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Windows Mobile and the enterprise Part IV: Microsoft, smartphones are personal

There was a time in modern history when our wallets were the most personal objects that most people carried with them. Its highly personal nature as the vessel that contains access to our identities and finances has earned it that position. Losing a wallet provokes an all too familiar feeling of dread that is rivaled only by the loss of what is arguably an even more personal object – our smartphones.

Smartphones are the most personal objects we carry.

Smartphones have been exalted to a position in our lives as more than things that we carry to extensions of who we are. They are our portal to connecting with friends and loved ones, our address books, banking tools and the gateway to our personal photo albums.

Our phones meticulously chronicle all of our interactions in text and photos and videos. They track our locations and ease our anxiety by helping us find our way in the most unfamiliar of environments.

Smartphones are our go-to distraction in uncomfortable situations when we prefer not to interact with others or when we don't know what else do. They are our gaming system, our portal to the internet and every now and then, they are our phone.

These and many other highly personal aspects of these "extra appendages" make Microsoft's decision to focus its mobile OS, Windows 10 Mobile, entirely on the enterprise problematic.

All business Microsoft? Really?

President of Microsoft France Vahe Torossian, reiterated the enterprise-focused strategy Redmond articulated during Ignite 2016 this way :

"We have a special position in the mobile today, focusing on the company, but we are working on the next big thing…"During this time of transition, our attention will focus on the professional market."

Microsoft is seeking protection for its mobile platform solely within the boundaries of the impersonal environment of the enterprise. This strategy, which removes the OS from the consumer space and potentially a priority focus of development of more personal attributes, may see it wither under the shadow of the professional environment.

The inherently personal nature of mobile computing beckons for [duo-user](http:// /microsoft-and-duo-user-hey-consumers-microsoft-designing-phone-you) integration within a person's life. Microsoft must have a consumer play at some point, and for that to succeed visibility of the platform, I assert, is critical even now. Microsoft, it's personal.

Microsoft, it's not business as usual

Microsoft achieved 90% PC market share among consumers and businesses by employing a strategy where the firm targeted the enterprise with Windows and other Microsoft products and services. Employees loved it. Like warm air flowing out of an open door, this resulted in the dissemination of Windows PCs "from the office" to hundreds of millions of homes with the help of manufacturing partners. Unfortunately, this strategy cannot be replicated with an enterprise-focused Windows Mobile. Here's why:

The consumer-facing personal computing void that Windows PCs filled as they trickled from businesses into homes has no parallel in the current personal computing paradigm. There is no void. The smartphone consumer space is filled – literally saturated - with iPhones and Android phones.

Moreover, Google/Samsung and Apple are aggressively pushing their platforms, which have overrun the consumer space, into the enterprise. Ironically, Microsoft's broad platform approach welcomes these devices into its enterprise-entrenched IT infrastructure with device management systems like Intune. Furthermore, this migration of consumer-friendly devices into the enterprise has resulted in over 90% of Fortune 500 companies adopting the iPhone.

Rivals are pushing their consumer dominance into the enterprise.

Moreover, Apple's bold ambitions to be a dominant force in the enterprise has even resulted in the Cupertino company forging a partnership with enterprise giant IBM. This union sees Big Blue and Cupertino building custom enterprise solutions for iOS.

Furthermore, in conjunction with nearly 100% of the consumer space being dominated by iOS and Android, "81 percent of businesses have or are planning on implementing a BYOD policy". Needless to say, that means hordes of iPhone and Android phone toting consumers are also iPhone and Android phone toting professionals once they bring their phones to work.

Ironically, their iPhones and Android phones have usurped Microsoft's mantra and they are serving the duo user. (Though for some IT managers this iPhone and Android colonization of a Microsoft environment can be a headache.) Sadly, this leaves Microsoft's mobile offering, which has conceded the consumer space, barely serving any type of user.

Microsoft, it's about consumers, and it's personal

Given that Microsoft dominates the enterprise IT infrastructure one would assume that Windows Mobile would be the ideal fit for most companies and their employees. And for some it is. But as a rule, the rapid evolution of the smartphone has left little room for Windows Mobile even in the enterprise. This might not be the case if the current mobile computing paradigm had its beginning in the enterprise.

The advent of the iPhone in 2007, however, as a consumer product introduced a unique paradigm, set the tone for user's experiences and established a direction for mobile personal computing as a platform upon which both iOS and Android have capitalized. It's personal.

Microsoft must recognize that the personal computing paradigm is now in reverse.

Personal computing as part of the current smartphone paradigm began as a distinct consumer experience. As it grew in adoption and dominance, it became more integrated into users lives. The smartphone eventually became the most personal device individuals carry and ultimately evolved into an indispensable extension of most users. It became essential as it helped and continues to help people get things done in their personal lives.

Microsoft, our smartphones are making business personal

iPhone 7 Selfie

iPhone 7 Selfie (Image credit: Windows Central)

This "extra appendage" eventually accompanied users to their professional environments and became a tool that helps them get things done there as well. The smartphone, as "part of the person", is helping them do things as professionals (often with Microsoft apps). These professionals are people or consumers first. They are duo users.

Furthermore, Apple and Google are actively working to make these highly personal devices that are already integrated into users lives more capable enterprise tools.

Microsoft must recognize that the personal computing paradigm is now reversed. Redmond's objective is not to appeal to consumers who want the tools they use at work in their homes like in the PC days of old. As they focus on enterprise users, Microsoft needs to figure out how to appeal to the consumer within the professional rather than the professional as a professional.

Microsoft must appeal to the consumer within the professional.

They must unravel, at least to some degree, a user's entanglement with their personal device and appeal to their "personal side" with their own mobile offering. This is a difficult feat for sure, but a necessary objective nonetheless.

This challenge is yet another reason why silence in the consumer space is not an option.

Should Microsoft begin marketing Windows Mobile to the masses?

Microsoft, did you ask?

During Microsoft's Ignite 2016 conference the company identified Office 365 and OneDrive for business, Continuum, Cortana for work and apps built for the Universal Windows Platform as key to a more personal mobile experience.

These tools indeed have merit and build a foundation for a holistic personal computing experience. One is left wondering, however, if Microsoft solicited feedback from developers and consumers (in line with thier customer obsession ethos) as to what they consider to be a more personal experience. The success of Microsoft's mobile strategy rests upon them after all.

Microsoft, you can't shoehorn a personal experience

Consider this: If an employee is mandated to use a company issued Windows phone, he will likely accept it begrudgingly as he compares it to his personal phone that holds the keys to his digital life. Many users want their phones to act as a central hub to the things they do in life.

So as more things are added to their "digital turf," more often than not, they want their personal phones to incorporate those new territories. Thus, if a job requires the use of a smartphone, many users (though certainly not all) prefer to carry one device – their device.

In the scenarios where Microsoft succeeds in getting a Windows phone into the hands of professionals, there will certainly be a curiosity as to the merits of this "strange" device with dynamic Live Tiles. There may even be an appreciation of the unique UI and experience.

The enterprise is not a personal environment.

However, after that curiosity is satisfied, the ego-centric part of a user's human nature will kick in in defense of the "superior" (as they perceive it to be) and personal device that is central to that person's digital life. This will invariably lead to more pragmatic comparisons where the quality and quantity app gap will inevitably surface. With the current state of Windows Mobile and the shortage of some popular, business and transportation apps this company-issued phone will be found incapable of doing all of what the user wants it to do; which is likely virtually everything his personal phone can do.

The position of the user's personal phone will be reinforced as pride in the victory it — this extension of himself — will have won over this "other" device that dared threaten its position – even if just in the mind of the user. Without the supporting ecosystem, even the high-end HP Elite x3 3-in-1 can suffer this fate. Take note, the collaborative research that HP and Microsoft conducted to bring the Elite x3 to market was focused on the needs of businesses. It wasn't personal.

Thus, developers are essential to the ecosystem to help bring the app, and future AI and bots, experiences to a platform that make a smartphone personal. With Windows Mobile's definitive "enterprise-only" play, however, consumer-focused developers are less likely to see value in developing for the platform. The enterprise is not a personal environment. Sadly, this may inevitably impact Microsoft's future mobile ambitions.

Microsoft, even a benched player wears a jersey

In basketball, there are times when individual players "ride the pine." While benched these players are still as much a part of the team as those who are actively running the ball. Though they are not participating at the time, they still wear their uniform and are visible to the audience as players. When the coach calls them to enter or re-enter the game, onlookers see a familiar player who never left the court, rejoin the competition.

By focusing Windows Mobile on the enterprise Microsoft has effectively removed Windows Mobile from the court and sent it to the locker room where consumers can't see it. As a result, many won't even know that Microsoft has a player in the game. A more effective strategy as they await and facilitate the anticipated paradigm shift may be to keep the platform visible to consumers, but "benched." By including Windows mobile subtly in the current Windows 10 ad campaign (as strategic "product placements") (opens in new tab) Microsoft can communicate to consumers that Windows Mobile is benched but still a player. This strategy keeps Windows Mobile in the consumer consciousness and thereby maintains mindshare.

This strategy keeps Windows Mobile in consumers consciousness

When the paradigm shift occurs and Microsoft's supporting ecosystem is in place, Redmond can then present rather than introduce Windows Mobile on a category-defining device. A Surface phone perhaps. This strategy allows Redmond to forego the challenge of reintroducing itself in a space that would otherwise see it as a new platform in several years.

Rather than having to reach to consumers with a "look we have a mobile platform too" appeal in the face of a more deeply entrenched iOS and Android user base, Redmond would have the benefit of presenting a "look at our mobile platform on this form factor" appeal instead. Maintaining visibility in the consumer space allows this approach and is strategically important as the ecosystem evolves to support a potential category defining device.

What are your thoughts? Sound off in comments, forums and on Twitter! Also, if you agree that smartphones are inherently personal share this piece on Twitter @JLTechWord (and anyone else you'd like to tag) and Facebook with the hashtag #SmartPhonesArePersonal!

Related reading:

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! This is of course a very intense topic. There are strong pinions on both sides. I am still confident in the overall strategy Microsoft is committed to. My concern however is in realation to the messaging toward a consumer-focused industry that your mobile platform that powers first- and third-party hardware is enterprise focused. This can have detrimental affects on the support Micrsosoft gets from consumers and partners in the future as their confidence in Redmonds mobile plans may begin to wane. One very important point I like to stress is that mobile computing is personal. As such, even with and enterprise focus Microsoft must figure out how to appeal to the consumer in the professional rather than the professional as a professional. Well, LET'S TALK!!!
  • Damnit Jason, you had to post this during the event? Having Microsoft overload over here! =P
  • Hahaha....hope you get a chance to digest it. :-)
  • Nice read... In fact, it was probably the best of the series. The analogy to a benched player in a game is perfect for what strategy they need to use. If only someone in MS was listening to you that could change their perspective on this.
  • Thanks, glad you liked it man. Hope folks share this one. ;-)
  • Jason Ward for CEO of MS... Might as well.
    They should at least put you on the damn board.
  • Lol...thanks...i wouldn't mind CEO money...but that's not a job I really want. :-) Now I'd absolutely love to get a chance to get the ear of some of the folks with decision making power and share and hear some thoughts. It'd be interesting to hear in depth motivation's and share input from a passionate enthusiast position knowledgeable about company and industry but also a consumer. It would be nice to have an enlightening discussion.
  • Yes, I agree... And, if you ever get that sit down make sure you have my plane ticket ready... I still have suggestions for WinMo 3.0! And, I'm not very happy. Lol
    Actually, I'm here in Irving, TX right by one of their corporate HQ's. I can see it from my windows... Nokia used to be right next door to MS, and this is where some of the development for the L900 took place (mainly radio development with att, who is also based here in Dallas). A lot of us helped with that phone at WP events over at MS.. Anyways, point is you meet them here, and save money on my flight. Deal. Thanks.
  • Hahaha...lets see what happens! You never know! :-)
  • Totally agree!  I believe MS is making a huge mistake, unless they are planning to ditch mobile entirely.  I am not getting any younger, but to them it is simply job security.  "Coming Soon" seems to be their core mission statement.  It is like an ex leading you on "just in case" all else fails and they need a date last minute.  Haha
  • Glad to see you guys stopped with the ridiculous "everything is good, and MS has a great plan!" pieces you were running before. The fact they're failing has been clear for a long time, and the articles WPcentral was running just made the site look silly.
  • Yeah, that never was me... Well, maybe 3 years ago, but whatever. Not anytime recently.
  • I don't remember it being you either. Regardless, glad to see some sanity. I love my windows devices, and have owned about 10 different windows phones. They've screwed up pretty damn badly over and over again though, and it's right to acknowledge that.
  • Like the orchestra in Titanic still playing on the deck. The ship is sinking people and the torpedo came from USS Redmond.
  • Lol... Yes, that's the us! The orchestra. Terrific analogy.
  • Wow Jason, lovely article! Agree with every bit. I am not sure why a company that targets only enterprise for mobile will be successful. MS should just ask blackberry 
  • @imo786 Thanks! I hope things improve. Hopefully they see something, that they're not sharing that I don't see with this all-enterprise focus. If not...
  • One big problem now windows phone community facing is none of the old windows phones didn’t receive the Windows 10 update. This is a very big setback for the windows phone ecosystem. Gradually, all this users will jump ship to Android/iPhone. And because of that other First party developers just ignore the Windows Phone community because of more lack of users. And by that time when surface phone arrives it would have been already late or would just limited to just enterprise customers. One suggestion that I would raise to save Windows Phone is just Provide another update to those phones which didn't qualify for the official windows 10 update(512 MB device/X20 device) by adding some UI features of Windows 10 like the new start menu, updated action centre and I am not talking about the ONE OS CORE; so it won't affect the phone performance, similar to MS rolled an update for windows phone 7.5 to 7.8 and Open Source Windows Phone 8.1 OS, Yes 8.1 [And name it as 'Windows X' (10 in roman) or something else] and here I'm not talking about Windows 10 Mobile OS. I know the UWP apps will not work in WP 8.1, but atleast the developers and OEM has the ultimate Freedom to implement whatever they wish. And use the Windows 10 mobile OS in Surface Phone or in Phone's for Enterprise or whatever in which security and continuum is a greater concern (which is compatible of UWP apps). And MS can even give freedom to OEM's for UI customisation like in Android with or without removing the trademark windows phone start screen/live tiles.
    And let Lumia runs on this open sourced OS (Windows X to me :-) ) and let Surface Runs on Windows 10 mobile. So that the Lumia Legacy will go on.. Bottom line of my point is, Lumia for public consumers and Surface Phone for Enterprise. In short I'm talking about combining the best part of Android and iOS. At least it would save 'Windows in Phone' to a greater extend.
    I could be wrong..
  • That's true
  • The existing WP community is minute. Microsoft will build a new community (whenever they will be ready to engadge in that)
    that will be based on new hardware which is as capable as the HP Elite X3 and north of that. I'd love to get W10M on my Samsung Ativ S.
    But even Samsung has forgotten that they ever had a device like that. Every penny that goes into outfitting dead hardware with new software 
    will keep Microsoft from doing new, innovative stuff (like we saw today).  Microsoft is not trying to keep the old WP market alive,
    it is actively working on building a new one.
    Which will take time. A long time.
  • I've been a windows phone user since 2011, but I just ordered a older Samsung Note. BYE
  • Great piece. You could have added a few more things link to that topic. When MSFT is more prone to invest first in other ecosystem for their own productivity apps (iOS, Android), they send the message to other developpers they should do the same. When Windows Apps lags behind, they tell existing users, you are secondary to us. I recently left the Windows Mobile ecosystem. After more then 1 years of Fast Ring update, Windows 10 Mobile still lags behind Windows Phone 8.1. We feel the internal struggle in the finished product, the People Hub went from a bright light to a simple contact list. The integrated messaging is now a mess being split. App synchronization is messy. All that  for what, UWP? That was a clear winner, right? No wonder developper and enterprise are pulling their app from the Windows Store, they are not convinced Windows not only has a vision but can actually stick with it. Don't get me wrong, I hate my new iPhone, but at least I have all the apps and being in embedded in MSFT ecosystem, switching to iOS we stupidly easy. The consumer vision of MSFT is a mess, the Smartphone, the Band, the Car, the Home automation are prim example. I would say this is Sataya blind spot, he is a cloud/enterprise guy, he loves it, that part is easy for him. Consumer is more a choar for him and he need to put better leadership in that position. What we see now is leader who push their pet project.
  • Great piece. You could have added a few more things link to that topic. When MSFT is more prone to invest first in other ecosystem for their own productivity apps (iOS, Android), they send the message to other developpers they should do the same. When Windows Apps lags behind, they tell existing users, you are secondary to us. I recently left the Windows Mobile ecosystem. After more then 1 years of Fast Ring update, Windows 10 Mobile still lags behind Windows Phone 8.1. We feel the internal struggle in the finished product, the People Hub went from a bright light to a simple contact list. The integrated messaging is now a mess being split. App synchronization is messy. All that  for what, UWP? That was a clear winner, right? No wonder developper and enterprise are pulling their app from the Windows Store, they are not convinced Windows not only has a vision but can actually stick with it. Don't get me wrong, I hate my new iPhone, but at least I have all the apps and being in embedded in MSFT ecosystem, switching to iOS was stupidly easy. The consumer vision of MSFT is a mess, the Smartphone, the Band, the Car, the Home automation are prim example. I would say this is Sataya blind spot, he is a cloud/enterprise guy, he loves it, that part is easy for him. Consumer is more a choar for him and he need to put better leadership in that position. What we see now is leader who push their pet project.
  • Microsoft could have succeeded with their mobiles by now had they not made all their software available on Android and ios. Take today they showcased a windows phone taking 3D picture of a sand castle then inserting to paint 3D then eventually on to Facebook. These are the sort of killer apps they keep coming up with only to make them available to Android and Apple. If they would not have made software available for other mobile platforms then to get things done people would have had to buy a windows phone.
  • This is the best article in the series hands down. A frank discussion
  • @thanks Kevin. Don't hesitate to share if you're so inclined.;-)
  • Dude I wish I could sit in on their strategy meetings and flip out at their decisions. It seems like mobile is not a focus anymore. Look at Xbox for example. They are so passionate about getting titles to their Xbox. Why can't they be this passionate about getting devs to publish to WP? Look at Pokémon Go for example. Did Microsoft even try to get that app on the Microsoft Store? Maybe there is more to it that I'm not aware of, but it would be nice to see some Microsoft Phone commercials or even a stronger push to get apps and games on the Microsoft Phone store.
  • Aside from the Elite X3 making a short appearance, no mention of Mobile. Except, wait - they said the 3D will work on all devices. Thanks, Microsoft. Universal Apps.. Across PCs? 8.1 was more Universal, because at least for those few universal apps we had RT ARM tablets, Windows Phone, and PC. Now we are out of mobile, and out of the small tablet market.
  • WP 8.1? No thanks, I am way more happy with the new W10M approach.
    WP 7/8 was a maverick. W10M is a teamplayer.   .    
  • A very small team by the way.
  • I tweeted about this story. I'm a .NET developer and yes, you're absolutely right. Amazing analysis. #SmartPhonesArePersonal
  • This is what all the world bar MS understands. Myopic at best.
  • Agreed Jason. Seeing that windows phone was mentioned exactly once during the presentation today, its pretty obvious where MS stands on windows mobile. I really don't see how they'll be able to keep windows mobile alive with its current strategy. Market share will drop dramatically as all windows phone users are forced to abandon windows phone with no real windows mobile alternatives available to them. I guess market share will drop by 75% in the next six months, making all app developers leave the platform. After that things will go downhill fast, with no apps remaining users will switch to android and iOS en masse. Next step will be MS stopping with mobile. Even when they come up with a magical phone six months from now it will be impossible to convince former users and developers to return to the platform. Most of these have been burned three or four times, they will not give MS the benefit of the doubt again. I'll keep using my 1520 until it dies or until windows phone dies. After that, iOS I guess. My daughters can't wait to dump their windows mobile phones and go to android, they currently miss out on 90% of the apps of their class mates. After today I will support their choice, my last hope for windows mobile evaporated today.
  • This is the plan. Mobile is a huge anchor for Microsoft financially. It appears MSFT wants to build apps for Android and iOS. This is where they want to be in mobile.
  • I came to windows phone after being on android for a few years. Just got tired of it after awhile, android became the same old same old. My first windows phone was the Icon. Loved it and now I'm a 950xl. And during the time on android I would download and install almost every app that appealed to me including games. And like I said, just got bored with it. Looking at Android today still looks like the same old stuff. A couple of friends who were die hard galaxy users just dropped the latest galaxy and went with the pixel, still android but even die hards get bored.
  • Hmmm, I don't know. A smartphone is a tool to get certain things done.
    It either does the job or it does not. But getting bored? That sound much more like fashion to me. -
  • Windows Phone market share is hardly measureable.
    It cannot plummet any farther. Who cares really for Windows Phone? Exactly: nobody. The thing is:
    This all is not about Windows Phone at all, it is about Windows 10.  Funny thing is that Windows 10 Mobile is an integral part of Windows 10, it IS Windows 10.  Windows "Phone" is WP 7/8.
    And yes, Windows Phone is actually dead.  Windows 10 Mobile however is: alive and kicking. Windows 10 Mobile  =  Windows 10  =  a completely new game   .  
  • Stop that will you. Do you think we are stupid? No it is not Windows 10. Windows 10 runs on totally different hardware and is not compatible with 10m. Beside that this Universal thing and One Core are just dreams and Gimmicks with no palpable result. That is the truth.
  • When I can take one image of Windows 10 and install it on my gaming desktop or L640, then you can say they are the same. Right now, maybe the core is similar, but they are no where near the same. They are separate systems that each require their own development. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Of all the news that was reported today, your article was the most valuable of them all. Agreed with it from top to bottom. Maybe it being posted during today's event was something of a hint? ;-)
  • You can already see the damage of their "forget we have smartphones" strategy. I've spoken to a number of people who used to use Windows Phone and one of the biggest decisions to jump away was lack of any new phones, and for some, lack of a phone on Verizon. However, a lot of them have stated that they're waiting for a "Surface Phone." One that apparently is a year and a half away now. That's not comforting at all. The one positive of their current strategy appears to be UWP. It does seem to be helping bring more quality apps to mobile (and Xbox), but the problem of the almost non existent market share isn't helping at all. They absolutely need to do something to keep users interested still.
  • I can assure you that Microsoft never ever will introduce a "phone" to the market under what brand whatever. Would you expect Verizon to sell a Micosoft Studio computing device to you? No? Why then would you expect Verizon or any other provider for that matter
    to sell any other new Surface-branded device to you? If Microsoft ever will introduce a Surface-branded device that currently goes by the name of "Surface Phone" it will be a high-performant computing device that also happens to have a 4G/5G modem on board. If Microsoft ever comes out which such a device
    Verizon would have to get on their knees and beg
    for being allowed to become a channel partner for that device. On that note:
    Network providers should be completely driven out of the hardware business. 
    It's none of their business any more.
    They are only an obstacle to progress. .
  • Agree... But unfortunately the networks are so huge here that they can force or entice customers into thinking they are their only option to get a phone. This is done by pay as you go, or 0% finance plans, or even free phones for contracts. People are also lazy, and usually don't feel like hunting for the best deal they could get. They would rather go to a store and listen to someone who probably knows less than they do about mobile phones, yet they have the shirt on so they must know something, than to get online and actually learn something by trying to buy their own device.
  • Great article Jason. You're a man after my own heart. I was disappointed at MS's silence about phones today, but I have a plan for them to win the mobile phone war. MS needs an Intel mobile cpu that will run x86 programs on it. If it can do that it could run Bluestacks, and tap into ALL of Google's apps, but with backwards compatibility it would add all of those x86 programs/apps as well as what's in the Windows UWP store, so would always be ahead of the Play store in number. But the paradigm shift is that your device becomes your computer wherever you go. Sell it with a dock that incorporates a gpu, or let it work wirelessly if you need less graphics capability. MS and Intel could again partner on this to make it happen and vault the Surface Phoputer into this new space. Then the universal platform would be complete.
  •   It was not disappointing as it was not even expected. Although Windows 10 Mobile is Windows 10, and this event was about Windows 10,
    there is a season for everything.
    And this time it appears to be the season for all-things-3D "imagine".  And there will be a season for Windows 10 Mobile, just not this time.
    And for some time to come .... till all the things needed (from Microsoft's perspective) fall into place. .    
  • Microsoft's major computing event featured no mobile product. The showcase for Windows 10 did not include Windows 10 Mobile. Whether you are targetting the enterprise or consumer having nothing to offer as a premium product in 2016 with 12 months since the 950/950XL means you are invisible.  Whether you have specifically exited the mobile market or not having no offer for the premium phone buyer in 2016 is defeat. Yes the x3 exists but is sold as an HP product almost as a laptop replacement.  I have a 950 but Microsoft is no longer a serious player in phone. 
  • I own a Lumia 950
    and I agree with you that Microsoft is no longer a serious player in phone. The future won't be "phones" per se. When you compare the Microsoft Studio with a tried-and-true tower PC
    then you'll get a glimpse of how different a future Surface-branded mobile companion device could be
    compared to smart(?)phone of these days.   -     
  • Will such a device also cost $4000?
  • Bit annoying that you compare a phone to an operating system for phones.. "iPhones and Android phones"  should be iOS phones to android phones, or start listing all the android models mister - anyhoo, I'll stick to my Windows 10 Mobile devices till it either a) burns to the ground b) takes over the world
  • Hi zenthrax thanks for the feedback but consider this question, Other than iPhones, are there ANY other phones that run iOS? :-) ...Nope. :-) I used to write the comparison the way you suggest to be honest. I was rightfully corrected by an editor. Lol. So iPhones (which run a propietary OS that run on ONE type of phone) compared to phones that run an OS that run on MANY type of phones is an appropriate comparison. Particularly when we're talking devices and market share or popularity. iPhones and Android phones DO indeed garner 99% of smartphone market share. :-) iPhones and Android phones ARE the most popular in the market. :-) In a nutshell I'm comparing TYPES of phones not phone vs operating systems for phones. An iPhone is a type of phone. vs An *Android* phone, which is also a type of phone, where ANDROID is the word describing the type of phone. So I hear your point, but the comparison is accurate. No need to list EVERY android phone - mister or aahhhh don't even know! But I'm with you. Windows Mobile is my flavor too!!! :-)
  • In past your articles was:
    this is Microsoft strategy and this is why it could work.
    ​This is why Microsoft strategy will not work. ​It is sad, we have to say goodbye to our hope to see Windows Mobile as  a real alternative to iOs and Android.
  • @Vittorio I still believe in their overall strategy. It's just this one area of a complete "invisibility" in relation to the consumer space and blatant wording to a consumer-focused industry that thier Mobile OS is not meant for consumers for the next few years I feel undercuts the bridge of developer, OEM and ODM support of their grand vision. If they stay the course, keep the OS visible in the consumer space through "product placing" WM devices in the W10 ad campaign an support OEM partners that ARE using thier Mobile OS to target consumers like Alcatel and WhartonBrooks I would have not written this series. They need to maintain consistent messaging for one. If Windows 10 on PC is consumer- and enterprise-focused, the One Windows UWP messaging logically says WM is as well. It is a pity that MS is not FULLY supporting OEM partners by saying thier Mobile OS is enterprise focused while partners target consumers. Redmond's message is now divided and it leaves partners without full support. Change the messaging. Support partners with a consistent message and RETURN to at least some form of visibility in the consumer space(no need to try to convert other users, just maintain visibility and mindshare), which was all there when I wrote the other pieces and I will gladly change my tune in relation to this specific area. :-)
  • Honestly, I also think there enterprise offerings in the mobile is pretty poor. (I also still maintain continuum is just a sham)
  • Hmmm, the X3 is a great device in my humble opinion. Continuum is at it's beginning, first baby-steps are done.
    It will grow, maybe even quickly. .
  • Not a word about Mobile in the event.  Guess that say a lot about what MS thinks about the Mobile world.
  • Yup. This was supposed to be a mobile focused update and not a single mention of mobile at all, let alone any new updates or features. Windows Mobile is officially dead. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It would be nice is MS would just be honest with us. Admit you have no future plans for mobile in the non-enterprise market and let everyone get on with their lives.
  • Even their plans for enterprise are limited. They are not looking for new clients, only current customers. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That's interesting, I hadn't seen that before. Confirms much of what we have already seen and Micosoft didn't really give any future direction other than a few tweaks to Continuum.  
  • They don't have to relay the message verbally. Their actions (or lack thereof) say everything.
  • I got an insider build yesterday. Are you suggesting I need a Delorean now? Lol
  • So you can go back and stop yourself from using Windows Phone at all? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Damn it! You got me!
  • Bullocks. What is it that you do not understand about the notion/concept of "offically"? Either produce evidence in form of a press relase from Microsoft or stay mum. ,  
  • What do you not understand about hyperbole? This was supposed to be a mobile focused update as reported by this site and Mobile ends up not even being mentioned and no new features or anything is shown. Microsoft has killed it, they just don't want the negative press so they will let it limp along with minimal support. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I hoped that they would post something about a phone, but nope :(
  • There's no possible way that anyone truly thinks this strategy will succeed.
  • Wrong. I do think that Micosoft's strategy will be successful. So I would advise you to reformulate you post advoiding the use of the word "anyone".
  • Everyones got the right to their opinions. Even you with your arrogant but clueless and blind posture. You look like that propaganda minister from Saddam. Do you think you're the smart one and everyone else is stupid? Just pathetic
  • Microsoft knows all too well that phones are meant to be personal. That was literally their entire marketing play with Windows Phone 7 and 8. The problem is that the hardware just didn't take off and thus the app ecosystem didn't develop and thus they didn't hit that critical mass to stay relevant. Right now, Microsoft is doing the smart thing: taking a breather, waiting until they can offer something truly new and innovative​ in the mobile space, rather than putting out more effectively commoditized phones. Look at Surface Studio--that ​is a unique product. Nobody else has anything like it. It serves a specific purpose as well, which is smart--it's not just a desktop (which would be a waste, there are plenty of cheap desktops out there). Look at the pattern--MS devices have been focusing on creativity and productivity. There will be no Surface Phone until they can do it right​, and that means technology that they are likely still developing. The company will not launch something that doesn't work (i.e. Surface Mini)--they can't afford to. Thus, no new phones. Finally, consider what it means to "sit out" the phone market right now: nothing. Literally nothing. There is currently ONE decent phone company: Apple. Samsung makes explosive devices that literally will get you arrested if you try to take one on a plane. Google just started making phones and it remains to be seen how successful they will be (Verizon only in the US is a big mistake). Everyone who can afford one has a smartphone. Microsoft loses nothing at all by sitting on the sidelines. In fact, if they can establish a new reputation and build the Surface brand into something that people like, then when they are ready to release a Surface Phone, they basically guarantee that people will be interested. But it has to be perfect. It has to be Panos's design and it must be something interesting and new. It should probably be "category defining." This enterprise focus is fine for the moment. They are biding their time until they have something worth getting excited about. Even Apple has seen iPhone sales decrease. That market is so saturated, it's pointless to introduce another slab of metal of glass into it. Let's see what Panos can come up with. If it's worthwhile, people will buy it.
  • Points taken but with that said at what price will the "consumer" have to fork out to own one and are they such to want to pay the "iPhone" $$ to own a Windows smartphone.
  • @apoc527 I agree, MS shouldn't introduce new hardware now. This my "Benched player analogy." :-) But they must operate with the fact and awareness that thier Mobile Platform, which this series is about(not the hardware) powers both first-party AND partner devices'. When the company makes public statements' to a consumer-focused industry of developers, OEMs, ODMs and of course consumers that your Mobile platform is enterprise focused and not me at for consumers, yes it may be in line with Redmonds broad ecosystem plans, of AI, bots, some OS or ecosystem evolution, etc, but it's a disconnect to where your current and future supporters are now. They have not yet embraced Microsoft's grand vision. As such, telling the consumer focused industry your mobile platform is not for them potentially cuts off thier bridge of support for their future vision if developers, consumers, OEM and ODMs take this messaging as a sign that MS has no solid vision for mobile. Lenovo, Coship and a growing list of departing app publishers seem to already have received this message. Microsoft needs to keep the platform visible. Let the world know we are still in the game. On the bench. But a player. At less than 1% and questions of "What's a windows phone? from people when you mention it. Even as recent as my trip to MS last week. A fellow visitor shared he neve saw a Windows phone. If MS becomes a full enterprise hermit, the platform will fall into even deeper obscurity. The affect on the much needed developer and hardware Parker support may be the greatest casualties.
  • Amen dude.
  • @ apoc527. BINGO. I agree with your post 100%. (Look at my post below.) Smartphones are a commodity. Even Apple isn't selling like they once were. MSFT gets this data way before any of us consumers do. They know the trends. They know the markets. They know their bottom line. I agree that this "retrenchment" is necessary. OEMs should jump in now since no Surface phone for a long while.
  • I agree, my previous post speaks to the heart of it. Even apple is getting hit, yes they sold alot of phones but not as many as they normally do, this started late last year, even the apple faithful are getting bored with the same old same old.
  • There quite some decent phones on the market, including devices from Xiaomi, OnePlus, Huawei ... But (for Microsoft) it's a new game. It is not about phones anymore.
    Much like a Microsoft Studio icomputing device s not about tower PCs.  
  • I think the lack of mention on phones and mobile speaks volumes.  Not even a mention of Continuum (though I came in late).  MS really has given up on mobile.  I feel sorry for HP. Once again, they invested probably a lot of money in an orphan platform.
  • With that said do you honestly think MS can offer any OEM partner anything to make them want to continue with them?
  • I'm really confused by the focusing on the next big MS developing it or waiting to jump on it?
  • Even MS don't know yet... It's just an excuse to pull out from the mobile market, witch they're failure is epic
  • Agree to every point of the article. Had a great read. Microsoft has in the end left a deep gash in the hearts of consumers who trusted them and had that tiny little hope in thier platform. The whole getting out of consumer market and then coming back after a few years is a hit and miss situation. It can either work or can again go horribly wrong. Would have been acceptable to just keep Windows Mobile in the market like the article says, not for consumers, but for those huge fans (Insiders) who contributed in the making of Windows 10. This is like taking leaps of data and then saying get lost. Windows Mobile could have silently existed as a third competitor. We have brand new Instagram, Facebook, BOA, this that, continium etc, but whats the use if there's no Windows Mobile in the market. 
  • Consumers? What comsumers? That handful of consumers (me being one of them)? Microsoft never has really seriously made it into the consumer space.
      If you run a company, you'd make a decision on how to deal with such a situation.
    Microsoft obviously did this after having sunken 10 billion US-dollars
    into the phone market having achieved little if anything at all. Windows 10 Mobile is a competely new game. From my prespective as one of those few Windows 10 Mobile customers W10M itself is alive and kicking.
    Being an Insider, I regularily receive and install new Preview versions.  In order to have a viable Windows 10 Mobile market
    you'd better have a Windows 10 market first
    and not the other way round. .
  • Also, right now, if you are a Windows phone fan but you need a new phone right now​, just get an iPhone. You are CERTAIN to be able to sell it for almost full price when that Surface Phone comes out next year. Hell, that's what I may do unless WhartonBrooks releases something special before my 1520 finally dies--and boy, is it close.
  • If I'd change I'd go Android. Apple has become high-end dull and boring. Android is cheaper and you can (respectively have to) exchange hardware more often  as you can afford it better.  
  • Agreed.  MS pretty much is ignoring the existence of BYOD with their enterprise focus.  Which is ironic, because they offer Office apps on Android and Apple, because of BYOD.  Duh.  I'll say it for the millionth time:  Without repeating notifications and custom reminder times, I CANNOT fully endorse W10M, and will not use one as my "Daily Driver".  And nobody in enterprise will either.  I use my S5A for work also.  I told the IT person that I was thinking of getting a Lumia 950, and she just said, "Why would you want to do that?"  Pretty well sums it up.
  • BYOD is an US-American thing. Depending on where you work it cost you your job if you'd try to connect your own device to the company's network.  
  • Well, we're a pretty big market, and I'm sure we're not the only ones doing it.  Especially since a lot of US subsidiaries are based overseas, I'm sure alot of their IT policies are in line with their parent company, when they can control it.  There probably are companies that will do the MS only thing, but it's foolish to bet your mobile division on this strategy.  Android and Apple products have way better security than they used to, and office app integration.  If a company gives their people a choice, they're going to choose what they're comfortable with.  And if they aren't given a choice, that probably means they're getting what the boss likes the best.  Which is unlikely W10M.  They want to "focus on enterprise"?  Guess where consumers work... If you've lost the consumer already, you might as well forget about enterprise.
  • Microsoft must appeal to the consumer within the professional. If MS cannot grasp that concept then why are we die-hard fans sticking around for?
  • As a big user of the W10M system, even I am having doubts now. I've got 14 devices in my small company. I've tried the others and they were hopeless when I needed integration. I need all my lads and lasses singing from the same song sheet. If, when the contracts are due for renewal, If I jump ship, my office and drivers will end up fragmented. Not good. I may not be huge, in terms of enterprise, but the noise coming from MS isn't exactly helping my confidence much. It's very rare for me to post a negative comment, but I just don't know where MS are going with it. W10 and M saves me a lot of time and money due to it's integration, on top of which, I use continuum in meetings, and I use the phones ( or is that paperweight) personally. There, I've posted a downer
  • What specific integration? What does that actually mean? Sounds like buzzwords in a time when the cloud has made your data available anywhere. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • @Mad_Cabbie Hang in there!
  • I'm trying Jason. I use Cortana a lot when dealing with calls. The office staff have the booking forms open, calls and numbers appear in notifications along with names etc. Ad hoc jobs are sent using Cortana to the drivers. Office apps keep me busy when out and about. Yes, I know iOS etc have these available but where the hell else can I get 14 devices for less than 3/4 iBones. My entire set up is W10, from my surface down to the office PC's. The guys use Cortana to call the office, read texts etc. All they guys and girls using the same system just works. Stuff I do on the road appears on my PC's without any form of effort on my part. I use one drive exclusively and find that great, where each driver has their own folder for prebooked jobs. It's so simple without any it chap coming in. It just works. The drivers like it, the office like it and as MS say, I get more done. The trouble with W10M is the WP moniker. It is TOXIC. It empowers those 'beautiful people' to criticise, laugh, ridicule etc.. Let's face it, WM isn't sexy. It isn't fashionable, it doesn't have a case with a hole in the back to display a piece of fruit. It doesn't advertise as something that you can aspire to, it isn't advertised as device that elevates your position among your peers. We see that on here. "Ooo, I've jumped to Android / iOS, and it's the best and now all my friends think I am da bomb". Those that jump, never seem to go for the "average" device. It's always an S7 or apple equivalent. Even those in the know get sucked in by the hype. Strange how they still have the windows device in the drawer though?
  • I'm not sure what you mean by integration either.* My personal phone, an iPhone 6s and my employer provided phone, a Galaxy S6, are actually pretty integrated, as they both have access to the same apps/services.   In fact, they both have enough Microsoft apps that could in effect call them 'Windows' phones.    Furthermore, some applications, like Office Lens, actually work better on my Android phone, than they do on my iPhone or my past Windows phones (1520, 1020). *(My iPhone, S6 and Windows PC with W10 are pretty integrated: if I do something on OneNote, Word, or use Cortana on the Galaxy, it'll pop up on my Windows computer, and across any other devices running Microsoft apps. )
  • Glad it works for you. I cant have drivers running around with iPhone 6's on display. And for the price of one of them, I bought 3 640XL's and had change.
  • Well for your use case, that's fine, and yes, the 640's would work fine for you.    What happens though in a year, or two, if OEM devices running Windows mobile are scarce, more so than now?  Even now, one would essentially be going to OEMs without much of a solid reputation for business account post sales support (Acer? Alcatel?)  We already know that Microsoft is now out of the low margin, low cost phone hardware game, so they won't be producing any more 640s or 650s. I'd suggest a solid mid ranger such as a Moto G with Microsoft apps installed.
  • With fast insider updates Windows 10 mobile is just getting to where it should have been when first released. The public and media are still judging it and phones based on the original release. Some publicity and promotion needed.
  • All the enterprises support BYOD policies. so people take their personal gadgets to work. The phase where employees stuck with enterprise provided devises is long gone. Microsoft should make a point to people that "the Windows phone in your PERSONAL pocket can double as a your work device too" thats when people can leverage the use of continuum and enterprise applications on W10M. I'm ready to dump my windows phone when MSFT talks otherwise saying windows phone is no good for your personal use. Its only for Enterprise.When I buy a phone its primary use is for me PERSONAL and not enterprise. I'm ready to take whatever enterprise throws at me like it or not, have to live with it. But my device is MINE (PERSONAL)
  • "All the enterprises support BYOD policies" In the US that is. In other regions it is verboten
    to even install an app on a company-provided smartphone
    if it is not officially signed off by IT. .  
  • It's going to be 10 times harder to get people using windows phones than it was the first time They really had to keep consumers at least a secondary priority. In Europe they had some sort of following and they are just throwing it away. Utter stupidity in my opinion.
  • Agreed. I, Personally, feel betrayed and abandoned. I went out and bought the Lumia 950 the day it came out. I did this because of how much I enjoyed my Lumia 920 and 1020. I watched Nadella make all these promises last year for Windows Mobile. Man, I was hooked. Then, Nadella doesn't come close to delivering on his promises. Furthermore, he straight up abandons Windows Mobile. It went from Windows everywhere, to fans and professionals, to now professionals. I guess the latter is probably the better way to go at this point since they lost so many fans. I was a Microsoft fan, but not anymore. This will be my last Windows phone. I'm already looking at the iPhone 7 and Google Pixel. I've been on Windows so long, I'm not really sure which one to switch to. That being said, Microsoft didn't just lose me in the mobile world. Any time I see an alternative to a Microsoft product or service, I will go with the alternative, provided my research results in that alternative being equally or better. Bad move Microsoft.
  • I feel the same way. Just convinced my partner to get the 950 cheap, I regret it already.
  • Nadella is a good story teller, doesn't he? I feel in this crapp too and bought and L950. And I have an Windows tablet, and I have an desktop, and I have an Xbox... My last hope was today, now I'm out, I'll only keep the Xbox but slowly gonna move to Apple ecosystem. It just works
  • Not quite. Microsoft does not need to convince anybody to switch platforms. Microsoft simply needs to convince people
    to continue to use the same OS (Windows 10) they already use day-in, day-out
    on a different, physically somewhat smaller device, whatever that may be called.  
  • Nice article Jason, Its unfortunate Microsoft doesnt listen to you or me. I switched my Business over from Lumia 950 to Galaxy S7's over a month ago.. It will be almost impossible to switch back to Windows Mobile any time soon, at least at the current attitude of Microsoft anyway.
  • @thanks Dave...that is unfortunate. MS may have a hard time winning people back (or for the first time) in the future. But, as bad as it looks, nothing is impossible. Here's to hoping all thier stars align and the necessary ecosystem and hardware come together into an awesome category-defining device that wows and inspires like the rest of the Surface line (Surface, Book, Studio...Ultramobile PC - "phone").
  • Stick a fork in it. This is more of the usual Consumer-cluelessness that is Microsoft. The Board had a chance to choose a CEO who understood the need of consumers and realized that MS either needed to fire they're Marketing department or run a parallel marketing opperation for the consumer space. They chose a bloodless engineer who thinks we humans will all jettison our iPhone and their ecosystem for a bot -laden, App-desert OS. It's not going to happen.
  • I already went out and got an S7. I held out hope for UWP and W10M and quite honestly enjoyed it. I prefer the look of W10M to Android, however Android has improved greatly in the last couple years. I can't say W10M improved near or is even close to the operation of Android to this point.
  • My take: Microsoft has decided to invest only in markets where they can differentiate themselves, so they can sell a premium product at a premium price. At present, they can't do that in phones, so they are sitting on the sidelines until they can. Microsoft is really playing the long game in computing devices. They've decided their target market are content creators. This would normally be a niche market, but they are trying to convince YOU that you are a content creator. The acquisition of Mojang also comes into play here. They are hoping that young Minecraft players will morph into Microsoft (or MS partner) consumers in the years to come. Where that leaves general computer users is unclear. I am an MS fan, but they offered nothing to me I wanted. I guess I'm too old for their target market (I wanted a new Band and a reason to jump back to WP from iOS, I got neither). MS is going to face significant headwinds in the coming years as Apple makes inroads into enterprise. Many businesses equip their sales people with iPads instead of laptops, and IBM's decision to equip its workforce with 100,000 Macs is a significant win for Apple. The question are, "Will enterprise gravitate to Apple?" and "If so, will they still use Microsoft products (Office, Sharepoint, etc.)?" Lastly, it is my opinion that Apple products are easier to use, but MS products do more. It is why I believe Windows Phone never took off, and the reason for the popularity of the iPad. Mom might prefer an iPad, but MS hopes to entice your child with a Surface...
  •   Microsoft is not sitting on the side lines.
    They are actively working on Windows 10 Mobile, simply because it is Windows 10.
    Can't seperate those two anymore. They are one thing. Microsoft hat decided one of their target market are content creators.
    And right they are. When you create a Word document, you create content.
    You are a content creator. Literally, are you not? Aren't you sick of dealing with a letter or DIN A4 size document on your laptop screen? 
    Or even on a 24" FullHD screen? I have wished for many years to have a device
    that can display a document in it's original size (letter or DIN A4)
    at an eye-friendly print-type resolution and deal with it. The Studio concept makes it really much much easier to generate (aka create) and literally "handle" documents.  Leave me alone with iPads (when it comes to serious work).
    I dichted mine and replaced it with a capable Windows tablet.
    Apple no more. And when you have a closer look at professionals at places airports, conferences etc.
    you might notice that professionals schlep around the archetypical notebook plus an iPad.   -  
  • Don't worry. Until the time companies need smooth intergrations and when other platforms/OS have big problems with securities, Wins OS will win big time.
  • It's high time we looked for alternatives to wp. MS is not bothered about us consumers. Tough it may be, but do we have any other choice?
  • Android is a good choice.
  • Amen to Jason's article every words! I'm a Windows Phone fan and bought an HP Elite X3.
    I love the phone - so much better than my aging Lumia 950XL -, and Windows Mobile is a real pleasure to use on that device. Now, that being said, most of my friends and colleagues own the sexy Galaxy Edge and are happy with it (I noticed that many shifted from iPhone to Galaxy). Today I met another friend who's been a Lumia user almost since the beginning.
    This afternoon, for the first time, he was holding an iPhone.
    I asked him why he shifted.
    He answered that he liked his Lumia 950, but the device didn't address his needs as too many apps were missing - and it's getting worse as many available apps are leaving the platform -, and that every time he was seeing a new app that interested him, it was available for iOS and Android and never for Windows Phone.
    I asked him if he didn't miss having a phone that is becoming more and more like a computer.
    His answer was that he wanted a smartphone not a computer.
    Here you go, Microsoft! I don't necessarily agree with my friend last comment, but I do agree that it is frustrating to see commercials that advertise apps for Android and iOS and never Windows Mobile - and even when they have a WM app (like my bank), they don't even mention it in their communication!
    Without forgetting that almost everyday we hear of apps ending their Windows Mobile service. Now, as for Microsoft concentrating on the business arena:
    My wife found a new job.
    She got an Email yesterday from her new company telling her starting date and that she will be provided with a Surface Book and... an iPhone.
    Here you go (again) Microsoft! I believe my next phone might very well be a Samsung Galaxy Edge.
    Unless Microsoft changes gear.
    But I'm losing hope.
  • That's pretty moronic to say that you want a smartphone and not a computer... A smartphone IS a computer! My Xbox is a computer, my Smart TV is a computer. Any smart device is a computer. To say that you don't want something more powerful is an idiotic statement, and unfortunately this is the majority. That's why apple thrives. Limit what people can do, but make it easy.
  • Be patient. It is in trending that more major apps - I said major apps not nonsense ones - are coming back fir Windows 10 mobile compared to the ones that have been leaving.
  • Are you insinuating that messenger apps like KakaoTalk are nonsense apps? Which major apps are these that are flocking to Windows Mobile? Which alternate reality are you in?
  •   It still is all about apps ... Android and iOS are about consumer apps.
    Windows 10 Mobile will be about business apps. Every company creates their very own internal individual software programs
    made for the comany and nothing else. With Windows 10 and its vast eco-system it will be very easy to create
    those software programs, but this time programs will not be called programs but will be named "apps".
    PowerBI, PowerApps and what not will make it easier to create company-internal software aka "apps",
    easier than ever before. And it terms of integration, compatiblity and security those Windows 10 (Mobile) apps within an IT infrastructure
    will be much easier to manage than a jungle/abatis of whatever Android hardware/software and iOS devices.  Things may well change.
  • I don't know how they expect people to ever trust them again. Trick me once, shame on you.... And, can they look at enterprise users as a separate entity? Business professionals ARE consumers. lol I don't go to Best Buy and go, I can't buy that. I'm a business professional. lol
  • This is a quote I found today in an article I was reading on MSN "Nonetheless, Microsoft is riding high on its fast-growing cloud business, which companies can use to host their websites, apps or data. Shares of Microsoft have doubled since August 2013, with Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella restoring investor confidence by focusing on mobile and cloud computing rather than PCs. ,"
    So I read basically they got what they wanted and left, I'm I wrong?
  • Secretly Nadella is working for Apple & Google, to bring Windows 10 mobile, to it's death bed.
    They haven't learned anything...Blackberry, Palm, remember them.
    They had the market at one point.
    What are we left with, Android phones, great just what I want, a phone that I'm constantly fighting with. Apple so boring, overly priced, but you have control.
  • ... And all they have to do is create 3 tiers of devices to keep the consumer market interested. Who would trust MS's mobile again if they get back to to consumers tomorrow 
  • ... or leave that to Xiaomi et al (of Alcatel for that matter).
  • Great article Jason, as always. I'm with you, Microsoft really, really needs to push the platform to their customers, even if they don't wan't to buy the devices, but they know there are out some Windows 10 Mobile devices, and given the time, the people could just buy one out of curiosity or to get a new phone. But they are not doing it. The situation here is the overall marketshare and support for the platform. I really love the event today, but, as many others have say already, there was practically no Windows 10 Mobile presence in the event, neither any news about the platform, considering that the Creators Update was going to be focused on Mobile, I don't know in which way are they doing it. Oh well, the only thing we can do right now is wait, and I hope Microsoft makes a great comeback early next year, or 2017 will be a hell of a year for Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Microsoft at least needs to get 50% of the Android and iOS app catalog with none of the popular ones missing to boost interest and get rid of the excuse why many people won't switch to Windows 10 Mobile. They also need to get rid of exclusive releases. If they could just start there and actually advertise the OS and it's devices, I could see the platform at least growing instead of declining as it has been the last couple of years. I got out with the cancellation of the McLaren and lack of app parity and as it stands in my case I would have to use at least one rival companion phone in tandem with this OS to make up for really important missing apps like Uber Partner(the one where you log in to actually make money). I have waited to see the fruits of labor from the app bridge projects and in just not seeing it. And I'm not seeing any enticing hardware outside the gorgeous HP Elite X3 that I had some hands on time with. I would like to know more about the Alcatel Idol 4 Pro but they're just about as terrible as LG has been with the V20 about releasing any information detailing it. For all we know it could just be a phone with high end specs that they threw together. Hurts to see what's happened to Windows Phone. It truly used to be special and unique like the old days in the People hub where you could like, comment and respond to Facebook/Twitter posts without leaving the hub. Everything's so disconnected now and that's from limited time with Windows 10 Mobile on my now lost Lumia 920. I have a Lumia 1020 that I use in it's intended WP8.1 form. I'd really like to see some momentum for a change. Sorry for the short novel.
  • Please identify the so-called ENTER key on your keyboard. '
    And use it once in a while.  
  • You do realize that some of us type on the app our phones right? =P Though I do try to allow for paragraph spaces myself even on the mobile keyboard.
  • Yeah I wrote this on my phone and didn't even consider spacing for Next time though.
  • Even Apple reported less sales of their phones. The market has reached "peak Apple." Everyone that wants an Apple phone already has an Apple phone. Apple needs new customers not only the same customers to buy their phones. Smartphones are a commodity. There's no money to be made on smartphones for newcomers and especially latecomers like Microsoft. To change the subject a bit smartwatches declined a whopping 70% in sales. That's huge. It is becoming clearer and clearer why MSFT is slowly getting out of consumer mobile.
  • It's more like "peak-smartphone",
    and Apple is a very good and prominent example.  The world is changing,
    and Microsoft takes a mobile phone sabbatical in search of new, innovative ideas. Should Microsoft be able do to the mobile phone / smartphone
    what it has done to the desptop PC today (this very day)
    which they morphed into the Surface Studio
    then we'll be in for some nice surprise - maybe. .  
  • Mr Ward seems to be making a bit of an about face in his view of Microsoft's approach to mobile. I've been giving Microsoft hell for a couple of years now for that ever narrowing view. But what do I know? The company is profitable for now. Everybody is happy. Right? Right.
  • Absolutely. I have been carrying a very capable Nexus 5x for two weeks now. Not as my primary driver, but just to see if I will be able to survive as a Windows guy in ah android world. I will admit I use it now almost exclusively to view apps that do not exist or are inferior on my 950. But at the end of all this, I am finding what I what I have known all along. Windows Mobile is a much more capable UI. I find myself staring at the neat rows of icons in android and wishing they told me more. Despite a nice notification system, better lock screen, I am left wanting more. It is the same feeling I had when I left my iPhone 3Gs for Windows Phone 7. The sense that there was something more immediate, more personal out there. As far as hardware, I find myself not willing to give up even small things, like dedicated camera button. My 950 has few compromises. Good battery, removable. Expanded storage. USB C. There are android phone with most of this, but I would give up something in each case. And still one of the very best camera experiences out there. I think MS has made a huge blunder in completely removing themselves from the consumer market. But then again, I can hope the "next big thing" will fill that void.
  • you can open the camera on the Nexus 5x by double taking the power button + shutter release with the volume button.
  • The camera button also takes the picture. Do you want them to use a shortcut for that too?
  • The camera was good in 2015 (its a 2015 phone after all). However with the S7, iPhone 7 and Pixel its no longer even in my top 5 phone cameras. Removable battery has fallen off to become a niche feature. No apps. I really don't see Windows Mobile making any sort of comeback. They are pushing the United Software storyline yet all I use my personal laptop for is preparing presentations. For everything else my phone with apps (Android) works just fine. Finances, photo editing, emails, travel planning, reading and other organizational activities. The "Next Big Thing" sounds just like what it truly is - a meme to replace "Soon™".
  • Well aware. You miss the point. Don't patronize me.
  • Was trying to be helpful, not patronising.
  • You cats have been up here rapping and ain't said nothing about the real thing. Microsoft, a software company came to power by being synonymous with another thing. The PC! What does PC stand for?! PERSONAL computer. Microsoft has lost their way, yielding to the sin of corporate greed. When you become enterprise only, you lose your personal household recognition. Microsoft already forgot how to advertise. If Microsoft survives, they'll only be a background subtext of another more personal company. Microsoft will be cloud and apps for other companies that people actually buy their products. Mr. Ward, you got it right on the PERSONAL schooling. I had every os from Windows 3.1 to Windows 10. I had Windows Mobile 6.5, Zune 80gb mp3 player, Windows phone 7 (HTC Surround and The Samsung Focus), Windows Phone 7.5 Lumia 900, 4 Windows Phone 8 Lumia 920s and two Windows Phone 8,8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile Lumia Icons. My contract is up with Verizon. I also had 2 Xboxs, 2 Xbox 360s and an Xbox one. I am switching to Android or iOS in February because what I have spent in money only not counting time telling people about these things is not enough for Microsoft to consider making it personal. I know they will never feel me leaving or all the people I will persuade to do the same. I suspect however that I am not the only one butthurt over this. How many of us have to drop Microsoft for good before they feel it? When they are nothing but a scribble in history, I wonder if they will take it PERSONALLY?
  • they don't care. everytime I see Nadella on the stage, spitting out crap talking, I fell like throwing up.
  • You do realize that they tried to stick to the PC only strategy in the first place when Apple took off in the other direction right? This cost them more than the situation they are in now.
  • After having watched a replay of today's event,
    I'll venture to say: "Microsoft is (also) the new Apple" Apple has become high-end boring.  
  • Great Article. Let's not also forget that Microsoft once had approx. 50% of the enterprise market with Windows Mobile 6 back in the day. They only lost this market share due to the arrival of iPhone and Android and consumers demanding to use their own personal devices at work hence the uprising of BYOD, same thing happened to Palm and Blackberry. What makes Microsoft think that anything has changed over the last 10 years? Even if Microsoft manages to get any significant market share in the enterprise sector, which I doubt they will, these devices will be purely for work related tasks as users will still carry their personal devices to have access to the core apps and functions they rely on and are not available on Windows 10 Mobile. I love the Windows 10 Mobile OS however the lack of any decent hardware and apps has killed the platform and made me switch to Android after 6 years. Even the Lumia 950 that sold for close to the same price as the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy handsets was no where near the same quality level as these and didn't/does not have the apps. Microsoft has some great idea's and personally I love the idea of Continuum. Outside of my corporate job I have very little need to use a PC with the exception of bashing out a long email or Word document, managing finances in Excel and or navigating a few websites, so once continuum matures a little more over the next 12 months it would suit me very well, however without the same level of app support this will never be an option for me. Microsoft's biggest 3 mistakes that killed the platform are 1) rebooting the OS development 3 times 2) lack or marketing 3) providing better app experiences on the competing platforms. I personally believe that unless something drastic changes in the next couple of years, Microsoft will simply become another IBM where they only provide corporate level IT and data services, Xbox will be spun off into a separate company and the only consumer facing product they will have is Windows which will simply be due to the fact that it is what the PC came with.
  • I believe you shoudl be writing here in place of Jason. Those are the precisely three things they did wrong and are making the fourth and final cardinal mistake of abandoning consumer market, after which there will be no getting back for Microsoft
  • Great Article. Let's not also forget that Microsoft once had approx. 50% of the enterprise market with Windows Mobile 6 back in the day. They only lost this market share due to the arrival of iPhone and Android and consumers demanding to use their own personal devices at work hence the uprising of BYOD, same thing happened to Palm and Blackberry. What makes Microsoft think that anything has changed over the last 10 years? Even if Microsoft manages to get any significant market share in the enterprise sector, which I doubt they will, these devices will be purely for work related tasks as users will still carry their personal devices to have access to the core apps and functions they rely on and are not available on Windows 10 Mobile. I love the Windows 10 Mobile OS however the lack of any decent hardware and apps has killed the platform and made me switch to Android after 6 years. Even the Lumia 950 that sold for close to the same price as the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy handsets was no where near the same quality level as these and didn't/does not have the apps. Microsoft has some great idea's and personally I love the idea of Continuum. Outside of my corporate job I have very little need to use a PC with the exception of bashing out a long email or Word document, managing finances in Excel and or navigating a few websites, so once continuum matures a little more over the next 12 months it would suit me very well, however without the same level of app support this will never be an option for me. Microsoft's biggest 3 mistakes that killed the platform are 1) rebooting the OS development 3 times 2) lack or marketing 3) providing better app experiences on the competing platforms. I personally believe that unless something drastic changes in the next couple of years, Microsoft will simply become another IBM where they only provide corporate level IT and data services, Xbox will be spun off into a separate company and the only consumer facing product they will have is Windows which will simply be due to the fact that it is what the PC came with.
  • Again, being a long time Windows Phone/ Windows 10 Mobile user, Microsoft's (led by Satay Nutella) direction in forgoing normal consumers and focusing entirely on enterprise only, makes me felt betrayed. Don't get me wrong, I am still very much attached to my L950XL but it is heart-breaking to see many developers (for consumer related apps) leaving the platform because of Microsoft's direction. It also makes it very hard for me to promote W10M to my family and friends which, I have done so in the past. Wake up Microsoft! W10M users base is already shrinking to an insignificant number, why are you doing more to hurt long time loyalist? 
  • exactly: I stopped promoting windows mobile in 2016 and myself will shift to Android (begrudgingly) becuase MS does not want to make a phone for me any more.
  • There is very little that interests me more than the future of Microsoft's mobile ambitions. Which makes it doubly perplexing why I can't get through an entire Jason Ward article on the subject. Mr. Ward's writing is so meandering, repetitive, and needlessly verbose that I just can't do it. What I took the theme here to be after some skimming is that MS is making a boneheaded play by retreating to enterprise, because mindshare is won in the pockets of consumers, where their most personal device is kept (of course, I also took this to be the point of Parts I-III, but whatever). And I agree. I don't see why MS couldn't just keep putting out one or two devices per year to keep the name out there, keep at least a modicum of developer activity, and keep the flag flying until the long-prophesied "paradigm shift." There. But why say in 50 words what you could say in 5,000?
  • Well @mwglen thanks for coming back time and again despite your reservations. That's appreciated! I hear your feedback and can always hone my craft like a musician, athlete or anyone of any trade. So thanks:-) That said, a descriptive 2000 word editorial, using analogy, metaphor and other forms of comparisons, I know, is a stark contrast to the writing styles of most tech writers. I'm sure you surf the web and visit various sites reading different news pieces quite frequently. I've done that quite a bit. We enthusiasts are news junkies! :-) This internet age of hours a day for some, and stolen minutes during lunch, in the bathroom, at the dinner table, on the coach, in bed, in a grocery line, etc of hopping through 400 word information pieces certainly has a way of affecting us. Particularly, in a culture of "instant gratification." We (generally speaking) want what we want - now. :-) I grew up reading books. Lots of books. It was my hobby. I'm literally surrounded by books in my home. I have full book cases in my living room, at the top of the stairs in a hallway, in my office and the largest one two layers deep with over 300 books on it in my bedroom. The books that did't fit on the book cases are in the attic. I grew up dedicating hours to get through a story, not seconds. I spent stolen moments on the couch, in the car, in bed, dedicated to one author as I devoured a chapter at a time before moving on to the next story or book. I know reading on the internet is a different animal. But one 2000 word editorial a week, could be viewed as an opportunity to maybe slow down for just a moment. Smell the "flowers" of a piece that is of a different flavor of the norm. You can get right back to our all too familiar "rat race" of nibbling bite size pieces when your done of course. :-) But hang around a while. Taste the difference. You might really enjoy it. Think about this. I'm a sci-fi fan and I began reading a book years ago called Hyperion, by Dan Simmons. He is an INCREDIBLY descriptive writer. Which means as he painted the picture in the readers mind at the beginning of the book it was a very slow start. You had to be invested to hang in there. But once you got his style and the foundation was laid, WOW, what an amazing story. Four books and around 2000 pages later it's still one if my favorite series of novel's. Tech writers come from different places. I LOVE tech but I also write poetry, short stories, I finished a children's book(now I have to do the art - I draw as well) plays and informational packets for workshops or sessions I teach. I started a tech blog years ago as a writer writing about tech because of my love of the topic. I suppose given my background I don't have the traditional journalistic style. Some tech writers come from the other end of the spectrum however. They are techies, that loved tech so much they BECAME writers. Regardless of where we come from we're all here giving you tech news and analysis filtered through our particular skill set. It won't all be the same. But as they say, variety is the spice of life! :-)
  • A bit long, but I do appreciate your articles. But I note this one is tinged with more than a little resignation. It is hard to see how MS makes a winning strategy in enterprise when everyone will want to use the phone with which they are familiar. It will be curious, as I place some blame on carriers for the cool reception to WP, to see what happens to Pixel as a Verizon exclusive. We all know how well that worked out for Nokia.
  • Well stated Jason. I don't understand why everything has to be condensed down to suit a TL/DR mentality. Don't they know that condensing everything down to few paragraphs will lead to the detriment of society (Fahrenheit 451)?!?
  • I am quite capable of slowing down, smelling the roses, and reading 2,000, 20,000, or even 200,000 words on a subject. But not when they repeat themselves over and over (retrenchment! paradigm! retrenchment! paradigm!). I have a graduate degree in philosophy, and I wrote for and edited a college newspaper. As such I have both a tolerance for prolonged meditation on a subject as well as a ruthless desire to cut for concision and clarity. I like your pieces in a general sense. The topic is interesting to me. But after the fourth installment on the same theme, I just get really tired of them. BTW, kudos on taking negative feedback in stride :-)
  • This is exactly what I thought about HP's strategy too. They will have to force their client (IT department of client organizations) into buying the X3s, who in turn will have to force their employees to carry those. No matter how good they are, people just won't want to carry two phones (no matter what HP or MS call it). Of the two their preference will always be for the one they have bought from their own money, more than anything it is a symbol of their judgement and nobody wants to accept that their judgement is not the best.
  • @Jason: Here is the idea for the next article (Please don't make it another series as you will end up repeating same things as you have did in this 'series'). Review Microsofts strategy in general. Their current strategy of UWP and looking 'beyond the curve' started with a mantra, 'Mobile First, Cloud First' now if they plan on ditching consumer space, they are ditching mobile for all practical purposes. That would mean they will have only cloud to focus on. Surface line will do just as good as it is doing right now, not better. Then there will be continuity. It will allow Android to enter the enterprise space If google plays its cards right, that will hurt MS' share in the enterprise space. Then Apple will do the same and competition will be intense. Ironically these companies will then say that, "we truly have presence in all form factors whereas windows is limited to just PCs. Days of imaginaing a PC sitting on a desk are long gone and future is mobile and windows does not run on mobiles any longer." Is MS prepared for this doomsday scenario? If not, how does it plan to prevent it, by relinquishing even the negligible market share it currently has in mobile space? What can/will it do to address this challenge? These are the questions that you should ponder and suggest answers to in your next article. That will be an interesting read for me and others who still hope that MS will revive someday
  • Don't listen Jason. I appreciate the series of articles, even if things do get repeated. The sad part is the fact that MS isn't providing any new material to us so you have to use the same quotes throughout.
  • Hi herman live. Thanks for your feedback. One thing to keep in mind is not everyone who read these publicly accessible article on the web is an ardent follower of Windows Central like you our our appreciates and faithful readers. As such every article, even in a series, needs to be able to stand on It's own. Someone may happen on part IV (even among regulars like yourself) who has never and will never read parts 1 - 3. As such the content needs to create a context where the focus of the particular piece has the foundational elements of all preceding pieces necessitating the repeating of certain core elements. For instance the quote from President of MicrosoftFrance coupled with some elaboration as to the relevance and impact of the statement was essential to each part of this series to enable each part to stand alone. Furthermore, my suggestion of a possible strategy to keep the OS visible via strategic product placement in the W10 ad campaign was also essential to provide each piece the standalone presentation of the problem and possible solution. Each peiece however had a core focus: Part I: Focus -->The impact of being out of sight this out of mind. The imapct on mindshare. Part II: Focus -->The impact of the phone (or absence thereof) on the boarder ecosystem and MS grand plan. And a highlighting of the continued progress of rival ecosystems. Part III: Focus --> The impact of an absence of a consumer facing Mobile OS and Microsoft's conflicting dual message for the UWP. And the affect on OEM, ODMs consumers toward choosing what is available. Part IV: Focus --> The personal nature of the smartphone and the impact of that reality on Microsoft's enterprise focus. So again, to ensure that each piece could stand alone for those not following the series, a repeating of fundamental elements were essential to provide foundation and context to each part. Thanks for the feedback!
  • "will have won over this "other" device that dared threaten its position – even if just in the mind of the user.". Well ALL there is, is just in our minds. That includes Andromeda Galaxy.
  • You have explained as best as anyone could have, but unfortunately, MS is too dumb to understand, and fanboys too stupid to realize this. Nadella's obsession with cost cutting and layoffs will bring further mediocre quality to windows OS, and with his anger towards windows mobile, we won't see anything new for at least 3-4 years when anyways, it's gonna be too late. MS cannot succeed on mobile with their enterprise only policy! And without mobile their entire UWP,one core windows blah's nothing but a big fat lie.
  • thanks and apologies if I misunderstood.
  • Very well written article as always. I couldn't agree more. I only wish that decision makers from Microsoft would read it. The Windows 10 Mobile would benefit a lot if Microsoft would promote it. You cannot leave the promoting task to the OEMs only. Yes, it is very sad that Microsoft decided to retreat from the consumer space and create this void of Windows 10 smartphones. Let's be honest, you cannot maintain a market share only with one Acer smartphone and one Alcatel smartphone that is yet to come. Microsoft should have continued to produce the Lumia line so that the Windows 10 smartphone portfolio would not be so small. Comment written on a Lumia 950 XL, a specie that will be soon extinct and forgotten :-(
  • Read an interview with Nadella in the Daily Express (UK) from yesterday. He seems to announce the death of the WP.
  • Windows phone or Windows mobile.
  • Well said Jason, well said. Microsoft is still trying to force the old model which is going to fail.
  • Without Mobile MS will even vanish from Desktop because Priority has shifted.
    People will search on Desktop what they are used on Phone.
    Times have changed.
    People today start with a Phone or Pad NOT with a Desktop Computer anymore.