Windows Central Podcast 68: Windows phone is dead, for real this time

Windows Phones
Windows Phones (Image credit: Windows Central)

We're back with another exciting episode of the Window Central Podcast. This week, Daniel Rubino and Zac Bowden talk about the semi-official death of Windows 10 Mobile, why Edge is available on iOS and Android, new Surface Pro accessories, and the Fitbit Ionic.

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Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • u guys should add mark Guim here
  • Yeah, because Zac looks/is pissed...
    I wish they would add Jason Ward.
  • Definitely not a sad day, and not sad times... I'm never gonna look at it that way. Instead, I see the opportunity to move on to something worlds better. A Windows device that has the support, and confidence, of the entire Windows 10 ecosystem, and Surface branding. Windows on PC isn't going anywhere, and that's what we have always wanted in our pockets. People even tried to hack Windows on smartphone hardware, with much success... So many people (including Android fans) are gonna be interested in a pocketable PC (the trolls here represent only a fraction of the views about a Surface Ultramoble)... So, it's not over with Windows + Phone
  • Windows phone will continue to live in the hearts of millions of people. Satya Nadela managed to kill the system, but never the spirit and dream! screw you nAdElA
    Worst CEO ever!
  • this is actually balmers fault.  nadela enherited his dumb decisions.  
  • As if Nadella would attempt phones himself with his unfriendly vision towards consumers by abandoning them "over and over again". I wouldn't say Balmer did it wrong, at least he tried to get the mobile side going. People got Windows Phones cause they saw something in it, Nadella just wrecked that and the reason to have one, to get one and to keep one.
  • @onysi. How is it solely Ballmer's fault?
    Sure he get's some blame for rebooting the kernal core and miss steps that followed. But it's the current management that swung the axe, so that falls on Satya Nadella not Steve Ballmer. There has been to date almost zero consistency in messaging under Satya Nadella. The only portion that has been consistent is the enterprise focus when it comes to windows 10 mobile.
  • It's goddamn outrageous. The least they could do is minimally support Win 10 Mobile until they come up with something new. All that's required was to put out high-end and low-end hardware every 1 to 2 years either through Microsoft or some partner company, and bug fix patches. Sure they may lose some money, but it doesn't seem like this would be very expensive, and the alternative of screwing customers and partners could turn out to be more costly in the long run.
  • It will turn out costly in the long run, they have burnt every single bridge.
  • Yes, they pissed off a lot of people. They need to get hold of the message and control (or, hell, even participate in) the narrative. Hopefully we've seen the end of the architectural reboots too.
  • They are doing just that... Windows 10 Mobile will receive bug and security patch support until at least spring 2019 at this point. They are working on something else and it will be full Windows and the devices won't quite be smartphones, at least not in the traditional sense, they will be much closer to Bill Gates original idea of a portable Windows device, or a 'Pocket PC' if you will. It will be aimed at business users, as was the earlier versions of Windows Mobile (2, through 6.5) and will therefore not have some of the support of some.of the software market, but will be more than enough for people like me that want to get things done and don't need to puke rainbows all the time.
  • Goodbye
  • :(
  • Is there any doubt we will be making calls using a 6" Windows tablet using the Windows OS and not Windows Mobile? I don't have any.
  • And my 950 will work till then.
  • Sure there is, 6" is not mobile at all. Go for a walk, jog, on a bicycle or at some party with brick like that. BTW whats the point of screens like this? Just buy a proper tablet, industry is already beyond 'phablets'.
    And what else you would use there without any reasonable apps?
  • Really, most iPhones and Samsung devices come out around 6" (pick some nits and say 5.5" to 6").  iPhone 8+, X, Samsung Galaxy 8,Note 8, 7, 7 Edge are all 5.5 +  Only the iPhone 8 is under, but borderless 5.5 screen fits in close to the same size device as the 4.7 iPhone 8.
  • He's a troll...
  • Good points. So us WinFans are all going to have to give up walking, jogging, cycling and partying then. Ruddy Nadella...
  • If you don't know the benefits then this kind of device clearly isn't meant for you.
  • This is what I have fully expected and wanted for many years now. I am not mad mobile is dead, I want it to be. I want a nice 6" or so tablet that will serve that need. Phone is not my main communication method and I don't want it to be. (With that said, since I moved to iPhone two weeks ago, it's nice to know that someone can do messaging right. Skype needs to go away any messaging anywhere needs to come back)
  • Just switched to Android on a Huawei Mate 9.......WOW....What a wake-up call from last 3 Windows phones.....what was I thinking? Oh operating system on all my devices....I had a dream.....
  • Do you use the Microsoft launcher and Edge on Android? Both are in preview but available for download at Google Play. They really ate the next best thing for Windows Phone users!
  • Agreed! I use those as well, good stuff!
  • Nah. Nadella ate the next best thing for Windows Phone users. With gravy.
  • What happened to Windows 10 on mobile devices? I'm pretty sure that is still a thing. I have strong hopes that an enterprise solution is going to be around the corner very soon. A phone that is not a phone, but a mobile device running Windows 10 with phone on it. The mobile consumer market is a hopeless venture. However, Microsoft dominates the IT and enterprise world. I work in it, and we want a solution like a "Surface Phone." Getting companies to take on these devices may be difficult, but it will be a game changer if it takes off. Don't abandon for an Android phone just yet. Maybe set some money aside for this upcoming phone that may come to market. At the very worst, you'll have enough to buy an Android/iOS device at full cost and skip the contract
  • I think people underestimate the power of an always connected ultraportable W10 pc with telephony. Just like Surface reinvented and revitalized the Tablet PC concept, I have a feeling they can do it again with the old UMPC concept.
  • Still dreaming?? WAKE UP
  • No Nasznjoka.. U just don't get it.
  • I still haven't found an Android that can do anything more than my 950 at a reasonable price
  • Check out the galaxy a5/7 2017. Great fit for wp fans.
  • Why, got iris recognition, usbC, continuum, QHD amoled screen, wireless charging,great camera, etc. The Samsung don't really offer anything new. Like I said, I haven't had an "app gap" issue.
  • Please don't talk like a pathetic loser. The fact that windows with my Lumia 950 embarasses me frequently, I could say that your reach is not beyond WhatsApp and Facebook. Least to say that I have an office 365 and into the whole productivity ****. Last embarrassing thing was when 950 was unable to take printouts on air... I just got stuck spent so much time. And then took out my newly purchased iPad pro. Which got it done in a click. Experiences like these are plenty.
  • That is your use, I use mine as my daily driver and it has yet to be a problem in amy use for me professionally or personally.
  • What do you mean you can't print from your 950? I do it all the time.
  • Don't worry about it, the told love to come down vote here. I've yet to see an issue where an Android would serve me better.
  • I always wondered by they added USB C charging to one of the Windows Phone updates. There are no Windows Phone devices which use USB C. Was this feature meant for tablets?
  • The 950 and 950XL use USB C.
  • 950, 950XL, Jade series, Alter series, Elite X3 all use it. The W10 devices had it a couple of years before Samsung adopted it.
  • Android is the only game in town. Windows-on-Arm is far way, at the very least it is 12 month away. No, do not hold back your money. F that unfounded hype, there is no pudding there to make any proof of. Throughout its history it always has been Microsoft's strategy to try to keep people get from buying existing products by promoting/hyping not-yet-existing Microsoft products with fuzzy specs/promises. Whatever Microsoft may offer, any Android or Linux product can top by 20%. And you also should remember that Microsoft to this day still has trouble with their firmware for their very own Surface brand products. Microsoft either provides a SKU, specs, pricing and lead time or it fully deserves to be ignored. .
  • It's just another step in Windows evolution. It is very much alive, but Windows 10 Mobile branch is getting near it's end. Android nor iOS are not replacement for Windows and never will be.
  • Great! Glad to hear some enthusiasm for Windows on mobile this morning... It'll live on one way, or another!
  • I rather think that Microsoft is stepping over their customers respectively trampling on them. Neither Android nor Microsoft are a religion: They have to deliver consumer value. Microsoft for sure failed all along the way, and they failed miserably, they failed consistently.  
  • Well W10M isn't dead.  Yet.  It still works and will recieve a couple of years of support from Microsoft in the terms of bug fixes and patches.  I can go and buy an Android device today that will probably never see a single update. But.  And there is a BIG BUT.  No new hardware and no plans to support the OS after 2019 means that if you are one of the die hards who only have a W10M device, well you better look around at the alternatives.  I am an Android fan who also loves Windows as well and I can tell you that Microsoft on Android is a great experience.  You can quite happily set up a Gmail account for Play Store interaction only and then never touch a single Google service after that.
  • I do that with a free tablet I got from my cellular provider. I don't use anything Google on it, except for the Play Store and YouTube.
  • Topic aside, do you really believe that tablet was free? Free of what? Certainly not free of charge. You are paying, the IT fairy went out of business some time back. I think the term you were grasping for was 'inclusive' or perhaps 'packaged'.
  • Why wouldn't I use Google app..a long with all the integration it has.  Google Search, YouTube, then comes gmail, drive, voice assistant.... So why stick with MS is my point.  What does MS have as an app that unique?
  • Ill be on win mob till the end then go over to andromeda. Tried android once, yeah lots of apps, but never got an update and if i wanted the new version i had to buy a new phone. I've had my 640 for years and it's been continuously updated. Ill stick with Microsoft thanks
  • There's lots of people who bought Windows Phones and suffered a similar fate of no updates. It has nothing to do with the OS and everything to do with the manufacturer. The problem with some Android manufacturers, especially Samsung, is it;s always about the next phone and they stop caring about the one they just released almost immediately. However, Sony, Google and others are very good at updates.
  • there's still alot of great apps on w10m that still work. Yes Microsoft has killed it but its still a great OS.. I like Android I get most of what I need from it with my android tablet I always keep coming back to w10m
  • Most of my W10M apps are UWP so they are still alive and being updated.
  • Just use the Microsoft launcher and Edge on Android. It really is the best next things for Windows Phone users!
  • Edge is not finished browser on DT, or W10 Phone. What makes you think experience will be even remotely close on Android. How does Launcher even begin to approach the experience of Live tiles w/ glanceable real time content/data?
  • I'm hard pressed to find a situation where Chrome has been a better choice on DT than Edge in my use.
  • Not me, I still have to use IE for many sites that will not work with Edge, and additionally have to use Chrome for sites that do not work in either Edge or IE. The vast majority of the time regarding the viewing sites when browsing for research, or recreation has me observing the limiting factors as IE, and Edge respectively.
  • Microsoft Launcher is just another launched on Android. Edge is just another browser on Android. Boring. .
  • I just got used to the tiles , the fluidity , and have everything i need on my Lumia 640 . Like watch movies on Netflix , listen to music in Spotify , get emails , browse the net , play sone games and find my way with maps . And make phone calls . There must be 100 reasons to change but right now can't think if one .
  • The only reason is the apps. One of the reasons certrainly isn't the OS. 
  • Just got my Blackberry Keyone today... Will keep my 950XL too... Will install all Microsoft apps and Edge to maintain consistency across Microsoft services...
  • I think Zac hit the nail on the head when he spoke of MS just being flat out dishonest w/ consumers, AND developers AND I would add OEMs. I do not think anything will pull MS out of this downward spiral they are headed in. They rarely have a finished product to sell, EVER. The polish phase almost never comes to fruition. All they pander to is the notion of a polished product/service to come... Sorry MS, there is no meaningful ROI for consumers, developers, or OEMs. The stigma of "If you want to be profitable look anywhere but MS." will not disappear until you stop designing obsolescence to the nth degree. It's just that simple. Otherwise, MS is headed towards a path to technical irrelevance no matter how they try to dress it up.
  • The weird thing is, MS are clearly KEEN to continue down the IBM 2.0 path to irrelevance. All I can think is that Nadella has shares in Apple and Google.
  • It does beg the question, but these guys Joe, and Satya make bank no matter how they treat customers, devs, or OEMs. That’s another part of the problem,no accountability.
  • I miss the times when my former Lumia 920 was the best out there and I felt proud. Now my Lumia 950 doesn't impress anyone.
  • If the friends you have is dependent upon how impressed they are with your phone, you seriously need new friends.
  • Or,  a new personality himself...ha ha
  • I will be considering the Note 8, whenever my 950 XL stops working, or working for my needs Until then,W10 Mobile still has everything that I need. Things that I want is another story...unfortunately.
  • Who cares if Windows Mobile 10 is "dead"?..........
    Windows fans have always wanted a real pocketable PC, and that just may be coming... The evolution CONTINUES!..... 950 just got updated yesterday. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
  • And what we would use there? They now killed not W10 Mobile because that was planned due to One Windows but WHOLE apps ecosystem, nobody will start to even bother after all of that. Sorry but using webrowser on phone for everything is impossible, specially if you woud think about CRMs, ERPs and for example AdWords etc.
  • So, use Android, or iOS, for apps.. It's your choice. But, it is what it is. It's frustrating, but what are we gonna do?
  • no update here for my Lumia 950 XL... ??? gonna check again...
  • I honestly did. New EMOJIS.... Yaaaay😐
    Works like a champ, thought..
    If MS had released WM10 at this state with the 950/XL, and followed up with some new devices shortly after, everything would be great now... I can finally say that WM10 is a great mobile OS now.... Just as they give up on it.😂😂😂😂
  • I would think this device would be ok,  but it would have to be W10 home or pro,  NOT S.   that way you can load on emulators and have ALL the apps at your finger tips anyways.  
  • Why would we suspect it would be S?
  • Anything is possible.   They would try that to get UWP moving more.  I am just tossing out hypotheticals.  I can see them loading S onto this device however.   Because its tied to the store,  and "safe"   Do you NOT agree?
  • Android has been far more Windows-Like than Windows Phone since the death of Windows Mobile 6.5 Pro... Windows Phone 7 and later were all locked-down iOS wannabes.
  • When Nacelle got the company Windows Mobile was already on a fast track to ending. I believe if he got the company earlier it would of been better. All you consumers moaning and whining grow up. Does it suck? Yes, but you all just put the blame on someone without doing your research. I swear consumers today are a bunch of fking idiots.
  • A US perspective if I ever saw one.
  • RIP :-(
  • I never used Windows phones but my Windows 10 PC works with my Android pretty well so I'm happy especially with the edge browser coming that will help a lot with productivity
  • Yes same here. Send and receive texts on pc, get Android notifications.
  • For anybody interested, I inquired about the new HP Elite X3 for Verizon and this is the response from the HP Rep. Bob:
    Thanks for your interest!
    Yes, there is an Elite x3 coming that has been approved by Verizon. We have partnered with Microsoft and they will be our primary distribution channel. It will be marketed thru the Microsoft stores or via It should be added any day. I am out of the US right now, but will update you once I return.
  • Wonder what other 2 year old phones they might release
  • I'm using Nokia Lumia 520.. With 512 ram. We need windows 10 update for Nokia Lumia 520.. Pleaseee...
    And I can suggest more things to get ur lumia business.. First u wanted more features.. And more apps that android had.. And then u I have lot more big suggestion.. If u need my suggestions just call me..+917356703103
  • Yes let's all ring a complete stranger in a foreign country. Idiot.
  • It's definitely dead to me. There's no reason for me to continue supporting windows mobile if they're only going update just to squash bugs.
  • I stuck with Windows Phone because of Balmer's vision for a "one" ecosystem.  I even bought an XboxOne, used as an etertainment hub (I'm not a gamer), with the belief it would compliment my WP.  When I do jump ship (after my x3 dies out) then why try to still use MSFT services?  Why not go all in on a Google ecosystem?  As a loyal fan since WP7 through the x3, getting a surfacebook and xboxOne with the hopes they would all sync flawlessly, as a consumer I have no interest left in trying to keep supporting MSFT for each service/app.  I guess MSFT Office will be it.
  • Till death to us part
  • Not supporting a software system forever is fine, but... Let me see.... Lumia 950  and Lumia 950 XL came out in December 2015 and this year 2017 they were on sale in Microsoft store in the beginning of the year. If someone bought their phones this year that will give them like at best two years of support. Does not seem fair to me. Also claiming that they will not support Windows 10 mobile after 2019 means many universal app developers might not tick the mobile screen size when developing apps(yes they can decide for themselves).  I am actually not sure if I should feel betrayed here or just say **** it and move on to Android phones. The thing is I really like Windows 10 Mobile and the new Universal apps I have seen popping up are actually very good.     
  • Yes, I'm aware that it wasn't "free." It was included, when I upgraded to unlimited data plan. Appreciate the info. But I'm very aware of how it works.
  • It does not make any difference that who's fault it is, but important is this now we dnt get a new W10M OS and any new hardware.  In microsoft not a single person show interest to continue with W10M. This make me sad. How they are such a heartless people. They dnt worry for there huge W10M fans. But they worry about IOS and Android customers. Means they feel themselves loser.  I dnt understand that a giant company like Microsoft dnt have a skilled and a passionate person for WM. They never try to make a WM best, but they stick and cry for apps always. Make thing is that a blogger or youtube never criticise for W10M, but they always spoke in the favour of Microsoft. I dnt know they get money or greedy for new gadgets for unboxing review or something else.  Now Microsoft forcing to use there apps in Android and IOS.  If they spend that much of time to develop WM and there original apps. Why we use there edge, launcher and cortana on android???? As we have already OK Google and siri. Chrome and safari.  Gates had taken the name of Microsoft in the sky and Nadella and there team had fallen that much down in the earth. F?~k off. If MS dnt care for there customers, then why should we.  
  • 42:00 Funny how you guys are now appreciating Default App setting on Android. It's something that I've been begging for for Windows Phones forever, but Zac used to say "Eh it's not needed, it's just a phone" in his WinBeta days...
  • Agreed - all those reboots were brutal.  Win 8.1 - looked great!!  W10m was pretty solid I have to admit. But would have been really nice of MS to tell us they were going to kill it.  At least communicate with the consumers.  "Silence, Silence, Silence" - yup! Btw, I know MS wrote off Nokia, but does anyone know how much money MS was losing on W10m....? Great pod cast !!!  Sad, but thanks!
  • I know MS was late to the game with Windows Phone, but I 95% blame the app devs on this one.  MS tried HARD to get devs to build for windows phone, even pouring tons of time and energy into the "one Windows" experience so the apps would be universal throughout all Windows devices, but devs still wouldn't bite.  It sucks, because Cortana is my favirote AI assistant, Windows Phone 10 UI was my favorite UI, all the basic apps like email, calendar, etc. worked perfect.  I was getting psyched about skype integration, and the phone ran pretty well on inexpensive tech.  The onyl reason I switched was because when my phone died, I needed specific apps that didn't exist on Windows phone.  What I DO blame MS for is thinking its already small consumer base would purchase a $700 "Flagship" phone.  MS had the perfect niche to play, awesome quality phone for the sub $300 price.  Its BS that IOS ans good Android phones have to be so much money, if MS had the dev support, they could have pulled a huge marketshare away from Android and IOS by catering to the  sub $300 phone crowd, which is a lot larger than people realize.
  • "... no longer a focus ..." "Zynical":  That is the only description that fits here. I guess that utter Management Blunder will stick with Microsoft for an uncomfortably long period of time. Samsung soon will let you run a full Linux Desktop in a kind of Continum mode on their top smartphone platforms. Shame on you, Microsoft. .    
  • Fred_EM,  Dex is already far ahead of continuum.   I used it the other day and was VERY impressed by it.  It's fast,  touchscreen capable, and they have a new range of accessories coming out for it and Note 8 that are really cool.   like the laptop you put your phone in.   your phone becomes your touchpad and is mounted on the device,  not like the docks you need with "others".   It is very cool.   Plus there are already millions and millions of users unlike the 50,000 or so users of continuum.  That helps drive developement.   I am running apple iphone right now,  but I may buy a note to use dex on.  It's that cool.
  • I just can't help but think that Microsoft's days are numbered. They can't compete in the consumer phone area, now Delta, General Electric, and Police are abandoning MS as well. They also let HP down, Groove Music, and I'm sure there's more I forgot. Nadella is not good for business. Consistantcy is no where to be found. Big change here big change there, this model does not create confidence. Within 5 yeaars I think MS will trail Apple and Google in a distant 3rd, 4th if you add Android as a seperate thing.
  • @rodneyej,  I think you have your numbers backwards...only a few fanboys like yourself are interested in the microsoft unicorn.  The general populous has rejected MS at every go for mobile.