, and movements.
    4. The synergistic, all in one place, approach to the UI is much more organized than Android... Those are some huge trade offs, but Android has 1000 times more to offer that makes up for it. The most disappointing thing is the camera though. A $1k phone with a sub par camera. Smdh. Still, the N9 is awesome, and I rarely miss my 950....... Only when I'm taking a picture, or wishing Android had system wide dark mode. 🙄🙄🙄
  • Maybe if you install the new Samsung OS? I think they've finally decided to simplify the experience which I applaud.
  • Jason I would give Nokia a try. I have a Alcatel Idol 4S I am using but I also just purchased the Nokia 7.1. Pretty good android phone and at least the next 2 years of updates.
  • Still using my HP Elite X3 Verizon edition and will as long as it works and gets security updates unlike most android phones. It has what I want and how I want it. I am not a big app user as well but have most all the apps that I need. It just works. Hopefully a Microsoft pocket PC will happen and I can switch, otherwise I will be STUCK with lagdroid, the scroogle ad delivery system and data slurping OS.
  • Why doesn’t Microsoft just announce Andromeda is real? Hopefully, we will see it in 2019. People are making buying decisions now, and they’re going to be STUCK with that decision for two years.
  • Why? Because they can't afford another fail! And right now, there's about 0.01% incentive to roll out a half thought out system, that's half baked.
  • Because it's not real.
  • Now you sound like a fanboy. 😊 Android doesn't lag anymore (on most phones) and high end ones (compareable to Elite X3) gets security updates on monthly basis.
    Sadly, I had to go from Windows phones about a year ago. What made me go was poor battery life on my 950 as well missing some apps that are important for me to work. Of course, my bank never had WP app bit that doesn't metter to me. Bought myself P10 first and now I have P20. I have to say that I'm impressed how much Google did since my pre-WP era. 😊 Phone runs smooth, battery life is incredible and everything just works.
    Of course, I really miss my Lumia. No skin or launcher can replace live tiles and unique look it had. But, that's all over and time to move on was long time ago.
  • I have an Android phone exclusively to test out just how much like a Windows phone experience I can get. I have followed Paul Thurrott 's suggestions, and other suggestions found on Windows central. I can tell you that it is IMPOSSIBLE to get anything NEAR the experience. Cortana on Android is a poor joke. I can STILL use my Lumia 1020 and even my 950 for 100% hands-free functionality in any situation. I have my phone set with Cortana always on. You can't get that experience with Android. Microsoft's own Launcher is nothing more than another example of lipstick on a pig, bringing me just another sea of icons. Sure, you can use a different launcher to bring fake tiles (nowhere near as LIVE as Windows), but you lose whatever capability MS Launcher brings (like Timeline, and whatever else). You can't get Groove, you can't get MS Photos. The list of actual MS apps is bleak, most of which I don't have use for outside of the Office stuff...which all work horribly on Android compared to Windows phones.
  • Sounds like it is time to switch ecosystems. Microsoft's will always be inferior on a 3rd party operating system and soon you will have no other option. The competition is better anyways, that is why Microsoft lost the platform wars.
  • Google ecosystem is crap in its OS so i highly doubt.
  • None of them can compete in enterprise, and everyone has figured that out by now.
  • Who cares about Enterprise? I am not an Enterprise, are you?
  • We care and there are billions of us.. understand you *******.
  • Crikey, I think I just heard Thatcher turning in her grave. Surely every citizen is an enterprise?
  • You are a jackass disguised as a troll.
  • It's not so much lag.. Thats not an issue, especially with high end devices. What WP users new to Android will notice is that Android is not as smooth, fluid with movements, and scrolling. It's not bad now, just not like butter, as WP users are used to. Android still feels "choppy" campared to WP, ad that's a fact. Can't be good at everything🤷🏾‍♂️
  • I will take a bit of chop over highly limited functionality, no background processes, and long drawn out animations designed to hide outdated hardware. I am a Windows user. I want power and functionality. If wanted that pretty stuff, I would use Apple. They are better at form over function. That was Microsoft's biggest stumble. They mistook their user base for Apple's.
  • Who cares what you would take? Fact is fact. That's all that matters. Quit getting so defensive over facts.... Obviously the world knows how to weigh out pros and cons without hearing the broken record which is you.
  • Exactly.. he/she/transgender is an *******
  • I think I can agree with you that, with the benefit of hindsight, Microsoft handled aspects of their mobile strategy wrongly. They actually "thought different" with regards to the OS design and UI, but the marketing, the OEM support, and carrier issues slowed their momentum. I also think they had too many phones models from one brand, Nokia. For a long time they lacked a flagship. Many things... A succession of issues.
  • They should hire you, since you know everything about all three of them. If only everyone were like you, all would be utopia. weasel ****.
  • You need to try the oneplus6T then. That thing is amazingly fast and smooth. Now on T-Mobile
  • What's the highest amount of RAM on a Windows Phone? And it's still much smoother overall than Android on comparable specs. Impressive OS design I'd say.
  • A year in, you'll soon see the lack of longevity of the Android kernel. And that's if you bought high end. Low -end it becomes apparent fast.
  • I don't know why people say that. It's not like you can't just reset your phone, and start fresh. That's even good for WP devices every once in a while. Everything is backed up in the cloud, so who cares?
  • No fanboy here, just realist. Switched from wm10 on 950xl to galaxy note 8 android and I can say without a doubt that android is a laggy, buggy pos os. love the phone for note taking and pictures. Oooo, i have a few apps that I can use, big deal. Doesn't make up for all of the everyday things I need it for. Crapping out on a consistent basis in just about every aspect. Everything from Android Auto to the call interface, dropping calls for no reason, activating voice mail for no reason, apps freezing, to the messaging to emailing is a mess and a pile of crap. It's not much better from when I had a droid 9 years ago. MS launcher is garbage as well but that's on MS.
  • I really thought I would be last, but I moved on to Google Android. Just like the Band to Fitbit, Xbox in multiple rooms as an entertainment center (just one Xbox now) to Roku, Groove to Spotify. I feel I'll next be forced to move from Cortana Invoke to either Alexa or Google, possibly Edge to Chrome, and then who knows... I'm skipping Glas because I have no faith Nadella won't cut off support and upgrades. Honestly Chrome books do almost everything I need in a laptop. Why keep fighting when Microsoft just gives up? I don't like Google, but they have my info now so why not drop Microsoft and go all-in like everyone else?
  • I haven't picked up a GLAS for the same reason. Not necessarily because of Nadella, but I have little faith Microsoft will stick with a consumer product anymore. They've scuttled the ship far too many times for me to want to get on board with them.
  • Microsoft doesn't make the GLAS thermostat, so the company could upgrade it with whatever they want if Microsoft gives up on Windows IoT Core. I'm pretty sure it also supports Alexa and Google voice commands, so it is Cortana proof.
  • As I understand it, it does run Windows 10 IoT Core. That's where my concern comes in.
  • Glas supports Google and Alexa as well. I think Johnson Controls stipulated that last second based on what they were seeing as far as Cortana standpoint
  • One of the reasons I got the Glas was specifically because it wasn't a Microsoft product, so I've got more confidence that it'll last longer than my beloved Band did.
  • Neither was the Invoke, lol
  • I recently needed to back up some old cd's and downloaded the Zune software just for fun and realized again why I loved it so much back in the day. Zune should be brought back not as a full fledged service but simply to replace Windows Media Player.
  • Zune hardware and software was and is beautiful. Way ahead of its time. I also installed the Zune software and plan to keep it around as long as it works. Hasn't been optimized in years not imagine if it had been.
  • Gonna use my 1520 until it dies (which hopefully won't be in the next 3-5 years), and then who knows, I may buy that Jolla phone if that still exists by then. SailfishOS seems cool.
  • Thans kojackjku, I'll definitely look into that one. :-)
  • I agree that the LG Q Stylus is a great alternative to the ridiculously priced G Notes. But for picture taking I still prefer my Nokia Lumia 1020.
  • Every high end Lumia device takes sharper, less grainy, pictures than the Note 9... The cam on the 950 blows the dual cam 12 mp shooter on the N9 out of the water. If only WP had the feature set that Android has to offer.
    ......
    It's a shame. WP was a great platform, with a lot of the best ways of doing things, and polish Android could only dream of,, just managed by the wrong people. What a waste.
  • The 950 lost all camera tests to the Galaxy S7, it isn't even in the same league as the Note 9. Don't worry, the koolaid will eventually flush out of your system.
  • Lol!!! Bull ****!! I Literally have a GS7, N9, and a Lumia 950... You can't tell me, or anyone else, that the camera on the N9, or S7, is better than the 950... Even Daniel Rubino would agree. The camera on the 950 has better color representation, sharpness, more overall detail, less grain, and takes way better close up shots, than either Android device... Where the N9/S7 make up for the experience is in options, and overall features of the camera application itself. Android blows Windows away in that area. But, what matters most is the overall end picture quality, and High end Lumias have Samsung beat. The way to get the best images is to take the shot with the 950, and use all of the amazing features of the N9 to edit it. That's a COMPLETELY unbiased opinion, and I'm quite sure it's very accurate..... Please.
  • Your idiotic "WP does everything wrong, and Android is perfect" childish attitude is just bashing, and lends you zero credibility... Fact is that all three iOS, Droid, and WP, have their strong points, and weak points. And, imaging is, and has always been, WP strong point. GTFH😂
  • Dude, thank you for an honest answer.
  • Thanks., and you're welcome. Always... ✌️
  • Lastly, how is the 20mp module of the 950 not in the same league of the 12mp module of the N9?... That's exactly why I've been sitting over here trying to get comparable pics with my N9 with very much fail. Please. And, don't give me that "MP don't matter" BS. 🙄.. Obviously they do. Kool-aid, please... The N9 is AMAZING. I use both platforms, and have a much better constructed view of the two in comparison, VS your insanely biased view towards Android. I think anyone would be more likely to respect my take than yours.. Talk about being brain washed... You're the prime example of brainwashed, and you know it.
  • There were several blind tests done between the 950, S7, and iPhone. 950 was always well behind the competition in those tests.
  • S7 tends to create oversaturated images however, something most people find more pretty but unrealistic and not evidence for a good image.
  • Not too mention they are more grainy than the 950/XL.. Im not saying they are bad; they are acceptable.. But, the 950's are great. When you're used to great you will see flaws in other good pictures.
  • Nopers. Try again
  • I'm going to agree that the Lumia 950 cam is the best I've used. I'm the IT Director for my company. For years we had all manner of Windows Phones deployed, but due to unavailability, we've had to move to Android. I've had the opportunity to mess with all kinds of Android Phones, and none of them takes as good of a picture as the Lumia. Sure, in brightly lit conditions it can be hard to tell the difference. But in low light, especially in low-light conditions with bright lights in the shot (think a Christmas tree in a dark room), the Lumia produces superior pictures every time. Far less grain, superior color, better focusing, and much better light-shadow balance than anything else I've used. Lumia phones were Nokia designed and built. My current device is last year's $650 Nokia Android flagship, the Nokia 8. It is solidly built, but I hate Android, and the camera on it is horrendous in anything other than fully lit scenes. Even then, the colors are washed out, and the contrast and sharpness are lacking. Also, no wireless charging, no OLED screen, no tri-LED flash, no Live Tiles, no People Hub, no native call recording... The good news is that Nokia recently bought back the rights to the PureView name and technology, so I'm hoping to see the Nokia 9 come out soon with it's penta-lens camera setup in a PureView variety. I still effing hate Android, especially since we have to support about 90 of them now at work, they are a constant problem, and they don't sync nearly as easily or seamlessly with our users Windows computers as WP did, but if I can get a decent camera back it will be less of a PITA having to use Android.
  • After using WP for the past few years I can say I'm loving Android. It has EVERTHING! Well, I'm having trouble doing simple things, like changing background colors system wide without downloading one of the tasteless themes of a million available, but there's features for days, and APPS APPS APPS!... The perfect device would be a dual boot foldable device running Android, and Windows, with the fluidity, and UI of WP, and a new Purview camera. Android features, and apps, and Windows fit, finish, and polish.
  • weasel **** spouts the drivel again. I take pics for work weasel **** and I can tell you that the s8 or s9 is no better than the 950xl. I have the s8 and wife has the s9. You're full of it.
  • It seems that you have some kind of special Lumia 950, because...
  • Blessed by Bill himself of course 😊. The 950xl does create superb pictures though (not entirely sure but I think even slightly better than the 950 at low light conditions).
  • Lol. The pics are great. That's about all it can do now.
  • Still using my 950XL as well. I don't really give this much thought very often to be honest. I'm near either my desktop or a surface almost all day, and actually use my phone for talking primarily. Sure there are apps I would use given the chance, but none are deal breakers. Like Jason, I'm sure I'll switch to android eventually or see what MS might have in store.
  • I still use my 950 XL, I don't want to change it for an Android phone, and Apple is out of the question. But know this, everyday here in Argentina I keep seeing people using a Lumia phone. The Lumia line had considerable success here and it's still present in the market. People seem to love their Lumia because it offers something different. I hope soon Microsoft will open the doors to a new generation of mobile devices with Windows 10, starting with Andromeda, and enabled by CoreOS and C-Shell. Nothing prevents a manufacturer from using it to make a single screen pocketable device.
  • I'm still running a Lumia 950XL. The aging hardware is starting to become a problem though. I'm not talking that it's out of date. The battery doesn't hold a charge like it used to and it randomly reboots on me every so often. I just need a new Lumia 950XL. I do have an Alcatel Idol still in the box for when the Lumia finally kicks the can.
    I stick with it largely because I don't like the other options out there. Given that Google's business model is selling your information, I'm not about to get their OS on a device that's as personal as a phone. iOS just feels, no pun intended, phoned in. There hasn't been anything revolutionary there for ages and the OS itself feels like it's behind Windows 10 Mobile. I jumped from Band to Fitbit pretty quickly because Fitbit makes a good product. It's taken me a while but I'm starting to transition from Groove to Prime Music because it's a decent product. I haven't jumped from Windows 10 Mobile because nobody makes a product I like.
    I'll keep using Windows 10 Mobile as long as I can. I can only hope Andromeda makes an appearance sooner rather than later.
  • Just replacing the battery should fix the reboots. I had the same problem with mine, back when I was still using it. I would still be using it, if my work didn't mess up me getting email on it. Months later, and the email works, but I'm already making payments on a Galaxy S9+ :'(
  • Is it possible to get a replacement battery anymore?
  • Yes, from China.
  • I just bought one from Amazon.co.uk and it shipped from France. It was sold as original and looked like it from the markings and logos etc. on the back (and it was exactly the same looking as the original battery I had in from Microsoft). I think with shipping it cost like 17 euro.
  • I contacted MS support when I needed a new battery for my 950XL and they provided me with the following info. Supposedly guaranteed to be OEM. I'm on my 3rd battery - 2 from here: Palco Cell Phone Repair
    2914 Green Cove Road
    Huntsville, AL 35803
    Customer Service:
    Phone: (256) 883-3434
    Hours*: Mon. - Fri. 7:00 AM-3:00 PM
    *Central Time
    palcotech[dot]com Battery Part Number: BV-T4D
  • The Alcatels are crap. Bought 4 of them for family. Literally every single one has failed and you can't repair them through the pc windows app because the packages aren't listed. The companies support is nonexistent. I have four useless phones.
  • My Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows 10 hasn't given me any problems and I've had it for over a year. I have the US version. Which version did your family members have?
  • I have everyone here beat, I'm pretty sure. I switched to windows 7.8 phone
    about 6 years ago with LG C900, which I thought died out 3 years later.
    Bought another $40 same replacement from amazon, and dropped it 2 years
    later, but it still worked as a media player. Bought another $20 same replacement,
    which I'm currently using now through T-mobile. I love the hardware keyboard,
    and replaceable battery. Yes, I have a lumia 650, but its only a last ditch
    replacement, since it's touchscreen only. Well my cracked media player died, and I put a new battery in the original LG from
    6 years ago, and it works again. All my games are there, better browser, media, etc. So, as long as there are dirt cheap [Under $50 windows phone], I will never need to
    switch unless the 3G and edge bands stop working. I still use Zune and windows
    7.8 is much better than windows phone 8, and 10. later
    -1
  • My grandma uses a flip phone too.
  • Still sporting a Lumia 950. Sure, a few of my daily apps have disappeared, but the browser mostly makes of for it. No show stoppers yet for me which is good, because I don't see anything else out there that interests me more than Win Mo..
  • "The browser" is laggy, and doesn't work on all websites.
  • The only websites I have challenges with are Google-owned and Soundcloud. Fortunately, switching to desktop version normally fixes the issues.
  • I still use my 950xl but it's not my daily driver. I use it mostly for pictures and watching videos. I hate that Google never let a proper YouTube app into the Microsoft Store but the third party stuff works decent enough. I wish Netflix would have made a UWP app so I could get the new features on it, like my PC.
  • I wish Hulu updated their mobile app before development stopped so I can change profiles
  • I've sung this swan song before. Left and came back. Took getting an LTE PC to realized that I don't use almost any mobile apps. I don't do social media outside the occasional tweet. Cortana syncs my data. Outlook manages my mail/calendar/contacts. Messaging works. What more does one really NEED? My 950 is my PCs pager. I get something in my e-mail/SMS and decide if I need to really address it. Then I open the Surface and do just that. I bank, shop, read, watch, play, stream, draw, listen, all on my PC. Anywhere. Anytime. Hell, my SPLTE's battery outlasts my 950's these days anyway.
  • How do you answer sms from that?
  • In the notification flyout.
  • Cortana tells you when you get a text. Only downside is it won't open it in the Messages app and you cant see MMS
  • Like the kind folks here have already said, Cortana helps facilitate that. So MMS and Phone calls are literally the ONLY thing I HAVE to do from my phone. I even installed BlueStacks on my Surface for full blown Alexa config and the handful of home automation apps that I use. Since I only need to configure them once in a blue moon.
  • Bluestacks, Nox and other android emulators are not the answer for the average joe, UWP is the answer and that needs significant investments to ensure an increase in store click throughs thus enabling further leverage points for customer interaction and increased points of/for sales.
  • Preaching to the choir, man. Bluestacks is a Band-Aid to a bigger problem. But it's a Band-Aid that I currently need on occasion. Again, just for my smart home devices. Would LOVE native UWP. Hell, I'd be thrilled with PWA, but neither exist for Kasa, Sengled, or full featured Alexa.
  • I am waiting till the 3rd quarter 2019 for Andromeda otherwise a surface go with LTE will replace my surface 3 LTE.
  • I feel your pain, loved my Windows phones but I ended up switching to android got tired of supporting something that Microsoft gave up on.
  • Nice article, thank you, Jason. I'm using my Lumia 640 and although it'd be very convenient to have the app of my bank I can still access it with my Windows 10 PC browser. On my Lumia, I use MyTube for YouTube (one of the main reasons I don't want to switch to an Android or even Apple right now, besides live tiles), I also use OneNote, Netflix, Poki for Pocket, Audible, Dictionaries, Translator, Anki Universal (awesome to learn languages), WhatsApp, Line, Skype, Maps, Camera, Outlook apps, Swarm (outdated but working), Discord, Twitter, Day Counter, Money Lover, Ouga for Tumblr, Spotify, Office Apps, Unlimited VPN, Uber, and also Games!
    Yeah, that's a lot of apps and I guess I have everything I need on Microsoft Store, at least for now. Andromeda, I'm waiting for you though! <3
  • I loved my Tilts
  • I loved my tilts too
  • Kudos to you for hanging on in there :) I moved to Android a year ago. I had no choice. My job was beginning to be affected. I needed to be able to pay suppliers quickly and was struggling with the browser. I needed a dedicated, fast, responsive banking app. I think if Andromeda comes, its going to be really expensive and out of reach for a huge percentage of windows phone fans. It'll be quite an elitist device. It'll be very niche. It'll also be awesome. It'll be an engineering marvel. The big reveal video on stage will leave us astounded. Panos will be be grinning from ear to ear, swaggering across the stage like a champion boxer. Lots of people will be impressed. Every Windows fan on earth will instantly want one, and a good many will commit the cash and jump on board. I may be one of those fans. But, will it have that one banking app I cannot do without? Probably not. I know we fans have had this chicken and egg discussion a million times before, but its as relevant today as it was three or fours years ago. In fact, given that PWA's seem to have have stalled, it's probably more relevent as we get closer to a probable Andromeda announcement. Microsoft, HP, Dell, Lenovo and a host of other OEM's have been creating some awesome hardware in recent years. Heck, the Surface line is downright fantastic. And I love what HP and Lenovo are doing with their hardware. They're being incredibly bold in their hardware advancements. It's a great time to be a Windows 10 user. And yet, the idea of "build it and they will come" seems to be failing. Hardware partners are building incredible machines, but developers aren't flocking to these new form factors. Nobody seems to have an answer to this. Bless Microsoft, they keep trying. App bridges, virtualisation, PWA's...they keep pushing. But the app store remains inferior to iOS and Android. Another factor is the Windows 10 tablet experience. Personally, I don't have an issue with Windows 10 Tablet mode. I use my Surface Pro and Book in tablet mode all the time and enjoy the experience. But I'm in the minority, it would seem. I can't wait for Andromeda, but Microsoft have some big challenges ahead of them to get those tablet mode and developer support stars to align. Are those challenges surmountable? Well, I guess we'll only find out when the device finally makes it to market. I hope it does.
  • I feel just like you Jason. I want some tile love from the powers that be at Microsoft. I am all in and love the ecosystem. Sure Cortana could have more speakers but for now if I'm ever forced in to alexa....cortana is still under the covers. Lol. I do see a bright future for Cortana and I fully expect the next pushes around the new Xbox and the Andromeda but I do see surface headphones in my future.
  • I was once like you. But it turns out I like using parking meters, and my banking/credit cards apps, and paying for things without my wallet (Samsung Pay) It's way past time to give up.
  • That was finally what got me. The local apps, home automation, and other apps.
    (I actually had payments working for a while on Windows)
    I still would prefer Windows, but its not an option if you want to be a part of the modern world.
  • Jason, I loved you opinion piece. I'm very much like you, although I didn't get a Windows Phone, until WP7 came out. Loved it ever since. I'm now using a Lumia 950, which I've had for almost 3 years. It is my only smartphone device. Also, like you, it's hard to not envy either iPhone or Android. My wife's Windows Phone died (it was an Alcatel IDOL 4) and so when we replaced it we went with an older model iPhone. My wife had a need to use Square, which doesn't have an app for Windows Phone, Windows 10 Mobile, etc. It really irritates me, because as a developer I KNOW that Windows 10 Mobile could easily do everything that Square does on an iPhone, but it isn't there. Speaking about apps on Windows 10 Mobile, I've had 3 that I wrote and published to the Store, recently removed. Two of them I could easily understand, as I haven't done anything with them in a couple of years, but the third I was actively updating and just a few months ago I published additional features, so it really hurt to have it unpublished by Microsoft. In what I've learned is a form-email from the Store, I've learned what might have been the reason why it was unpublished, but even so I'd rather have something definite to go on. When it happened I got onto the MSDN Forums to try and find out exactly what the issue was. I was surprised to see that a lot of people seemingly have had their apps recently unpublished from the Store. That impression may be false, I realize. Anyway, I'm considering redoing my app, as it fills a hole that I see in the apps in the Store, but due to the continued decline of Windows 10 Mobile, at this point I don't see any reason to write for that. Sad, as that's the primary market I was going for. Guess I'll port it to iPhone and Android. Forgive me for venting a bit. Anyway, your opinion piece made some great points, especially about functionality that used to be there and was removed. I can remember when I could read Facebook and Twitter comments from the people I followed on those platforms, in the Me Tile. Man, that was GREAT! Then Microsoft took that away. Sad. The only other phone which catches my eye is that Samsung Note 9, but WOW, I just cannot stomach a $1000 phone!!! So, even though my Lumia 950 is having problems, which are getting worse (having to reboot it, Search no longer allowing me to preview images I search for, etc.) I'll continue to use it, until it simply dies with no hope of coming back up. Then I'll probably do like you said and find some $200 Android phone, just to get me by.
  • I'm still rocking my Microsoft Lumia 950, although its definitely feeling long in the tooth (I often have to charge my phone more than 3 times a day). I'm crossing my fingers for a Nokia 9 to be official soon (hopefully not too long after the new year). I really like the idea of a flagship without the bloatware & I still have a soft spot for Nokia's design aesthetics not to mention general nostalgia. If that doesn't materialize I'll likely be jumping on the One+ train.
  • Using an HP Elite X3 on Cricket. No issues for me. I will hang onto it until it dies, my company forces me off of it, or Andromeda. I am praying for that last one. :-)
  • I miss live tiles on phone. Looked so cool.
  • I have a 1020 as my driver, a 950 as backup and a Huawei as a test Android device. Every day I'm reminded how much better and richer my experience is on the Windows devices is compared to the Android device. Beginning with Cortana, which is probably my number one required feature. My wife and I don't have any need for banking apps, and I just don't get the need for that. All of my frequently used social networking still functions on the Windows phones. And I simply have access to things you can't on Android. I have no delusions that MS will ever resurrect the phones. I also have no delusions they'll EVER do anything decent with Android or iPhone. Finally, I have serious doubts that whatever they're jerking around with on so-called Andromeda, it's NOT going to be a satisfactory replacement.
  • Cortana as the number one feature... That's like buying a car based on what the floor mats look like.
  • My inlaws and another friend still use their Windows Phones and love them. They literally just need the basic built-in stuff - a phone, text, browser, and a decent camera. Windows Phone gives you all of that in an easy to use interface, and they're cheap if you can still find them.
  • Still hanging on to my Lumia 950 as my daily phone. Yes the battery needs a pick-me-up once or twice a day. Might try buying another battery, but I'm hoping Andromeda comes first. Very few apps missing for me (I use Edge, AcuWeather, Ecobee, Groove, TV Show Tracker, myTube, FaceBook, along with a few others on a daily basis). Still love Cortana, just wish Microsoft did.
  • Hey Jason! I finally left my Lumia Icon for a Google Pixel 2 eleven months ago, and I quite like this phone. You can personalize the phone with various launchers, and Google's camera is nothing short of amazing. I prefer a Google phone because they get OS updates immediately (unlike Samsung), and security updates monthly (unlike Samsung), which I feel is important. I am, however, still waiting for Andromeda, and would happily go back to a Windows (non)phone. I still love reading your Warditorials!!
  • Thanks NMCynthia! Glad you love the articles AND your phones. 😃👍🏿 Thanks for sharing!
  • Still using my daily Lumia 950. It has all productivity apps I need and some other essentials. The others just go for web. My deadline to move on to android should be 2019. I have been looking to the new Nokia android. Somehow reminds me how I got into WP with my wonderfully designed Nokia Lumia 800.
  • From the heart bro. Appreciate it. But it’s time to move on. Picked up an Honor 7x last year and haven’t looked back. It’s the best phone you can get for under $200. As hard as a pill as it is to swallow Andromeda is probably not coming. What’s most telling is that MS stopped publishing PWAs to the store. There are little to no small form factor apps left. Even Starbucks gave up. Heck they won’t even bother to wrap their existing PWA in a UWP wrapper, which is super easy... about as easy as it gets. I’m convinced MS doesn’t belong in small form factor devices anymore. Their heart just is not in it and it shows. Nadella’s heart is not in it for sure. And if you can’t get your captain behind it the troops will continue to offer a lackluster effort. MS is better off putting eSim in the Surface Pro, Go, and Laptop. Throwing every wrench into making Your Phone so good that we never need to take our tiny little phones out of our pocket. And making ARM versions of the Pro and Laptop. Nadella’s Reset is difficult to understand sure but it’s the right move for Microsoft. eSim fitted Laptops and 2 in 1s are MS future. I know a 10 inch 2 in 1 is not as sexy as a $1500 6 inch phone, given that the world is phone addicted right now. But as the whole phone drug begins to wear off and ppl start getting back to getting things done again we will see Nadella’s vision come to brilliant fruition.
  • You still do not get it do you? Esim enabled laptops and tablets are fine but without APPS to use on these devices there is literally no point at all. PWA is at best a layer for Websites to be repackaged in app form to enable functionality such as notifications, geofencing etc without the draw back of Cross site scripting, phishing and browser (link hijacking). PWA is not the answer, UWP is the under pining that WOA sorely needs. Furthermore PWA is not going replace any complex application any time soon, do you have any idea how much bandwidth it would take to replicate the functionality of Reason? FL Studio? Adobe Premier? just to name a few complex and CPU cycle intensive applications. Not to mention the latency issues. For WoA to succeed, it needs Universal Windows Applications as emulation is part of the answer but not THE answer. As at the current price points of WoA devices there is not much on offer other than increased battery life. We, as a planet drastically need to reduce the number of times we charge smartphones, laptops and tablets. As the number devices increases so does the strain on the electrical infrastructure and with the moronic intervention of the fossil fuel industries the rate of climate change will increase ever more drastically. It's come to a point where these same companies want tax dollars "to be protected" against the affects of climate change. We need to drastically increase the charge to charge times for every single tablet, smartphone and laptop. WoA makes a massive headway in that regard but mass adoption will not occur without store apps. Which is why Microsoft's current strategy focusing on the competition and PWA is farcical - they should truly know better. So yes, you really do not get what it is truly at stake. You may ask what about Google and Apple, why not them... simple their O/S is not ubiqitiously used in all walks of life - Windows is used - although that is now changing dramatically.
  • Huh? Almost... all... the apps remaining on the MS store are for devices 10 inches and larger. And certainly any apps that are new to the Store... just the latest of which is Blender... Affinity Photo... Affinity Designer... Photoshop Elements... Autodesk Sketchbook... Amazon Music... Spotify... iTunes... Slack... Evernote... Libby... Whiteboard... Khan Academy... not to mention just about every game worth playing... Forza Horizon 4... even Minecraft... None of which could be run on any so called... Andromeda. They're all for PC! Plus any real work done... in Edge or Chrome browser... in Office 365... in Visual Studio... in Android Studio... Roblox Studio... is done on a screen having real estate... with a mouse... and a keyboard. But you are... partially.... right about PWA. PWA is not Windows saviour because nobody's touching that with a ten foot pole for Windows except for Twitter. Which is exactly why any Surface branded mobile phone or foldable "not-a-phone" tablet is ultimately doomed. Microsoft's only "mobile" play is in making laptops and 2 in 1s more mobile... especially globally "on-demand" mobile... hence eSim... keeping ppls phones in their pocket via Your Phone... and in leading the charge in WoA, paving the way for the optimal battery life you so passionately speak of. Fortunately Nadella gets that... and that's the direction he's clearly leading us all in.
  • You still do not get it all. Just because currently the apps in the store serves large screen devices, it does not negate the fact the world is going mobile at very increasing rate. The primary contribution to that factor is teens who are joining the work force; who have grown up using a smartphone as their primary "computer", thus fueling a further growth in byod as well as adoption of Google's suite (not the consumer plan but the enterprise package) which many companies are using. Even some aspects of the NHS (National Health Service in the UK - this is fueled by drives to save funds and be user accessible - as in the past insane amount of money was spent to create computer systems which were not used at all. Let alone users consulted). The natural movement of teens into the workforce is also driving purchases of macs for media and chrome books for general work force use. As a result there many incompatibilities between Windows devices, android devices and ios devices. The simplest solution for these people would be to use what they are used to - that is ios and android. Thus through this Apple and Google will over come and over throw Microsoft's hold on the enterprise. This is only natural, the main reason why PCs got into households was due to familiarity in the work environment. The opposite is now true, it's the familiarity on a personal level that is driving byod in the work place. In addition, companies are forced to provide tools that their employees are familiar with on the simple principles of productivity and morale. Furthermore, smartphones will remain the nexus of interaction for the foreseeable future. Until technology is embedded in people for the sake of convenience or laziness. As you also need to factor in psychological development of the future generations who are growing through tablets and smartphones but not laptops. Why not laptops? Because it's a health hazard to a toddler, they can get their fingers stuck in the hinges, they can break keys off a keyboard thus creating small choking hazards and small plastics. Thus naturally young parents give them a smartphone ot tablet to play with. The indirect attribute is increased touch proficiency as well lower short term memory as well as lack of creative thinking plus perhaps delayed speech (through the lack of conversation and engagement by young parents) and environmental awareness. Speech and environmental awareness growth is nurtured through tactile toys and instruments. These provide a child the ability to think creatively and increases awareness thus enabling them to be more astute. Thus when you factor in all that, laptops and 2 in 1s are not the answer. Smartphones are the answer at this present time.
  • I see you feel very strongly about Windows and phones. But it ain’t happening. If you wish to amuse yourself with that fantasy then dream on... or better yet bring it up with Satya himself... satyan@microsoft.com. I’m sure he’d just love to read a 50000 word diatribe from the Tech freak. But it still ain’t happening. ;0)
  • Neither... should... it happen. It’s a distraction. And would only turn back the clock to the days when MS was a much weaker company due to trying to be something they are not.
  • I see instead of a articulate response to my comment. You've chosen to debase someone's opinions and the fact remains you never answered any of my questions. Let alone provide counter points for your opinions, which you are masquerading as statements of fact. Anyway, I had high hopes for your intellect (a key reason why I had been commenting on your comments) but it seems I over estimated your capacity for such a discussion.
  • I think it was articulated about as clearly as it can be... Windows phones are a... distraction. Are "smart" phones a distraction for Samsung, Google or Apple? No. But for MS every minute they waste fretting about not having a device with a 4 to 7 inch screen (foldable or unfoldable) is a minute it doesn't spend on devices, products, and initiatives that they're actually good at... that make them a stronger company... and that add value to the world. As they say "Jack of all trades... Master of none". Nadella fortunately sees that clearer than any of us... and has rightly steered the company out of harm's way by killing off any initiatives that were a distraction and by getting his ppl focused again on doing things that harmonize with the company's mission.
  • I'm sorry to break the illusion here but the world is really going online and MS has lost that battle even though they go all Android now. Google and Apple will be the future. People will eventually like their PC OS to be the same as their phones so they can streamline work and data. Yes yes MS has made all the office software for Android and Ios but.... Let us see about that in 5 to 10 years from now. Smart phones are spearheading the next wave.of innovation
  • Jason, a song for you whilst you contemplate your future move. https://youtu.be/oTFvAvsHC_Y
  • Still willfully using my Icon, nearly 4½ old. Since I'm with Verizon, it's still the overall best WP that's available, though the Elite X3 was tempting (camera ... no). I get frustrated about certain limitations of a phone this old on Verizon (no VoLTE, no WiFi calling, etc) and how the Snapdragon 800 with W10M is the mortal enemy of a 2420 mAH battery (on my 2nd so far), but the actual deprioritization of the store and the deprecation of OS made me more sad than anything. But whenever I think of moving to iOS or Android, it's almost a feeling of depression. It's like your favorite pizza place only having a few topping options but easily the best tasting pizza but then being told that you should get pizza from a couple of other places that have every topping imaginable but it just doesn't taste as good overall. For me, the taste is the most important, so I remain. I hate to put so much hope on the still unconfirmed Andromeda, but for now waiting is still my best option. In the meantime, I appreciate articles like this that remind me that my old phone still gets the job done and done mostly well.
  • I too am sticking to my HP Elite X3 until I either hear that Andromeda is getting released or cancelled.
    If only those Nutjobs would either give us hope or closure on that topic... Purgatory is kinda tiring...
  • I left over a year ago. While I miss the OS, it was the best decision I could've made. I dont live everything about Android and I certainly hate Google, they have proven far more capable and innovative than MS has. Even with software nowadays. MS is not a company geared toward average consumers anymore. Maybe they really never were. And they never will be.
  • Still using my 950XL, and plan to, until it dies or Andromeda becomes real.
  • Ditto! And if Andromeda never materializes, Swappa and Ebay until I can't buy 950XLs and batteries.
  • Lumia 950 XL for life
  • Life of the phone, anyways. :)
  • There is only two reasons for me move away from my 950XL... Poor Battery, fortunately I bought a couple spares. I can almost get a day out of each. The other reason is for Grab (regional equivalent to Uber etc)..
    I don't need the latest/fastest/trendiest app/phone. Have no need mobile banking/payment on a phone.. I can get those peaky once in a blue moon things done on my laptop.
    The 950XL camera still holds up.
    I still use continuum a lot
  • This article feels it's been written from the heart Jason, well said.
  • Techfreak Thanks👍🏿Definitely mean what I write.
  • I too have a Lumia 950XL as well as a Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge. The latter is used for testing. I recently moved my partner on to a Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus which is a very nice phone, however those never ending sounds in the background (even after most notifications are turned off) make me concerned about what is going on with her phone. That being said the phone (Samsung Galaxy 9 plus) is a beautiful phone and I also wait in hope that MSFT does something with it mobile strategy that will allow me to stay within the MSFT eco system.
  • Folks, let's forget the battle of the brands and the battle of the OS's for a second. OK? So don't you think it is crazy and in the long run not sustainable to replace a phone annually from a environmental footprint perspective, imagine 7 billion people buying every year a phone for the next several hundreds of years..... against 1 mother Earth with limited resources on precious metals.... Now imagine those 7 billion people to continue to use their mobile phones until they really break and the environmental savings due to that?.... and the lemmings continue to run in the direction of the abyss...... I truly hope 20 years from now we will not have to say what have we done?
  • Phones sales are in decline and will continue to decline. They have to. Ppl can’t afford to keep shelling out $1K+ every time some phone manufacturer makes their bezels smaller. As we see this unfold larger more powerful more productive devices will begin to experience a Renaissance. We’re already seeing phones growing bigger and bigger trying in vain to stay relevant. Nadella’s strategy is beautiful really. Just wait out the tiny screen fad and be waiting there with open arms with an army of mobile enabled 2 in 1s and ARM powered devices when ppl finally figure out that small form factor is only good for so much.
  • If smartphones are a fad, why don't you prove it by foregoing smartphones and using a laptop or two in one as your sole communication device and carry it in your pocket whilst your at it hmm?
  • Smartphones are a great business for other companies to be in. Just not a productivity driven company like MS. To prove it to yourself try getting any real work done on them. I don't even like browsing WC on my phone, or heaven forbid trying to comment on it. Let alone... authoring a report... spreadsheet... doing data entry... searching for an apartment... a job... taking online training... researching the net in advance of a major purchase... planning a vacation... heck even watching a movie on a plane is just way more pleasurable on a Surface Pro than a dinky little phone. The "fad" I refer to is the fad of the way ppl spend their money. Spending $1K or more (not to mention the cost of a monthly data plan) on a tiny little device that should really set you back no more than around $200 just to impress ppl that could probably care less if you lived or died is childish. Phones will cease to be the status symbols they are for many today. At the end of the day ppl have to get stuff done in order to hold down a job... run a household... run a business... get passing grades in school... they will need lightweight, powerful, **competent** mobile devices to do that on... and that's where Nadella's true genius comes into play.
  • That’s absurd! If true I just feel sad for you. Planning a major vacation on a phone! ;0) Nevertheless... I, like everybody else on earth, use a phone often for “little things” during the day. There is of course great use in them, mostly due... to their convenience. You’re twisting things in your head Kojack. The point is, not that phones don’t have a business case (albeit limited), but that... Microsoft... has no business in phones, anymore than Caterpillar should be making hybrid sedans. MS speciality is in helping us get the heavy lifting done. Phone sales declines are already happening. Why? Because ppl are beginning to realize that shelling out $Ks of their hard earned cash for very very little ROI is ridiculous. Companies like Apple that have put almost all their eggs in that phone basket will suffer because of it. We see that happening too. What’s more... hanging on... hoping... and “wishing” for it to be different... is somewhat ridiculous don’t you think? It’s Nadella’s call. He’s killed the phone. And has it driven the company off the rails as all the naysayers predicted? On the contrary, it’s completely turned the company around. Microsoft is refocused and stronger than they have ever been. Returning to phones would be returning to la la land.
  • I'm not sure what everybody is griping about. I'm not a teenager so I don't need games or social media apps. And if I want to do something that my phone isn't powerful enough for I'll just use a PC. My Lumia 950 does everything that I want it to do, and the seamless integration with my PC and Tablet are so useful that I can't think of anything on Android or iPhone that could persuade me to give It up. I've tried using Cortana and the Microsoft Launcher on Android, but it's just not as slick, and most of the supposed features that I'm missing are either gimmicks or are not available in my country. I'm going to wait for Andromeda to come out before upgrading, even if it take another couple of years. If my Lumia breaks in that time … I will find a used one and buy that. I don't care if Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows Phone. It's the best fit for me, and getting an iPhone or an Android phone would be a downgrade because I would lose features that are important to me. It would be like going from an old Chevy truck to a new hybrid. Sure the gas millage is better and you get heated seats, but if you can't fit all of your stuff in the back it's not much use.
  • I'm still going to be using my 650 for another year I think. Bank apps work in my country. I still see Windows Phones out in the wild.
  • Still on my HP Elite X3. If this thing had a better camera, it would be the perfect phone. I keep trying out new Android handsets, and just haven't found one that feels as functional. On a side note, my business uses PowerPoint a lot, and both Android and IOS PowerPoint is awful at displaying slides created on a PC. WTH?
  • I made the move recently and got a Sony XZ2. I added Launcher10 and once I setup the margins, tiles and transparency settings on the start/all apps screens to match my Lumia950 (had it next to it so it was as accurate as can be). Looks and feels great (installed Microsoft Launcher just to get the background daily bing wallpaper which changes on Launcher10 fine as well)
  • I'm right there with you! Been using WM for a phone for nearly 16 years and never wavered. I even used to be an active developer until about 2009.
  • It's looking like Windows Mobile was just the bow of the Windows Titanic. The whole Windows ship is going down in epic fashion.
  • To start with, get your facts right. The iceberg on the Titanic did not teared open the bow but 5 compartments on the starboard. Secondly Windows is still deployed on 85%+ of all computers, laptops and 2 in 1. Not very different from their position let's say in 1990. So indeed an epic failure...so dream on in your alternative universe. Looking at my MS stock no failure on the horizon whatsoever, to the contrary. So what was your point exactly apart from vapor arguments?
  • Here's a fact for you, the bow sank first which raised the stern causeing it to break in two. One Windows, is making a Titanic mess of all of it and it will all go down. The latest release is showing the fractures that will break it. Wait for it... It's going to happen. Windows and Microsoft don't necessarilly have the same future.
  • Titanic? Srriously? Microsoft has never been stronger. Had they stuck with trying to being something they are not... a me-too Android/iOS wannabe company... these losses would have continued to rip a giant gash in their sides. Fortunately Nadella was humble and practical enough to see that small form factor just isn’t what they do best. He asked himself what do we do best? And refocused the company accordingly. Wall Street has rightly rewarded MS for it. And we now see Microsoft involved in projects that make sense for them as an organization... Cloud... AI... Office 365 availability regardless of OS... a version of Windows that is both touchy friendly but productive and familiar at the same time... vastly improved laptop sales due to 2 in 1s and a well respected Surface line... thriving Bing revenues... Windows on Arm showing great promise... A MS store refocused on productivity and even poised for pure fun as a legitimate Steam competitor... As hard of a pill as it is to swallow all this is a result of having steered clear of the phone business. It was a distraction. And was it itself the iceberg that could have sunk the ship.
  • Reread what he said. Microsoft is strong while Window's future is murky.
  • Windows is stronger than it’s ever been too. Its “revenues” may be down because of its new Windows as a service business model. But that only adds to Windows value to MS. Make no mistake about it ppl are using Azure and Office 365 and Microsoft 365 and Game Pass and Bing and Surface... these new sources of MS revenue... because of Windows. And MS knows that.
  • Surface is a success based solely on the strength of hardware and industrial design despite its software (Windows) making it one of the buggiest computers in the past decade or more. The latest Windows release in the series of ever declining quality and value is the biggest T U R D ever.
  • That’s absurd. Ppl buy a Surface because it’s a premium thoughtfully made work of art that has... Windows... on it.
  • I have several Surfaces and they work flawlessly. What are you smoking?
  • Microsoft Windows future is pretty bright you just worry about android future.
  • Microsoft just became the world's most valuable company.
  • Despite that they just released or tried to release the lowest quality, least value version of Windows in a series of ever worsening releases for quality and reliability. The market value of Microsoft is not based on Windows which it solidly in the past. Market value is forward looking at cloud and services irrespective of Windows.
  • Have been happily running 1803 since it's release to the Slow Ring and very happy with its quality. There are reported issues, which I'm sure were traumatic for the few that experienced them, but we need to remember that MS is not Apple, who have their own quality control issues though they only support literally a... handful... of devices. Windows on the contrary is an OS that runs on thousands of different configurations on thousands of different types of devices manufactured by hundreds of OEMs. There is bound to be some issues. Google faces the exact same issue with Android. Bottom line... these reports are grossly exaggerated by ppl with an agenda. Windows is stable... and secure... while remaining configurable and open to OEMs of all shapes and sizes.
  • You are turning matters upside down. The triggering event was the iceberg tearing open 5 compartments on the starboard, flooding these compartments. Go Bing it. All the other comments you made sound like "Waiting for Godot".
  • Must be good stuff what you are smoking.
  • Still cheerfully using my 950XL. Won't give up the camera. Need a new battery and display replacement, lol. Waiting for something new that interests me... Heck if my 925 just had a storage card slot...that remains my fav form factor of my Windows phones.
  • The only thing I miss with my Lumia 950 xl is something like unlock origin or disconnect and better battery life (probably combination of the older pro, high reso screen and Edge). And possibly updated Maps/navigation for some places. Very nice phone otherwise for 100 bucks. :>
  • I'm basically the same, using my lowly L650 that mostly does what I need. And in fact it does some things better than Android/iPhone based on my office user forums. they have mandated Outlook only for work emails, which I already had of course and it works exactly like the desktop/O365 Outlook as work. But that does not seem to be true for others, and they are not happy. As well I see frequent complaints from Android/iPhone users when they change work passwords (every 90 days) and get locked out, which never happens with my Windows Phone. there other random complaints, so I just smile and keep quiet (:
  • I was the same as you Jason, even using my 950XL in Continuum mode docked at work to remote-desktop into my home PC ! It really felt like the future and like having a full Windows PC in my pocket. But I am a heavy ink user and I needed a pen. After waiting and waiting for years since the stylus days of Windows Mobile 2003 to 6.5, after dropping and breaking my 950XL, I jumped to the Galaxy Note 8. and I cannot buy any other phone unless it has a pen. Here's hoping that Andromeda will be the One.
  • Every new UI needs an introduction at the first setup, the Windows 2000 Windows 8.1(too late.) had one, Android had one, Windows phone never had one. The Windows phone UI never was that obvious for thouse people who never heard of it.
  • This past weekend I made the move to the Nokia 8 Sirocco. I was a moderate user of instagram, and I couldn't stand the constant slowdowns or crashes and lag of that app on the 950 XL (doing anything 'live' with the camera), and other glitches. It was unfortunate, too, that the OS updates slowed down the phone significantly, in the end. I reset using the firmware tool and things seemed so fast, but then the updates rolled in. I can't stand the interface of android - the icons are terribly small, the hit-targets even smaller, and trying to move things around is a mild nightmare.
    And as for widgets... what sort of 1990's HTML are they; where 'resizing' them results in elements overlapping!
    Just wow. And don't get me started about missing Cortana and the inability of Android to announce text messages over bluetooth. Google assistant is woeful.
  • Still using my Lumia 950XL, and have stacked up on a 950XL and a 950 as backup should it break. I choose to belive in the coming of Andromeda, and before anyone makes fun of me, I think Andromeda comes before Jesus.
  • Still use Elite x3 as my daily driver. Have a free android blackberry that I use as an app device only that I hotspot on my surface go LTE line for data use. So I carry two phones and a tablet when I travel. Multitasking, lot of battery life to go around unlimited LTE data with TMobile. Usb c charging works on all 3 devices so I only carry one power pack.
  • I mostly just use my Lumia 950 XL for alarms now. The battery is dying and it's incompatible with many modern apps. I first switched to Android when Pokemon Go came out, and at this point there are enough great options on the market that my aging Windows Phone no longer cuts it. Microsoft has been selling a couple of Android phones too, and even Cortana is available on Android. The biggest problem with Windows Phone, IMO, is that Android beat them to the punch. They supported a huge variety of manufacturers right from the beginning, so those who didn't want an iPhone quickly hopped on board. By the time Windows Phone was released, Android was already mature, popular, and polished enough as a platform that many people saw no need to switch to Windows Phone. The mismanagement that ensued only made things worse. The key to any smartphone platform is the app market. It's hard to fix something like that unfortunately. I used a Windows Phone from 7 all the way to 10, and this was by far the biggest issue--the Windows Phone version, if it came out at all, often came late or missed a bunch of features. Brand loyalty can only get you so far, and there's no way to expand your base if you can't find a way to be in a dominant position. Google's anticompetitive practices didn't help either.
  • My phone finally broke down a couple of years ago, so I had to go with an inexpensive midrange Android, but it gave solid service and I would still use it today if I could. It still has a decent alarm app that is not available in the Playstore, so I use my phone for that. Even if I have to keep it plugged in to keep it charged. I suggest start saving for a new phone, instead of going into debt to buy it. Cash down and no worries.
  • I just read that Trump will impose tariffs on apple products. Jason, does this open a window for ms to re-enter the mobile market.
  • There were two reason I choose to use a Windows Phone. I wanted to make it easier to access the same Microsoft services on the PC and mobile, and I wanted to simplify the volume of interface abstractions that must be learned between PC and mobile. I would say that Windows 10 Mobile succeeded superbly on both goals. The services I get with my Microsoft Account work flawlessly across devices. Also, knowing where a setting is located and how it works in Windows 10 ends up be transferable to the phone. If you know how to use Windows 10, you pretty much know how to do the ins and outs on the phone without wasting time poking around. Also, UWP apps work the same on the desktop as they do on the phone. This is a huge simplification in one’s computing experience. I think that is more important than people realize. I know numerous people that use computing devices every day but have very low levels of competency in getting the PC and phone to work together. Many people I know don’t even know how to get the pictures off their phone and into their computer. This is where having a unified operating system and app eco system simplifies our lives. I think with all the work Microsoft has invested in iOS and Android with getting their apps and services (including their launcher on Android) has lessened the need for a unified operating system and app eco system to some degree. I too am still using a Lumia 950 and still love it. I am starting to look at the mid-range Android phones; like the Nokia 6.1 for $199. I also don’t see the point in spending a lot of money on a smartphone. I have thought very carefully about my usage patterns on the phone. There are only a handful of applications that work better on the phone. Everything else works better on a PC simply because you have more screen restate, a keyboard and mouse. We can do things on the phone, even though the experience is inferior, but the advantage is we can do them on the go. Here are the things that work better on the phone (excluding phone calls and SMS texting): alarms, calculator, turn by turn navigation, ebooks, camera, and listening to audio. There are a few other things that are more niche in use that work better on the phone that I have used. They are guitar tuner, metronome, audio recorder, and compass. Everything else is superior on something bigger. The things that is nice to have on the go, though an inferior experience on a small device, are contacts, calendar, email, maps, browser, photos, and OneDrive with access to Office documents. There is a simple reason why people are spending $1000 on phones. They are addicted to the information garbage stream they can get from the little screen. If you look at the Nelson total screen usage studies that come out every year which tallies the total screen time Americans are spending for non-work or school related activities on TV, PC, tablets, and phone, this total screen time has been on a steady rise since the 2000’s. It is now at about 50 hours a week per person. This is not 50 hours making our lives more organized and efficient. This is about immense growth in media consumption. And I think that is kind of sad. It makes us seem like a bunch of media zombies. If you subtract out time for sleeping, work, and self-care, that leaves about 50 hours left over. So, we are spending nearly all our free time in screens now. That is not progress.
  • Nice article Jason. I also still use a 950XL as my only cell. But things are getting more and more difficult. Websites not displaying correctly on mobile browser, phone getting hot while I'm typing this in browser, music apps such as iHeart, Spotify and even groove not working correctly especially after Bluetooth connection prompting a reboot of phone. Little annoyances that are getting larger daily. Still love the camera. Takes amazing photos like everyone mentions especially in low light. Just ordered the Xiaomi Mi Max 3 for a replacement for my trusty 950XL. Will see soon if I can get a comparable experience with it. Considering refreshing my 950 & still carrying in car for the camera because I don't think the Mi Max will hold a candle to it. I also went through a large bundle of windows phones to get to the 950 which is my favorite phone ever. It's a shame that my Windows phone time is coming to an end.
  • What finally drove me over the edge was the less than half-day of battery life that I was getting on my 950 XL. My new Galaxy S9+ gets more than 24 hours on a single charge.
  • Glance screen turned on? But yeah that battery 🔋
  • I buckled last year and bought a second hand iPhone 6S plus which I'm still using today. Really nice phone without the high price tag. I miss the 950XL but got fed up with all the small issues / freezes / corruptions that happened and I knew wouldn't get fixed. I could have kept it but got tired of trying to battle around the lack of specific applications - I wanted a device I could just use. I tried a Huawei but was disappointed with the lack of security fixes so went for a second hand iPhone.
  • I switched to a Galaxy Note 8 from 950XL and I can say that I miss my 950XL with WM10 every day. The Android OS is absolute garbage, the apps to mimic live tiles are not good. The only thing I can say I like is the pen and note taking ability, the rest of it is a $600 waste of money. It's buggy, apps close, stop working, outlook is terrible on it, messenger constantly fails to send, phone calls don't come through and it has done things on it's own while sitting on my desk, like dial a number, open messenger, etc.
  • Try Launcher 10; the live tiles work. I've got my S8+ looking just like my old 950 XL...
  • But that does not help that Outlook on Android sucks as hell. But yeah Launcher 10 helps a bit. However, the Lumia 950 XL is still better overall. If one needs a phone that can surf the internet and use small simple productive apps as well as taking high pixel resolution pictures then the old Lumia 950 XL phones will do. However, if one wish to use the newest apps then Android phones are what you want.
  • I just received my Black Friday Samsung Galaxy S9+ on Monday to replace my Microsoft 950 XL. I have been on Windows phones since the Lumia 928 was launched. I feel like a spy coming in from the cold knowing that all of those apps that had gone by the wayside (Words with Friends, Chase Bank, etc) were now going to be available to me. I am watching lots of videos to learn my way around Android but I have to say that compared to Windows Mobile, Android is a let down. I can't swipe a text to delete it. I can't long press on something and get a menu of options to do something with it. I think I can pin web pages to my home screen in Android but it is way less intuitive than on Windows mobile. I bought the S9+ unlocked and am waiting on Andromeda.
  • Yes...you can set your Android phone to swipe to delete a text. It just takes a while to find the settings. Android has come a long way. Back when it was 4. 1 Jellybean, it was way behind Windows mobile OS. Windows 7.5 Mango and Tango, and then 8 and 8.1 mobile were so far ahead of the Android OS's of the time it's not even close. The problem is now, Windows mobile has not changed in the last 2 years, and Android has 'caught up' to many of the features we LOVED Windows mobile for. So sad!
  • I've been using Windows phones since Lumia 625 (now running Lumia 950) and I love the 'pc in my pocket' experience of Windows 10. Windows (desktop & mobile) is so intuitive, and it 'just works'. I'm not a huge app user, and using Edge in the absence of an app ( e.g. banking) isn't a drama for me. I have a company-issued iPhone and I think that the expression used earlier, "form over function", sums it up for me (not even impressed with the 'form' of their stuff anyway). I'm hugely disappointed that MS just can't get their act together on mobile, and I don't trust that it will be any different if/when Andromeda is released. The trouble is, considering MS ditching yet another mobile OS vs Android with multiple OS versions that seem to rapidly lose support, I fell like I'm between a rock and a hard place. I'll stay put until either: (a) my 950 completely dies, when I will probably bite the bullet and go Android or (b) whatever MS do next (if anything) proves that it's a keeper and worth my investment. Too many disappointments from MS, but the alternatives don't look too appealing to me.
  • Thanks for your thoughtful piece, Jason. You say "Especially when the device we spend $1000 for this year will be used to surf the web, listen to music, watch videos, message friends"
    The problems for me on my 950 XL are: I can't listen to my music, because Spotify won't open anymore, it's stuck at 'loading' or 'resuming', I can't talk with my work and friend groups using Whatsapp because it doesn't work anymore; I can't 'surf the web' and use Edge to connect with the Starbuck's Canada website because it's not like the US site that has a PWA...my sports score apps don't work anymore. The list goes on and on...this is just too sad to even talk about....
  • Uninstall it and reinstall.
  • I'm also still using my 950xl every day all day and them some , i bought the Mugen extended battery 🔋 when it came out for my phone, i can get up to 3 days on standby. I first started using Windows Phones with the Samsung Focus , i loved that phone,it was great at the time.
    Over all I'm sick and tired of hearing and reading about that Windows Phone is dead when i use mine every day for all my smartphone 📱 needs, people see my Microsoft Phone and ask me about it and ask where can I buy that phone, even today you can buy a new Windows Phone, And Microsoft still gives me security patches And occasionally those little updates that come in sometimes. I'm extremely happy with my phone and will continue to use it until Microsoft does not update the phone anymore or if they have a paid update service? I would do that as well. This is the best phone platform, I have ever found to use.
  • While I use a Samsung Galaxy S8 as the main drive now I still use my Lumia 950 XL for reading news, checking mails etc. I like the screen size a lot ☺ Even the keyboard feels awesome when writing this on the Lumia 950 XL. Sadly some apps are no longer supported on Windows 10 mobile so I was forced to use the Samsung Galaxy S8. It is a fine phone but the Lumia 950 XL simply just has a better feel and design to it. Oh and Outlook on Lumia 950 XL is awesome. It utterly sucks on Android. Long live Lumia 950 XL!!!!
  • Great article. I've since moved onto the Note8, and now the Note9 with the Launcher10 launcher. I miss the start screen so much, it was such a good implementation for a phone interface. Irks me that the camera on my old 950XL is so much better than the Note9 though..
  • I'm still holding out for a Surface phone. My HP Elite x3 on Verizon is currently (hopefully) getting some repairs in the shop, and I'm prepared to keep using it as long as I can still do most basic tasks in some capacity. I do miss the good ol' days when I had my W10 phone, my Band 2, Groove Music Pass, and Microsoft Everything Else, but most of those things managed to either break or be discontinued around the end of 2017. And for the record, the more popular alternatives have been undeniably objectively worse. I can't stand having to downgrade back to lackluster technology -you're basically just making your daily life worse and it takes months or years to become numb to all the nuisances and missing features you thought you'd never have to deal with again- and I'm sure the migraine of switching to Android will make the headaches of Spotify and Fitbit feel like nothing.
  • I have a Samsung galaxy for work and so if I need new apps, I use that. I still love my Lumia XL 950 and will continue to use it until it's completely useless. This may sound weird to you, but when I suffer panic attacks, I look at my phone screen and the tiles that change my favorite pictures, pictures of people in the address section and the tile that houses Deezer, keeps me focused and allows me get out of an attack. I hold out hope that maybe Microsoft will develop another phone. If not my husband and I can become techdead-heads. He still has a flip phone.
  • I just recently stopped using my Lumia 640 LTE and I mean just as a phone. I found a black Friday deal on a Note 9. While the phone is lightning fast, I couldn't hold out for the hope that Microsoft would come through with what I had been waiting for, for years. I, too, love the interface of WP, and already miss it. Until Microsoft makes a real commitment to making phones again and proves it's got the edge on its development, I won't be back until then. I loved my WP and still hope they can get it straight this time around. All I can say is, impress me....
  • Still using my 1020 hacked to act like a 950 so it has the latest and greatest and gets updates. Going on 5 years now with the same phone as my daily driver, and it's not showing any signs that I need to change to or spend a thousand bucks to replace. Quite satisified and it is still a viable device in the age of the smartphone. I get done everything i need to get done with a phone without any glorified apps. It just works. Always. Consistently. With a bang up camera that gets the shots when I need them. Can't ask for much more than that and for 5 years of duration. How many other phones out there still perform after 5 years at a level that you would put up with them? Doubt it is many if any at all. Long live the 1020.
  • It's funny to think that I'm in a position to change my 950 because the camera broke, and the only phone I'm interested in is another Windows Phone. Some talk about a battery issue which I also had, until I bought a new battery, and battery life is great again. My job gave me an iPhone. Outside of having access to the latest apps, the UX is so lacking in comparison to the WP so I'm not as motivated as WC to move to an iPhone. And thanks to the PAWA and Edgetile apps, the app gap is almost non-existent. I have access to Ebay, my banks, and even DC Universe. So today I'm going to be looking for a 950xl. Holding on to WP to the end. 😄
  • I actually feel great about using my Lumia 950 XL phone. After giving Android a chance with the Samsung Galaxy S8 I kind of just got feed up with the whole design and feeling about Android and Google. I really just wish to use OneDrive and not Google or Samsung services. I find the whole setup with W10M much more useful and secure. My Lumia 950 XL does 90 percent of what I need it to. The rest I can do on my laptop and PC. I feel proud to be a Lumia phone user. 😎