Windows 'phone' isn't dead Part II: Nurturing the ecosystem

During that vulnerable stage, the child is prone to many dangers. Caring parents, therefore, provide a host of necessary supports to nurture the child prenatally to ensure his/her healthy development, survival, and long-term health.

Since Windows Phone 7's introduction in 2010, Microsoft's renewed smartphone agenda has been in full swing. Despite several starts and restarts along the way, however, Microsoft's mobile phone efforts are once again in a state of gestation. This position is a result of Microsoft's retrenching from the general smartphone market last year.

Microsoft HQ

Microsoft HQ (Image credit: Windows Central)

During this retrenching phase, the company is focused on fans, enterprise and value markets and is determined to release only two phones a year for each segment with little marketing and limited distribution. During this stage of "re-development," the company must nurture its evolving mobile OS, developing OEM partnerships and growing app ecosystem to ensure the vitality and long-term success of its gestating mobile strategy.

In part one of this series we took a birds-eye view of Microsoft's strategy during this state of "gestation." In this piece, we will look more closely at specific components of Microsoft's ecosystem that the company is or should be nurturing while retrenched.

Bed rest

As Apple, Samsung, LG and a host of other smartphone manufacturers aggressively pursue the most vibrant "personal computing" space, Microsoft is no longer directly chasing the consumer smartphone market. The firm's mobile platform doesn't have the audience, mature OS, competitive app ecosystem, nor a first-party device that inspires and excites consumers and developers to adopt the platform.

Lumia 950 and Surface

Lumia 950 and Surface (Image credit: Windows Central)

To that last point many fans have looked toward Q4 of this year, approximately nine months from now, envisioning the expected Surface Phone. Inspired by what Microsoft's Panos Panay and his team have delivered by way of the Surface and Surface Book there are high hopes for what a potential Surface Phone will bring to the table.

Exquisite hardware design and seamless hardware and software synergy are minimum expectations. Some intriguing hardware capabilities (that surprises as the Surface Books detachable display did) such as a keyboard or some form of docking station akin to the inspiring HP's Elite X3's mobile extender, that expands the devices capabilities and utilizes Continuum are also dancing at the fringes of our imaginations.

However, these things alone won't ensure the health and vitality of Microsoft's struggling mobile platform. Thus, as a woman experiencing a difficult pregnancy is restricted from normal activity, Microsoft has put its smartphone efforts on bed rest as it nurtures the Universal Windows ecosystem to ensure the health and vitality of its mobile strategy. Satya Nadella (opens in new tab) framed it this way:

"I am committed to our first-party devices including phones. However, we need to focus our phone efforts in the near term while driving reinvention. We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem that includes our first-party device family…In the near term, we will run a more effective phone portfolio…We plan to narrow our focus to three customer segments…"

During this year and into 2017, I surmise Microsoft's efforts will and should be focused on elements of the Windows ecosystem that will enhance Windows phone's ability to not only survive but thrive in the market. It's critical that Windows 10 Mobile, the app bridges, and OEM partnerships receive diligent and unwavering focus during this year if the Surface Phone (if it manifests) and all other Windows phones are to have a positive long-term prognosis.

Regular check-ups

The vitality of Windows 10 Mobile is critical to the success of the Universal Windows Platform. Sadly, the launch of the 950/XL with software that still feels "under development" tempered the reception of these two high-end devices as well as the platform. Their launch, though limited in distribution, could have been a beaming representation of Windows 10 Mobile, as 2-in-1s have been for Windows 10 on the desktop, rather than the muted advent it was. Many Windows fans expressed then and continued to voice their discontent with the state of Windows 10 Mobile.

I concede that Windows enthusiasts are sometimes overzealous but as eager users of early builds of the platform, their respectful feedback using proper channels is critical. Thus, the relationship with users must continue to be nurtured during Microsoft's retrenching phase. Fan's regular access to early OS builds helps both Redmond and users remain focused, excited and in tune with what is important for the platform.

When my wife was pregnant with our daughter seeing the ultrasound images and hearing our daughter's heartbeat assured us that everything was ok, gave us a peek at her current stage of development and reignited our excitement for the future.

Regular Window 10 Mobile build releases provides a comparable experience for enthusiasts. Not only is the early public availability of the OS a means for Microsoft to garner feedback, but it also communicates to fans that the platform is still alive and kicking. With each build release fans essentially hear a "heartbeat," see platform development and are assured that the platform is ok and developing toward maturity following Microsoft's vision. This is particularly reassuring when the platform and its fans are enduring a deluge of negative sensationalist "news".

Additionally, OS updates often refresh the OS with new features that excite users and gives them new talking points. This experience, of course, encourages engagement with the platform, with Microsoft reps on social media and with one another. Therefore, regular updates for this passionate group who evangelize the platform is a critical component of the ecosystem.

A platform that has excited users receives consistent updates and has invested OEM partners is not dead.

Finally, Windows 10 Mobile updates keep the platform in the news cycle. Blogs that serve tens of millions of monthly visitors regularly post about the updates that are released. For those who claim that Windows Phone is dead, I contend that a platform that has excited users receives consistent upgrades and has invested OEM partners didn't die.

Partner Up? Why now?

Several weeks ago IDC released a report which indicated that Apple sold more of its flagship tablet, the iPad Pro, in its debut quarter than Microsoft sold Surfaces. Microsoft is likely not concerned, however, since that single data point fails to reveal the larger picture. As I shared with colleagues and hosts of Windows Central's OneCast, Jez Corden and Matt Brown on episode 5 of the show, Microsoft selling less hardware than Apple is not an area of concern. Why? Hardware isn't Microsoft's thing.

Consider this: Forty years ago when Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen purposed to put a PC in every home and on every desk, they did not pursue this goal and achieve over 90% market saturation as a PC manufacturer. They achieved it through partnerships. They inspired the market with a vision of personal computing that PC manufactures ultimately embraced as Nadella asserts here:

"When I joined the company in '92, it was about the PC in every home and on every desk. Guess what: We achieved that. And a company has to outlast any given technology paradigm and any ambitious goal."

Forty years later they're doing the same with the Surface-inspired category of 2-in-1's. Microsoft's Panos Panay confirms how the Surface (and Windows 10) have influenced partners to embrace the optimal form factor for Windows 10:

"…one of the opportunities was to hopefully inspire others to think about the new categories and the devices we're creating… We're seeing this category beginning to take off a little bit right now. That's a good thing. I think Surface is one of the main drivers of that."

Microsoft has aligned its mobile "phone" strategy with this core strength and is trusting partnerships to push Windows 10 Mobile market penetration. The question, however, is why would OEMs support Microsoft's mobile initiative now when they've passed in the past?

A Different world

As I shared in Microsoft is Committed to Windows Phone, presenters Panos Panay and Brian Roper spent 21.8% of the entire October 6th, 2015 Windows 10 Devices event passionately presenting the high-end Lumias 950/XL. They concluded the phone segment with a meager 1 minute and 8 second nod to the low-end Lumia 550. This, in my estimation, was a public acknowledgment and appeal to the industry that the low-end space, which dominates Windows Phone representation in the market, and is ruled by Microsoft's Lumias, is now open to partners. Microsoft's cessation of the low-end push is the first reason partners may now embrace the platform.

Microsoft is committed to Windows Phone

The second reason is the value Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform brings to a Windows "phone". Combined with previous changes to Redmond's mobile strategy such as making the mobile OS free for devices under 8-inches and lowering hardware requirements so that OEMs can repurpose Android hardware (i.e. HTC M8), the UWP may convince Android OEMs to adopt Microsoft's platform.

The UWP uniquely allows OEMs to build a single device that fulfills the functions of a phone, tablet and PC as I shared in Highs and Lows Part VI – Noteworthy. Additionally, OEMs can market the synergy the UWP brings to a family of devices (i.e. phone, tablet and/or 2-in-1) in a way they cannot do with Android nor could they do with pre-Windows 10-based hardware.

HP, for example, has introduced an entire ecosystem around the HP Elite X3 and is presenting it as a platform for partners. This positioning is representative of Microsoft's strategy to be a "platform" for platforms.

Microsoft's aggressive push to rule personal computing Part II: Cross-platform clouds and alternate realities

Blurring the lines

Microsoft's nurturing of OEM partnerships during this gestating stage allows for a flow of new and innovative devices into the ecosystem. We will likely see a growing number of Microsoft's PC partners embracing the firms vision of personal computing which positions a Continuum enabled Windows "phone" as a transient all-in-one device.

Furthermore, I expect to see more Windows 10 Mobile tablets like Alcatal's 8" Pixie 3 LTE-enabled tablet which can technically be used to make phone calls.

Microsoft's mobile offensive is about changing the game

This device, consistent with Microsoft's personal computing ideology, straddles the line between "phone" and tablet. Moreover, when one considers the positioning of small Windows 10 Mobile tablets in conjunction with Microsoft's cellular app, which will allow users in select markets to purchase cellular data, the potential of Microsoft's "ambiguous" devices and platform becomes clearer. Combined with Skype for voice/video calls Microsoft's building of an ecosystem, not just devices, that blur the lines between phones and tablets begins to coalesce.

Microsoft's building of an ecosystem, not just devices, that blur the lines between phones and tablets begins to coalesce.

Additionally, though Microsoft, as an "OEM", has withdrawn from the consumer space until at least 2017, their partners are under no such constraints. As manufacturers such as Alcatel with its Windows 10 Mobile OneTouch Fierce XL on T-Mobile, enter the market it is possible that consumers will begin to take notice of Microsoft's mobile alternative that fits seamlessly with the Windows 10 ecosystem which a growing number of them will be using. Consider, Windows 10 has been installed on over 200 million devices since July 29th, 2015.

Microsoft's aggressive push to rule personal computing: Windows 10

Will the presence of these Windows 10 Mobile phones drive consumers to the platform? Unlikely. But as the synergies between Windows 10 Mobile, Windows 10 desktop and the broader Windows ecosystem continue to evolve, the visibility of consumer facing devices outside of the enterprise space will have increasing importance.

The visibility of consumer facing devices outside of the enterprise space will have increasing importance.

Finally, though a direct pursuit of consumers before the app bridges yield more popular apps is a risky proposition there is an interesting avenue that PC OEMs may find fruitful. The promotion of a Windows 10 Mobile "phone" as a member of a family of devices, with an HP Elite X3-type docking station geared toward students, may find a niche among that group.

A single device that serves as both laptop and phone could cost less than a cell phone and laptop separately. Cool points with young people is where Microsoft needs to score in the consumer space.

The practicality of this solution is hard to dismiss. The ever present chicken-before-the-egg app dilemma does, however, present the negative social ramifications of a student committing to a platform void of the most popular and fad apps iOS and Android have. Propelled by the propositions utility, however, that barrier may not be as profound as it is when in the general population not framed as an education tool.

Bridge to success

The final and most critical area Microsoft must nurture during this gestation stage is the app bridges. When these bridges were introduced they generated a lot of optimism due to the prospects they offered. Islandwood (iOS), Centennial (Win32), Westminster (Web apps) and the recently canceled Astoria (Andriod) brought the promise of providing developers with the tools to easily bring their apps from other platforms to Windows 10. Naturally, with the app gap being the most persistent thorn in Microsoft's side, these tools have been perceived as a major factor in helping Windows phone succeed.

We will take an in depth look at this area in future parts of this series. But suffice it to say, without the popular apps that people love, Nadella's goal that people will move from needing Windows to loving Windows, will likely not happen for a significant number of users in relation to Windows Mobile phones. I contend then that if Microsoft is serious about users coming to love Windows, their push for developing and winning developers to the app bridges, despite positive prospects in the enterprise must be, and with the purchase of Xamarin, looks to be a priority to nurture.

Wrap Up

While Windows phone is in this retrenched state, it's critical that Microsoft nurtures the environment that breathes life into the platform. Critical updates to an OS that many contend launched prematurely, engagement with enthusiasts, aggressive support of OEM partners and an approach to the app bridges that pulls out all the stops are critical to the gestating Windows phones' survival and long-term health.

MWC has revealed refreshed partnerships and the Xamarin purchase reignites hope for the app ecosystem. Folks stay tuned to the rest of this series. Windows phone is not dead.

Part I: Windows 'phone' isn't dead: Keeping the vision in view

Jason Ward

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 again for reading folks!!! Windows is alive and Microsoft definitely has a plan. So what are your thoughts?
  • In the end though it is all about the apps. Unless iPhone quality apps get to the platform I don't think it matters if the hardware or OS are comparable. The nicest platform in the world is useless without apps...
  • I'm agree
  • Well iPhone quality doesn't necessarily mean high quality
  • iOS apps mostly have better quality.
  • I find it truly disingenuous to say - or even suggest - that iPhones and iOS aren't a formible force in mobile. The iPhone has thrived due to the vast selection of high quality apps and is the first choice for most mobile developers followed by Android. If there's one overriding issue with the Lumia it is the painfully small selection of high quality apps available.  Currently running on my iPhone 6: Starbucks Google Maps NYTimes Now Reuters RFI Chrome BBC Weather Monocle 24 Google Photos Reuters TV Instagram (latest version) CBC Radio AFP Mobile Google+ Tumblr Politico OpenTable NewsON AmazonVideo Chromecast Spyglass Bing B&H Photo Hotel Tonight Chase Yik Yak etc. etc. etc.
  • Not to mention all these fluff pieces are predicated on the competition just sitting on their hands and not doing anything to counter anything Microsoft does. Delusional as always.
  • @Theefman please take the opportunity if able to reread the piece.
    The entire article is based on what MS is doing for it's ecosystem while retrenched while it's rivals are aggressively pursuing the market. Your assertion that the points are "fluff" ignoring that reality reflects that you somehow missed this entire paragraph under subtitle Bed Rest:
    Bed rest "As Apple, Samsung, LG and a host of other smartphone manufacturers aggressively pursue the most vibrant "personal computing" space, Microsoft is no longer directly chasing the consumer smartphone market. The firm's mobile platform doesn't have the audience, mature OS, competitive app ecosystem, nor a first-party device that inspires and excites consumers and developers to adopt the platform." Now within that context as Samsung, Apple and everyone else develops, markets and sales devices everything I put forth on this piece is the nurturing of the ecosystem that MS is or should be doing to ensure WPs success. While the competition is "not sitting or their hands and definitely do quite a bit MS, as I shared in this piece MUST nurture various components of it's ecosystem and:
    1. Continue rolling out regular updates to insiders.
    2. Continue engagingn enthusiasts
    3. Continue nurturing OEM partnerships
    4. Continue pursuing aggressively the prospects promised by the app bridges and the Xamarin purchase. Again these things are actually proposed within the context of the competition doing what they do :-)
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Theefman doesn't care about contents. Every article here just presents him(?) with a change to attack MS and/or author, no matter what it's about Posted from WC 920, 1520, 920, 635, 640 950XL
  • They near on are now, both ios and android are only getting little updates its getting stale, look at marshmallow its hardly a feature packed OS but the Google fan boys jumps on the few new stuff like its gonna change the mobile world. Microsoft are on great path they just need to see this all the way
  • What are the features that the competition has that Android M is missing? I cannot think of a single thing. Not dissing Windows, I want it to succeed, but Android M is not feature defficient in any way excluding direct updates for non-Nexus devices. I have a Nexus 6P and I am not missing out on any feature or security update. That said, I will pre-order a Surface Phone if it becomes a reality.
  • I used Android for a long time but started to feel unless you have a nexus your always waiting for updates, and also when you do get the update half of the stuff is missing by the maker and by the time you get it nexus has sometimes had 2 in that time. Had the lg g4 and moto x last year and just felt lacking after a while
  • Moto X gets updated almost as quickly as Nexus. Either way, the answer is easy, just get the Nexus. The 6p makes no compromises and updates even rival Apple. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Calling this a fluff piece does a real disservice to the author.
  • It is a fluff piece. Windows phone is dead. Microsoft can keep it on life support, but it is no longer functioning. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • There's no such thing as "iPhone Quality" (this isn't a slant against the iPhone).
  • Agree....but if u notice ...some years ago when MS introduced win8 ...there wer really no such grt apps and if was then only for some limited 1Gb phones. But that time Nokia managed to keep the market up with their unique style and innovative apps like creative camera even android and ios fans felt jealous for such apps. And i can remember lumia 520 was most popular by that time. But Nokia managed it with their superb and stupendous engineering behind phone shape color and feel. So MS really needs to ensure quality and unique apps 1st exclusively for windows phone. And style must to catch gen next. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • When you compare iPhone with the entire Windows ecosystem, it's the former that lacks meaningful apps going forward.  To see this, just look at the laughable comparison between Surface Pro (a full-blown powerful computer miniaturised) and iPad Pro (a dinky little phone with a big screen).  As phones become as powerful as laptops most people are not going to be content with tiny little "applets" and will want the full feature functionality of powerful "applications".  Of course, this will always be difficult to pull off unless and until Intel produces a chip with low power consumption characteristics - hopefully the basis of and differentiating factor for Surface Phone.
  • I keep hearing about accessing Legacy apps on Phones... Those x86 apps are not built for the phone, they are for desktop. Consumers don't want old apps, they want new exciting apps on their smartphone. Even MS is trying to do the same with UWP apps on Win10.
  • My thoughts are plain and clear: To support wp until the very end.
  • Windows 10 mobile to be successful in terms of what all wp users is capture majority of mobile market which isn't possible bcoz of android. Sure Microsoft uwp strategy is a long run stratergy what will convince majority of them. Windows 10 mobile still has metro still UI though there are adaptive features like hamburger menu. But its the UI that got ppl not to go for Windows phone. Android was simple with dead icons and easy to use. Microsoft did something innovative that tech savvy users liked but bco of avg consumer windows 8 and phone failed and also failed to convince OEMs. UWP would definitely benefit windows 10 mobile but to what extent I certainly don't but it will for sure.
  • if you dont like the simply ui of android remember that you can change your launcher and lock screen like every second
  • Great read as always. MS will take the "mobile" scene in their time giving us a new brilliant device-type-thingy
  • microsofts problem is reinvention. we as consumers are forced to change with them "or else". they did poorly with win 8 but perfected it with 8.1. the developers they have does not get to catch up. so why not stay with android or apple who do not force change in the same way..
  • Another excellent read. Love the point of regular updates proving W10M not dead. Can we all just agree to call the HP Mobility Extender a lapdock? Phablet and lapdock. Much easier to say and understand.
  • When I think of the term "lapdock" I can't help but to envision a laptop body, but with a recess where the track pad would ordinarily be... This being where you'd physically dock the phone. A bit impractical for taking calls I grant you, but then if you built a microphone and earpiece into opposing ends of a wirelessly connected stylus, you could use that to take calls perhaps. My mind is running away with me now! Lol :)
  • I agree
  • Great article, can understand so much with what you was saying about going from needing windows 10 to loving it
  • Let's see, three resets, a wasted $7.8B that destoyed a perfectly great phone device maker, after over a year a mobile OS still in development that they can't work the bugs out of and lousy and uninspiring hardware since they destroyed Nokia. You're right it's not dead should be killed off!!
  • yeah it takes more than a year to develop an OS, and wasn't the 950 designed by Nokia? They weren't really doing anyhting for the platform themselves.
  • The fact of the matter is that if Microsoft didn't keep scrapping the OS and starting over again they wouldn't have only "one year to perfect an OS". In fact, they would have had five.
  • WP 2010 - 2016 3 major version changes +3 minor versions
    ​IOS 2008 - 2016 9 Major versions.
    Andriod 2010(Cupcake) - 2016 6 Major versions 18 minor versions The biggest reason for "Scrapping" was to move from Windows CE to Windows NT kernal based OS.  The first step in Unifying the Windows Eco system.  Imagine doing that with 20-50% market share.    
  • Really? Nokia was going under. Selling the phone division was the only the only thing they could do to survive. Microsoft bought it to keep WP alive. On life support for a while, while a plan for mobile developed. Both Nokia and Microsoft missed the Smartphone boat. Microsoft came late. Nokia took the ball, ran with it, drove the other OEMs away from Windows and wound up having to punt. So we start over again, fresh. Hardware isn't important now. Nurturing Windows 10 is the priority. Developing it for all devices. We've seen three new devices from Microsoft to date. Two have been lambasted for launching with an unfinished W10M on board. They were close, but not ready. The new OEMs on board should get a much more polished version. I'm running Redstone on the new Alcatel, it's great. Unlike the Nokia days, Microsoft knows it needs more than one partner now. Just like PCs. They know that's the way for Windows Mobile to succeed. So pronounce it dead, no Windows phones at WalMart. Not many at the US carriers. But I seem to have found one. So no, it's not dead, nor does it need to be put to sleep. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Once again, Jason, excellent well thought article on this subject. It's taken billions of dollars to finally arrive at "OneCore" and #UWP mobility with extensibility and a true comprehensive ecosystem content repository. Quite honestly what is the Microsoft "ecosystem" without UWP and mobility? It is Legacy Win32/WOW64 static desktop on Intel. That Legacy strategy fails very quickly with any portability or mobility demands. Devices, especially one individual single generation device, are very insignificant in the broader long-term evolutionary ecosystem value. The ecosystem must drive value into the devices and the devices help drive value into the experience...
  • Look, this is a very ambitious plan, but are we sure that's what people want? People are more than fine with Android and iOS. Most people want a good quality device with RELIABLE software, a great screen, good battery life, a nice camera and APPS. That's it. Android and iOS have this today (yesterday actually), Microsoft doesn't have this. The 950 is kinda nice, but software is super-buggy and the apps that people want and need are not there. A grand plan with phones that become latptops/tablets/whatever is cool for us nerds, but it's not what the majority of people need. This is what, the 4th/5th grand plan by Microsoft that "is still in its infancy" so "we have to wait, things will SOON become great" and every single time the grand plan fails so they come up with another grand plan and so on. In the meantime, Samsung and Apple sell millions, Google dominates the market (especially outside the US) and all that Microsoft can achieve is lots of Word downloads on the app stores, free downloads. Maybe people will pay for Office 365, maybe Word will convince them to buy Windows stuff.
    Maybe they can convince people that already write apps for iOS and Android to use their tools, but again, "wait 1-2 years"!
    They're doing great in enterprise, but I'm very skeptical on the consumer side, even if I really hope that they succeed, I really love Windows.
  • Well said, athem92.
  • Yes, because people can't put their phones down anymore do to social apps, so the more the phone itself can do, the better..... People spend more time with their cell phones than computers these days, so it's really imperative for Microsoft to have a mobile presence via direct manufacturing phones or via partners. They must get every app people deem important on WP..... Plain and simple!
  • Whilst I understand your point, technology, much like everything else, is in a constant state of flux. At one time candles dominated the man-made light 'industry', they did their job, and were pretty reliable... And then the light bulb was invented. It didn't dominate the 'industry' overnight because despite having many advantages over the previous technology, it had to wait for the infrastructure to be in place. Whilst that may not be the perfect analogy, it is a similar scenario to what we face with Windows on a phone today. Android and iOS are a good fit for the market of today. Microsoft are clearly positioning Windows/Mobile for the market and usage scenarios of tomorrow. For example, the argument that 'no-one wants to use mobile apps on a desktop' become null and void when at some point in the future your mobile and your desktop are the same physical device. Admittedly it's in it's infancy, but Microsoft and it's partners offer you that paradigm here and now, today, and they currently have no competition. The convergence of our digital lives is inevitable, but it takes time for the wider market to embrace it. The bigger question is; can Microsoft iterate and roll out the infrastructure fast enough before the competition come along and steal the mindshare?
  • I know a few people who have said, if Windows Mobile would have the maturity and the apps that they need, they would jump directly. They have Windows at work, and Windows on their PC at home, and they just want to have to learn one system and that's it. So the app gap is still the deal breaker but if MS just keeps plugging away selling the dream then I think it does have a future. Not everyone has chucked away their computer because they have a tablet now.
  • To nurture Windows Mobile, Microsoft really needs to be reaching out to developers and showing real progress with Windows Mobile development, unfortunately neither of those is happened. Not a single developer I have spoken with has known anything about bridges or shown interest in a Windows Universal App. They either say they have a website or x86 program and point me to iOS and Android for an app. Even ones neutral or positive on Windows say there are no current plans for a Windows app. This need to change soon. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yikes, that's just sad.
  • Could you please look at the Windows 10 Mobile from the point of view of users living in NOT selected regions and describe your impressions in some article? How wonderful it is without speech recognition, basic functionality related with Cortana, restricted Groove etc.
  • Yeah it's alive alright.... Even when it pretty much is DEAD, It will remain alive!!!! Maybe by then Jason would say that WP is ambushing android and iOS and attack them when they are not expecting...
  •   Great article, enjoyed the read. I have said all over Twitter that MWC16 tanked big time. It essentially flopped. Not because of a lack of new products, but because what it represented. It was a clear sign of desperation. Android as an OS has nothing to lend or bring tothe mobile space anymore. It's outdated, out moded and out classed by other OS's. The brightest showing to me was the HP EliteX3, that device basically hijacked MWC this year, even though the tech bloggers and paid fanboys tried hard to take the focus off the Elite X3. But why ? they know the big three Android OEM's had nothing to offer except bells and whistles, gimmicks. After seeing one short presentation of the HP device, twitter blew up, poeple began to take notice of W10M. It was strangely eerie, eveything seem to fade away. Ubuntu Phone also caught my attention as well, with the Meizu Pro 5, which is a gorgeous device, but the convergence function as well as continuum became centerstage. I personally believe, Android OEM's and Apple will get more desperate as the W10M ecosystem increases. Apps and more apps and more apps, as I commented on a board  "A beautifully laid out and functional UI/UX will always beat a pletora of apps anytime" and I believe that.  Building the ecosystem, getting more OEM's to take on W10M, consistant updates, future proof hardware all spell to a successful OS. One thing Android and iOS never had that MS has always had, and that was "Time". The birds are now home to roost. The apps will come, it's just a matter of time. Cheers ! 
  • Now I know why Windows 9 got skipped, because it's Windows 9+1 =10. Lol. vola Windows is pregnant. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It's dead but I'm going down with the ship!
  • My thoughts will come after a brief history of my device experience: I used to use iPhone until I saw the presentation for the iPhone 4S. Siri? Really? You want to charge me $200 for an AI, in beta, Apple? No thanks. So, feeling lost with an aging iPhone 4, my dad told me about the up and coming Lumia 900. I looked at it, watched some of the excellent speed video series where performing simple actions on WP vs iPhone or android devices that existed, jumped on board, and got it. Then, only a few months afterward, I felt my very first burn by MS not giving upgrades to WP8 for any prior WP7.x device, and pondered what to do as I watched the Lumia 920 come out, a very similar device to my own, yet running WP8, which made all the difference. So I next bought the Galaxy S4. I "upgraded" to the "Next Big Thing," which turned out to be an even worse burn than getting left behind by WP7. So, after three hideous months of the laggy UI, terrible RAM management of Android OS, I traded in my Galaxy S4, went back to my Lumia 900, and felt so much relief from the stability of WP that I knew I was right at home, and right where I was going to stay. Now, for my thoughts:
    When I returned to my Lumia 900, I could see the vision MS was engaging with Windows 8 aesthetically looking like the Phone OS, and I could see future synergy coming about with the mobile OS taking over. Then came the absolutely amazing Lumia 1020. Incredible camera, and my first WP8 device. Wow, what an amazing phone! I used that all the way until my now Lumia 950. I'm a MS advocate, through and through, and I've been an insider since day one. Heck, even before the insider program began, I became a developer to utilize the new (then unreleased) Phone 8.1 OS! I've seen MS at their best, which is right where they are now, and I've felt them at their worst, back when Phone 7 got left behind to die. And I've got to say, I can see the future of MS leading users to mobility, and I'm on board, full steam ahead! My next device is likely to be the Elite x3, and I can't wait to see where it takes MS! I truly hope that developers see the potential for continuum, and take advantage of the bridges MS is working SO hard on to close that app gap and make it no more! Note to the author: Keep up the great editorials! I love reading them! Can't wait to read the next one! Thanks for reading this long-winded comment, everyone who chooses to!
    Sent from my Lumia 950
  • Hey, 900 to 1020 was my path, too :) I didn't really feel burned, though, since I only paid $50 for both.
  • I've been a Windows Phone fan for years, from the first WP7 device to the last 830/1020 one with W10. The thing is, in Canada we don't have anymore Windows Phones at carriers and I had to change all my phones (5). I still like WP, but it look like dead here. Even Cortana didn't make her way to Canada for french. With no money to buy Lumias 950/950XL, I had to switch. It doesn't matter witch ecosystem I choosed. What matter is, why Microsoft left Canada like this?
  • Wow bro.. That's intense .. Windows is still alive to me.
  • I agree, it's not dead. But, in current state W10M is very, very, very ****** OS.
  • Take one look at the Android flagships released at MWC (S7, G5, Mi5 etc) and compare them to the current Windows 10 mobile flagships on sale... No way Microsoft can take back a reasonable portion of the market share. Maybe WM10 can be successful in enterprise sector.
  • Microsoft gave up directly competing with those companied on the hardware front. But among those companies, only Samsung has a bigger profit margin, and only LG is building something innovating... Smartphone market has been so boring for a while.
  • Now take a look how many cheap phones are being sold. Not everybody will get the most expensive phone out there.
  • How can they take back the flagship market when they never had it?
  • Windows Phone is my favorite OS out of the three. I love the feel and versatility, but unfortunately after a long period supporting the ecosystem and devices, I had to switch to Android since Windows was not able to satisfy my social media needs (a huge part of my job). I've had a Sony Xperia device for a month now, and while it meets all my needs, I still miss my Windows Phone. I am rooting for Microsoft and I hope they are able to get developers behind them. I'd switch back in a heartbeat. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You could use Android as your main phone while still checking out preview builds and stuff on your Windows Phone. Makes the loss easier to bear and keeps you updated on the developments. ^^
  • What Social media needs exactly? Maybe if you describe them here a developer will read them and be inspired to design an app that will delight you. Seriously.
  • SnapChat
    Yes, he's DJ Khaled Posted from my Lumia 950XL
  • Lets just hope the apps come. Otherwise, it doesn't matter "phone" wise.
  • Yes! Business apps needed first to be taken seriously in the market. Being different is so much better but par functionality is a must for people to use W10 mobile in business.
  • Windows is a great OS across all plate form but in mobile division they are not doing such effort Ihave L1520 since 2014 I didn't get any major update Windows Mobile is not ready to release after mid off February they started focusing on x50 series and new mobiles , when they come to Old ones ????
  • My 1520 is fine with the insider builds. It's definitely coming though. I'd rather wait till it's well-baked.
  • Of all phones and with WP 10, 1520 is the best. I have 950 XL, 920, 930, 1520 and more models, but 1520 is the best phone, quicker and more stable together with WP 10.
  • I have WP 10.0.10586.107 on my Lumia 1520 camera shutter and finishing is really slow instead of photo it makes a short video Lumia denim runs smoth on my device but I was using insider build and using new advance features don't want to roll back but camera in WP 10 really sucks , and also bettary drain fast and charge slow on wp10 compared to Lumia denim
  • W10M build .107 works well on my 640. Found out today I could download all my apps that are no longer listed in store, that I previously bought on WP8 or WP8.1. Totally awesome! I'm using my 640 daily and now more than my 920.
  • I have a 640 now also, with W10M build 107, and it's excellent. This phone cost me $50 off/no contract.
  • A OS without official apps is a bad joke. Sorry, but is too late
  • RIP WP. Even die hard fanboys are starting to abandon ship.  
  • Im rocking my 1520 until later this year. If nothing changes by then, Nexus or iPhone7 here I come. This is coming from a fan rocking with WP since 2010.
  • I've been rocking MS since Windows Mobile 2003. Audiovox SMT5600 was my first Windows phone.
  • Me too. 3rd WP now, also L1520, and my next will hopefully be Nokia designed and branded Android flagship.
  • In this battle of the smartphones, not all OEMs releasing Android phones are making money like Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei or LG. Most of them are also losing money because they are already crowded in that single platform.Picture it this way, there are three aquariums, 2 huge with full of water and 1 small with half full of water. In one big aquarium, there is one big fish named Apple, while on the second big aquarium there are lots of fishes in diferent sizes being Samsung the biggest one. Samsung is eating much of the food in that aquarium with less or nothing left to other smaller fishes.On the third small aquarium with half full water is another fish called Microsoft, there are other smaller fish inside this aquarium but Microsoft is very careful not to eat all food so the other fish could survive.  If only OEMs helped the third platform in the very beginning (Windows) grow as big as the other 2 aquarium, at least there is another place for them to swim on if competition is too harsh in their present aquarium. Windows platform has not grown as much as the other two because of so many reasons and one (just one) of them is that NO OEMs or less OEMs supported it. It is not visible in the stores around the world. There are only few OEMs to choose from. Windows Phone OS is beautiful, from 8.1 to Windows 10. It has problems here and there but none of the developed OS (iOS and Android) is perfect either. Now that the second Aquarium is too crowded and many of the fishes can't get enough food, I think it is not too late to jump to the small aquarium and let it grow, let water come to fill it and have the fish live life as they know it.
  • I would like to add that in the Microsoft tank the Microsoft fish is also somewhat responsible for feeding those other smaller fish.
  • Microsoft needs to open up the OS so the big OEMs can clone their Android phones. Not all OEMs want to run stock OS, which is what Windows 10 mobile is right now.
  • Good point. What I wish would happen (which never will happen) is that Microsoft would pay Samsung to make a Windows version of the Galaxy S and Galaxy S Edge phones running Windows. Samsung would market the hell out of it and it would sell well because it would be sexy as hell.
  • There is no food in the third aquarium... Posted from my Lumia 950XL
  • Literally I read that guys comment and was filled with hope, then I scrolled down and saw your comment lol
  • His comment did suck the hope away! I felt the same after scrolling down... Lo!!!
  • Good article Jason. You're 200% right.
  • The problem is the strategy relies too much on UWP, which is flawed. When you consider a laptop, PC, or even a tablet, there is no real need to develop an app. Companies know that if their Web site is good enough, people will use that. Heck, I still use the Web to look at my Outlook email on my Surface Pro 3, because it is better than the Windows 10 Mail app. Banks and other services will reach those customers just fine through a Web site. So if they aren't developing an app for W10, then they aren't developing a universal windows app. Then you have the failure of Microsoft's own services. Every time they shift their approach, they change their apps. They started with the Zune, which provided the best experience for the few who used it, and wound up with Groove, which is horrible. I tried to explain to a coworker how we bought a TV show using the Xbox One, and I didn't know how to explain it. "We bought it through... ummm... Movies and TV... the Xbox One... like Xbox Video - oh, you probably don't know what that is- ummm... like iTunes but for the Xbox One." If I don't know what to call a Microsoft service, then I'm not a very good advocate.
  • Because Microsoft mistake before is that, they listen to the trolls. They listen to the negative feedbacks of the techbloggers paid by other companies to destroy. But now hopefully, they listen to the real Windows users. Those who really understand the platform and not the "whiners" who doesn't really know and use Windows Phones.
  • The problem with not having a bank application is that you will not get the notification when you use the browser.
  • I also check my email through Edge on my Surface Pro 3.
  • Satisfying fans??? Making more apps and better quality of them on iOS and Android? I don't think so. Microsoft is making efforts in services outside their own mobile system, and that for me is the worst thing to rise the platform.
  • This guy should direct a short movie on windows phone. :D
  • And the end scene is the protagonist waking from the delusional dreamland this (and other) articles portray....
  • I see one problem with windows phone right now and that is that this article is too long.
  • WOW i love the pixi 8 I want one. Hope it comes to Sprint. Doubt it though but i can still dream.
  • Very well explained, i really like this view on the matter and i couldn't agree more. As much as i love Lumia phones it is necessery to let other OEMs take over for a big part. :) Only thing to do is wait and see what happens, especially in the app area, and for the hardcore fans to start demanding  that companies make apps for win 10 and help push them in that direcion. :)
  • The opportunity here is really high as well.  Any OEM can create a usb type c connected monitor or dock and it will work ideally with these phones.  That is where iPhone gets all of its moementum is with accessories for companies like Belkin and others.  Now I am looking for a HDMI to usb-c or dvi-d to usb-c items coming that will really make windows mobile shine.  
  • Windows phone will never die. It's apart of their Eco system. Without it, nothing else would make sense. Beautiful article...
  • I don't think a platform not being a direct competitor means its dead. Nintendo isn't a direct competitor in the console market, but that doesn't mean they are dead, even if they are jumping hurdles and fumbling a bit -- they'll be fine.   Microsoft went the rough path and I think that is going to pave roads of gold in their future. Apple, SONY, and HP have all been through a rough patch.
  • Initially, I had faith in Satya's plan, but after not delivering on the hype of Windows 10 desktop after years of telling people to wait for the upgrade from Windows 8 and basically pressuring and forcing everyone on to Windows 10, hoping they would use the apps on their PC which hasn't happen with the masses. Now, he is doing the same thing with Windows 10 mobile, putting his hopes into the future while abandoning the present needs of those on the platform, as well as OEMs that are taking risk by investing in manufacturing Windows 10 mobile devices. With all the bad press about the poor state of Windows 10 mobile and the quality of the Lumia 950/950XL, the public it seems have written off Windows 10 mobile and devices. The public see them as dead and an after thought, if not a joke. I don'tthink Windows mobile is even a consideration for any serious app developer. The universal app thing was all hype with no big delivery or even benefit that the public would be interested in. In other words, this might sound all good on paper and at a Microsoft rally or conference, but it's not translating to interest and ethusiasm from the average consumer. So, I say Satya's the plan is failing. And although Microsoft brags about the hundred of millions of devices on Windows 10, most were forced and or coerced into upgrading for free, due to fear that their OS would  become obsolete, not due to ethusiasm or interest in Windows 10.
  • One of these days I WILL find out what is it exactly that Jason smokes before writing these articles. Because it's definitely the good stuff.
    And I don't even smoke. Unless he's trying the Goebbels approach...
  • If you never say 'die', how are you supposed to get clicks? Alternate title: "Saying Windows Phone's dead is dead"
  • Windows 'phone' isn't dead  no dead but no body want to make apps for windows phone, like TIDAL or instangram or a lot of the commercial companies on the market, so how could survive. I'm so happy for Windows 10 rom for OnePlus 2 coming soon maybe is the way forto get more market.
  • Having a Windows 10 ROM for the OnePlus phones is cool, but it won't do anything for market share. Android guys who like to flash their phones will try it out of curiosity, but in the end they will stick with the platform that has the apps and services they use, and it won't be Windows 10 Mobile. 
  • "Microsoft has aligned its mobile "phone" strategy with this core strength and is trusting partnerships to push Windows 10 Mobile market penetration." This is where the problem with MS.  MS DID NOT push WP with their core strength the last 6yrs.  They have 90% mkt share and did not use it to their advantage.  WP is WP, it don't have much to do with WINDOWS/MS SVR.  Same go to W10M, great it will act like a PC/  What about my existing work PC/NB?  My personal PC/NB?  Throw them away?  If not buy another monitor/kb/mouse just for W10M?  The transaction is still YEARS away, for it to make sense.  My favorite game of all them Civ 3, I opened a new game in X'mas on my desktop(it barely run on W10 btw) I am almost 3mth into it.  W10M isn't going help me to bring it with me anytime soon(years).
  • Wait.  Operating systm doesn't optimally run the 15 year old version of a game that you could play a more up to date version and that's your issue?  Have you tried (I haven't yet) Civilizaton Revolution by 2K on the phone?
  • I am simply point out the limitation of W10M.
  • HELP! Where can I download that Windows 10 hero wallpaper with the unicorn?? I tried to find it before but failed... 
  • I need to know too... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Microsoft completely ruined everything nokia has achieved in terms of quality hardware... I see no reason to upgrade from my L930 to 950. Microsofts mobile platform should be already dead without nokia... windows phone8.1 was fine and instead to fix the bad app support at least with 10 proper facebook,twiitter,youtube,instagram etc apps that everybody uses they change the o.s once again so the developers have to start from the beginning and we as consumers have to wait once again for the super universal apps....for how long??? one year??? two years???? sorry M$ but I m tired of waiting...
  • Definitely trolling. For people who's life depends on  (official) Youtube app that not even Microsoft can do anything about it. (Youtube belongs to Google and if Google doesn't want to make it, how could Microsoft do it? Force them at gun point?) You people are more mesirable than Microsoft. Microsoft will not die even if Windows Phone die. But you people will if you depend your life on "official" Youtube app. Imagine yourself change your phone and praising it to high heavens that finally you got Android phone because it has Youtube app on it, and you see all other people with Windows Phone who are not even affected without Youtube app on their phone.
  • The rambling in this place remind me of a madhouse. People wailing in denial, some joyfully dancing ad others banging their heads against the wall with a smile saying, "Till the end I'm Windows, till the end!".
    Its over. Im just enjoying the last titbits of what Microsoft has to offer.
    I already have my Android device that will carry me into the future (just like Rubino and Belfior). One can live in the past for only so long. Posted from my Lumia 950XL
  • If it is not dead then its zombie. Revenue of windows phone apps are too low for developers. It is simply waste of time.
  • Windows phone man walking.
  • Enough already. This is semantics now. Windows Mobile is "dead" in that it has no chance at becoming a leading consumer platform. There may be a space for it, and it may become exceptional, but it will be niche. I understand why Windows Central has to hold on, but I don't get why the fan base can let their hardons soften and move on. Its a joke to defend this platform after all of the BS and the state of affairs. There is NO indication what-so-ever that the app fap will be filled - which is only ONE of many hurdles.
  • Haven't you heard? Niche is the new mainstream.
  • Next article: How to cope with the loss of a loved one.
  • Keywords: Gestation, plans, hopes, 2017, soon... I'm tired of that, six Windows Phones later and four years of waiting. I am keeping my 925 and sold my 1520 until my S7 Edge preorder arrives. Sorry MS, I had to move on.
  • Microsoft App Developer create app for ANDROID... Not window phone/mobile... What the fish... That why window phone/mobile is always behind from ANDROID & iOS.... LOL
  • Thank you for your article Jason. I found it very informative, interesting and "refreshing". As a user of all things Microsoft, I'm grateful to know that it will continue despite the challenges. Getting some of the background in perspective helps. Most doomsayers have no interest in seeing opportunity in challenges, not to mention they have very limited attention spans. It takes to a vast amount of people and ideas to create in a competitive market.
  • Isn't lesser sales of Surfaces related to thier limited availibity across the world? I mean surafce book is just starting to be available in whole europe just and surface pros are probably available in 15-20 countries. And I'm sure Ipads are available in more markets and hence more sales.
  • I think you're right, and I think you point to Microsoft's biggest weaknesses: marketing and availability. The total lack of marketing and carrrier availability totally killed Windows Phones in Canada, for example. It's completely disappeared from the Canadian scene. f you don't have presence, good engineering is totally irrelevant. 
  • For me the issue remains one of access. Can I buy a flagship phone like all my Apple and Andoid friends, without having to spend a lot of money up front? If I don't like ordering a phone online, why must I travel all the way in to a Microsoft store? In Canada there are no carriers selling WP; as a result, the brand is essentially dead north of the 49th. (And as a result, I was recently forced to move from my beloved Lumia 920 to an LG G4.) In the United States, many people can't or won't deal with the limited WP carrier support in that country. The best phones with the best OS won't matter unless people can get the kind of easy access to them that Apple and Andoid fans already enjoy. Nadella's boutique "retrenchment" strategy is a disaster, in my opinion, because he so damn indifferent to marketing and sales.
  • Yea right, WP isn't dead but is in coma.. :D
  • Not again..
  • Regarding the part about a different world... The Lumia 1520 was my daily driver for almost two years.  I got a bit tired of the size and downgraded to a very modest 830.  For most tasks, the Snapdragon 400 gets the job done.  Now, I'm not delusional (at least, I don't think I am), I know there are better processors, better screens, and bigger phones out there than the 830.  Yet, when I think about what's next for me, it all seems relatively pointless.  Am I destined to buy flat black slabs ad infinitum?  Is no one tired of the rinse and repeat style in which we buy smartphones?  At some point I want my phone to do more than just be slighter faster.  That's why phones like the Elite x3 are interesting, because it is something different. 
  • we are not here to judge our lives if they are miserable or not with or without an official youtube app we are judging a platform that we spend money on it supporting it. official apps mean nothing to anyone if there are better third party alternatives.... but that does not mean that if they existed and we had an option will be bad for us as a consumers. Instagram still beta after all these years???? where is facebook???? most of wp users still using the web app.... messenger?????? we have to blame google for everything??? does google afraid the 5% market share of windows phone??? why microsofts own apps are better on android???? because of the market share... sorry but no market share no future
  • If Google buys RemixOS, it's basically game over for Windows. First, in the consumer space, the rest five years later. You only have to look at the incredibly sexy devices being created by tinkering with Android. IoT is basically Raspian and Droid space. MSFT cannot win this; they will offer pro services through Office 365 and Azure, and they will make a ton of money without having to care about the tedious task of creating a complete client OS, cutting half their staff in the process. I bet, in 2018 at latest MSFT will go allin in Android.
  • Hi Jason, I like the opening. Let's add one more "pitfall" of nurturing a child that falls into your analogy. As we try to guide our children into adulthood, we often seek and/or given the opinions, advise and criticism of almost everybody. It is our job to determine what exact path to take. So it is with Microsoft. They've weighed the opinions, advice and a tremendous amount of criticism. This is the path they've chosen. Not everyone likes it, or understands it. A few of us think we get the idea. Personally I think it makes sense. It may mean I don't see the hardware I would like, at least for now. But we hear there is light at the end of the tunnel. And we know what tunnel to watch. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Goonies never say die!
  • To describe what I think of Microsoft's mobile strategy over the past few years, let me use this example: Imagine that Microsoft is a new restaurant on the block. They are having a grand opening, and the day of the opening, 100 people line up at their door, saying "Hey! We're hungry, what do you have for us?" Microsoft then replies "Sorry guys, we don't have anything for you today, but we're going to be making a truly SPECIAL dish tomorrow", and proceeds to shut the door on the customers. The customers are still hungry. 90 out of 100 of them go to other nearby restaurants (Google and Apple) to get their food. Google and Apple are also working on better dishes in upcoming days, but offer to feed the customers the best of what they have today. The next day rolls around. The 10 people that didn't go eat at other restaurants are really hungry at this point, and a handful of people that ate at Google and Apple yesterday are back to try this "special" dish that Microsoft said it would have today. Microsoft opens up the door and says, "Sorry folks, the special item is still not ready; we're waiting for the steak to arrive. We have some of the other ingredients though, so please have these special mashed potatoes and gravy in the meanwhile." The 10 customers that were starving liked the food. It wasn't a full meal, but they were hungry and what was there was really tasty. The people who had Google and Apple's food the day before also thought the ingredients were unique, but they knew that the full meals at Google and Apple were more complete. The next day, only the 10 customers who waited the first day came back. Looking forward to this tasty meal with the main ingredient presumably there, they lined up at the door. Microsoft opens the door and says "Thank you guys for coming back. Unfortunately, we couldn't get that steak after all. We're coming up with a new dish instead, and it should be ready tomorrow." Microsoft closes the door. The customers leave. This cycle continues until Microsoft one day opens the door to find nobody waiting. The customers gave up the hope of eating something "special" in favor of eating consistent, full meals from Google and Apple, for they realized that "special" isn't really what matters most.
  • Man that's a great story! Now Im hungry! Idk if I want something special to eat or the same ole dish...
  • Your comment makes me hungry!! XD
  • Your comment is strange!
  • That's an excellent analogy that describes what happened with many people. Posted from my Moto X Pure Edition via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The problem with this metaphor is that they did serve several dishes, some of which were pretty good, but maybe skimped on sides. Their new special dish has been getting subpar reviews, there are elements that still need tweaking. But all the major side dish and drink makers have stopped shipping their stuff to Chez MS.
  • I'm not sure what I just read. Someone is having a baby?
  • Nurturing a zombie. Corrected. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • I came back but again only to be heading right back out the door.. The 950XL was a big disappointment and Win10 a bigger disappointment!! $650 to be a Insider tester? No thank you. They touted the 950XL as a flagship phone?? With a cheap plastic back & not ready for public OS?? This may have been my last walk on the Windows Mobile side.. Going for a real "Flagship" phone this time, Galaxy S7 Edge, a gorgeous phone with a finished OS, SD card returned and its even waterproof..
  • Good article I can see where MS as a Corp. Sees its future biz strategy on the enterprise platform, perhaps managment can refocus the Dev teams from too much in house competition and work together on One unifying goal?.
  • if Alcatel OneTouch had higher-end specs (processor, ram, camera, storage) I would definately be interested.  At a higher price.
  • Do we need the windows phone? It's pretty boring compared to iPhone and Android..! Seriously! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The word ecosystem has been abused for many years; the quantity of apps in an app store is not about an ecosystem. The breadth of services that Microsoft has, that is an ecosystem, if it is brought to the user as a consistent whole. That is what they are doing and no one else has this. ​As far as the article is concerned, I agree with the observation and the line of thought. Micorosft is on the right track and beyond the curve. However, if they do not progress fast enough, then others might overtake. Although, Continuum can't be beaten easily. Adroid and iOS can be put on any formfactor if their owners want to, but they do not have continuum and even less an integrated development environment that allows for one functional core and multiple behaviour depending on the form factor. It may be Microsoft who is actually going to enable competitors through its own development tools to execute a like strategy. So, Microsoft is the not yet recognized, future leader in the Mobile arena. Mobile experience is what they stand for, not merely mobile devices. I.e. Windows is more Mobile than any other platform. Hence, why continue using 'Windows Phone' that much, one may consider it dead ;-) ,  'Windows Mobile' is alive and will kick ass.    
  • Your comment about the ecosystem is exactly what I have been saying for awhile. Microsoft's vision of, "mobility" is much bigger than any single platform including Windows 10. In many ways, we can thank Google for the current state of Microsoft's services portfolio. By stonewalling Windows app platforms, Microsoft had to invest in a partner that could provide ubiquitous access to a navigation/mapping solution on their mobile platform. That started with HERE and has evolved into a much better solution on Windows 10. Now, I can do all of my trip planning on the Surface Book and it carries over to my 950XL. The fact that it uses the same UI just makes it that much easier. In many ways, the same thing happened with search. In the early days, Bing was a joke. It evolved into something that was adequate and now, it is at least as good as Google search. I started using it as an experiment in 2012 when I was still using Android. I was shocked by how much it improved and that inspired me to get an HTC 8X. It was everything that my Android could never be. It wasn't perfect but it was rock solid, clean and fast. While Google still holds a dominant position in search, growth is stagnant. Meanwhile, Bing continues to grow. One out of three searches are now powered by Bing. That is no small feat. So as it was with Novell, Lotus, Oracle, VMWare and others, Microsoft is the challenger. If there is one thing that I have learned in this industry, it is that you can never, EVER count anyone out. With One Core (Windows 10/Server 2016), Bing, Azure and Office 365, Microsoft has executed on strategy that goes back to the days of Longhorn. It is the culmination of more than a decade of planning and execution to build the most ambitious converged services platform that the world has ever seen. The competition wrote them off four years ago. As the success of the Surface indicates, that was a HUGE mistake. Apple has long been heralded as the poster child for vertical integration by combining software into their hardware development. At one time, that allowed them to innovate in areas where OEM's were limited. But over time, it has translated into a plethora of platforms that are diverging more and more. That is a huge problem for them. They now have OSX, iOS, tvOS, CarOS and WatchOS. The same has happened to Google. Microsoft has One Core. Microsoft is a platform company. They have learned alot over the years. Apple and Google will eventually come to the same conclusions. Platform divergence isn't sustainable at scale. But Microsoft has taken the vertical integration model to a completely new level. It combines Apple's approach (hardware + software) with Google's approach (software + services) but it adds the AWS approach (cloud IaaS) with that of Microsoft's vision of PaaS to create the first vertical model (hardware to the cloud) with horizontal scale for every existing form factor and those that don't exist yet. I've never seen anything like it and neither has anyone else. Many of their competitors still don't understand what they are up against. Microsoft has never been more dangerous than they are right now. Jason Ward presents a clear picture of Microsoft's ambitions for "mobile" in the context of the current market within the last year or so. But it requires an ever larger context to understand Microsoft's strategy. To borrow from Dune, Azure and One Core are synonymous with the spice and the worm with the epiphany that the spice is the worm. It is nothing short of elegant and profound.
  • I'm not an Apple basher, but had anyone seen the recent news that Apple I'd bringing Siri to Mac? They're already sys setting to copy Microsoft's strategy...... Uh Cortana on PC! Microsoft needs to work with urgency on everything they're currently doing otherwise someone else is going to creep in and and steal the limelight.
  • I doesn't matter.  Apple will always claim they did it first even if it isn't true.
  • Omg55, you are so right. By the time MS has products on the market our friends from apple and google will have released a better version of it. And on top of that they have apps and integration with cars, tvs and other iot devices. MS think they have time on their side. The recent actions of MS (sloppy release of 950, windows 10 mobile, abandoning the Nokia name, lack of decent choice of phones, focus on business, halfhearted commitment to windows mobile, better and more MS products on IOS and android) will cause a gigantic drop in the number of windows mobile users. Left and right loyal windows phone users have lost hope and are replacing their phones with android or IOS phones. And the bad thing is, they are happy with the switch. This will cause more companies pulling their apps and voila, MS will have even less reason to get their act together. I blame MS, they had the opportunity to turns things around with the release of the 950 and they screwed up royally, this mistake could very well be the breaking point. IOS and android are being integrated in cars, tvs and home appliances. And MS think they can take their time getting windows 10 mobile sorted?
  • Great article :)
  • Microsoft is no longer directly chasing the consumer smartphone market.
    They lost, just say it. Essays about a brighter tomorrow will not help, if that tomorrow has been promised to us since 2010, and still has not come.
  • Really, its only been 6 years? It really feels much longer.
  • Heard it all before, this is just another reboot akbeit a more promising one....the REAL question is....Are you (us) willing to wait for things to improve while suffering from the glaring app gap that exists?  I cant wait any more,ive waited for 3 years and its gone backwards.
  • What apps are you missing? The only ones I would like are snapchat and the Chase banking app (that they pulled...).
  • I mostly agree with the article. What I strongly doubt is the commitment of Micrisoft regarding the Apps.
    I'm not talking about gaps that they cannot fill, like eg.Snapchat, or apps for specific Hardware like Cars, HiFi, Home Automation, Banking,...,.
    But MS already provides Apps from their very core competence. There is unfortunately enough evidence that the W10(Mobile) apps are not cared as much as the x86 counterparts, and, even more importantly, on other mobile platforms.
    The sad peak is with Skype.
    For me, Skype really would be a pivotal element for their strategy. It's all about communication, and I have a really hard time to understand why there is not much more integration still.
    Why not integrating E-Mail (with Outlook, another strong blockbuster from MS), text messaging, picture messaging, video and speech messaging, live speech and video chatting.
    It all already exists, but it is fragmented, it doesn't offer a consistent user experience and on every MS hardware platform like PC, XBox, Mobile it looks heavily different.
    On top of it, the applications are unintuitive, buggy and are not consistent with the Office UI.
    Microsoft already has a very broad spectrum of hardware, and with better communication integration and app quality it really would be unique.
    Sadly, I think that not all MS divisions are up to the task unlike eg. Panos Panay is with his fantastic hardware department.
    It's time that Satya Nadella acknowledges this, and takes action.
  • With windows mobile it's always: "in a few
    months It will be better...
  • i do not believe that WP matters anything anymore, the world is fine without it
  • IT department in my company finally get rid of WP after a purchase of 5 Lumia 950. Deployment is not easier than iOs, and the sluggish OS shipped together with the 950 is really a pain in the ass. They come back to the old but smoothly deployed iPhone 5s.      
  • MS had their chance but blew it up badly. Win10mobile is such a disgrace that it shouldn't even exist for the mass public, not to mention that it shouldn't be sold preloaded on new phones, in the embarrassing state that it is now. do yourselves a favor and buy into a FINISHED AND STABLE platform: ios or android with REAL flagships.
  • I don't want an Android or IPhone. I'm actually happy with what I have. I'm doing myself a favor and buying a Surface phone when its available. Or that new HP device. I don't care if they take every app away, I'm staying right here. It wouldn't interrupt my world at all.
  • W10P has to be rock solid. It isn't. Don't get me wrong, Android isn't either. IF W10P has drivers for current and future hardware,  along with security updates automatically installed, W10P UI is killer and will dominate most others.  Nice article, good job.    
  • The problem is, Microsoft keep delivering premature babies that eventually died. The parents (Microsoft) doesn't see the gestational problems early and delivers premmies. The last pregnancy (baby name WP10 mobile) is another premature baby that is in danger of dying. Meanwhile apple delivered a fairly healthly baby, their only child, nurture it to become a teen now that so many friends and family adore. I bought my first Iphone last week (Iphone 6plus) and the OS is not that good in my opinion but is amazingly smooth and fast. But the apps did it for me and although I paid almost $800 for it, its worth it for the apps. I missed the live tiles.            
  • Is the language confusing in some areas or am i not reading it right..good article though
  • These fluff articles are so useless. Existing is not the same as living. Windows Phone is dead and will have to be reborn if it will end up existing. I really don't understand how you can have so much to say about so little.
  • Doesn't matter what any fanboy says. Wp is dead. Thanks to Nadella wp was from 5% market share to 1%. It's just like BBM now.
  • The "cross device experiences" line is only so much fluff.  Let's be clear on what MS is building...this is replacement for the Windows CE devices that are old but shockingly useful (UPS, FedEx, airlines, retail inventory, etc).  This is a good thing, but let's not consider it a consumer mobile strategy.  the new part here is the ability to mobilize legacy Win32 apps that will never be good on a mobile device...but again, this is a specific B2B use case that while important and useful, is not going to revitalize a consumer strategy.  At the end of the day, Microsoft will have a robust mobile strategy, but Instagram is no longer part of it.
  • How do you comment on comments in the new app?
  • Dead is dead !!!!!!!!! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Just wrote a long, big, rich article that was written properly and clicked on post and it did like it has been posted. I checked for my post, and it was not there. This was on the windows central app on windows phone and that is why the windows mobile platform doesnt have users. Now im using the web to post this. What is the use of the app then?
  • I think Microsoft is headed in an entirely different direction by encouraging developers to make their apps cross compatible with desktop and mobile, i.e. a smooth transition, hopefully between the two. I would love to see developers see the value of this and dive right in. The smartphone world needs a third OS to balance out the two top two.
  • I don't want a smooth transition.  I don't use a desktop to use a crippled mobile video or photo editor, for example.  I want Paintshop Pro, or Photoshop [Elements], or Lightroom [not-Mobile], or Final Cut Pro, or Logic Pro, or Sound Forge, or ACID Pro, or Desktop Word/Excel, or heavier games like COD, WoW, PoE, Diablo III, etc. I don't move from my Phone to my Desktop Expecting my desktop to attempt to approximate the cut down, feature limited, low performance operation of a smart device. This is only an advantage for people who use Windows 2-in-1s and want thier Windows Tablet to operate like an iPad, which is still superior due to the App Ecosystem and Polished OS designed specifically for its form factor.  It's a sizeable turn-off for desktop users IRT UWP Applications.  They are terrible on the desktop. They tend to perform badly compared to Win32 Applications, They are horrible for KB/Mouse Navigation, they make very poor user of screen real estate, they cannot use exclusive Full Screen Mode, and the restrictions for some types of apps like Games and System Utilities are showstoppers. Thanks, but no thanks. The world does not *need* a third ecosystem to balance anything out.  Things seem pretty balanced already with Windows Phone and Blackberry being complete non-factors.  
  • Well written article. Personally, I'm done criticizing Microsoft over every change I disagree with because having their users express outrage and disappointment is hurting the platform and probably the reason why Microsoft is unable to "make friends" and gain support and apps. I was a big fan of Windows 8 and 8.1. No matter what changes are made I trust in Microsoft's vision - they may disappoint (like all things in life) but the creativity and innovation thus far are undeniable and continue to impress. This article made a good point, while brief, that Windows is and has always been for work and education. The social features (People and Me hubs) were outstanding and resonated with multitaskers such as myself, but I'm over it. Focusing and spending time on social networks is a waste of time. I'm very pleased with the tools/features and apps available that are mainly used for studying. Overall I love Windows Phone and will support it for as long as it exists. Just because it isn't loaded with games and a ton of apps doesn't mean it's lacking. What's really lacking is support from users.
  • I think people fail to see what is really going on here. Windows 10 Phone does not have to do well... Windows 10 has to do well. Soon the xbox will run universal apps. MS are getting the phone apps created by getting Win 10 apps created. As you have pc, phone, xbox, tablets all able to run the same apps there will come a tipping point. Also if surface phone live up to expectations it could be game changer. Many people have the phone as a primary device, so having that as pc also changes everything. If it comes out as intel and good ram and storage and can run win 32 apps it will be a killer device. Short of that and will be a fail as will be nothing over a 950 apart from nice case
  • Stupid Nutella !
  • I am a huge MSFT fan, but their mobile strategy is disastrous for loyal fans...when Nadella said mobile first, he wasn't referring to WP, but developing first class apps first for iOS ecosystem...smh
  • I belive they the larger windows phones and tablets should have a manual button on the screen more than all the icon on the screen customers should choose what they wanted on they home screen. Still using my 1020 for photos thinking about the 950 xl peace out
  • I'd like nothing more than for Microsoft's mobile efforts to succeed - if nothing else because competition is good for everyone. But unless they're ready to do something dramatic and radical, they're going to continue to slide into oblivion regardless of their desktop share of the market. If nothing else, Apple and Google have proven that carrying their mobile OS' makes no difference in terms of what you do on the desktop. And to add insult to injury, Continuum isn't all that helpful either. 
  • Micosoft need aggressive work to bring top apps to Windows phone. It's needed most. Otherwise Windows 10 phones are good and lots of features 
  • This is a GREAT article!
  • I think the best chance for Windows 10 mobile smartphones to gain more apps is through Microsoft getting developers to make the type of Universal apps that will run on a Windows 10 smart phone as well as they will run on a Surface pro 3 or 4 tablet or a Full Windows 10 desktop or laptop PC. I hope that Apple apps developers will indeed convert their apps to Windows 10 Universal apps this would be great but given the past responses to Windows smart phones and tablets I am not so sure Microsoft will get developers to give Windows products apps. Maybe the best thing Microsoft can do is use Intel x86 CPU's in their smart phones as well as their tablets so Windows smart phones can run win32 full desktop PC programs in Cintinuum mode and also run what the apps that are in the Windows 10 desktop PC store
  • I want to say that I've used iOS , an Android also using Windows Phone since it's inception ..
    I switched back to Nexus 5 a year ago but Microsoft managed to pull me back.
    Apart from the "app gap" , the Windows Phone by far has been stable and continuous to be so.. Let's not discuss what goes with Android after 2 months because we all know it's faults.
    Windows Phone has always been stable. Please its a request a humble one.. Don't even think of Killing it because of some stupid market share crap.. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Windows Phone is dead in the same sense that BB10 was dead.  The only difference is Microsoft has Windows 10 Desktop and Xbox which give the facade that it will somehow rise from the ashes just by association with those platforms.  I don't see this happening, but if that hope keeps you going: "More power to yah!" Microsoft's "plan" doesn't matter.  What matters is what Consumers buy.  This is not like the PC market where the competition intentionally prices themselves out of the low end market and your platform is the default on the vast majority of new PC purchasers (and customers almost never go out and buy alternative OSes to install and manage i.e. OS/2 vs. Windows 95).  The dynamics in the mobile market are very different.  Subsidies also eliminated hte price issue for a majority of users, and now they aren't going to just up and switch to Windows Phone. Those of us that did, ended up switching back becaue Microsoft's plan obviously wasn't that good (and changed on a yearly basis).
  • Hey  Jason, let's face it. Microsoft has big ideas. But i'd prefer they stop having that adrenaline rush to dominate so quick. It's the main reason for the badly putative OS builds. If they can just build quality OS and Hardware ocassionaly, nurturing the store with great apps and the likes, it would be better. The integration won't be badly loud. It would be like having an ace up their sleeve all the time. We are getting this ideas toomuch at a time. I prefer we take things slow. We can't just wake up and dominate, they undersoodthat at first when they approached NOKIA for the brand's name. So why the rush? I stay with windows because it's something for the future, synchronization and the one platform stuff, but that is only if they pull their ideas right. If things get worse,  not just Microsoft will get hurt. A lot of us will. Microsoft, slow down , be cool and create quality. Let those programmers, engineers, architects, entrepreneurs think! Let the threads and prpcessors think.
  • "...passed in the past" How refreshing in this age of internet stupidity to see someone using these two similar-sounding words correctly.