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What Android and iPhone users need to know about Windows phone

Sadly, that wasn't an isolated experience. Several years ago, when Microsoft's mobile platform occupied a larger and consequently more visible (albeit still minuscule) market position, I had a similar encounter.

"Microsoft's making phones now?", was the query I received when I showed a teenager my Windows phone. With a fan's passion, I rose to the defense of Microsoft's mobile efforts, by (pointlessly) educating this whippersnapper on Microsoft's foray into the smartphone arena, long before the iPhone was even a thing. As I said, it was pointless. He had bitten Cupertino's fruit, and like most who partake, he was smitten.

The world of the Android acolyte isn't much different. Like a sailor drawn by a siren's song, consumers have flocked to Samsung's "Next Big Thing," and a galaxy of Android phones provided by a horde of other phone manufacturers.

Many Windows phone fans have had a "What's-a-Windows-phone?" encounter.

With 98 percent of smartphone users hooked on Android or smitten by the iPhone, most are and have been blissfully unaware of Microsoft's mobile efforts throughout the years. Consequently, many Windows-phone fans can likely relate to these "What's-a-Windows -phone?" encounters.

Considering the convoluted evolution of Microsoft's "Windows on phone" vision, explaining Windows phone to someone who only knows iPhone or Android can be challenging. For the uninitiated, the term "Windows phone" may conjure images of start menus, cascading program windows and blue screens of death on a five-inch screen.

Most consumers simply have no idea what "Windows on phone" is, where it's been or where it's going.

A smartphone war vs. mobile war

Sadly, Microsoft has virtually no mindshare among smartphone consumers. What little they acquired through the marketing of smartphones such as the Lumia 900, the Lumia 1020, or the market deluge of low-end phones like the Lumia 520, they're quickly losing.

Microsoft is no longer making Lumias, and the marketing of its smartphones has long been nonexistent. Those ads of the past are but a distant footnote in the record of the "Windows-on-phone" journey. So as Microsoft loses more Windows phone fans to the iPhone and Android, a negligible sum is being added to the less than one percent of us who remain. As the old saying goes, out of sight out of mind.

But Microsoft doesn't seem to mind. It seems content to bleed users and developers from its passionate and vocal fan base. The question is, why? The likely answer: collateral damage.

Though Microsoft has conceded the "smartphone war" and has pulled its first-party devices off the battlefield, it has not conceded the "mobile war."

Microsoft lost the "smartphone war." Now it's waging a post-smartphone "mobile war."

From Microsoft's perspective, the smartphone and mobile wars are two different things. And Redmond is just getting started – again. Make no mistake, mobile computing with the full power of Windows on pocketable telephony-enabled devices has long been Microsoft's goal and strategy. Though various stages of that strategy's execution were not met with success, Microsoft's "Windows-on-phone" journey persists and is closer to that goal than ever. The post-smartphone mobile war will be waged with such a device.

For those asking, "What's a Windows phone?", I submit that it has been many things and borne many names, and its evolving journey isn't over. Let's go back to the beginning so that we can more clearly see where things have been, where they are now and where Microsoft is going from here.

Windows Mobile and Pocket PC beginnings

Microsoft's early forays into pocketable mobile computing go back to Pocket PC 2000 which was based on Windows CE and debuted in the 1990s. It was essentially Microsoft trying to put a scaled-down version of Windows in our pockets. It was a bit clunky and not especially intuitive, but powerful for its day.

The Pocket PC moniker continued with Pocket PC 2002 until Windows Mobile 2003 which was succeeded by Windows Mobile 2003 SE. Windows Mobile 5.0 followed, and like its predecessors, it brought elements of the Windows desktop to a pocketable device.

The Cingular 2125, which was powered by Windows Mobile 5.0, was my first Windows phone in 2006.

What might surprise the young man with whom I spoke who found Microsoft's involvement in the smartphone space odd, and my wife's coworker, is that in 2007, Windows Mobile had 42 percent of the smartphone market.

Of course, the smartphone space was business-focused and the realm of techies at the time. It was a world that coexisted with but was invisible to regular consumers. That's until Apple "redefined" the space that same year with the touch-friendly, consumer-focused iPhone. Things went downhill for Microsoft from there.

Windows Mobile 6, 6.1 and 6.5 followed 5.0 and ended (for a time) the "Windows Mobile" designation, and "Windows Phone" became the moniker for Microsoft's "rebirthed" mobile efforts in 2010.

Windows Phone, a platform reborn

Windows Phone was a touch-friendly reset of Microsoft's mobile OS and UI in response to the iPhone's and Android's dominance of the consumer smartphone space. The heavy PC-like, and stylus-dependent legacy was forsaken.

Moreover, Windows Phone 7 broke ranks with its OS predecessors as previous apps no longer worked with the new platform, many PC-like features such as access to the file system were lost, and the openness of the platform power users loved was replaced with an iPhone-like, you-get-what-we-give-you platform.

Many power users, lured by the openness of Android, gave up on Microsoft's "Windows on phone" vision after Windows Phone's introduction revealed an abandonment of what many fans of Windows Mobile loved. I was almost one of them.

Windows Phone 7.5, with the 500 additional features Microsoft brought to the OS, and the HTC Titan eventually won me over to Microsoft's latest OS. I chose it over the Samsung Galaxy Note and was quite pleased with my choice.

Microsoft's pocket PC dreams and its path to a unified Windows platform across form factors, OneCore, led to another disruption to users and developers, however. Millions of users (including me) were left with Windows Phone 7.5 devices that could not transition to the latest and greatest "Windows-on-phone" OS that was whetting our appetites: Windows Phone 8.

There was no upgrade path to Windows Phone 8.

I understood that minimum hardware requirements wouldn't allow an upgrade, so I wasn't too bothered. At least not until I found that my HTC Titan couldn't get the stop-gap upgrade, "Windows Phone 7.8", that Microsoft released to pacify users. I was not pleased.

I eventually got the Windows Phone 8-powered Lumias 1020 and 1520. I was delighted again. That is until Microsoft's OneCore journey robbed my 1520 of some of my favorite features when I upgraded to Windows Phone 8.1. Though we got Cortana and a host of other goodies, many fans shared my pain as we lost some of Windows Phone's most endearing features. (I told you the "Windows-on-phone" journey was convoluted.)

But these were sacrifices made in the name of progress, and OneCore was coming, so we marched on to Redmond's beat. Well, not completely ... my 1020 still runs Windows Phone 8.

Perfect 10, Windows on "phone" within ARM's reach

Eventually, Windows 10 Mobile arrived for those of us who are part of the Insiders Program and those who bought the Lumias 950 and 950 XL. Having achieved OneCore, Windows 10 Mobile shares the same core as the Windows 10 desktops hundreds of millions of iPhone and Android phone consumers use today.

Most smartphone consumers are unaware that their PC OS and Microsoft's mobile strategy are connected.

Most of these consumers have little to no knowledge of the universal platform binding their PCs with the "Windows-on-phone" mobile strategy Microsoft has been working toward for years. Microsoft's early iteration of that vision, Pocket PC 2000, brought certain elements of desktop Windows to a pocketable mobile device, but the platforms were still separate.

Today, the Universal Windows Platform's (UWP) shared core and Microsoft's recently announced full Windows on ARM bring Redmond within arm's reach of the full realization of the company's "Windows-on-phone" vision.

Just as Microsoft's "Windows-on-phone" journey has been invisible to many smartphone consumers to this point, the shift from a lost smartphone war to the waging of a post-smartphone mobile war, is invisible to many, as well. Given Microsoft's failures in the smartphone space, many Microsoft watchers doubt their future success in mobile.

The Continuum-powered ultra-mobile PC with telephony – the device beyond the smartphone – will not be measured by the old iteration-focused smartphone rules that governed the past ten years, however. Will it matter?

Microsoft's changing the game right under our noses

The iPhone-and-Android world is focused on yearly iterative improvements to hardware specs and minor software enhancements. What if their expectations were shifted away from such things as what type of glass the next iPhone's display will have toward something more comprehensive and encompassing?

The mobility of a user's experience facilitated by an intelligent cloud and accessed through pocketable, context-conforming hardware and software, or a pocket PC that shares the same OS as a family of devices, that could be a full PC, a tablet and a smartphone, would likely draw their attention.

If Apple or Google announced such a device, iPhone and Android fans would probably proclaim that these companies changed the game. In the shadows of obscurity, invisible to the masses, it is Microsoft that is doing just that.

Through its UWP and Continuum, Redmond has created a platform for 3-in-1s like the HP Elite x3 that is a tablet, PC and smartphone, that runs mobile apps and through virtualization, Win32 apps. Based upon this foundation, Microsoft is poised to launch an ultimate mobile (Windows on phone) device.

So what is a Windows phone?

In truth, it is a concept in flux as Microsoft works toward the full Windows-on-phone goal. Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, and even Windows 10 Mobile on devices such as the Elite x3 are iterative steps toward the true "Windows-on-phone" vision.

Windows phone is the evolving journey of Windows on phone.

In the spirit of the category-defining Surface, a Windows "phone" will define a category and be more than just a phone, PC or tablet. It will be all these things. Ultimately a Windows phone will be a pocketable, context-conforming, telephony-enabled ultramobile PC running full Windows 10 on ARM.

Through the power of Continuum, users will be able to use it as a desktop PC.

It will run both UWP and Win32 apps. Furthermore, Microsoft's adaptive shells will ensure that though the OS will be full Windows 10, the user interface on the small screen will be touch and mobile-friendly.

Dear iPhone and Android phone users ...

iPhone and Android fans, Windows phone fans are so enamored with the Windows-on-phone vision because we know Microsoft's coming device will be much more than a phone. As Windows PC users you too may find the realization of Microsoft's vision equally appealing.

Later this year Microsoft's partners will introduce ARM-based, always-connected cellular PCs running full Windows 10 to the public. Consequently, Redmond will begin gaining mindshare for cellular-connected Windows 10 PCs among the iPhone and Android phone using public. These Windows 10 devices will have APIs for Windows Holographic, inking capabilities and more features common to the platform.

This strike in the mobile war, I believe – (along with much-needed ecosystem investments) – will be Microsoft's segue to the ultramobile Surface, or the realization of the "Windows-on-phone" vision. Will Redmond incorporate inking, mixed-reality and other Microsoft innovations on this ultramobile Surface? We'll see.

I am confident that once Microsoft launches what fans call a Surface phone, I call an ultramobile PC, and CEO Satya Nadella calls an ultimate mobile device, Redmond will have crafted a name and message that conveys the positioning of this "device that is beyond a smartphone."

In the meantime, Windows-phone fans should take heart and pin this link as a Live Tile to their Start screens. (Yeah, you can do cool stuff like that on a Windows phone ... but not an iPhone).

And the next time someone asks you, "What's a Windows phone?", you can tap that Live Tile and share the link as you say with a smile, "I'm glad you asked."

Following the story

Windows phone isn't dead

Smartphones are dead

The untold app gap story

Windows Mobile and the enterprise

I'm a Windows phone fan in an iPhone/Android world. Why? Microsoft has it going on!

The Surface Phone

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!

  • Thanks for reading folks!👍🏿 Hey if you've ever just wanted the iPhone and Android using public, - friends, family, strangers, etc- to just "get" Windows phone, where its been, why you love it and what Microsoft is doing strategically with Windows on phone and the UWP, then, you've got it right here! Share this piece liberally😉! Also quick note to those will may be ready to comment about a Surface phone being pointless without apps you may have missed this from the piece: "This strike in the mobile war, I believe – (along with much-needed ecosystem investments) – will be Microsoft's segue to the ultramobile Surface, or the realization of the "Windows-on-phone" vision." The part in parenthesis references the ecosystem part of the equation and links to my article: "If Microsoft doesn't kill at BUILD 2017, the Surface phone may be dead on arrival". All right, many of you are like me and have been along for this convoluted journey that is Windows on phone. There's been excitement, hope, disappointment and more hope🙂 as we look toward what Microsoft is doing. It may succeed, it may not, but the voice of the 1% still deserves to be heard, so share this piece and....LET'S TALK!!!
  • It's a fantastic goal and I'm really looking forward to it's execution; but I'm still worried about the app effect. Despite the amazing power of having a full PC in your pocket, most customers won't care unless the apps they love are available. It's almost a weekly conversation now with my wife (a former Windows Phone user, now an Android user) when she asks: "Does it have Snapchat yet?" and I'm forced to sigh and say no. Until the big apps are present, I'm afraid Windows on a phone will continue to be a niche product.
  • Maybe it's an age thing, but I just want to do normal stuff on my smartphone. I work abroad most of the time, I cease to be amazed at the number of fellow passengers who are apparently playing something called Candy Crush during flights.  Relaxing, maybe, but WTF?  Mindless.
  • I'm the same, only app I might need this year is a home security app. I don't get the game thing at all. I have od for social media.
  • I can live with the fact that I can't receive calls from friends via Messenger. Or that I can't find a decent app that tells me when the bus is coming. Or that I can't watch NBA on my phone but my friends can. BUT, I can't even do normal stuff on my Windows phone. I get problems like screen remaining off when I try turning it on - restart the phone to fix. If I do succeed in turning the screen on, the screen stays dim - restart the phone to fix. Apps opening with cryptic errors - restart the phone to fix. Can't connect my bluetooth speaker even though it's already paired - I have to remove the device and pair it again. Had enough. I'm going for an Android phone when my contract expires this June. I'll just come back when MS releases the Surface Phone without the issues I've mentioned.
  • The bluetooth thing is SO annoying, there is something wrong with BT on windows 10, I have used at least 8 different devices running windows 10, every one of them is suspect when it comes to bluetooth connectivity. I just don't get it.
  • Yep, it's also a problem on my SP3.
  • Hanley, you can tell ANYONE who uses snapchat but likes Windows phone, that they can move to "us" and drop the rating of it in the Google store for the sole reason that it's not on Windows store! 😄
  • I agree with you here. I was a former Windows Phone loyalist of four years before the cancellation of the McLaren and Microsoft's continued pattern of changing things and leaving users in the dark seemed to be one that would be ongoing. Now that I have access to apps(I sided with Android) I cannot see myself coming back to the platform until the apps are there. Seriously I just want to watch live T.V.(Xfinity TV) on my phone on my home network(or be able to download for offline viewing DVR'd shows). Or sign is a driver for Uber (Uber Partner)to make money. Or be able to control my mirrorless camera, in my case the Sony a6000, completely through my phone(Sony PlayMemories). These are all cool, even useful apps that are not available on Windows and there are many others for other people. I will most likely get the "Surface phone" as an add on to my LG V20 but not as a stand alone phone because of what's missing. In either case I won't be upgrading until fall 2018 anyway so all the bugs(if any) should be kinked out, and hopefully, the apps, should be available by then.
  • Your articles always keep my chin up. The other day, a resident at the hospital saw I had a Windows Phone, and he said in a surprised voice, "YOU HAVE A WINDOWS PHONE!?". He laughed. I excitedly replied, "I'm just happy you know what this is!". It was pretty funny. He said he used to be interested but there aren't many apps to use on it. Oh well. He's right. Lol
  • @sully9088 Haha. Happened with me many times. :)
  • Thanks Sully9088. 🙂 At least that guy recognized a Windows phone!
  • I own two Windows Phones (a Lumia 535 and 650, the first and the last Microsoft Lumia lol 😁) and I'm still surprised when I see other people using it at my work place. And when they're not techies, just "normal people", I'm even more surprised 😀 But can someone not be at least a bit techie, who works for a cell phone carrier? 😁
  • One time I went over to a friends house to play Catan. 4 of us playing. I looked over and saw a guy had a nokia windows phone. "You have a Windows phone!? Awesome! I do too." My friend had an iPhone so I looked over at the other guy and asked, "What phone do you have?" He pulled out his 520 and said, "I have a Windows Phone too." 3 WP users out of 4... Crazy odds there. I got second both games of Catan...
  • I get emails, web access, enough integration with Windows 10 desktop/laptop. Not interested in mindless games, however 'relaxing'.  and no, I am not a sad old git.
  • They are not coming back Jason. "It's dead, Jim" - Bones (Star Trek)  
  • Hahaha....Its not dead yet😉 The likes of HP, and Alcatel would likely agree. Not to mention MS.😉
  • Microsoft phone strategy has been pushing up daisies for well over 7 years now, its not only dead but the worms even have lost interest.    The customers aren't coming back, heck, you can't even convince a MS employee to use it.
  • As long as the Windows Phone OS is optically rudimentary, is not fully customisable, and people are not given the choice to use tiles, or icons, and especially wowing us with a functionally über competitive Phone instead playing catch up all the time aka SOON™, Microsoft's foray into Smartphone is never going to make impact in the foreseeable able future.
  • You do have the option to have Live Tiles ON or OFF. Keeping it on by default will have them as Live Tiles, whereas turning OFF will make them static icons (but still as square boxes).
  • Compared to android, you haev got to be effing kidding me.  Icons are the rudimentary opitcal view.  A lot of the google apps all look alike and aren't very different from each other.  You are clueless.
  • If they do anything bad to live tiles, I'll likely leave for iOS. If both just offered a grid of icons, I'd choose the one with more apps. No matter how much I love Microsoft :/
  • Yea I agree. The live tiles have got me sticking around. I couldn't cope with my static android icon.
  • Live tiles and resizable tiles and greater customization. I don't want to imagine having a screen like Apple or Android.
  • Enjoy your dead static boring icons! The other two-boring lifeless home screens. WP-very customizable and lively home screen. Yep you're pretty much clueless..
  • Android has fully functional Live Tiles while Microsoft only has gimped Live Tiles. 6 years deep and the only thing Microsoft has done is make them Chaseable. They certainly are not a differentiator.
  • @MakoDaniels The "worms have lost interest", but YOU'RE still here😉, on a Microsoft focused site, commenting on a Windows phone themed article. That's what matters. Who needs worms?🙂
  • @Jason If your goal was to get a few hits and consider that interest from the worms, I guess... but the Windows Phone is so dead even the worms are not interested.   The Windows Phone was dead man walking but he fell over 4-5 years ago, and they buried him.   Let's say you write an article about the moon is made out of cheese, you get a few hundred hits from people laughing.... just because you have someone respond does not necessarily give the content of your article credibility.   The Windows Phone has been dead for a very long time (in tech years), the customers aren't coming back .  I would say Windows Mobile as far apps and small tablet devices say 8-10 inch form is probably dead man walking now... I won't declare time of death yet... but very soon unless something drastic changes the time will have to be called.  
  • "unless something drastic changes..." Windows 10 on ARM not drastic enough?  
  • Hi @Makodaniels, if my desire were just to get hits 1. I wouldn't put so much time and effort into my work. 2. I wouldn't choose a position that is pretty unpopular from a tech writers position (I have more integrity than that, I write what I believe I see a Microsoft's strategy whether it succeeds or fails) 3. If I wanted hits I'd join the chorus of "Windows phone is dead", "The death of Windows Mobile"...dime a dozen articles...that require no analysis, no thought beyound the latest Kantar numbers, no look at Microsoft's history within the larger context of technological advances, and human behaviour in relation to technology... No, I don't chase clicks, that's the easy way out. I want to communicate what I see. Whether you agree or not that's fine...but my goal is to cover thoughts...not accumulate clicks.
  • Do you realize that this article is not simply about catching up with the app gap but about creating the next marvel in portable computing power that will leap frog right over Android and iOS leaving them as the simplistic placeholder app launchers that they are? When I got my first Windows SmartPhone running Windows Mobile 5 it was the only real portable computing power you could get in a phone or PDA.
    iOS and Android were not even a thing. Back then was Blackberry, Palm, and Windows Mobile as the major OS options and Windows Mobile was the only computer like experience. Although it was like Windows 98 back then. When Microsoft changed to Windows Phone 7 it was an abrupt change and at the time people like Verizon employees where just pushing Android and not even showing the customers the Windows Phone. I had bought a handful of Android phones particularly the HTC and then the Samsung S series and my wife the Note series. When I got my Nokia Icon with Windows Phone 8 the Verizon guy didn’t even know a thing about it. And that was a shame. The camera at the time blew away the Samsung or anything else and it didn’t have the android lag that the S series had at the time. If it wasn’t for Android fan boys working at Verizon, t a lot more Windows Phones should have been sold and as such there would have been a regular app development for them. The operating system of Windows Phone IS a lot better of a system than Android or iOS.
    I still have multiple Androids in my house and I have a Apple Phone provided for me from work.
    I definitely prefer the Windows Phone 10 over those. And since I am not a kid, I can do without snapchat. Anyway. Back to the subject at hand. It will be nice to not have to carry your laptop to be able to plug into a display and run Photoshop with your Microsoft Phone.
    The existing continuum feature while using a wireless mouse and keyboard has already proven how nice the desktop version from the phone can be and being able to actually run some full windows software will be nice.
  • Actually, Samsung is about to leap frog Microsoft. The GS8 has a desktop feature and will actually have developers onboard. It won't need to rely on legacy apps from the 1990s! Anyone running Photoshop or such software is going to carry real hardware. A professional isn't going to waste time on phone hardware. It will just be another pointless endeavor by Microsoft.
  • For me windows mobile as an OS is the best on the market. Easy to use looks great and imo the 950xl camera is still r best on the market.
    That said I moved to the LG G5 this year because losing PayPal was a massive loss for what I use in my day to day life.
    Nw I've had android for a few months I don't mind the OS and I do think Microsoft have a lot of work to do to get it on par with what it offers. Android pay has been a game changer for me as well as being able to get a watch to use on my days off and my ms band 2 in the week for fitness and Twitter works on it to where it dose not on the wm side. I do the the ms approach that if I move from there os I can still get things like outlook, groove cortana and OK they are not quite a good imo as wm version but they work well.
    I really hope ms make a come back in the market but they need to offer a Wow effect and something different to stand out like continuum but that also needs apps going forward as missing things like Pokémon go, candy crush ect has a massive down side to people picking up the phones and os.
  • For me windows mobile as an OS is the best on the market. Easy to use looks great and imo the 950xl camera is still r best on the market.
    That said I moved to the LG G5 this year because losing PayPal was a massive loss for what I use in my day to day life.
    Nw I've had android for a few months I don't mind the OS and I do think Microsoft have a lot of work to do to get it on par with what it offers. Android pay has been a game changer for me as well as being able to get a watch to use on my days off and my ms band 2 in the week for fitness and Twitter works on it to where it dose not on the wm side. I do the the ms approach that if I move from there os I can still get things like outlook, groove cortana and OK they are not quite a good imo as wm version but they work well.
    I really hope ms make a come back in the market but they need to offer a Wow effect and something different to stand out like continuum but that also needs apps going forward as missing things like Pokémon go, candy crush ect has a massive down side to people picking up the phones and os.
  • You know people laugh and don't believe me that Windows phone has been around since early 2000s. People only think of Blackberry or iPhone as being the first.
  • Well, Rohan make sure you share this article with them. Knowledge is power🙂
  • Jason, heard or read somewhere that with bots running the show, as we now have on Skype, the app gap will be nonexistent and it would be the user experience or awesomeness of the Surface phone that will dictate the game. What's your take on that one and why, if that os true, does no one mitigate the effects of the "app-gap". cheers
  • This is apt !!!
    "concept in flux..." Nicely put, Jason. :)
  • Thanks AbhiWindows10🙂
  • You're welcome Jason !
    I hope you're someone from the future who knows everything that's gonna happen and your articles are small hints as to what we can expect. :D
  • Hahaha....
  • :-)
  • A "concept in flux" is not something that should be sold until the underpinnings of that concept are solid and warranted. That is not the case here.
  • Yes, that's a good point too.
  • "Most smartphone consumers are unaware that their PC OS and Microsoft's mobile strategy are connected." this is 100% true.
    I'm with you Jason, I've been smitten by the platform (only) since the birth of Windows phone 7, the time I decided to get a smartphone (#NokiaLumia), never felt disappointed and never wanted to switch to other platforms. I will continue to support Windows 10 on devices for the years to come, awaiting the Ultimate Surface phone the team has to offer. You're brilliant with your choice of words as always and you're the greatest fan I know :) I'll be sharing this particular article to my friends on other platforms once I'm done with this comment, thanks Jason ;)
  • Thank you for the support and I'm glad this was helpful!🙂
  • Damn sure it was and you're welcome :)
  • What about the Kin? My daughter loved that..for a bit.
  • When the Kin died, Microsoft notified it's next of kin, which was Windows Phone 7.
  • Boo
  • Wow excellent article Jason!!, so encouraging and very informative, I'm a windows phone fan all the way, I'm always hearing this so called app-gap which fortunately I havent suffered from it, I have all the apps that I need right here on Windows ecosystem, I dont need Snapchat or any of those useless apps, sometimes 3rd party apps are better than the main ones so again congratulations on this wonderful article and lets keep waiting for what Microsoft is planning this year or the next one. Cheers!!
  • Thanks Enrique, glad it was encouraging and informative!
  • I have never purchased an Android or an iOS device. Never will. I have three Windows desktops, a Win 10 10 inch tab and three Lumia phones. Looking to.purchase Lumia 650 and a used 830. I have never purchased a laptop as well. And yes, all my desktops still run XP. Tried Vista, Win 7, 8.1 and 10 but always reverted to XP on all three machines ! 🙂
  • Unfortunately the app gap is real. It starts with things like Snapchat, the mainstream must-have d'jour, which a large portion of the cell phone using public wouldn't be caught without, whether they need it, use it, or not. The bigger issue though is the forest of localized apps that people use day to day, that just don't exist on WP, and never will with the current market share. I'm talking about the local banking app that lets you snap a photo of a check to deposit it. The grocery store app that handles discounts and coupons, the corner donut shop frequent buyer club. Even the big apps that have WP versions tend to be second class. Yea we have a Starbucks app, but compare it with the iOS and Android version. Understand my main phone is a 950 and I have a 950XL for insider (like the smaller one for day to day), but even though I manage with the apps I have, I understand the app gap is real, and the main reason WP isn't attracting more users. Unfortunately the lack of users is what is feeding the gap, so there you go.
  • I agree. The app gap is real. I managed a little without my Bank's (chase) app. But there are just a lot of other apps that are not there. My kids school app for grades, Cafeteria app for topping up, etc.  I only use my windows phone when I am working around the yard or so and I just need to make/receive calls. For example, AT&T does not let's it's customer data used via the DirecTV app count towards the data usage. As someone that spends a lot of time on the train commuting to downtown, that is HUGE! I can while away the time catching up on all the TV channels I subscribe to. Well, there is no DirecTV app for windows. My kids/Wife hated their Lumia 640's with a Passion due to the lack of apps. We are all on Android now. If the app situation gets better, I still have my Lumia 640 and 650, and I will jump right back. 
  • The app gap got to me. I was able to do without my two bank apps. However, I needed MyChart (an app for managing doctor's appointments and contacting doctors, as well as paying bills) and the pharmacy and grocery store apps, plus my insurance company's app. Once I needed those, I couldn't tolerate Windows Mobile any longer. I also have Amazon Prime, which doesn't have anything for Windows Mobile. The limitations just became too much to endure. With all the other important things in life, stressing over what a phone can't do is something I no longer wanted to do. My life is less complicated now that I'm using an Android device that has the apps I need to simplify what I need to do or want to do.
  • And you used to be a windows central moderator at one point. Got to you that bad huh?
  • I still use desktop Windows, just not Windows Mobile.
  • Compared to android, Windows 10 on my 950XL just works and works well.  I can pin all my email accounts using different tiles etc., and lots of other great things and it runs smooth on lesser hardware.  The LG V20 I tested with has more memory and faster processor but it is still slower...  Widgets are NOT an answer for live tiles no matter what the android fan boys tell you.  The biggest thing missing is apps and a phone on Verizon.  I dumped verizon after I decided to move on from my Lumia Icon and while I save money, the other services aren't quite as good. Until a Windows phone gets back on Verizon, I don't see the platform going anywhere.  Through in Microsoft's seeming lack of interest in ever promoting the platform and things look bleak for the platform as a whole.
  • Another american who thinks the world ends at their borders..
  • Who is the other American?
  • LOL.
  • A Windows Mobile device on Verizon Wireless is, likely, a few years away. Microsoft, HP and Alcatel have decided to forgo CDMA certification and release GSM variants of their latest devices. The earliest would, likely, be 2019 when Verizon Wireless is supposed to have it's next generation network up & running, and, the current CDMA network capped off. This means that the Surface Phone won't, likely, be coming to VZW, Sprint and US Cellular at first.
  • Sorry but not true.. I'm a die hard ms fan working as an it architect.. everything I use is windows, and it is what pays the check.. I literally have all the surface products and love them.. my 950xl has just 3 days ago taken a break while I play around with my new Galaxy S7 edge, and I'm sorry but the speed of this thing is ridiculous! Everything is max fluid, minimum like the 8.1 days on wp and it just works.. haven't booted the phone since I got it.. I'm still a wp fan, and want them to succeed, but damn it was an eye opener! I will be back when they put windows on arm and bring out some interesting devices.. until then...
  • Yeah, I picked up a ZTE Axon 7 about a month ago after messing with my kids' newer Android phones (both midrange devices). My previous experience was on a lower end device. I thought I'd switch the sim back and forth between the axon and my 950xl - there were just a few apps I needed (kids' school stuff, kids' baseball, a few other specialized apps) that I figured I could use the android when necessary. A month later, and the sim hasn't made it back to the 950xl. This device is so much faster and fluid, even with MS apps (and they work better with box, dropbox than on WP) that I've not looked back. I miss the UI on WP, and I like outlook marginally better on WP, but overall, all the old complaints I had about android just don't hold. If a surface phone comes out and app support picks up, I would probably go back. However, for now, I've switched away. I keep perusing this site in hopes of good news, but haven't really seen anything to lure me back.
  • Great Article. Loved my Windows phones, so I'll be looking forward to seeing these new advances. For now, I'll just save the article on my iPhones home screen. 
  •   What an absolutely fantastic article. I was a big proponent of WM. The HTC Dash was my first, then the Focus, and the 8X. I hope that Satya knocks 'me dead with something great soon. The consistency of Apple with the flexibility of Andoid, wrapped up in a backend that works is what I want.   Again, kudos on the article. Will definitely be looking for more of your work    
  • Never going to quit Windows started using first smartphone from 710,625,920 using till 950 now loved every phone and every features coming with every update , eagerly waiting for surface phone(PC) . Thanks for the brilliant article.
  • You know, i can appreciate this article. I've been using Windows on phone, since the Samsung Focus. I have just simply focused on what i love about it and the fact that it still works for my needs. I stop worrying about what others think of Windows Phone/Mobile. I just and smile, when people see that I'm using it.
  • Like this article a lot!
  • "Later this year Microsoft's partners will introduce ARM-based, always-connected cellular PCs" ??????????
  • Lol you're nuts Awesome write up! Go Windows mobile :)
  • In a way it's good to hear people saying "What's a Windows Phone?". It means that when Microsoft DO make their mobile device, people will be thinking "Oh wow, this is something new and neat!" as opposed to "Oh it's that failed platform again, pass"
  • Hi, I have a Surface 3, which replaced my i-Pad about 2 years ago. Surface is a decent work machine, but is a poor replacement for the i-Pad. Most magazines I cannot read in the Surface. I have contacted MS several times to fix the proplems with the Economist magazine app in the Surface. Still it is a problem. I read the Economist on my andrid phone - it is much easier (even though the screen is small). Unless MS solves the app issues I will not be switching for an windows phone.
  • You have relentless optimism. In the smartphone bar you can sit in the corner with the last Blackberry user.  I had Windowsphones;7.0, 7.5, 8.0,8.1 and 10. Loved them all. However after spending hundreds of pounds supporting Microsoft's platform I fail to see the same commitment from MS. If it wants a mobile platform it has to actually make phones or have a vibrant ecosystem of third party manufacturers. Since Lumia owned 97% of the Windowsphone market having people making 3% of phones for a tiny market does not shout vibrant ecosystem. Microsoft have shown little to no interest in their mobile platform. Their development team seems to consist of a compiler option when they do a Windows build and an update (occasionally) to Goove (which almost nobody uses due to lack of a family plan and other things). When Apple and Google talk about phone it is with love and passion. When Microsoft talk about phone is with a curmudgeonly grumble, no passion, and the idea that making a mobile device is a little like going to the bathroom - a journey they seem compelled to make for utilitarian reasons. Forget about snapchat. It pretty much only matters to those under 30. It would be nice to have but Microsoft's mobile brand is certainly lacking in trendy promotion to millenials. For many of us the question is whether I can use it day to day. I live in the UK and capabilities are often "US only". It reinforces the image that Microsoft is a company that may still use a mapping system based on the flat earth principle where beyond Redmond "there be dragons". So while the Nokia brand pushed sales to 11% of the market in the UK the focus for MS was on the USA. Back to my needs. Last night I was out at a British pub and paid for my drinks with an Android device. Android Pay with NFC helps me every day. Despite Nokia including NFC in every single flagship phone since it made Windowsphone the software never supported payments. Google Maps is the best mapping solution. Bing Maps is terrible. It really is. In UK cities Bing Maps often gets addresses wrong, businesses wrong, journey times wrong and public transport wrong. In a world where maps are digital Microsoft on mobile is not close. If you use any Google services you end up in a patchwork of unremarkable apps on Windowsphone many of which take time to load their ads first. If I want to use mobile ticketing for buses here then Android or IOS are the options. Otherwise you have to use clunky workarounds for websites. The voice of the 1% is not relevant to Microsoft. They are keeping Windows 10 Mobile alive without a device strategy. They are not building Lumia's and unless you are a business that needs a monster phone (Elite X3) then Microsoft is invisible. If Microsoft is now invisible to the ethusiast community that goes out to find the online store with a Lumia in a box then normal people wont even be aware Microsoft is in mobile at all.   Microsoft should kill mobile. It has had nothing to offer for 12 months. It should put in place the closing down of the product in a careful way respectful of those people who have spent hundreds of dollars/pounds etc supporting it. Otherwise they should say, with passion, what their mobile strategy is. I suspect they will dither. They will create ambigious public statements that says neither one thing or the other. Journalists will pick out the odd optimistic word that might suggest they have a plan. The slow painful demise will continue.  
  • Interesting article although comments concerning Windows are often unnecessarily negative and preoccupied with knocking Windows 10. I want to convey that I am quite happy with Windows 10 at this time and have watched it going through growing pains and quite successfully. My perceptions, interests and motivations are different and lead me to different conclusions than I observe here. I read up on the difficulty a programmer designer is faced with in scaling screen, text, feature sizes between vastly different platforms from very large desktop screens down to small phone screens and in between. It is enormously challenging in working out the correct workable scaling factors to successfully implement a universal, platform independent, windows presentation (I read the technical papers) and that is where MS development spent and still spends a lot of time slowing down Windows 10 introduction. I decided to be patient and I began to see how thoroughly MS implemented their strategy with slight improvements arriving with every automatic update. Thus, initially, I could no longer do my banking on my phone anymore because my bank's web site had difficulty scaling and the text and graphics were totally out of joint. I complained to MS and over time a completely new revamped text and graphics scaling system, controlled by the user, was introduced on windows phone permitting separate sufficient scaling of text and graphics for ANY of the Windows phone or device screens. I can now accommodate and customize any native Windows 10 phone and tablet screen or web page screens. This solved the problem and the user is now fully in control of how he/she wants to, or needs to, scale their material for readability and/or aesthetics as well as color schemes, tile icon transparency, and live tiles. This is only one example of what I consider to be a highly professional and pleasing implementation of an OS. The same is true for everything else. E.g., I had lots of problems with Outlook mail updating and working correctly (POP email always worked so that I ran both types in parallel). MS had problems on their server backend updating mail in a timely fashion. At this point I find it is basically working now and has caught up in update speed and I will soon entirely switch to Outlook. Basically, because of my interest in tech, I love the much greater depth, complexity, looks and customization possibilities that Windows 10 offers me but for which you must show an interest or it is wasted on you. My wife was a diehard Apple phone user but dropped her phone in the pool while swimming. I gave her my Nokia Icon and it took a long time for her to get over the Apple bigotry but now she is starting to appreciate the Windows phone features and quality and loves to customize the Start screen with transparent tiles, live tiles over photo or color scheme with container icons holding her category icons like Entertainment, News, Health, Literature, etc.. She is beginning to appreciates alphabetic app arrangement, text and graphics size adjustment for all screens, easy icon placement and sizing and the thorough available customization of phone, messaging, calendar, Outlook mail, etc.. Basically she is beginning to see that you need really only very few apps because of the already built-in and sufficient features of Windows 10. All the griping I read about concerning Windows 10 is usually the result of people showing no interest in the capabilities of Windows 10 and becoming familiar with the various available options and features. I am familiar with IOS on the Apple phone and IPad and it is simplistic by comparison and to me not logically laid out or convenient and lacks depth and is not able to hold my interest. Further, my demands for operating my devices are simply different, I make much greater use of the built-in features of Windows 10 so that few apps are really needed. I find the clamor, the app war, amusing since it is born out of ignorance of what a Windows phone can really do for you with regard to both usage and form factor. Not only that, my Lumina 735 cost me $135 new at Verizon here in the US while Apple phones with fewer capabilities would have cost me $400 to $800.- at that time. I have a 64 GB SD card in my phone and have set it to automatically install my apps, documents and music to the card, which I can remove if I want to back it up on my PC. I have to laugh when I consider the absolute genius of Apple in convincing entire nations that it is desirable to spend a fortune on a much less capable device. But, if you must, suit yourself. Since MS is pursuing the ambitious UWP scheme I do not begrudge them taking the time to want to do it in a manner that will be most useful to their primary business customer base. By extension it is inevitable that that will eventually also translate to the Windows phone platform in a high quality, feature rich, and, to me anyway, more interesting, beautiful and flexible manner as well.
  • This article brings soo much memories, miss them days.
  • True man.... Back in 2011-2014 they still had really great ads everywhere - TV's, Newspaper, magazines... Now there's none of that. Heck, there aren't any phones to sell. L650, L950/XL are pretty much out of stock. And they never really advertised them too. Also a buggy OS doesn't really help (people call me a fanboy btw).
    If other 'fanboys', don't agree - downvote by all means. But the truth is (it hurts), even the 14393 builds (production) are really buggy... I would love to mention some of the really painful issues, but that'll be best for another article.
    I use a L650 and also 950XL, 535, 1020.
  • I think your usage has some inherent flaws if all those phones give you a buggy experience. 🙂 Windows 10 Mobile flies on 1 GB RAM !
  • Well Atul, I'm not lying.. That's all I can say... I've already done a hard reset on both L650 and L950XL recently, just to see if things get better with a FRESH start on 14393 but nope... The heating and random slow down issues started appearing after about 2-3 weeks of use itself. Not to mention all the black screens before/after attending a call (really frustrated with this one). The Photos app is another problem. Sometimes it works well, but just take 10-15 photos and then it takes 20 seconds to 2 minutes for them to show up... I'm fed up. Given up. Don't know what to do. My old L535 has fewer issues compared to the W10M phones but then, that's a low end device so I don't like to use it much. (535 also on 14393.693) All these phones can't be having hardware issues right? It's definitely the OS/Firmware combo at fault and *maybe* the Snapdragon 212 and 810 somewhat.
  • ICGAF what the fanbois have to say.
  • They only need to know that the platform is dead
  • I would say more irrelevant than dead. For whatever reason they marginally continue to work on the platform. With half a percent of the mobile market, who cares what they do with it? It's completely irrelevant.
  • If Microsoft is going to kill WP then just kill it already.  If not then throw it some support and give us an action plan. I don't like this letting it limp around in circles and keeping us in the dark. It is a lousy way to treat your customer base.  You can't blame people for leaving the platform. 
  • Succinctly precise. This is exactly "What Android and iPhone users need to know about Windows phone."
  • Irrelevant, dead, and buried. (The End)
  • Irrelevant - Pretty much
    Dead - Yes (for 2017)
    Buried - HELL NO !!
  • But new builds are released to phones every week.  Are those sending to wrong places?
  • Those new builds don't actually contain any noteworthy features that we have been wanting since 2013. Heck the latest build 14393 (production release) is comparable to Android 4.0 ICS.
    And the upcoming "Creators Update" for mobile will probably bring it up to par with Android 4.4 which was released 2 years ago.
  • Interesting comment. Strip out all the apps. What does the Android or iOS OS have that is so much better than the WP OS? Tha's a difficult question, but other than the apps, which really aren't an OS thing, what can Android, the OS, do that WP can't.
  • iPhone has an exclusive operating system, arguably the best app catalog, guaranteed support and nearly unbeatable hardware. There is a reason they sell so many at such a high price. It changed the whole PC market. Android has infinite flexibility. It can literally be anything on any hardware. The manufacturer is fully in control. Add in a mature app store and it is obvious why manufacturers are excited to create Android devices. Windows phones basically have none of these things. They are locked down like the iPhone, so manufacturers are not going to be excited to offer it, the app store is nearly non-existent and Microsoft doesn't offer premium hardware to make up for these issues.
  • Android manufacturers are not in full control. They must adhere to strict guidelines provided by Google. The only thing they do is modify the skins whether it be TouchWiz, or was TW, Sense for HTC, etc... and then of course the massive bloatware they so nicely add for us.
  • Google does have some guidelines if you want to use the store, but they are not too limiting at all. If you don't mind making your own store or using one of the other app stores, then you can do whatever you want with AOSP.
  • The only problem Microsoft has always had with Windows on mobile has been app  gap. Premium hardware? You seem to have forgotten the Lumia 920, 1020, 925, 930 and 1520. No device released in their era matched them in build quality and features. The let down has always been no apps...
  • All those phones couldn't even begin to sit on a shelf next to an iPhone. Those thick, heavy, plastic slabs never compared favorably. No consumer is going to hold a one next to an iPhone and think it is even in the same league with the iPhone. Hence the iPhone outsold all those phones combined in one day of sales. The issue with Windows phone is Microsoft thinking they are Apple and then attempting to sell a locked down platform to manufacturers. They needed to bring their own, high-end, must have hardware if they want to lock down the software. Even Balmer now says that was the issue. What manufacturer is going to put much effort into Windows phone, that only really benefits Microsoft, when they can use Android and have control over the software and experience? They can add their own UI and features and use their own hardware with Android. Windows phone doesn't give them any reason to be excited when you compare the two. You wonder why manufacturer devices were always half assed. It is obvious now.
  • Nope. If the devices were reversed people would've bought the polycarbonate phones simply because its an Apple product. The power of consumer conformity is stronger than any of these factors.
  • What things andoid and iphones can do, window phone cannot? 
  • Dumb list, as if it matters now: Android can run on any hardware, not just specific Snapdragon chips and with limited sensors. Manufacturers are free to create their own user experience and can add custom features to Android. You can change keyboards and the launcher. Android and iPhone have 3D touch or whatever. Instant tethering is available on iPhone and now Android. Live Tiles on Android are fully featured, not gimped. Keyboard and mouse support has been in Android for years, so has external display support. Then you start getting into apps, there is so many apps that just aren't available on Windows phones. I am sure there are plenty more differences, but the most important one is the freedom Android affords manufacturers. They have been more excited to create devices that carry their own branding and experiences. The only manufacturer that has put any effort into Windows phones is Nokia, and Microsoft had to pay them hundreds of millions to take it seriously. They were constantly hampered by Windows Phone. It was a struggle just to use a unique camera module! They couldn't use the newest Snapdragons and they couldn't add any special features. Marketing and sales suffered. During this time, Samsung could do whatever they wanted with Android. They could use any hardware, even their own custom chipsets. They added rediculous features and gave themselves something to market. We now see how that worked out.
  • Much less, that's what.
  • True.  android 7.1 finlally came after years of waiting with same UI and featues as android 1.0.  Each phone need wait years to get update or never get it, and old phones dont get update. 
  • Years? Nougat was a year after Marshmallow. Google has been on a steady update schedule.
  • I think GATT server support is a pretty big thing... For example 😀
  • You are right, they kept removing features on mobile, e.g. no battery status on glance, no VPN connected symbol on status bar, FM radio, app corner, kids corner etc. I will call PC build as Creator update, but destroyer update for mobile build.
  • Wow I forgot how beautiful those Nokia phones looked a while back, they were very special phones and its a shame that Stephen Elop didn't pushed Nokia company for building both Android and Windows Phone devices at same time.  Windows Phone exclusivity is what killed Nokia and Microsoft, why? because Microsoft mobile engineers were in a confort zone, since Nokia's exclusivity never showed them how powerful could Android become with all those apps apearing month after month. If Microsoft watched all those apps being build for Android and having Android Nokia devices larger marketshare, they could have taken Mobile seriously. But hey, this is just my opinion.
  • NOKIA and HTC made some of the best Windows Phones of all time.
  • Yeah it's sad especially for companies like HTC that started with Windows phone, made some and then switched to Android only to continue to struggle year-by-year.
  • I remember leaking hi-res pictures of the HTC HD2 to TMoNews. Those were the good ole days!  
  • I remember Joe Belfiore's hairstyle back in the days of WP7 Mango
  • Nokia of course. But HTC 8X is an all time classic. Sadly HTC isnt updating it to Win 10, else I would go out and still look for one !!
  • The only thing Elop and Ballmer had in mind was to sink Nokia, or at least the phone section. Nokia had all the hardware tecnically advanced compared to others in the market. And software like Meego was something other mfgrs would envy but some one inside with little help from outside managed to turn it to deep s##t. This may seem to be altenative fact in a post-truth world but it is not. Nokia had it all right and I have been using the brand from 1982 the phones it is. edited  typos
  • I think that they all simply screwed up. 
    Plain and simple. 
  • Nokia could go with Windows and Meego at the same time if not Android
  • I have had just about every Android and a few iPhones. The Nokia 920 was by far the most awesome design I have ever had the pleasure of owning. It was just smooth!
  • I concur. The design of the x30, x40, and x50 series (550,640,650,930,950,etc) of Windows Phone devices have been artisanal diarrhea.
  • Why would the android and iphone users care abt a platform n life support and the only reason it is on life support is because MS wants to avoid -ve press if and when it kills W10M
  • Thanks, Jason. This was a great read. Love Windows Phone/Mobile, always will.
  • My pleasure Bushybro.🙂
  • I honestly had no idea that Windows Phone had so much history. Before Windows Phone 8, I didn't know they made phones (but then again, I didn't own a smartphone until June 2014, so eh). I thought that it was just iPhones, Androids and business type Blackberrys! Great article.
  • Thanks libra89. I'm glad it was so helpful and informative🙂
  • I was aware of legacy Windows Mobile, but I only knew one person who had one, my mom's neighbour, who had a Samsung Jack. I never played with it and only recognised it from the advert Ozzy Osborne did. Back then everyone I knew used BlackBerry and PalmOS.
  • No offence but this seems like an article you would have wrote 2 years ago...nothings changed....slow news on wp for few months.
  • Hi Dirtrot actually, history is always relevant...also maybe you missed the whole section about full Windows on ARM and how that connects to and progresses the "Windows on phone" story from the history I shared. That was just announced 2 months ago😉. That has changed🙂
  • Read everything about Windows 10 on ARM. You'll wake up.
  • That's because even the most die-hard fans are growing weary and not even paying attention anymore.
  • Therer was good Windows Phone momentum when Lumia 1520 was released.Market Share apart from US was good..They should have kept on releasing just 3 devices low end, mid range and high end devices every year until Microsoft was ready to get full windows on phone to keep market share humming.Miss those excellent hardware from Nokia.920,930,830,1020,1520,awesome Pureview camera and especially those iconic colors Pikachu and Cyan.Nokia was aggressive in marketing devices during that time.Wish we can see some serious more than phone device of Surface grade from Microsoft soon.BTW I am using last Lumia device 950XL. :)
  • Unlike smartphone superfans (note not tech literate or techies etc., becuase what I am about to say even extend to folks I know working for the big guns in Silicon Valley), I think the bulk of smartphone users are pretty much set on their platform, and that goes for iOS and Android as well.  Due to ecosystem lock-in, and essential parity especially between iOS and Android, people are not keen on changing.  As most people respond when presented with an alternative platform... Why?  My phone works fine, it is easier just to get the next one.  Phones have quickly become a commodity, and most people aren't overly excited by what they represent.  They just need a good phone, that consistently works, has the apps they need and takes great pictures. 
  • Great article Jason !! Loved it. It's like we went back in time. :)))
  • Your quite welcome!
  • A smartphone is a smartphone by any other name; mobile device, Surface Phone, ultramobile, PC, etc. Regardless of it's functionality, it is still a hand held device.  In my opinion, Microsoft's problem is that they are too focused on Enterprise adoption.  I concede Enterprise needs to be a core ambition for Microsoft, but in order to capture the attention of Enterprise users, any new mobile device must be usable within the workplace and accomodate personal use. Not very many people want to carry around more than one device. Not recognizing and adopting quickly enough to that dualality was Blackberry's downfall.  Any new Microsoft mobile device MUST be great for the office but it also NEEDS to be consumer focused.  Without that dual purpose, what is the incentive to leave Apple or Android.
  • I agree. That was what Apple achieved. They offered an aspirational, universally-targeted, "ultimate" *single* device (with a guarantee of quality) and told a compelling story. They also redefined the OS on a wide scale and mastered the store concept, working closely with devs, and changing entire industries' business models (how they engaged their audiences/customers). There is also something about the concept of consistent, predictable "evolution" that keeps initial fans coming back to the story they first loved and believed in. That's part of why I think the Surface line now has staying power - it has evolved (some products more than others). And why some fans left during the many OS/feature/core changes to Windows Phone (and its appeal/ reason for existing). Microsoft needs to get their *story* regarding Windows-10-Surface-Phone-ARM-Win32 (whatever) right the first time. The market has borne with the eviscerating changes to the story of Windows (on) Phone for long enough. A disjointed or weak story (to devs, to the public, to Windows fans) this time will be a death knell and likely postpone any impact on mobile for another generation. Strong, confident, modern, sporty, powerful, beautiful, empowering, desirable, classy, etc. These are words that are instinctual that MS must learn to tap into. And they cannot do that with only an "enterprise-centric" mindset, though that's basically their DNA.
  • I'm just excited about surface phone....
    Just imagine a power of full pc on a smartphone sorry PCPhone
    I have already started saving my money for it.
  • Ditto! Surface Phone really sets an excitement for me, so that will be my next device. Until then, my Lumia 950 works wonders for what I need. :)
  • What does full Windows 10 bring to a 6" screen? Nothing. Samsung is about to beat Microsoft by at least a year with the GS8. It will have actual smartphone apps and be just as useful when docked to a larger screen. Microsoft is already falling behind and this article didn't even mention it.
  • Hi bleached this article was more of a historic walk and look at the present and a forward look toward the future focused on Microsoft's Windows on phone journey for those who been a part but more so for those who may ask, What's a Windows phone?.
    Now if you would like to read about Samsung's threat to Microsoft's ultimate device strategy, I wrote an entire article on that and it is linked at the bottom of this article for quick access, "Will Samsung beat Microsoft to market with an ultimate mobile device". That's even better thank a mention😉
  • OK! My bad! Thanks!
  • Having used an android phone, I can tell you that Windows phone does more with less, looks better and runs smoother.  All it misses is some apps and Verizon, but I know you are usually on here trolling about Windows phone so I realize this article isn't for you.
  • It doesn't really mis Verizon. It is a public service trying to help people kick that particular habit. ;)
  • I agree. Windows Phone does do much more with less. I'm using a Windows Phone 8.1 device and though I'm acutely aware of its limitations I can't help but want the best of modern mobile features on this very UX. If it were possible I'd be very happy.
  • I'm hoping for a passport size folding device. Small enough to pocket, large enough to be useful beyond just a phone. I'd buy a blackberry passport right now if it had Android on it.
  • Excellent upbeat article and so true, I can relate to a lot of that. I still have fond memories of my htc hd2 windows 7. Crashed the bit out on a daily basis but still loved it until I passed it on. One of the best phones ever produced at its time.
  • Thanks mgd57. There were some great phones that brought us to where we are now😎
  • Beautiful article, thank you! This brought a tear to my eye, as I relived through my experiences on the WM platform from WM 2003 to now. :) Good times, and I can't wait to see what WM 10 brings into 2017 and beyond. :)
  • Thanks man I'm glad it connected with your experiences🙂
  • Great summary of the trajectory of windows phone. I really hope your predictions come true and eagerly await my "ultimate mobile device"
  • Great summary of the trajectory of windows phone. I really hope your predictions come true and eagerly await my "ultimate mobile device"
  • Thanks Dare2Blink!
  • Well done.  
  • Nokia kinda even did worse than Microsoft did. Anyone remember the Nokia Communicator series of very advanced smartphones that in 1996 with the Communicator 9000? It ran on, wait for it, the Intel 80386EX cpu. You know, a REAL PC cpu, an embedded version of the 80386. 2 years later, the 9110 ran on an AMD 486 CPU. The 9210 and 9500 communicator followed with the E90 communicator the last model in 2007. These were quite the powerhouse GSM/smartphones and ran Symbian from the 9210 onward. A Nokia 9300 also was on the market though not marketed as communicator. The point? Nokia ruled the GSM market and had genuine business oriented powerhouse smartphone in their portfolio. But 2007 saw the launch of the iPhone and it seems it all went downhill after that. The introduction of touchscreen made the communicator of 2007 look obsolete with it's fold out physical keyboard. Nokia/Symbian had a tight hold on the GSM market with 62,5% in Q4 2007. The N95, together with other Nokia offering, outsold the first iPhone. Nokia/Symbian's marketshare slipped under 50% in Q4 2009, and continued dropping to below 1/3 at 32% just a year later. It is quite, quite telling that when Nokia partnered with Microsoft in 2011, Nokia's marketshare as well as share price, collapsed. Nokia had outsold just a few years before Android phones, and with Microsoft on board, it imploded. It is, IMHO, quite evident who is to blame for the collapse of Nokia, the finger can only be pointed at Microsoft. MS killed off exactly that what made Nokia Nokia, the company produced, or used to produce, excellent but also different, trendy, well liked phones, to various degrees. The N-Gage line was one abysmal failure we all will agree on that. But it is so obvious that with all this, the apparent complete lack of understanding of the mobile market and perhaps most prominently, the mobile phone USER, by Microsoft is it's biggest flaw. Of the 3 mobile OS'es, yes, I prefer Windows. I've got an Android which I got for free, and I just do not like the UI. But Microsoft not just now, but continuously has been out of touch with the Mobile game for a decade at least now.
  • Yea, those were good times...I had 2 Symbian phones......the C7 was awesome, and my very first major smartphone type, and the mod scene was awesome...every installer imaginable was built by those guys, and the themes were so so great.....god I miss those days....
  • Symbian S60 or UIQ?  I had 3 Sony-Ericsson phones back in the day that ran UIQ and I loved them.  I had the P800, P900, and P990 before eventually jumping to Android on a G1.  I miss those early Smartphone days.
  • Sometimes companies amplify each other's strength. 
    Sometimes companies amplify each other's weaknesses.  The latter happend with MS and Nokia.  And Elop was not exactly a good manager, 
    he was a bad fit for that position. 
    Managing MS Office is quite different that managing a company like Nokia. 
  • the above models (9000 AND 9110 etc.) you said is actually ran GEOS.  
  • I moved from my much loved windows phone a year ago as I wanted many of the banking apps and others to make life a bit easier. After a year on Android I have returned to my Windows Phone as my Android is faulty. I am shocked to find over 50% of the apps that I previously used on my Lumia are no longer available or they they no longer work or about to be removed ie BBC iPlayer. This is a depressing waste of a brilliant platform. Microsoft don't support WP so why should developers? I will probably carry two phones in future. An Android device for the apps and data use only and my Lumia for everything else.
  • I replaced my Windows Phone with an Android at first also, but hated the experience, moved to iPhone, and, surprisingly, I'm quite happy.  iPhone integrates with Microsoft services much better than Android.
  • I remember my first Windows Phone was the HTC Titan. I remember that was a behemoth of a phone at the time, and it was so fast compared to anything else I had used so far. I kind of miss that phone.
  • All based on the premise that people actually want full Windows on their mobile device. Is there any evidence to support such a demand exists to justify all the hype over running full Windows on a mobile device?
  • A solution in search of a problem.
  • No.
  • No evidence whatsoever. Microsoft tried this before with Windows Mobile 5/6/6.1/6.5.  It was supposed to be Windows in your pocket even though it was a different code base. Different conception, same unwarranted goal, same definitive result.  When actual consumer-level mobile OS's came along that met consumers where they were (BlackBerry, iOS, Android), Windows Mobile fell off the table.  After launching and gutting the progress of Windows 7-8.1, Windows 10 Mobile and Continuum still didn't sell the idea.  Microsoft is stuck on stupid.
  •   In a farer away future the mobile OS might not matter as much as it does today 
    because it becomes much more invisable respectively stays in the background.  Microsoft these days really courts Android and iOS users.  That strategy of Microsoft is not exactly new:,_extend_and_extinguish Who knows ... they are giving it a try, it seems.
  • And not to mention native x86 applications will look horrible on sub 5in screen. Also phone will always be underpowered for a poweruser n ordinary user wont care abt pocket pc. That said I think even ms isnot thinking phones with windows on arm they ll be tablets / mini tabs most likely.
  • So, Win32 programs on small mobile devices, mobile apps on full desktops... that doesn't sound like a winning strategy?  /s    Seriously I have no idea why I would want these mobile apps on my desktop.  Haha.
  • Thanks for sprinkling early ads in this article, good reminder about the "old days".  I do miss Local Scout and the old search quite a bit.  They were more helpful I think than anything I have now.  I also miss swipe typing from 8.1, it was sooo much better than what I'm using on 10.  The first ad that pulled me in was from the "get in, get out, get on with your life" campaign. Which I think was the first WP7 marketing line, IIRC.
  • Collatoral damage. Nice.
  • This is interesting:
    Why mobile app stores are on their way out? ​If mobile app development slows down and focus is shifted to web apps, and Microsoft polishes Edge, there is an opportunity that the app gap may disappear.  
  • Add one more "if" -- if the public didn't consider Microsoft's browser nearly as irrelevant as its mobile platform?  
  • I know windows phone/mobile enough to be happy that I switched to Android and decided to never comeback anymore. I have been humiliated and fooled by enough Microsoft and its propaganda organs.
  • Nice article, but still I cannot advertise and defend a dead platform to my friends and family. As soon as my Lumia 640 dies....I'm changing platforms.....I just don't see a successor to my Lumia 640. And NO I do not want a 650 or 950.
  • That's good, since the 650 & 950 have been discontinued lol
  • People where I live act like they know so they don't look dumb, and they assume it's some very exclusive and high end wonder because it looks awesome and they never seen it, like a weird sports car, must be above my pay grade to know that right? :P
  • Hey Jason, your article is an excellent read. I'm sure it will be an eye opener for the the millions of Android and iPhone users. For me, it is always a pleasure to read something so positive and encouraging about a mobile platform that I absolutely love and have faith that it'll evolve into something fabulous in the near future. Thanks again man - fantastic words put together brilliantly.
  • Thanks Nilesh! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I hope its informative to those you share it with🙂
  • Wow, brings back memories of my HP/COMPAQ pocketpc. Still liking my L1520 for now. Hope the battery holds out.
  • I won't care about a surface phone until it has windows holographic.
    For a mobile connected device I will go after the surface 2in1 or any other device made by the OEM;")
  • I wouldn't even try convince my friends or family to like Windows 10 mobile. The time and chance for that passed about 5 years ago or more when WP 7 and 8 were new and exciting and there were great handsets available. I will always have a soft spot for the platform and often return when I get bored with iOS and Android. I'm loving my 950xl at the moment but the things I love especially about it like Glance and double tap to wake etc will probably die with it as I can't see Microsoft or other OEM's implementing them. Sadly even Samsung Galaxy now has a better version of Glance with Always On Display.
    One area Windows 10 Mobile phones beat iOS and Android hands down is One Drive. The app on those platforms rarely upload photos unless you move location or keep the app open. On my Lumia the photos I take upload instantly each and every time and they're in my photos app on my phone or Surface Pro/Desktop in a few seconds.
  • Great article man !
  • Thanks Techmaniac27!
  • I can't wait for this ultramobile PC revolution. All the right pieces are coming together with Cshell and WoA. One thing I'm curious about is what OEMs will do after MS unveils their device, especially those who are slowly dying by the Android mortal kiss but don't have a viable alternative right now. I'm confident that many of them will jump on the new bandwagon and will push the revolution if MS will show something really good.
  • Those manufacturers tried Windows phones. They are not going back. Google has similar functionality built into Android and we will see it beginning with the Galaxy S8 next month. If Samsung cannot make it work, Microsoft certainly has no chance.
  • The discussion is not about Windows Phone. The discussion is not even about smartphones anymore. Bringing to the table a smartphone model that won't bring nothing new and just a smartphone OS with smartphone apps is missing the point by a long, long, long shot. Unless you really think that 5 years from now we'll continue to use just mobile OS with mobile apps. The only company ready for the future is MS, Google and Apple are banking on the present and don't have interest in changing the industry. Let's see what the likes of HTC, LG, Sony, Lenovo and all the PC makers will do when the moment will come, they are doing so well with Android...
  • You really think Apple and Google have become complacent?! Not true at all. Apple is certainly working towards something and Google has been open about their projects. Microsoft is the one who had become complacent. They think the future is Win32 and full desktop Windows, which hasn't been relevant for consumers since the aughts.
  • Android and iOS have their own line of problems.  The Android code is a big mess.  The consumer does not notice it that much 
    (only by not getting updates / upgrades for their phone).  Google will have to come up with an Android "next generation" 
    that jettions history and starts from scratch. It will come. It's not immediate, but its on the plate.  
  • I am very interested in seeing what they come up with.... One feature I never knew about and NOW I have to buy a 950 the 3d photo plotting. Jason, have you used that? is it, I take a "scan" with the phone and then I can 3d print the "image"?
  • Unfortunately no Steve I haven't used that yet.
  • Am I getting the understanding of that right however?? is that how it works?
  • Wow Jason, you made me all nostalgic! Been sifting through my collection of old Windows phones, Palm Treos (inc. the big-ass 750! Could also be used as a weapon!), and remember the Centro? I stuck with that one until it nearly fell apart! Still using my Lumia 930 (special edition - gorgeous phone) most of the time and eagerly awaiting the next mobile offering. Full Windows 10 on mobile will resolve any app gap issues for me, except for snapchat and is anyone still bothered about that?? How last year!! Great article, thanks!
  • What Win32 app would you use on a phone?!
  • Notepad :P
  • That's exactly the point.  You wouldn't, but you could if you had your mobile device connected to a monitor or a big flat screen TV.  You have to stop looking at it strictly from a phone and only a phone perspective.
  • I can connect my phone display to my TV wirelessly, and have been able to for years now. It is pointless though when I can easily cast whatever media and not have my phone powering the experience. Microsoft is thinking like it is 2005. The cloud has already solved all the problems that Continuum is working on. I would never hook my phone up to my monitor, that is just silly. Powerful computer hardware is dirt cheap. Why would I ever do that?
  • Gotta be honest, is it even coming? The Surface phone that is. Be sad to see Windows. Mobile go. I think there may even be some phone makers that now wish they had also pushed windows devices. I image many hate the domination that Samsung has on Android, not to mention the number of players. Here's hoping for a HP Elite 5.5 withe an 835 chip in. But, still won't have Snapchat. Which I know many don't use, but I am the only one in my family that doesn't. Man, still amazed that Amazon and eBay don't have a UWP offering.
  • Why would Amazon or eBay spend time developing a UWP app? If you're in front of your computer you can open a web browser, 99.5% of people use iphones or androids for mobile ansmd those apps are already developed. What would be the benefit of a UWP app?
  • Apps are more convenient for smaller convertibles and 2in1s. The Win platform is not limited to desktops anymore. For example right now I find the WinCentral app a lot easier to use than the browser on my Win10 tablet.
  • While I use a 7 plus, there isn't a day that passes where I wish it had features from Windows Mobile. And before anyone asks... I love live tiles, and yes, pinning files. I love that an app like Truecaller works better on W10M than it does on my iPhone. I like its email better (although I use Outlook on the iPhone. I prefer Windows Hello to the fingerprint scanner (which won't even work for me in winter conditions - despite extensive use of a hand moisturiser, dry hands defeat its functionality.) I like how it can be customised. In general, it is more intuitive. There are things I wish W10M had that my iPhone has, starting with the overall ecosystem, better battery life, and the ability to create new screens and avoid groups. Bottom line, I still have a 950, still update it with the latest Insider build. I'll never give that phone up, at least until MS releases a super duper game changing device that is so much more, and looks quite different, than an ordinary old smartphone.
  • "My ode to Windows Phone 8".  This is when it all started to crash for me.  Microsoft decided to suck all the life out of wonderful concept.  All the beauty that came from Windows Phone 7 that translated to 8 was unceremoniously removed.  Your article detailed them.  At the moment you really have to ask what is special about Windows Mobile?  And please don't say continuum.  Most people at least the one's I know want a fun phone.  They don't want a business centric phone.  They just don't.  The main reason I haven't moved to any other platform is because I just don't like them.  And the things I loved about Windows Phone have been removed and the other platforms never had them to begin with.  So, the only feeling I'm left with at this moment is disappointment.  Even if they release a "Surface" phone without the previous features it's just another phone to me.  Just like all the other also-rans.  And everytime I see a hamburger menu I still get queasy.  I just plain hate them. 
  • I agree to some extent. It seems that whenever the platform started to get traction, WP 7.5 and WP 8.1, they were killed and users had to start from scratch. It was a double whammy of losing current adopters/market share while trying to get new market share at the same time.
  • As an Android user it was an interesting read.  I use an iPad and a Surface Pro 4 so I have my toes in all 3 systems.  I think we need 3 mobile platforms so part of me is secretly pulling for MS.  Personally I don't see anything that would pull me frm Android, but who knows what the future holds.  The only thing I would add is I dont think too many people want a full PC in their pocket.  Some will of course, and it is intriguing but most just use a phone differently than they do a PC.  By the way, I have a cheap Windows tablet that I have been playing with that is in the fast ring and it is fun to play with new builds.  
  • Unless you are going to give a history lesson, there is nothing to say about windows phone or the platform.
  • It is a nice article, but why at this point do people think that Windows phone will some how make a comeback? First you have to make something people want, and MS try as they might has never gotten it right, either a clunky interface, low end crap hardware, no apps, etc... Then you throw in that they are using Android or iOS and simply love it. They know their devices and are comfortable using them. On top of this the big push in education is to Google due to how cheap the devices are. Kids are starting out in Kindergarten using Google drive, docs, chrome, then when old enough android phones, right through till college.  Real everyday folks do not care about ecosystems, universal cores, UWP. They want something they know and are comfortable with and Windows phones aint it. Then the always connected, if this means its moving data all the time, people do not have data plans for this anymore. There is not a wifi blanket everywhere.  i just think MS is way to late to the show. hundreds of millions using android and ios. Good luck MS. 
  • MS at this point I think has the better overall strategy. I think the real problem is translation and implementation. People don't care about the concept of one core but MS doesn't have to convince them, they need to show them how convenient such a concept can be and that's where implementation and execution come in.
  • I recalled the good days when i first bought my HTC HD7 and then my Nokia Lumia 920 and now the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL... Eagerly waiting what's next on the curve from Microsoft.
  • Wow, that Lumia 900 is still a beautiful-looking device.
  • Excellent article! I'm definitely excited for the future of Windows Mobile and an "all-in-one". But, I can't help but read all these negative posts and it cracks me up that here they are, posting on an article about.... Windows Mobile. Btw... I'm posting using my HP Elite X3. Loving it! 👍
  • #NokiaLumia: Those two brands really fought for and won the hearts of many a current Windows Phone/Mobile advocate, shaping our perception and expectations of the platform up until now.
  • For MS fans there is no other option. For Android and iOS fans there WILL be.
  • Good article. I have been on a Windows Smartphone since the Samsung Blackjack, but have worked on devices, for work, since Pocket PC 2002 (I think it was 2002). While I HATE IOS (my work phone is an iPhone 6, my main is a Lumia 950) MS is making really hard to want to stay in the ecosystem. The problem with their retrenching effort is that devs are jumping ship left and right, and very few are jumping on. At the recent pace, we are loosing app support faster than we are gaining it. Right now, some Windows phone users feel like 2nd class citizens. Devs promise and release apps that are NOT parity with their IOS/Android counterparts, and then discontinue support (Looking at you Samsung with SmartThings). Mobile wallet support is minimal (current site shouw 14 supportted banks, with 1 still listed as coming soon since it was released). Like I said, love the OS, but as of right now, it's an uphill battle on an oil covered wall.
  • Dear Jason! Many thanks for this great article!
  • Great article! I wish I had some optimism about the future of Windows Mobile. I think the lack of mindshare will be a huge hinderance. The "Surface Phone" might help some, but there is a long way to go. The question people are going to ask is, "Why should I switch from what I currently use to that new product/ecosystem?" There needs to be a good answer. That answer then needs blasted to the high heavens for all to hear or else it will be another shortcoming. 
  • Maybe the ecosystem is just as great, but I think the question comes down to it's, "why should I move to a less supported phone?" That's my question anyways.
  • 1. Cool commercials I never saw them. May be part of third problem with the divestment in mobile. For some reason it didn't reach as many people.
    2. I was spotted by a friend of a friend (a 25 year old) who as soon as he noticed I have the Lumia 950xl was very impressed for the high end device. He was like: "wow that is a windows phone". He dropped his jaw when I showed the pics and videos and he noticed the quality. But what really got him crazy was Windows HELLO and IRIS unlocking, he thought it was only stuff of the movies 😊. He has an android midranger and claimed he would love to get a windows phone. By the way I see kind of one in ten people in NY with a WP...
    3. Those watching SHERLOCK might have noticed that on the current season 4, Watson uses a 950 and shots of incoming calls to Mycroft are of WP8.1 incoming calls probably a 830 or 930
  • I stopped reading, fow a while, when I saw Dr. Spaceman trying to sell a Lumia 900. I mean, come on, if you are serious about your product, Leo is not your salesman.
  • I sure hope the new thing makes me come back. When my Icon battery life started tanking I took advantage of a great deal on a Galaxy S7 and finally decided to upgrade to Windows 10 mobile at the same time to see what I thought of each. I'd never used an Android before, so I'd be trying both out at the same time.
    The S7 won. I hated almost every visual and interface change Windows 10 made vs 8.1.
    I miss the live tiles and there are definitely annoyances with Android, but overall "it just works" better for me than W10.
    Here's hoping neon and the surface phone can pull me back.
  • "What's a Windows Phone?" The only people asking this is as a rhetorical question. This article is 3 years late, Jason. Currently the answer is: "It's a phone OS that's as alive as Symbian or BB10, that no one gives a sh*t about, has no app support and in fact barely any phones available anymore. It's only used as a daily driver by people that would also be OK with a dumbphone as Windows Phone isn't much more useful to consumers."
  • Can't disagree with most of your points, but I did chuckle at your 'no one gives a sh*t about' bit.
    I mean, clearly they do; you seem very passionate on the matter.
  • Well I meant general consumers and developers obviously. I give a sh*t only because revenge is sweet :P
  •     Great summary!  I would try a Windows 10 phone if I had access to the same apps as I have with my iPhone 7. Microsoft was supposed to have developed a bridge for iOS developers to convert to W10.  As with many MS ideas they don't get out of the starting gate.      
  • "What's a Windows phone?"............................something I threw in the bin ages ago and moved on to the delights of Android!
  •   Hmmm.
    I'd encourage you to now throw in the bin the next phone you want to get rid of, 
    Rather recycle it. Better for the environment.    ;-)   
  • In all honesty, it's great MS have a plan and a goal for the future - but right now, I have paid for (another) one of their phones and just feel I'm not exactly getting back what I invested. I will almost certainly end up leaving the final 1% shortly, on the simple premise that a phone OS isn't a lifestyle choice but simply a product, and if there is a better one for me out there, why shouldn't I change to it. Makes me wonder how many are thinking the same and what the percentage might be like by the end of 2017.
  • Nice Read... Always been a huge windows mobile fan.. Exciting days ahead for us...
  • Exciting in a YEY I am getting a root canal sort of way!
  • Dear Jason, I really am not sure why you are writing to me? I have been using MS powered machines since the 1980s and a Windows based phone for over 4 years. I struggle to get any help with my phone. My phone providers look at me in amazement when I go into their shop for help and tell me that no one there has a Windows phone and therefore they cannot help me. I am about to change phones and am considering what to purchase. Unfortunately there is no one out there to answer my questions. I have classis Lotus cars from the 1950s and would like to track their whereabouts using my phone, but none of the devices on offer seem to link with a Windows phone App. I joined this forum as a last ditch attempt to get an answer to the ‘tracker’ question and was told by someone with the handle, Guytronic, to use an old phone as the device in the car. When I suggested that this was a bit like using an old car as a trailer (much too large and heavy) and the phone too large and not waterproof, neither my question nor the answer and my final response were published. So my perfectly legitimate question was edited out (not to be found on the forum at all) and ignored and I now repeat my first line <<< I really am not sure why you are writing to me? >>> I really want a Windows phone – Which one? Where do I get real help (surely not this site)? Who can I speak to? Am I going to have to go iPhone or Android? I find Microsoft’s marketing technique quite unbelievable or is it that they perhaps don’t want me or people like me as customers. John. England.
  • Hang in there, John, I turn 70 in June, still holding out for Surface Phone, maybe my last smartphone device, inshallah.    
  • You should satisfy your need with solutions that are available.  Really, these days you can't do much wrong buying a smartphone 
    as long as you spend enough money for device in the top third of the market
    or somewhat below that category. iPhone or Android?
    Does not really matter. You'll get used to it whatever it is you will pick. Have fun with your Lotus cars!
    That is what counts, really. -   
  • I had to comment based off the fact you said the 2125 was your first Windows Phone. The SDA (T-Mobile variant) was my first.. Around that time, I was using both the SDA and Pearl 8120. Had the best candy bar designs on the market that year.
  • Hmmm...  I pinned several website links to the home page on an iPhone for my mother in law.  And they show a snap shot of the page in question, instead of a blank blue tile like on my 950.  My old 1020 running 8.1 wold do a snapshot, but not my 950 on W10M.  Somehow when I restored my settings from the old one, *one* of the links held onto the snapshot pic, but not the rest.  It looks like some pages save an icon of some sort, but not a snapshot...
  • Of all of the so called apps that I need all except one have mobile web pages that are way better than what their counterpart apps are on Andorid. There are a few howeve that I wouldn't mind seeing, but there again....... With the coming of bots, I don't see why there is soooo much downcast on the "lack of app".. I certainly don't care.
  • You are assuming bots will work with Windows phones. They will still require developer support and developers will still ignore Windows phones. Just look at the new Starbucks app. They have added bots to it and there is no mention of Windows support.
  • "... in 2007, Windows Mobile had 42 percent of the smartphone market." And that's sad.  How MS has squandered their opportunity.
  • Thanks, Jason. It was a good read. I love my phone and don't need a new one until, well until a phone OEM I like will create a phone I like. I have been debating on getting a new phone, but I really dislike Android and iPhone. Most of my family uses iPhone, so I'll blindly pick that. Most of the new games coming out for mobile will never be on Windows Mobile, for some odd reason (yes, I'm looking at you Fire Emblem, and other Nintendo mobile games). Here's to hoping Microsoft's push into mobile warrants some kind of outcome for us Windows Mobile fans.
  • "Most smartphone consumers are unaware that their PC OS and Microsoft's mobile strategy are connected."
      How does your mind work that THIS is how you frame "unaware"-ness of this utopian connected PC+mobile strategy that few care that much about with iOS or Android?   While most iPhone and Android users who do own computers own Windows-based PCs are aware of Windows Phone, MOST SMARTPHONE CONSUMERS DON'T CARE THAT MICROSOFT'S PC AND MOBILE STRATEGY ARE CONNECTED!   It is Microsoft's job to produce a worthwhile strategy within a context that works for consumers that makes them care about whatever inept strategy Microsoft (or just you?) thinks is supposed to just win people over.   Clearly, waging a concessional post-smartphone "mobile war" (that doesn't exist) against itself (because who else is a combatant in this mobile war?) isn't working for Microsoft any better than it is for BlackBerry, which is failing in software and in trying to ride Android despite its having a stronger historical smartphone presence than Windows Mobile/Phone.
  • Nice.  I like the "mobile war" reference.  To your point, to be in a war you have to have an opponent.  Microsoft is not in a war.  And if they are it's an imaginary one or one against themselves when it comes to Mobile.  If you notice Windows fans are desperate for any news on Windows phones.  That's why any article about phones get way more commentary.  They are seduced by the possibilities.  I am one who is not.  Windows Phone or mobile is what it is.  Lost.  Because Microsoft didn't care to nurture it.  It's no longer camera centric.  It's no longer social media centric.  It's no longer family centric.  What is it?!  A dying breed that had so much potential.  It's just a regular plain phone OS now, though live tiles are great! What's even more fascinating the ONLY thing that's keeping it Windows phone alive as far as I can see are those Rings, builds and whatever they are called.  People are so desperate that they'll use an unfinished product thinking they are helping Microsoft.  Microsoft should be doing their own heavy lifting.  They should simply put out a good product. 
  • Well am seating here for the next big costly thing
  • "What Android and iPhone users need to know about Windows phone"
      That they can do bad all by themselves …
  • Seriously, why would they care?
  • First thing they have to know is these days Windows too became too laggy just like Android phones. There was a days where 512MB RAM is enough to run Windows OS flawlessly without any app crashes. But right now its not the case. If you have 1 GB RAM then you have to suffer. FB official app need atleast 2GB RAM to run it, it never opens in our 1 GB RAM's, Most of the apps which ported used to crash. Crazy thing is even Photos, Calls, Contacts apps too crash if you use it for about 5 mins.
  • Hello Jason, I like your article. Me: 70 in June, went from Palm to Windows Mobile in 2003 till 2011, switched to Galaxy S2, stolen while working in Zanzibar in 2012, replaced with Galaxy Note 2 (still have it), because of the PEN. Last year I bought a MS Lumia 640.  Why?  To get used to the Windows interface before I get the Surface Phone, OR, I will revert to Android. The Surface Phone may be my final smartphone/mobile device, inshallah. Regards,   Roger J      
  • I still miss the Hubs from WP8, and the Me Tile. So many great ideas in WP8. Sad.
  • Unfortunately, all that iphone and Android users need to know is that it doesn't run the apps they love to use every day.  I was a long term Windows Phone user.  I believe that it is a stronger platform.  I believe that it is friendlier for developers (apart from the lack of $$$).  I believe that Microsoft has a strong dedication and track record for delivering innovation.  And it doesn't matter.  Android and iPhone both deliver great user experiences AND have a far superior app ecosystem.  The LinkedIn app for Android has been updated more times in the past two months than it EVER has on Windows Phone.  Sad, but true.
  • This. And the rub is LinkedIn is owned by MS.
  • Go to and you will not even see a link WM store for the app.  Many OneNote feature were available on the iPhone (password protected page support) before they worked on the Mobile. Don't get me started on the region/language dependecy for Cortana - pretty poor for those that travel to different countries regularly.  Same goes for the store - your cc details are only availble if the region is the same as the cc... I have had a number of WM phones - love the interface, integration with W10 devices (inc. a Surface) and superior camera but this will probably be my last.  The windows phone is BetaMax.  Pick a sports watch/smart watch, tracker app, kids toy, travel/logistics company, food delivery, local apps, VPN apps, social media app, tv/sat/cable connected app so you can record that program you missed - nearly all haven't been developed for WM, or have poorly developed/minimal feature support.  Pontificating how one doesn't use apps/games just marks the user to being different (not a bad thing) but the mass market is not based on being different.  For example, take snapchat (not a user myself obvisously as I have a 950) but it gets a large share, so the next big app will be developed for the platform where the current big app is (Pokemon Go).  Not the boutique, niche phone that doesn't support native Signal... Without the apps the platform will not survive and it needed to start last year
  • Thanks  
  • All features, hardware and options are meaningless unless you have the ecosystem and apps to support it. I stuck with MS for almost 10 straight years using only Windows Phones during this time. And I have to say, moving to my Galaxy S7 Edge was the best mobile choice I've ever made. I used to worry about the idea that I would lose some of my fav features or apps. But now, almost nothing remains exclusive on WP. You can do everything better now on Android and Apple (in some cases). Xbox app, live photos, Microsoft Office... I really had no idea what I was really missing until I had. I regret I didn't make the move sooner. But my 1520 still holds a place in my heart forever.
  • Very much agree to this!.. and I'm a die hard wp fan, that simply loves technology too much to stay on this platform.. with Ms apps on Android (and the pure quality of those apps), I simply don't see "it" anymore.. ms has moved on, it's so obvious when spending just 3 days on Android and using there apps! The quality of these apps really are that good !
  • I grabbed a Note 5 and my wife got a Galaxy S7 Edge. I have to admit, it's nice having all the apps. But both my wife and I hate how inefficient it handles Contacts and E-Mail. With WP, everything felt integrated together. It made sense. With Android it's messy. It may be because we have several personal emails, work emails, and business emails. We like to keep these separate from each other, and each one has several accounts. With WP it was so easy to organize that I took it for granted. I'm not a big app person. I noticed that I'll check some out and then stop using it after a while. Other than Twitter and Facebook, everything else is expendable. When Windows 10 goes ARM, I'm probably switching back.
  • Ah well, I guess most people don't even care to know..  It's more like Simon Whistler's "Today I found out!" Consumers don't give a sneeze at Windows Phone, and rightly so.
    Because consumers have the tendency to buy what's on the shelf 
    and are less interested in a hypothetical shining, brilliant future. 
    Consumers buy promises that are instantly satisfied right here and and right there.  Only us, who represent a barely measurable Windows Phone market share of less than 1 percent
    care to know and hope and wish for a pontentially shinging future of Windows on a Phone. Only we are strong (silly?) enough to procrastinate a frugal reward to some undefined time in future.   Microsoft has screwed us more than once 
    and has sacrificed us as many times
    and (most importantly) made us pay for it in US dollars. I like the the Windows Phone / W10 / W10M and everything 
    and I am happy with my Lumia 950 (especially with the camera). But Microsoft has to prove more sooner than later  
    that Windows Phone / W10M is more than an accidental road-kill in the big phone wars.  When I look at what will be important at BUILD 2017 
    I notice that Microsoft deems it important to discuss
    "Mobile experinces for nearly any device". I am not sure what exactly Microsoft is trying to paraphrase here,
    but I do hope that this eventually does include Windows Phones.    I like the whole "convoluted evolution" of Windows on a Phone (or similar - tbd), 
    that's why I closely follow its development, how it shapes, forms and manifests. I am mostly easy with it 
    as the whole crooked and winding road to Windows on a Phone  
    is sort of an academic (MBA) exercise for me.  For me its like a case study. 
    Its great fun for me to examine the various moves and actions  
    of all those combatans and the various market forces. -  So I personally get a completely different reward from this whole "convoluted evolution". For a regular consumer however various rewards might be quite limited. As of now.       
  • I love Jasons enthusiasm, I really want to believe he's right and there's a vibrant future for Windows on Mobile, I use it personally and professionally and in my small business. But those that say its about apps, are still right aren't they? You can deride those who use the likes of snapchat et al but the reality is that these people make decisions based on the availability of such things. Once you lose them, how do you win them back? My daughter was bought a Windows phone, and she harasses me relentlessly for an iPhone, when I got her a Windows 2 in 1 she wanted an ipad. I don't think she even knows why she does, she just does. As a compromise so she can join her mates on, I bought her a cheap Fire Tablet (horrible things but they have loads of apps) but its a battle to keep younger people in particular on the Windows platform and once they leave, why would they ever come back and not just in mobile. MS has a battle for the future on its hands right now.
  • I've been exclusively using mobile Windows mobile devices ever since Pocket PCs first came out. Have owned too many to list! A year ago, I had to borrow an iPhone 4S from a friend (who'd just bought a 6S) in order to participate in a month-long market reasearch assignment that used an iOS only app to ask daily questions and to issue photo & video assignments that had to be uploaded through the app. There was no reason the whole thing couldn't have been done through a web page, but no, the market research company had paid for an iPhone app to be developed, so that was what was required. This was my first experience with an iPhone ever, and boy what an AWFUL device and OS experience that was! I was glad when the month was over! When I gave the phone back to my iSheep friend, I told him of all of the difficulties I'd experienced with the device and OS, and he was shocked. It had never occured to him that things could be any other way! (:lightbulb:) A few weeks ago, I was over at his house and we were talking movies. He mentioned an old movie that I happened to own on DVD, and that as luck would have it I had ripped and got stored on my phone's 64GB SD card. He said "Oh, but you've got one of those weird Windows Phones. I don't think I have a cable that will connect it to my TV. Maybe I have an SD card adapter somehwere, then we could put it in my Android TV Box and watch it. But that's upstairs in the bedroom, and the wife is sleeping. Too much hassle! We'll just watch tv." I said, "But you've have an XBOX right there, no need for all that. I'll just stream the movie from my phone to the XBOX." He was like (:shocked face:). And then he thought about it for a moment and replied, "No, you can't do that." And I was like, "<WATCH ME>" (:smirk face:). Even though I'd never tried it (I don't own an XBOX and the few times we've played games at his house, he always sets things up), I turned on the XBOX, and while it booted, I opened my Lumia 640 W10M phone to Movies & TV app, tapped "Cast to Device". On his XBOX, the Store app opened, to the Films & TV app page! Clearly, he hadn't even used it before (groan), so we had to install it. As soon as it was done installing, I hit Cast again and next thing we knew we were watching the movie on his big screen, with the phone sitting next to me on the couch, 6ft away. Only once, during the 1hr45 runtime did we see "Buffering.." My friend was like (:thumbs up:) that's pretty neat.
      I tend to shake my head a lot, at iSheep and iDroidiots, and also at Microsoft. And at content providers who have fallen into the "we have to make an app for that" mindset, and who COMPLETELY IGNORE THE MASSIVE WINDOWS 8/10 USER BASE. Case in point: Jaybird (owned by Logitech) makes some fantastic wireless earbuds (X3, specfically). Out of the box they sound okay, but the sound profile can be customized via their 'MySound' app. Available for iOS and Android *only*. Why have they not made a W10 app, so that customers are not reliant on a mobile device. The headphones can be used to listen to music played back from a PC/laptop/tablet. You can use Cortana and WhatsApp/Skype/whatever on your PC but no, the whole Windows computer segment is forgotten about/ignored as an afterthought because like everyone else, they're brainwashed into "got to make an iPhone/Android app for that". That's 1 out of TENS OF THOUSANDS of companies who just don't get it. If a Univeral Windows Platform is to ever succeed, it is IMPERATIVE that we Windows users email, Facebook, Twitter, letter-write and pester the companies who are ignoring us to implore them to make a UWP app, citing the "400 million Windows 10 users" (Source: Terry Myerson) that are being ignored.
  • I had a similar experience. My local tennis club has just upgraded a whole load of TV's in the clubhouse to Samsung's. They wanted to show a Video they had on their iPad's via YouTube to the big screen but couldn't work out how to do it. I popped out my phone, set the Samsung's up for Screen Sharing and connected wirelessly via continuum. My Windows desktop appeared on the TV screen ("you've got Windows on your phone?", "sort of"), launched MyTube and played the video. I then had to explain that to get their iPads connected to the TV, they'd have to buy an Apple TV for each screen! To be fair - I did then point out that as this was a smart TV, it had the YouTube client built in.
  • MS still needs to create a market for these Surface phones or ultra mobile pcs. Androids and Apple fans dont. They can switch their platform to an  ultra mobile device and consumers will lap them up. MS has gone back to the drawing board every couple of years. You cannot win a race or even be in one if you go back to the Starting line every few years...
  • Good article, like many wp fans I think I can see Ms strategy, but if were right, it going to be awesome. The 950 and the x3 comes close to the one device for everything I've been waiting for since my spv e200. The next gen will hopefully nail it.
  • loved the article but lets be honest here, windows mobile didnt fail because of the ui, it failed cause of the constant reboots, windows 7 mobile to windows 8 mobile to 8.1 then 10.  Also same hapened with skype rebooted and even though built in origionaly it left out the features we had used in previous skype aliterations.  Also taking 12 months to give outlook app a linked inbox, or nearly 2 years befor photo app could drag and drop from photo to skkype was kinda silly in a windows drag and drop envoiurnment.  Having a print option then taking it away, gerstures beta in 8.1 loved by 8.1 owners and still 2 years later all windows 10 can get is mute in touch, no speaqkerphone option for mobile which was to this day in 8.1 better than even my android phone can manage.  Its a ongoing same story throughout.  Edge cant open new tabs to your default home page like opera, safari, chrome,ie, firefox all did since the beginning of new tabs and still do.  Add both software updates and support stick in the fact there is no groove app for the ipad air 2 unless you use the incorect iphone ios version or groove cant even read s7 galaxy phones sd slot, makeing it imposible for me to use groove on my s7 edge(groove being my prefered option), instead i use play which i dislike but microsft again isnt suporting my s7 edge phone sd card reading so gurr.  When you cant even get a working cortana on android uk even though it was touted by microsft you can see all the cracks and reasons people stay away, alot of promises broken, software advancement and features too slow in their creation and features weve used for years being removed and only introduces 1,2 or even longer years latter.  Add to these issues xbox one always online issue, the onedrive free space removal and doubling the cost at a time that apple doubled their users storage for free and add to that the factthat microsft did this 2 weeks before releasingand marketing their   950 plastic let down flagship phone.  Yeh apps is a serious issue now too and in 2015 it really wasnt for me, yeh i missed 3-4 apps but now its like 7-8.. Here maps gone and microsft owned that at one stage(is it me or is that just stupid), paypal gone, myfitnesspal gone, no vodaphone app, no santander app, But can we just blame the apps?  microsft had and still have alot of issues going on.  I love windows 10 desktop and like it on phone too(8.1 mobile was by far my favorite os on a mobile phone), id even say windows 10 mobile is alot better in terms of ui with live tiles and pivoting than my android and iphone experience but all these force feeding edge, lack of introducing new and old features in a resonable amount of time and releasing software way to early, while screwing over your userbase with moves like xbox always online or onedrive storage removal , 1 year to early like edge origionaly was.  Still after all this i am hoping windows can changebut what does microsft go and do only a weekish ago, edge  and the way they try to force it in the last 2019 insider view shows me microsft is notgona change anytime soon, im useing ie for a reason its called edge is being to pushy towards bing and is not leting me choose how i use the internet.  Hell i really like edge but some things are just unaceptable to me like the default home page or lack of on new tabs..  I can live in hope but stick a edge tab on my ie pagein the official build like they did in insider 2019 version where i do a simple click for a new tab and even ill leave.
  • You have that backwards. Windows phones didn't fail because they rebooted, they rebooted because they failed. If WP7 had become popular and successful, Microsoft wouldn't have had to abandon it.
  • Disagree. The two peaks in share were with 7.5 and 8.1. The decision to change OS while gaining share was a strategic gamble that lost. They kept on taking away features and bricking current phone versions by making them end of life OS-wise.
  • Peaks? More like mole hills. At its peak, Microsoft sold 10.5 million phones (Q4 2014). That was only 2.7% of the 380 million phone market that quarter. All of those sales were the Lumia 520 or equivalent. They never could sell the higher end phones. Meaningful growth was non-existent. Even in 2016, the vast majority of Windows phones being used are the cheapest ones. The only high end phone that even registers is the L920 and it is a tiny part of all Windows Phone. It is quite obvious why Microsoft didn't continue with Windows phones. They couldn't sell them, at least not the ones that mattered.
  • I appreciate the stats but your post is a straw dog argument. Clicking the restart button twice, when MS was firmly dedicated to mobile, contributed to its demise more than was anticipated.
  • @Jason Haven't finished reading yet, but I cannot stop myself commenting that Microsofts journey into Mobile started even earlier. It must have been 2nd half of the 90's that I owned a Philips Niño running Windows CE. It could be synced with a pc. It had Schedule+ and email for sure. The rest has faded away in my memory.
  • What ios/android users need to know: There's not really a compelling reason to change from what you've got now It does most of the stuff your phone does The app gap hits hardest at the bleeding edge (new apps always get made for ios/android first) and niche/geospecific apps e.g. banking There always seems to be exciting stuff in the pipeline but a lot of the time it never arrives or what emerges just isn't seamless enough to make you go wow To differentiate successfully, Windows Mobile needs the agility to be able to put out rapid innovation, but the reality is that unlike ios/android, they are on a common codebase and can only move as fast as a decades old desktop os However the investment in the core os is huge so in theory the oil tanker will not just turn around but start carving up the waves So we sit and wait and hope for theory to become reality
  • I'm a big fan of Windows Phones but I'll be going to Android. No Strava to track my rides, runs and to participate with challenges. No brokerage apps for trading stocks. No Chase Bank app. No 'unfollow me' type of apps for Instagram or Twitter. You miss so much staying with W10M.
  • I don't want my windows phone act like iPhone! I love windows phone because it's different ! My love for it remain forever
  • Why do we care what iPhone and Android users know about Windows phones?
  • @Sin because they comprise about 99% of the smartphone buying market. More than the 1% of the us, Windows phone fans, need to know how Microsoft's "Windows on phone" vision has never ended but has been manifest differently through the years. And how it will soon be manifest on an ultimate mobile device after these same iPhone/Android users get a taste of Windows 10 on cellular PCs later this year.
  • True - but these people have invested a significant amount of time and money into their platform and need to convince themselves they made the right choice. Microsoft obviously have the best strategy - let's see if they can balls this up again. 2017 should be an interesting year. (an if no hardware is released this year, they should have continued to make the 950 / 950XL at the very least).
  • I spent 5 years with Windows phone. Starting with 7, to 7.5, 7.8, 8, and 8.1. I wanted the htc m8 for Windows but tmobile sadly didn't sell it anymore and the offerings they did have were lower spec devices than the lumia 925 I had at the time. I left with an HTC one m9 in hopes of tmobile getting an amazing new WP when I planned to upgrade again. Months later, nothing. I now have a Galaxy S7. There has obviously been no mention of an android killing WP on tmobile. If they were to get one, would it have the apps I use every day on android? If it did, would my saves from the game servers work so I wasn't starting from scratch? I may never know at this point and may not be able to switch back after this long. I may even catch the dreaded Cupertino fever and move to that (I certainly hope not as I can't stomach the thought). Will time tell? I'm can't say for sure.
  • My first smart phone was the HTC PPC6800 WM6.?, HTC Surround, 920, and now a 950. I still have all of them, never had any problem with any of them. I power all of them up to make my profile picture and they all worked like a champ. It is so net to power up the PPC6800 and see how much that phone could do that long ago. If Microsoft would have nail there direction earlier, Windows Phone would have lots of market share. My Wife & Daughter are using IPhone, Son is a Android user. I will be with Windows Phone until the end. I can't wait to see what the Windows Ultimate Phone will bring us.
  • Interesting article. Microsoft need to display the Surface Phone with its PCs and laptops at retailers.. Get them totally out of the Phone retail space.
  • My Lumia 640 WP10 runs Facebook, Instagram, Viber, Skype, weather apps, good camera, and it is a darn good phone as well.
  • If you have the money - you should try to get one of the last 950XL. I used to have a 635 and went for a 950XL and the different is amazing (screen, camera, speed). The first time you plug the device into a monitor and get a full desktop on the second screen is amazing. The stories of the early 950XL being quirky were true (as of Jan 2016) but now, a year later, it's great.
  • I started with a non-phone version of Windows mobile CE on an Compaq Ipaq, which I then upgraded to a version with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.  I had a Nokia C6 (Symbian OS) for a while before getting my Lumia 800, Lumia 925 & now the Lumia 950.  My wife liked the ease of the phones so she went from no phone to the Lumia 530, followed by our 17yr old daughter who has a Lumia 640. If Microsoft could only work with Snapchap, they could make 1,000 of extra sales to school children, who are currently using Android and iPhones.  When our daughter started using her new phone for school, she said lots of the other children really liked the phone, the idea of the live tiles and even the look, but once they found you could not use Snapchat, they changed from wanting one to saying they just liked it.  Snapchat is now one of the main apps lots of people use now and I feel it Microsoft worked with them to create an app for Windows phones, then you would notice a change in sales.  All her friends are suffering from flat batteries really fast, but she has her phone on all day, using Facebook, Twitter and other apps and still comes home with battery left. I will always be really puzzled why Microsoft wanted to create Windows phones, but then not bother with good advertising, promoting the camera, Windows app store, battery life and more.  They even had the NFC chips in the higher models, but have never worked to get a payment system working with most of their phones.  Apple and Android have managed to create payment systems, so if Microsoft don't have the brains, why not ask one of them to create an app for Windows phones.  After all Microsoft makes OneDrive and Office for both their phones and tablets, so why should they not create for Microsoft. I really want to stick with Windows phones, but after being on my third Lumia model and seeing 2 of them just dumped by Microsoft and now the 950 having less and less support even from Microsoft itself, then why would I risk a fourth phone.  I even read somewhere that they are or have stopped updating Minecraft on the phones, that should be supported first.  I have purchased quite a few apps for my phones and Minecraft was one of the last purchased for my daughter to play when we're out and about.  Are Microsoft willing to either refund or partly refund users who have purchased apps and found support withdrawn due to Microsoft's lack of support for their own phones. I also really think the only way Microsoft might keep some of the people who have supported the phones over the years, will be to provide long term supporters (There system will know by phone registration's and use) any new models at a very discounted rate or give them something that will make up for all the money users had wasted on non-supported phones and apps purchase.  Then users could use this to purchase apps that will most likely need re-purchasing for the new version.  Microsoft need to get some of the dedicated Lumia designers back and show everyone what can be done, but any people on the windows phone team found to not support the system, should not be on the team.  You know it makes sense.
  • Fyi, Minecraft is back though, so there is some good news
  • I rarely post comments here (love reading everyone's comments though) but please let me share my story with you guys... Well, I'm a student from a low-income family here in the Philippines. I currently own a Lumia 550 and had a Lumia 535 before that. First time I've learned about Windows Phone was in 2010 when WP7 was released. When I first saw Metro I instantly fell in love with it, that Authentically Digital philosophy was really gorgeous and works really really well. I have to say that from that point onward, Metro had significantly influenced my design choices whenever I make documents, presentations, etc.
    After that, Windows Phone somehow went under my radar though I made it my goal to own a Windows phone someday. Fast forward to December 2014, somehow I have managed to gather enough money to buy myself an entry-level smartphone, of course my first choice is a Windows Phone-powered device. I bought the 535.
    It was AMAZING! The OS works so smooth in such a low-end device and of course everything's SO beautiful and consistent. It does everything that I need in a smartphone and does it really well, I'm not an app person so the app gap never really affected me. In the two years that I have owned that device I never had a problem with the OS (except when a joined the Insider Program in Slow Ring and encoutered the migration bug that prevents further updates, that's my fault though). The only thing that I hated about it was the touchscreen issue of the 535. (Got my L550 last November when I received the spare money from my scholarship grant and the price was already down to 3,000 pesos (have no idea what's that in USD). Gave the L535 to my sister) The amazing thing is, everyone who saw my phone was like "Wow, that's beautiful!" and I would lend it to them to give it a try and most will instantly fell in love with it too (even with the non-Metro W10M). And when I tell them that it's a Windows phone, they'd get surprised because they don't know that there's such a thing. Yes, very very very few people knows that Windows phones exist. Of course we all know it's because of Microsoft's non-existent marketing and it's really really sad because I know a LOT of people who really likes the concept of Windows Phone/10 Mobile but sadly never had the opportunity to consider it as their next smartphone purchase because of the lack of mindshare. In fact, many are willing to buy one if Microsoft hadn't stopped manufacturing Lumias and limiting the supply. (Yes, I understand the logic behind the retrenchment, it's still sad nonetheless...) Or rather many are willing to buy one, right before hearing about the app gap. Yes, I do warn those prospective buyers about our ecosystem's lack of apps because I believe that it's only fair to give them the pros and cons of Windows 10 and let them decide whether they will still want it or not (most wouldn't switch without apps). You see, I just can't recommend it to anybody and get them disappointed because they can't to something that they expect to be able to do on a smartphone. And therein lies our weakness: apps. It's true that if you wouldn't consider the apps, Windows 10 is the superior operating system compared to Android (can't speak against iOS since I don't have first hand experience with it) and it has all the potential to be the dominant OS between the three (iPhone will never dominate in terms of market share because of it's price). It has the better UI, better UX, better performance (at least on hardware that is comparable to my L550). But none of it will ever matter if Microsoft can't solve the app problem. It's sad really...
  • The phone that hangs and has alot of bugs that date back to build 10536 and no one cares to fix them.
  • I rarely post comments here (love reading everyone's comments though) but please let me share my story with you guys... Well, I'm a computer science student from a low-income family here in the Philippines. I currently own a Lumia 550 and had a Lumia 535 before that. First time I've learned about Windows Phone was back in 2010 when WP7 was released. When I first saw Metro I instantly fell in love with it, that Authentically Digital philosophy was really gorgeous and works really really well. I have to say that from that point onward, Metro had significantly influenced my design choices whenever I make documents, presentations, etc.
    After that, Windows Phone somehow went under my radar since I don't have one though I made it my goal to own a Windows phone someday. Fast forward to December 2014, somehow I have managed to gather enough money to buy myself an entry-level smartphone, of course my first choice is a Windows Phone-powered device. I bought the 535.
    It was AMAZING! The OS works so smooth in such a low-end device and of course everything's SO beautiful and consistent. It does everything that I need in a smartphone and does it really well, I'm not an app person so the app gap never really affected me. In the two years that I have owned that device I never had a problem with the OS (except when a joined the Insider Program in Slow Ring and encoutered the migration bug that prevents further updates, that's my fault though). The only thing that I hated about it was the touchscreen issue of the 535. (I eventually got my L550 last November when I received the spare money from my scholarship grant and the price was already down to 3,000 pesos (have no idea what's that in USD). Gave the L535 to my sister.) What's my point then? Well the amazing thing is, everyone who saw my phone was like "Wow, that's beautiful!" Naturally I would lend it to them to give it a try and most will instantly fell in love with it too (even with the non-Metro W10M). And once I tell them that it's a Windows phone, they'd get really surprised because they have no idea that there is such a thing as a Windows phone. Yes, very very very few people knows that Windows phones exist. Of course we all know it's because of Microsoft's non-existent marketing and it's really really sad because I know a LOT of people who genuinely likes the concept of Windows Phone/10 Mobile but sadly never had the opportunity to consider in their past smartphone purchases because of the lack of mindshare. In fact, many are willing to buy one if Microsoft hadn't stopped manufacturing Lumias and limiting the supply. (Yes, I understand the logic behind the retrenchment, it's still sad nonetheless...) Or rather, many are willing to buy one, right before hearing about the app gap. Yes, I do tell those prospective buyers about our ecosystem's lack of apps because I believe that it's only fair to give them the pros and cons of Windows 10 and let them decide whether they will still want it or not (most wouldn't switch without apps). You see, I just can't recommend it to anybody only to make them disappointed because they couldn't to something that they expect to be able to do on a smartphone. And therein lies our weakness: apps. In spite of the fact that if you wouldn't consider the apps, Windows 10 is the superior operating system compared to Android (can't speak against iOS since I don't have first hand experience with it) and that it has all the potential to be the dominant OS between the big three (iPhone will never dominate in terms of market share because of it's price). It has the better UI, better UX, better performance (at least on hardware that is comparable to my L550). But none of it will ever matter if Microsoft can't solve the app problem. The majority of smartphone users are not tech enthusiasts. They wouldn't mind switching platforms because the concept of platforms are invisible to the regular consumer anyway (you wouldn't believe how many times I have to explain to someone something as trivial as an operating system). To the average Joe, a smartphone is just an app launcher. The most important (and usually only) criteria in choosing a smartphone is ease of use and apps. We got the first but not the second. I'll keep using my Lumia 550 till the very end. I love the way Windows works on mobile. It's just sad that after this, I probably would be forced to switch because there will be no more phones left to continue the Windows journey. (At least Nokia's back, I'd probably go there when the time comes)
  • MS has no strategy except wasting money on the wrong things. Phone should have had their priority.
  • I too heard "Is Microsoft still making phones?" 😢
  • Have kids attending primary school, and government schools in Queensland schools' device of choice is the iPad! Security and educational apps! You can't beat the feeling.
  • yeeeeeyyy i'm one of the 1% >
  • Haha 😆
  • Badly developed apps, poorly coded and lots of crashes. The OS itself crashes many times a day. This is my image in Windows Phone after using it since wp7.5 through wm10.
  • Wow, I feel bad for you. Mine has done that on occasion, but no where near that bad.
  • Its been almost a year now M$ haven't launched a new windows phone and still windows central editor's wants us to believe there is still hope in WP like its 2013.
  • There was also the Lumia 920 commercial which was very funny!
  • now its definitely not best time to switch.
  • Utilizatorii de Android si Iphone,trebuie sa stie ca telefoanele windows sunt instabile!!!
  • I left WP a couple of months ago and I got an LG V20. I used to be defensive about it and spoke about continuum enthusiastically despite only having  a 1520. However, I wanted apps like Spotify to be available or work well. It barely did on my 1520. I kept seeing apps removed so I left. Do I think a continuum like function is the future? Yes. But it's not here now. I don't blame dev's and even larger companies for ending their support. Why should they? With less than 1% market share, what's the point? If MS does something in the next 2-3 years to get my attention, great. But if not I'm comfortable using android.  Not to mention that I doubt Nintendo will be making a Nintendo Switch app for WP.
  • Great article! Thank you for taking me to the Windows mobile journey (:
  • A very very good, realistic as well as interesting article.
  • Last Straw for Windows Mobile. I've been a loyal Windows phone owner for a long time, holding out for a change in the downward trek as more and more apps dump Windows. I just boarded an Alaska Airlines flight where they announce free movies on you phone. Any phone except a Windows phone that is. So now I get to sit for 5 hours watching others watch the movies. Sorry MS, but I'm no longer going to sit around waiting for you turn this around. You messed up royally by ignoring us. Can't wait to go get my iPhone.
  • I get the frustration in that situation, I do, but you're talking nonsense. You know fully well it's not Microsoft's fault Alaska Airlines don't support them, it's Alaska Airlines' (or, indirectly, every iphone and Android owner in the world's). You must also remember that there are countless other niche mobile OS in the world, which are also ignored in favour of iOS and Android. Sadly, that's what Windows Mobile is currently, a niche OS. Being an loyal Windows phone owner, surely you are used to us not getting all the apps?
  • Come on! You cannot blame companies like Alaska Airlines for dropping support for a phone OS that has such a small and ever decreasing market share. I have stuck with WP long after many have already left, not really being all that bothered about the lack of apps as long as the phone did what I needed it to do. But sadly it cannot have gone unnoticed that bugs that are months old are still not being addressed, that updates are not coming as fast as they used too and that as time passes more and more support from third parties is falling away. Loyalty is a fine but when it isn't rewarded with proper support from MS and you just feel increasingly frustrated with basic performance its time to jump ship, not drown with the captain. I hope MS can make a go of phones again but I need a tool that works in the here and now so whilst MS look to the future and work on that I too will be using a tool from a different company, for the forseeable future at least.      
  • Some of my friends call my phone a Toys 'R' Us Phone....I don't really care what phone anybody chooses to use though lol
  • The irony is it's the other way around. Looking at iPhones in the wild, they look so childish and dull. maybe that's not helped by the fact they all look the same...
  • LOL! There sure are a lot of Windows haters trolling this forum!!!    You won't find me wasting my time reading IOS or Android junk so I can tell them how much their OS sucks!!!! Funny.  
  • I think the iOS trolls get paid by Apple to troll. Why else would anyone waste their time? I see on Yahoo everyday some "news article" about Apple phones, their apps or more the next Apple phone. You don't get pushed to the top on Google if you don't pay for it and you won't be on Yahoo if you don't hand them a big fat white envelope stuffed with Ben Franklin's
  • Not sure if you were referring to me but I've been with MS since the first HTC Tilt. I like this site because I am a W10 and Xbox One(and every console really) user. I've been in the WP/WM ecosystem for many years. However, as of right now, WP is dead. I appreciate the author's passion but it seems almost irrational at this point. The OS is nice but without well-maintained, and available, apps what is the reason to stay - other than just not being able to buy or acquire another phone?
  • It's generally because these users are bored with their phones. From the iPhone 6s battery issues to paint chipping on the iPhone 7, the 'I'm never buying Apple again' comments to second rate iOS copies of apps on Android e.g. Snapchat. Additionally, iOS is a boring platform. You click, use an app and that's about it. Look through the top 10 apps on either Android or iOS and you see the old favourites that are available on most platforms. Most people buy an iPhone it's an iPhone. You really don't need to be paying that much for your phone contract! Android users - should they be called that? Which OEM version? Which skin? Oxygen? Samsung's? LG? Unless you use Google's store - for second rate iOS rip-off's then you are stuck on that manufacturers universe with poor upgrade cycles etc. At the moment, the 950 and 950XL are probably the best hardware on the market for the price. From the 22MP Carl Zeiss camera to microSD support, removable battery, IRIS scanner, QuadHD AMOLED screen, USB-C (plug it into your screen for a desktop-like experience), wireless charging etc etc - you can't buy a better phone for the same amount of money. If mine broke today, I'd buy another one knowing that even though Microsoft have stopped making them - they will more than fulfill my requirements for the next couple of years, while the industry shifts again. Finally, being non-US, I do get it that I have access to far more apps than you, from my local car park payment app, to airlines, to banking, to games, to newspapers, to public transport so perhaps, as my needs are met, US readers may not feel the same way.
  • Maybe some people USE ALL SYSTEMS.....Like myself. And I can tell you NONE are junk....well besides windows mobile...that truly is lacking functionality because there are no apps.....
  • What Android and iPhone users need to know about Windows Phone: nothing. Very negative comment from me there but unfortunately I think it's true at this point, they don't know, they don't want to know and they don't need to know because it really is irrelevant when even fans of the platform are leaving. I can't wait for MS to try again and hopefully they will nail it this time because then it would be worth telling people about Windows "phone" and all the call things it can do like hopefully run Photoshop!
  • I'm sorry but this article is just wishful thinking. WP is dead. The marketshare is gone, the apps aren't there or those that are are being pulled, even MS apps work better and with more features on other platforms! And if Live Tiles is all there is to shout about then it's just not enough. Oh and Google are already long since working on merging Chrome OS and Android (and 3rd party devs have already done this to varying degrees), and Apple/IOS is already a far tighter ecosystem than eitherr Android or WP (which is both a good and bad thing) Step away from the blind fanboyism of this site and you'll see that any chance WP might have had is long gone. Even Windows 10 (desktop) continues to struggle despite being FREE, still massively overshadowed by it's 8 year old predecessor (Windows 7) - especially in Enterprise. Let the downvoting commence! *rolleyes*
  • @Kaiser Thanks for your response. Just a note: a retelling of Microsoft's history in Mobile is not wishful thinking, it's history. Second, a communication of what the company's strategy is and it intended outcome is not wishful thinking, it's analysis of a strategy. It may succeed it may fail, but every company has some type of strategy and analysis of that strategy is simply that. Three you state that this site is blind fanboyism, my eyes(and others here at WC) are in the entire industry which allowed me to write analysis about MS within context. Perhaps you missed these pieces, where I am either critical of MS or present the competitions position in a particular area: With all the excitement over Windows on ARM, don't forget about Google's Andromeda: Both Microsoft and Google are making hardware though for different reasons : The Internet of Intelligent Things: Google, Samsung, Microsoft, and the new battlefront: Is Microsoft passionate about its mobile strategy? Windows Mobile and the enterprise: Out if sight out of mind Shades of gray Microsoft's consumer and enterprise commitment Smartphones are dead part III: How Microsoft, Apple and Google are preparing for the shift Windows Mobile and the enterprise:Windows Mobile and the Enterprise
  • Lot's of wishful thinking towards the end of the article; but a decent overview of the disastrous history that is Microsoft and its phone failures. "What Microsoft fails to realise is that mainstream off-the-street people don't want a phone to replace their PC, as most non-tech people view the PC as a neccessary evil they have to use at work and don't even know how to properly use outside of lauching few programs and apps. They are not interested in a Windows PC phone that can do what their PC does, and replaces their belowed iPhone or Android device with countless useless apps that they have grown so acustomed to. Bottom line is you are lying to yourself if you think Microsoft is all of a sudden going to rise to a worthy smarthone/mobile device competitor."  
  • I think Microsoft and every other phone maker is about to get a big boost from Apple. First they dropped the headphone jack and now I think they are going to drop the charging cable for wireless charging which could mean a lot of unhappy campers. How many of us have to use the phone while it's charging? I think more than a few. Wireless charging is silly to begin with and down right stupid if it's your only option. As we've seen Apple is starting to sacrifice function for form. You take out the charging cable and you can for get using a portable charger too. Something an iPhone can't do without.
  • bebochek, If they ditch the port all together, I will not update my apple. Because I use the charging quite often. I am having a hard time getting rid of my 6s and loose the headphone jack as well. But if they pull the lightning port too....they are just DUMB! the 6s really was the sweet spot for iphones. the 7 dropped the jack and therefore lacks connectivity the 6s does. I am keeping my 6s until everything goes wirelesss.....Just like apple dropped all ports except USB 3 on their laptops....DUMB move there.
  • I had a Windows Phone. I'm on Android now. There are many like me who've done the same. What does that tell you about Windows Phone?
  • Chesty McStudmuffin
    I tell you that Windows Phone is in the re-build stage, and that you are right by using something else in the mean time.
  • I WANT to like WP. But they've been in the "rebuilding stage" for like 8 years now. What's worse is that there are some apps that have Android, iOS, and WP, compatibility, but when used in WP, it's stunning on how awful it is and the features you miss out on. Look at the DirecTV app as an example.
  • So Chesty, stick with Android for the time being. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Nice article. I've been on Windows mobile phones since 3.1 with the little Audiovox SMT3500 workhorse ( -- so I appreciate this article's history session. But... For Windows to succeed, the dives it runs upon have to be "desirable." Cool, elegant, beautiful, forward-designed. That's why MSFT started getting into the hardware business on the Laptop side of things - to lead a design upgrade across manufacturers. For the vision that this article sets out to explain to work, the launch devices have to be mad-love desirable. And... The first released software needs to be very very well developed and tested. Windows 10 on phones was a mess for at least six months, and reviews were awful because the software was only half baked. MSFT cannot rely on agile fix-it-as-you-go development -- the experience needs to be delightful from the start. So, hold the phone (!) until the experience is right.
  • Yes theblankat, exactly!
  • The author IMO has his head in the sand. Windows 10 Mobile is a dying platform. Most people will not find having a PC in their pockets to be compelling. Most people don't want or need Win32 and UWP apps. There's this thing called the Cloud. 
  • There's the thing called now I don't have to buy a computer too. I think many will buy it for the computer not so much as it's a phone.
  • The main problem is it takes Microsoft to long to get something new to market. then they change what they are doing.
  • OK Jason, you got it right this time! Microsoft urge developers to build Windows program using the new API's. And developers do. There are many many Windows computeres out there to sell to. Not all build apps that scale to any device (like a small phone-size device), but that is ok. When the marked at some time has lot of small devices that run Windows 10, it is easy for those that has a Windows 10 app to make it fit the smaller screen size. The Microsoft store has about 600 000 apps present - I have heard. In a year or two they may have over 1 000 000. At some point the popularity of Snapchat will fade away. But this is a long time strategy, and nothing that could be planned by a "business school" person that are trained to only se 3 months away. As I had said many times in different fora, it is NEVER too late for Microsoft to win the mobile war. At current Microsoft tries to get everyone to forget all about Microsoft phones. So they really can start fresh, when the time is right. (In the mean time, those of us that love Windows 10 mobil, has to hold on to our Luminas, or even use Android/iOS for a while, but our time will come. But not this year.)
  • I saw on a site here in Russia that Lumia 940 and 840 would be going on sale soon. The 940 has a 20 megapixel camera and 32 gigs storage with 3 gigabytes ram. Here's a video of it.
  • yeah right..Published on Aug 30, 2015 :)))
  • Artist rendering. The back says Microsoft and front say NOKIA (In 2017) I don't think so.
  • i feel bad for this guy. how many articles has he done trying to convince us and himself that Windows Mobile in any form will finally make it big. After having a WP,Surface tablet, Windows PC, I'm down to only the Xbox One S, and that because they are practically giving them away. UWP and Contin-whatever wont make a dent and will only be used by Windows bloggers and the token company Microsoft pays millions to so they will use it. I realized this and moved on. You should too.
  • We don't care if Windows Phones become the next big thing. We just want Microsoft to keep making them.
  • Excellent story, lots of detail about Windows phones that I didn't realize. I first came to Windows phone with a Nokia 520 I bought at AT&T (GoPhone) for my wife. She had problems reading the small screen and her friends were all on Android, so she moved to a Moto G. One day my HTC One died suddenly, just as I needed to make an emergency phone call. I popped the SIM into the 520 (this is why I'll only go with unlocked phones) and I started using the tiny Nokia. Fantastic phone and Windows phone was so easy to use, I wondered then (and now) why every basic user doesn't own one. The system never crashed, never stuttered and was and is totally reliable and so easy to use, unlike my Android phones, which constantly have one problem or another, probably due to the patchwork of Android versions out there. Honestly, I'm shocked to this day that there aren't more Windows phone users. I never had the problem with apps because I only use it for basic phone calls, texting, web browsing and listening to music. When the 640 came out, I bought one of the first before it was even on sale in the U.S. and had it shipped over. Then I bought another one when the U.S. versions became available. I still move back and forth between them and a Motoroloa Moto X Pure Edition I bought also. OK, enough of my story... As much as I like Windows phones, I can't see where Microsoft will gain anything after basically leaving the market for 2-3 years and hoping that suddenly people will drop their Apple and Android phones and come running to any type of Windows phone. Let's face it, you're not going to be able to ever use a phone to do any serious work like a computer, unless you connect it to the computer. And why do that, when you could just...turn on the computer? Microsoft should instead make a Windows-like system that runs on Android. Have it so you can dual boot into either Android or Windows. Pipe dream? Maybe. But they'll never sell pure Windows phones again, never. 
  • No you don't get it. The Surface Phone will be running full Windows 10, all you'll need is a TV/monitor, keyboard and mouse. You could go to the living room and just pair it with your TV, then if yo want to go to a different room as long as there's a TV you can just pick up where you left off. For people on the go you'll have a Lap Dock which will be just a fold up screen and keyboard.
  • Maybe it's me, but Microsoft's unified platform may not be ideal. Ignoring architecture, Microsoft is leaving phones in the dust. I have a 1020. Mainly for the camera. I know the 950/950xl is close with HDR, but in comparisons I've seen, my 1020 still looks better. Microsoft needs to set themselves apart from iOS and Android, and a 40mp phone does that, yet I can only unofficially get WP10...
  • correct....bobbob1016...I loved my 1020 for the camera. Great travel companion.....until I saw what I could do with my iPhone 6s while traveling. I always carry my two Fuji x cameras with me.....which create better photos than the 1020. I will take a hit on camera function of my phone to be able to do all the things I do with my 6s while travelling. Microsoft listened to a few whiney insiders using the 1020 and cancelled the 10 upgrade path for it. At the time windows 10 was running like pure sewage on every device, NOT just the 1020. If they officially released 10 on the 1020 I would probably still have mine. BUT....NOPE.....they decided that 3 or 4 whiney insiders dictate what happens. and bamm. NO w10M for the 1020. Oh 6s runs amazing. and can do LOTS of things you cannot on ANY windows 10 phone.
  • Nice article.
  • The question I believe is: What Android and iPhone users need to know about Windows phone? The correct answer is NOTHING!!!!!!! Even the Morons at Microsoft are using android and Apple phones. I had such high hopes for the Windows Phone, two models later, I'm still disappointed, in 5 months I get to switch to an Android Phone. The Windows Phone could have been a game changer, a Giant (Apple) Killer, but Microsoft was so involved in creating stuff for Apple and supporting the Android Patents they sold and leased to Google, until the smell of money clouded their vision for the Windows Phone, and if suffers even today, it's so sad really, makes you wonder where in hell is Bill Gates. My 640-XL will make a great MP3 Player once I switch to Android. Android and Apple IPhone Users have nothing to fear from the Windows Phone, unless they are looking for a great MP3 Player.
  • First lesson grasshopper is know thy enemy. Second lesson is don't drop your Samsung because after one time it develops a line down the right hand of the screen. Third is don't buy the iPhone 7 flat black because the paint chips off in a matter of days and Apple doesn't really care. Forth and final lesson grasshopper, one day you are on top and the next, well you are not. The only thing in life that stays the same is things they gonna change. I'm happy for you that you have a choice but please don't call me a "moron" for making my choice. At least its mine and I'm ready to suffer for it. At the very least you won't catch me on an Apple or Android site calling people"morons" for buying a phone that jams or break the first time you drop them, but I do think it when people pay so much for something that breaks so easily or that you have to buy a bunch of dongles for and can't fix or up grade. Live well little grasshopper and enjoy your Android life. Just don't judge others until you've phoned in their shoes.
  • Don't forget the biggest lesson bebochek....the amazing windows phone/mobile OS is useless because of lack of apps. Great try, maybe hit it to first base for the out. Too bad too. I loved my 1020. best device I ever owned...hampered by a POS OS that had no apps.
  • Besides, in iPhone all services are offered but a lot need you to pay extra for them to be fully functional.
  • So what is your comment. Just that your hate... Let's stop the MS bashing. There has to be critical commentary but it has to have a spec of reason
  • "facilitated by an intelligent cloud and accessed through ... a family of devices, that could be a full PC, a tablet and a smartphone, would likely draw their attention. If Apple or Google announced such a device, iPhone and Android fans would probably proclaim that these companies changed the game." Umm. Umm. Umm. Apple did that right from the very beginning with the iOS platform. It took Google a little longer but they're there too now. Apple came out with the surprisingly usable mobile Pages (word processing) and Keynote (presentation) early on in iOS's life. Those apps were hands down better than Google's attempts (they, still are), and, well, Windows Phone had no successful attempts to speak about and it took Microsoft a long time to start working on a web-based version of Microsof Office. You could be working on a presentation on your iPhone and then have it seamlessly synced to your Mac desktop--and that was 6 or 7 years ago! And, Android has that too. Work on any of the Google could products on a mobile device and have that same file accessible on your Google-controlled ChromeBook or on your Windows or Mac desktop. Microsoft is kind of there but they're syncing solution is absolutely atrocious. It only works on Windows, and, even on Windows it's terribly mediocre (I've always turned off the various incarnations of OneDrive because it was so much inferior to quality solutions like
  • Hi Ed thanks for your response. Your choice to excise a very important part of the excerpt you chose from the article shapes what I wrote to fit the point you wish to make rather than the point I actually made. Here's my actual text: "The mobility of a user's experience facilitated by an intelligent cloud and accessed through pocketable, context-conforming hardware and software, or a pocket PC that shares the same OS as a family of devices, that could be a full PC, a tablet and a smartphone, would likely draw their attention. If Apple or Google announced such a device, iPhone and Android fans would probably proclaim that these companies changed the game. In the shadows of obscurity, invisible to the masses, it is Microsoft that is doing just that." The point was the unique ultramobile Surface Microsoft is positioning to launch that shares the same core and OS as a family of Windows 10 devices that is governed by an intelligent cloud and of Microsoft 2nd in cloud. Neither Apple nor Google have created an ultimate mobile device that can be a tablet, PC and smartphone. Neither has a common core ir Universal platform nor Continuum that this device will be based on and take advantage of. Hopefully, my inclusion of what you excised from what I wrote helps you to better see the point I was making. Thanks for participating🙂
  • What is the advantage of a single operating system core when the cloud syncs your data no matter what platform you are using? You keep assuming that having a single core is somehow an advantage when there really isn't any evidence that is true. This is basically the point Ed was making and ignored it. Google and Apple already made your data ubiquitous and it doesn't even matter what device you are using. Google most certainly has a single core that covers even more devices than Microsoft. You are being disingenuous saying Windows 10 is the only cross platform operating system. Android has had universal apps for years too. There have been Android devices that can be a phone, tablet and desktop. They proved that it is kinda pointless. See the Motorola Atrix or Asus Padfone or Transformer. Android already gave manufacturers this capability but no one ever figured out why you would carry around dead hardware when you can just as easily carry a real device specific to your needs. Legacy programs from the aughts will not save Microsoft.
  • Hi bleached: The advantage to one OS, as you know, is one core allows for consistency from a development to a consumer experience level: Developers can code "once" essentially an target, HoloLens, phone, PC, etc... 2.apps are then distributed to one Store for consumers 3.Adaptive/shells will make UIs more context sensitive. Continuum allows these sigles apps to work on phone and project appropriately to larger screen, normal keyboard functions, shortcuts and all, customary to a desktop app. You point it the Atrix, I write about that here Why Microsoft's Continuum may succeed in putting a PC in your pocket when the rola Atrix failed: One Google does not have a universal platform that's why they have Chrome for "laptops" and Android elsewhere. Thier own leadership has shut down the meeting Chrome and Android talk- Andromeda, a clear acknowledgement of separate platforms, and an acknowledgement, at least publically, that they won't be meeting them- thus thats not universal, that to OSes for different form factors. Also Android apps projected to a larger screen are just that, bigger Android apps, that do not reflow as Universal Apps do, to fit not only smaller or larger screens, but appropriate methods of interaction based on screen. UI, Keyboard shortcuts, mouse etc- Android for Atrix-type solutions didn't match what UWP and Continuum does. There are many reasons Atrix failed. It was not a platform-wide solution. It was one phone by a manufacturer with propietary expensive accessories for a phone that I believe was sold only on ATT. The pad phone, also similar limitations. A couple of Android manufacturers heralding a concept that didnt really give a true desktop experience, with very limited distribution, whole other Android manufacturers were filling the pool as well pulling for consumers attention- who were not offering some propietary solution that was not baked into the platform as it is with the UWP is why the Atrix and pad phone failed. I'm not going to go through all the reasons again here, there are well articulated and organized arguments in the link I posted. I encourage anyone interested to please check it out. They are part of my rebuttal so a response only to the text in this comment would be missing the finer details. Check it out and Thanks.
  • Hi Jason Ward, to honour the time you took to respond I went and read your other article. Interesting, but, to me it still feels like a mis-reading of history. I thought about it when I wrote me comment but didn't want to get into it because it'd make the post too long. Yes, I excised some text but not to obscure what you wrote but to remove something I consider wholly irrelevant. People don't care about having one device to rule them all. They also certainly don't care about developer convenience. One compelling argument against the whole touch-will-save-the-desktop (insert Windows for desktop as your sub-argument may be) is that Apple has up to now completely resisted combining touch with its desktop OS. Yes, it's neat to have touch on a desktop computer but it's not a game-changing use mode. Apple hasn't figured out how to make it seamless, nor have Microsoft and Google. The Surface is a nice device but it's not an iPhone killer. Touch on the desktop is not the desktop paradigm's knight in shining armour. It's the same with turning your phablet into a computer. The phablet is largely a consumption device, and, Apple especially but also Google have solved the multi-device problem seamlessly. Your files, settings, contacts, etc. follow you on any device. Make a call on your iPhone or send an email to the same person on your Mac. Or, for that matter, transfer your incoming call on the iPhone to your video chat on your computer. All things to all people It's been tried before. It will be tried again. Up to this point it's failed every time (90%+ of mobile profits go to Apple, 90% of desktops run Windows, Apple sells the lion's share of $1000+ laptops, Google receives the lion's share of web searches) and I see no evidence that Continuum will be any different. By being all things to all people you sacrifice focus. Sacrificing focus means users lack an understanding of what you stand for. Familiarity Microsoft persists on the desktop because it has momentum. It has three decades of familiarity behind it, but, the rise of iPhone and now of Chrome point to a whole new mode of computing that Microsoft completely miss read. Yes, it tried to build a smartphone but it simply didn't get it. Apple tried to build a smart phone-like device in the 90's but didn't get it--though, to Apple's credit they did figure it out a decade later. Palm and Blackberry (remember them) understood what people wanted in their respective eras but they failed to understand that people had the imagination to use more. Palm, then Blackberry and now iPhone are a continuum of the same niche. Each was the undisputed king of its market. Each cannibalized the predecessor by offering the same but much, much more and in each case the predecessor failed to respond in time to prevent its rise. Windows cross-platform all-in-one approach isn't anything new. To a user Andoid and iOS already offer the things you argue makes Microsoft's strategy unique. You can pair a bluetooth keyboard and mouse to their devices. You can project the screens to a larger device and "work" on your phablet/phone/whatever. Productivity apps are already cross-platform, even picking up right where you left off on your other device. Deep Pockets Palm and Blackberry were wealthy companies but their pockets didn't run deep on the same order of magnitude as those of Google or Apple. Apple, Google and Microsoft are all equals. They each have deeeeeeeeeeeeeeep pockets and are willing to defend their turf because those deep pockets depend on that turf. The world's best and brightest are employed at those companies and you can bet your dollars to doughnuts that they're not sitting by idly waiting for Microsoft to come out with this latest and greatest paradigm shift that will allow it to steal back marketshare for a long abandoned mobile platform. Existing Markets and History Apple and Microsoft were fundamentally different companies in the 1980's. One was hardware, the other software. They had a mutally beneficial relationship right into the mid-to-late 90's, earning good money off each other. That dependence has diminuished since Apple went its Mac OS X way but they weren't truly head-to-head competitors. Apple made its money off hardware, Microsoft software. Apple's foray into iPods changed all that and laid the groundwork for moving into the mobile computing (smart phone) space. At that point Apple and Microsoft became competitors in a brand new market. Apple had the vision, user interface design and hardware chops needed to take MP3 players from niche to mainstream. They then saw an opportunity to do the same for mobile computing. They had the hardware chops to make touch work on a device powerful enough to do interesting things. Microsoft is profoundly different. They didn't become a hardware company until they bought Bungie (Marathon, now Halo) and started the XBox. They grabbed marketshare in an existing market through sheer willpower and the willingness to spend money hand-over-fist. Then, they tried the Zune but were not willing to spend the money to succeed. Like the (wonderful) Blackberry Playbook tablet, the Zune was too late and sold at the wrong pricepoint. Apple had already established dominance in the market Apple had blown open and the Johnny-come-latelys were unwilling to go head-to-head with Apple and condeded the fight. Android Android is a different story. Because it's the OS that's the story clone hardware manufacturers could try their hand at compe