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Which dead Microsoft product would you like to see brought back for Halloween?

Windows 10 Mobile Home screen
Windows 10 Mobile Home screen (Image credit: Windows Central)

It's the spookiest time of the year, Halloween. In honor of the holiday, we have a horrific poll this weekend. We'd like to know which Microsoft product or service you'd like to see brought back from the dead. From MSN Messenger to the Windows 10 Start menu, Microsoft has a kill count higher than Michael Myers. In fact, it was difficult to keep the list of options short enough to make a functional poll. So: If you could pick just one item to have Microsoft resurrect, which would it be?

We expect Windows Phone to take the lion's share of the votes, but there are some other beloved Microsoft services that have been buried over the years. Many miss Windows Media Center being the center of the living room. There are still Zune enthusiasts, including one fan who made a digital coffee book dedicated to the history of the music player. Others mourned the end of Minecraft Earth.

If your favorite dead Microsoft product or service didn't make the list, please share it in the comments below. If you want to take a trip down memory lane, you can check out Killed by Microsoft for a complete list of everything the company has axed over the years.

Some Microsoft services are already honoring the spirit of Halloween. The Kinect is being used by ghost hunters looking to search out the undead. Some claim that the camera can track "skeletal figures that aren't there." We can't verify that claim, but we can confirm that it worked well with Sonic Free Riders, one of the favorite Kinect games of our news editor Robert Carnevale.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

62 Comments
  • I mean did you even have to ask what your readers would pick since you used to be called wpcentral :P
  • It was really a race for second place.
  • I miss the performance optimization on Windows Mobile/Phone , android isn't bad but as always the battery drain on android the over use of RAM including bad settings and lack of ease in controlling battery usage of apps, seems quite absurd in comparison to my experience on WM/WP.
  • No surprise here. Their decision to cancel WPhone is the dumbest decision MS has made.
  • They should accept Android at first.
  • It's quite obvious that either you are here to troll, or you haven't used a proper Windows Phone at all, else both. OR yer drunk.
  • That would have certainly failed a lot sooner than Windows Phone/Mobile did. Microsoft would have basically been an OEM for Android, with little MS flavor. Microsoft did right by trying to bring their own OS during that time. Apples iPhone was still getting its legs and Android was a hot mess. Had MS pursued that path a little sooner and made better decisions, we would probably be seeing a world where there may be three, I stead of a two OS mobile device world or probably iPhone and Windows Mobile world. It wasn't that people didn't like windows phone, it was the lack of apps.
  • +1 Android started out crap, but has grown into a powerhouse, even though personally not much of a fan of Android. Microsoft has a bad habit of not putting enough support and effort into a product early on and rather shelve it instead of looking at the longer picture. The most successful consumer brands Microsoft have made outside of Windows is the Xbox Brand And Surface devices. Xbox was created by Seamus Blackley and Ed Fries because they were passionate gamers and Microsoft knew they simply don’t have the culture and understanding of console gaming. Microsoft should do the same again but this time with a Windows phone, have it be developed by people who understand smart phones, the culture, the feel, connected and intuned with what’s going on and tell Microsoft like they did with the Xbox “No, this is what console gamers want and this is how you compete with Sony..YOU are not a gamer…Bill Gates”
  • Still like the Xbox Kinect, both 360 and One version, still like Kinect Adventures and the Dance games, Kinect Sport Rivals also played a lot.... much fun with the kids with these games...
  • I miss the TV controls we had with Kinect. Although, I may have been amongst the few who ever set it up correctly.
  • That's my main issue with losing Kinect too. I never played Kinect games, but I used the voice controls for TV and launching games many times every day.
  • Whoever makes the decisions at MS must have their heads up their butt. Can you imagine using the Kinect with VR?? You wouldn't need controllers since the Kinect can track even your finger tips. Ugh the possibilities.
  • That's the spirit!!
  • I would love to see Kinect comeback. (although I voted for Windows Phone) HUGE misstep from MS dismissing Kinect. it was a fantastic way to game.
  • How do people play bowling these days without kinect?
  • I really wish Satya Nadella had not killed Windows Phone. Windows Mobile had features not available in IOS or Android, and was not plagued with the security issues that still haunt Android to this day. While some may not have cared for Windows Mobile's live tiles, I found them to be useful. Overall, I did not find the Windows Mobile GUI to be any more or less easy to use than the alternatives on the other platforms, and the ability to configure the home screen with tiles of different sizes, arranged as you wanted, was a real plus.
    The real tragedy here is that Microsoft gave up on Windows Phone almost from the moment it was released. They did nothing to promote Windows Phones...no ads in major publications, no ads on social media or on TV. They introduced a product with no support and no promotion. Then they make a stupid statement that there is no place in the market for another phone system, as if that is a justification for hanging Windows Phone out to dry up in the marketplace.
    They had an opportunity to create a phone system using the same strategy as Apple: create a Surface Phone with Windows Mobile, so they could control both the hardware and the software, just like Apple does.
    I'm not trying to convince anyone that Windows Mobile would have triumphed in the market to dominate Apple and Android, but it could have achieved a profitable share of the market, if Microsoft had only tried. The success of the Surface line of hardware is proof that Microsoft can achieve a healthy and profitable line of products, if they will only commit to promote and market them aggressively.
    To release products and then cancel them, orphaning any customers you did have, because you didn't market the new products the way they should have been marketed, is an all-too-familiar pattern at Microsoft. Maybe the success of the Surface product line has taught Microsoft a lesson. It is sad that they did not learn that lesson while they had Windows Phone to lead the way.
  • Still use my 950XL but sim card is in an LG V40. Live Tile home screen still the best. 10 years later.
  • Xbox One X
  • Windows phone is the obvious choice for a multitude of reasons. However, I chose consumer Cortana instead. With Android, at least it's customizable enough to allow for something like the Duo to exist. But with Google Assistant, you get what you get. With Cortana, Microsoft had a service that could be molded to work within Microsoft's ecosystem. Something like the Surface Headphones or Earbuds lose a lot of their appeal without a full fledged digital assistant. Even Siri, despite clearly having lost to Amazon and Google, still has enough products on the market to appease fans of the service. Microsoft, with enough effort, maaaaaaybe could have competed with Siri in terms of third party products. Also, Cortana always seemed to give me more accurate weather forecasts than Google Assistant. :p
  • I hate sharing anything with Google or Amazon so Consumer Cortana was my choice. My now deprecated Evoke was the center of the household and we still haven't had the desire to replace it with Google or Alexa.
  • How about groove music service?
  • 1000% this. I still mourn the loss of the music pass
  • I really loved my mediacenter. Wouldn't it be great to have that in a modern version? Nice remote control and the ability to switch to netflix app or amazon prime video app or even spotify straight from a homescreen? Shouldn't be hard to create. Also add xbox cloud gaming to it
  • For a time when I still had cable and used a HDHomerun tuner, but Media Center was no longer a part of the then current version of Windows I missed Media Center. At the time there was no better solution for managing multiple media formats and it met my needs very well. Now that I get most of my media via streaming I remember it fondly, but it would no longer have a place in my current setup.
  • If win10mobile had rec'd a chromium based version of edge, I'd never have switched to Android. my old Lumia still fires up just fine.
  • Windows Mobile of course. It was the happy medium between the rigidity and security of Apple and the customizability of Android. I also love how well it communicated with Windows PCs, the awesome music and playlist syncing, and how easy it was to organize the tiles to show me the info I cared about most. If Microsoft brought it back, I would switch in a heartbeat.
  • Would still have the app gap problem, which is what killed WP. Although if they could emulate andriod apps like win 11 is planning then that could solve that issue.. Saying that, I suspect tiles were a large part of what people (inc myself) loved about WP, so seeing as MS have just killed off tiles in win 10, if they brought out WP11 without tiles then it may not have the same appeal.
  • Bring back Lumia with first party apps.
  • MS DOS 6.22 or Zune
  • It's impossible to pick just one!
  • Games for Windows Marketplace, so I can download my games I paid for!!!!!
  • Duo was supposed to run essentially the next iteration of Windows mobile. Remember cshell? It would've given Duo a proper desktop mode. Biggest reason I waited three years for duo. Then 2019 and Android... At least have a dex like mode with win 11 ui. Maybe with 12L
  • For me. Windows phone never died.
    Why? Because I'm still using Windows Phone 7.5 on my LG Optimus as we speak on Tmobile.
    I've had it for over 6 years now. (Replaced hardware twice. Each time I paid about $40 for a used one off Amazon). I have a backup that I'm using for a media player through ZUNE also. I have a backup Lumia 650 for when 3G isn't supported. (Although I might still be able to use it with Edge). Anyways, I have no reason to ever switch away from Windows Phone. The Lumia supports 4G, and that isn't going away anytime soon. later
    -1
  • Hilarious Headline for Halloween. The un-dead! Well done.
  • Duo running Windows...?
  • Thanks to stardock I can have the windows 10 start menu full screen tiles and all on win 11. And with square Home Launcher I can have a phone that works very similar to Windows phone. But I want it to be a true Microsoft windows phone. So I vote windows phone.
    2nd would be mixer
    3 zune.
  • My 950 XL - such a great phone! Now it sits down at the end of my shelf, my little monument to what could (should) have been...
  • Microsoft Band, it was the most feature rich fitness tracker at the time.
  • Either Zune or windows phone/mobile
  • B.O.B
  • Like with the costumes article, my answer to this is Steve Ballmer. Boo!
  • If they are brought back from the dead for Halloween, are they cursed? Would a cursed Windows Phone text damning messages? Would a cursed band make you slap yourself? Would a cursed Zune only play Muzak?
  • Microsoft Money was a great product, and blew Quicken out of the water. The new Excel pluggin is decent considering it's free, but doesn't hold a candle to the full desktop app.
  • If we are going to add software, Streets and Trips. (or Autoroute in Europe). Way beyond how do I get from here to there. I'd like to drive from Houston to Seattle. I don't want to drive more than 8 hrs per day, want to take a 15 min break every 2 hrs and stop for lunch for an hour about mid day. Oh, I'd like to go through San Francisco. Plan that for me would you. Tell me how many days it will take, where my stops will be, what my fuel cost will be and probable fuel stops required. Find me restaurants and hotels at the stopover points too. Thanks.
  • Halloween 2022, this article will include the Duo phone in the above list.
  • The side load of a second app in an overplayed box as a picture in picture option with the xbox one originally. Then took away as they gave less resources to the os for better looking games. This feature was awesome and should be able to be brought back now with the series s/x today.
  • For a split second I wondered why is there a post made by me, down here, then I realized that its the internet and this isn't the kind of post I would make either... been here for quite a while, never seen someone use the same icon as mine...
  • Windows Phone in a heartbeat, rolled back to 8.0. 8.1 was the dumbest software update since Vista. It took Facebook out of the people hub, seperated the Games and Music apps from the OS (slowing them to a crawl) and added a very slow Cortana over the very-fast Bing search. WP8 was the fastest mobile OS I have ever used and ran rings around Android and iOS at the time.
  • Cortana and windows phone.
  • Ohhh Cortana. I do miss her.
  • They have Nuance and if I'm not wrong thay was in the making of Siri ( Not the best ai) but it's a beginning so we can replace Google assistant and alexa.
  • Zune desktop software was the best way to listen to music...
  • No love for windows 8 horizontal scroll menus? Really? I voted Zune. My WPhones are all recycled at this point after hardware deaths and media center never worked properly here (once we lost cable and ended up with set-top boxes I could never get my capture card to tune tv properly). But my Zune 120 sits dutifully in its charger, waiting for the day I need an offline music and video player. One day little friend, one day.
  • I knew WP/WM would be first, so I put my vote in for Cortana. My kids still miss using the Invoke and ask me when they'll be able to use Cortana again 😢
  • I loved Windows Phone. :(
  • Windows Phone was great. Pity about the lack of local apps in my region. At least Microsoft released their phones worldwide unlike like Google and their Pixel range.
  • Still using My Lumia 950, one daughter a Lumia 650 and another daughter Idol 4s windows all on Cricket. My mother a Idol 4s windows on T-Mobile. Sadly Cricket is trying to push the Lumia 650 and Idol 4s Windows off network in February 2022. Love the live tiles and use tablet mode on my Dell lap top to have live tile start screen default.
  • Amiga BASIC :)
    I add another line because the system does not allow me to add a comment of just two words. Today November 2 is the day of the death.
  • Bring back just about everything. My daily driver is my 8.1 Lumia 830 and I have no reason to upgrade.
    Bring back Xbox Music. Sure Spotify is nice, but Microsoft Music was way better.
    I would say bring back Kinect, but I still use mine everyday with my Xbox One's.
    I liked the Band. Had two of them but they were not the most reliable things.
    I would rather have a Microsoft Phone that runs Microsoft software than any Android. Even with a million less apps.
  • I KNEW IT - A Windows phone is what is in most of our hearts I had this feeling I wasn’t the only one who wants a Windows phone, especially since Windows 11 is designed to be so much more touch tablet friendly. Microsoft CAN do it if the higher ups poured more support, resources and allowed more time for the development team to work on the Duo having had Windows. It still can happen with a Surface Trio or the once highly anticipated Surface Neo. + A phablet - big cover screen for quick calls, emessaging, quick photos/video shots and quick note taking - the interface could actually be a phone oriented designed MS Teams. + fold out into the minimum 9’ windows 11 requirement portrait tablet more real estate to compute on the go. + horizontally laid out with a type cover for a ultra portable Windows 11 pc experience and connect to a dock when stationed at a desk.
  • 1. Windows Phone
    2. Windows 10 Start Menu (though I won't complain too much since Windows 10 will be supported till 2025).
  • My mom had a Windows phone(her first smartphone) when they became a hype in 2013 in India. I miss it so much. Microsoft should bring it back. #BringBackWP