Microsoft bids adieu to Windows 10 Mobile
Windows 10 for phones had long been considered to be a dead platform, but in a series of tweets, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore has confirmed what we already knew. The corporate vice president for Windows said that while Microsoft will carry on with bug fixes and corporate support for existing users, the focus will no longer be on creating new features and hardware. Earlier last week, HP stated that it will no longer release more Windows 10 Mobile handsets.
Joe also added that he made the switch to Android himself. This comes right after Bill Gates announced that he too made the switch to Android, a few days ago.
Windows Phones have had a very poor market share as developers stayed away from the operating system and focused more on Android and iOS. According to ExtremeTech, when CEO Satya Nadella took over, replacing Steve Ballmer, Windows Phone was already on life support. According to reports, the OS accounted for 0.03% of the global market (based on smartphone shipments).
Microsoft clearly does not want to pump any more money into its failing phone division. We are also uncertain on the fate of the much rumoured Surface Phone. According to ExtremeTech, perhaps the biggest problem of Windows 10 Mobile was that the Continuum feature was offered a little too late. If older versions of Windows Phone had that feature, it could have meant a deeper integration of the software and a potential reason for buyers to go for it. But the problem was, previous versions of Windows on phones, were based on Windows CE, which had different a codebase than Windows 7, which was the latest at that time.
The shutdown of Windows Phone is not surprising. Industry experts and forum discussions often went on why Microsoft often designed core software for other platforms.
Belfiore tweeted that Microsoft tried “very hard” to incentivize app developers to build universal apps. In some cases they even wrote apps for them, but the user base was just too low for many companies to invest.
Some companies like the UK’s Wileyfox and Germany’s TrekStor had revealed new phones sporting Windows 10 Mobile.
However, this might not be the end of Microsoft meddling with phones as Windows Central reported earlier this year. The company is reportedly working on a new version of Windows 10 codenamed Andromeda, which can run on all types of computers. It could make it possible for third party apps to adapt to the new software without the need to code specially for a universal version. The report also mentioned that current Windows 10 Mobile users it would not be able to upgrade to it. That seems a lot like what happed to Windows Phone 7 users.
So now comes the inevitable question. With the demise of Windows 10 Mobile, and dwindling PC sales, what can Microsoft do for the future?BusinessInsider thinks it could be Augmented Reality or even gaming, as many gamers prefer Windows.
With major tech giants moving towards AR, Microsoft is sure to follow.