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Goodbye, Windows 10 Mobile

Goodbye, Windows 10 Mobile

Microsoft announced the dismissal of 1,850 employees from its Microsoft Mobile department on May 25. The software giant is not quitting mobile altogether, but rather is shifting its focus to enterprise customers. Windows 10 for private customers might be dead, but is it still relevant for business?

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Come learn more about the latest Windows 10 news. / © Microsoft

Here are the facts: the costly acquisition of the mobile phone division of Nokia is a financial disaster for Microsoft. A total of about $8 billion was lost that we know so far and recently another $850 million is estimated to have been lost. Microsoft insider Paul Thurrot even speaks of a total of more than $10 billion lost.

Microsoft's 2016 lost a restart in 2017?

The signs for Microsoft were not bad: a huge market share in desktop PCs with Office being the most famous office software and the Xbox a successful gaming platform. So surely it should roll up the market of smartphones, right? Despite many years of experience with mobile operating systems Windows phones never took off. It has never succeeded in making the users of its Windows desktop too enthusiastic of Windows phone users. The full control of hardware and software has not brought its desired effect.

Now, Microsoft does not want to give up Windows 10 Mobile and the hardware that matches it. On the contrary, Terry Myerson, Windows and Devices Group manager at Microsoft, said the company wanted to continue focusing on enterprise customers. These customer groups are interested in issues such as data security, management solutions and Continuum. The Lumia 650 is already labelled by Microsoft as the perfect business phone. More Windows Mobile hardware is no longer expected this year - the mobile operating system is not even a focus in 2016. Next year, however, there could be a new smartphone - perhaps the fabled Surface Phone?

Windows phones never really took off. / © Microsoft

For private users Windows Mobile 10 is dead

So can the change of strategy towards business customers succeed? From the perspective of Microsoft it is, especially if it's possible to convince its enterprise customers of the concept. Arguments such as convergence between desktop and smartphone were always a 'maybe' anyway. With Continuum, Microsoft has long-presented perhaps one of the most interesting features of 2015.

The purchase of a Windows 10 Mobile smartphone for private customers would not be so appealing if Microsoft withdraws from its own platform. Companies like BlackBerry have already tried to attract business customers and failed. Even if Microsoft, on paper, realigns only their own hardware department, the message remains:

Personally, I already feel a pang of loss. The tile appearance was an interesting approach. It was particularly great that even weaker processors could still achieve an attractive appearance on a Windows Phone. There was rarely any lag or jerkiness.There was even a time when I possessed a Lumia 630 and there were multiple Windows Phones on the tip of my tongue for when friends asked for smartphone recommendations under 200 EUR. Those days are now over.

What are your thoughts on the passing of Windows 10 for mobile. Do you know a Windows 10 feature that should make the jump over to Android? Let us know in the comments.

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  • I use all the Microsoft apps I can on my S8.

  • Jumby Oct 17, 2016 Link to comment

    Windows 10 seems like it was rushed a bit. I was hoping for a solid release like an Apple release. Windows 10 has a strong business capability about it, that's what I like. It just feels like it got kicked out of the app world. P.S. My Lumia 640 is nice buuuuuut I want continuum now!!

  • Wow, you guys have empty heads.

  • I just sold my Lumia 950XL with the display dock. After being totally blown over by Microsoft's promised strategy back in october 2015 Me and my brother was some of the first getting the Lumias in Denmark by preodering. I was totally convinced that Micro$oft would get it right this time, but alas they did not. So currently I'm waiting for my Sony Xperia Z5 compact to arrive by package so that it may give my Huawei Watch some much needed life. It is good to be back to the Android platform after to long apart.

  • Surface Phone/mobile from Surface team is coming 2017. I don't understand the mobile dev community. The Windows OS is superior in many ways, Windows Phone/mobile Dev get paid more. MS has made dev tools to port there existing apps to Windows mobile. You would reach a larger audience with universal apps. The major problem with Windows mobile is the app availability. The more apps the more market share. The claim of no market share is gone with universal app. You have to count the market share of all Windows 10 devices and soon Xbox One for apps.

  • Talen May 31, 2016 Link to comment

    I loved my lumina 1520. loved windows. some lacking apps sucked. I decided to try android. have the s6 edge plus. but android is really a bugger. I like the freedom. but it is a resource hog. it's quite ridiculous. windows would sell more phones if the ones in stores had the home screen set up nicer. Beauty sells. look at any Windows forum or Windows central, they have their phones looking sick. but in the store it looks like its for a 5 year old. the basic one color and all same size tile setup. I miss my windows, and may go back if they arent dead when my contract is up

    • I had my 1520 for over two years and was a member of the Windows insider program. I found the 1520 to be a great unit, except it was really too big for my lifestyle. I like the Windows system because when you turn an app off, it stays off. Doesn't hog the resources or kill the battery. Then I broke it beyond repair, so I figured I would hold off on a new phone until I saw what Windows was going to do. I was using my previous Droid, then my wife's old iPhone 5 in the meantime and just got a tablet to use as a tablet. After 6 months I began to miss the Windows operating system. To me, the lack of apps isn't a big deal, because everything I have needed was there, plus with all the websites are adding a mobile site, I just used the mobile site, no app needed. I still didn't want to invest a lot of money into a WP, and because I have the tablet, all I really wanted from a phone was to call, text, play music and occasionally surf the web and use the GPS maps. So I bought one of the ACERs off their site for 99 bucks, inserted a 64gb sd card and it works just fine until we see what Microsoft does with the rumored Surface phones. Even this cheap phone doesn't bog down like a top of the line Samsung Galaxy does because Android keeps loading apps

  • I've never owned a phone I found greatly superior to windows phone. The only reason I found myself going back to Android was because the lack off apps, which is the main reason why anyone switched back. The OS was greatly optimized and beautiful all it needed was to fix the app store problem and everyone would flock to there devices

    • Agree with much of what you say. I moved from a Samsung S3 Mini to a Lumia 735, and I was blown away by the elegance, speed, and simplicity of Windows Phone 8.1. It worked so very very well. And the quality of the camera hardware was astounding, and the software laden with manual controls. The sensor may only have been 6MP, but the quality of the photos remains leagues above my LG G4 (which is pretty darn good when it comes to photography).

      Alas, as my usage of smartphones grew, Windows Phone did not grow with me. The apps that I needed either began to disappear from the platform, or simply never existed for WP. Such a shame as it was a magnificent OS.

    • Microsoft has a bunch of apps that work really well on Android!

  • I was discussing this with a relative who owns a WP, I always took them to be more for business usage rather than personal entertainment purposes.

    Though now that the full suite of Windows apps are available to Android there is no need to use a inferior device.

    Peace ✌

  • A ridiculous title which simply isn't true. What every happened to professional journalism? I've owned an iPhone, a Blackberry and an Android, but the best phone I've ever owned and used is my Lumia Windows 10 phone.

  • My GF has a Lumia which came with 8.1. She upgraded to 10 and had all kinds of weird issues with the touch screen sensitivity. She downgraded to 8.1 again, which solved most problems, but with some apps not being available there, eventually upgraded again to 10. Now most issues seem to be solved, but still sometimes the phone loses it's data connection and other weird quircks. It's an extremely annoying phone. Budget phone, sure, but it's just a crap product.
    And then comes the fact that *still* many apps which are among my top 10 of apps I want to use, are not available on Windows 10 Mobile.
    Add to that how the whole unified apps approach has totally failed, and basically Windows 10 Mobile has been dead since day one.
    An OS plagued with bugs, mediocre software availability (and what is available is below par in quality compared to the Android / iOS versions of the same apps), limited hardware availability and ... not a single new decent phone in 2016...
    It's going the way of the Blackberry.

  • Xavier May 30, 2016 Link to comment

    Haha yeah it's dead, they design a new mobile operating system to get rid of it. Keep on hoping they'll get rid of it, we have a new build Wednesday. 😉😂

  • Windows 10 mobile still good

  • Clickbait headline Windows 10 Mobile is far from dead. Just because Microsoft cut the rest of the Nokia purchase and has shifted responsibility to the Microsoft Surface team to make their own in house phones and doesn't mean it's dead. It's just gettin started and we will start to see a shift next year as people take advantage of cross platform apps and enjoy the OS that nicer to look at than Apple and easier to use than Android.

  • Ravi May 30, 2016 Link to comment

    I feel Windows very fast stable but as far is India is concerned retailers let customer educate that higher the ram better the phone which is not correct optimization is also a very salute word that is why. Also iphone no one asks Ram or ROM what matters is consumer experience. So windows with good efficient pricing and GTM strategy us a welcome. Regards Ravi

  • Windows 10 mobile still good and won't be dead.Just coming with a new technique.I have a android phone and all other have the same...I need Unique os and windows 10 mobile is the os

  • I have recently made the move from Windows Mobile 10 to Android 5.02 and I must admit that I am (almost) completely satisfied with Android.

    Back in January 2014 my phone was a Nokia C6-02 running the latest version of Symbian (Belle) system. As you know, Symbian was then dead, in a very similar way to the current state of Windows Phone, and I opted for a Windows Phone smartphone because I believed that it was clearly a technically superior platform then the current Android version. So, I changed my old Nokia C6-02 for a Nokia Lumia 925.

    For about a year and a half I was (almost) completely satisfied with my Nokia Lumia 925 running Windows Phone 8.1. It had a beautiful AMOLED screen and an excellent camera. Of course I missed some apps on Windows Phone, but that was not a real issue and was largely compensated by the smoothness of the system and the beautifully simple and yet very useful live tiles.

    My problems with Microsoft and Windows Phone started back in June 2015 when I decided to engage the Windows Insider program and installed a beta version of Windows 10 Mobile on my Lumia 925. The early beta versions were unstable, but after a few months (and several updates) I was beginning to like Windows 10 Mobile, which run pretty well on my Lumia 925. Then some weird things became to happen: after each new beta build of Windows 10 Mobile, it was clear that my 925 run slowly then the previous build. As I am a retired software developer, my first though was that Microsoft were deliberately sabotaging the Lumia 925. Come on, we developers know that it's almost always possible to fine tune a system to 'restrained' hardware... A couple of months ago, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 Mobile would not be officially supported on "old" phones like the Lumia 925 (meaning that the once famous and expensive Lumia 1020 would not be supported). That was it, good bye Microsoft !

    So, in the beginning of May 2016, I decided to abandon Microsoft and then I bought my first Android phone, which is an Alcatel Idol 3 running Android 5.02. After the initial boot of the phone and after using it four a couple of hours, my first thought was that Android 5.02 is like a Symbian on steroids. Initially I did miss the live tiles and I hated the system drawer. Those of you which are familiar to Windows Phone certainly know what I mean: Windows Phone's apps menu is clearly superior to that. Also, I didn't like the desktop and the way to personalize it. After a week, I discover Nova Launcher and bought the paid version, which hugely improved my phone's usability. Also, I installed several apps I was missing on my old Lumia 925. So know I must admit that I took the right decision movin to Android.

    Finally, my answer the question "What are your thoughts on the passing of Windows 10 for mobile?" is that I firmly believe that on the next months and years it will become clear that Microsoft has taken a wrong path regarding Windows 10 Mobile. The system is very good and is superior to Android, but limiting it's use to "enterprise customers" will kill it, just like Blackberry was killed. Yet, as Microsoft is a giant enterprise and can afford to make big mistakes, that will not kill them.

    Windows 10 feature that should make the jump over to Android? Definitely live tiles! Come on, given the current screen size standard on Android is 4.5" minimum, using icons like back in Windows 3.1 is frustrating!

    • You should try a new Windows phone with Windows 10 Mobile now. It runs a lot better than the betas you were running before and there are a lot of new versions of apps prevsly not avaliable or in lower quality versions.

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