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Is this the end of Windows 10 Mobile?

Is this the end of Windows 10 Mobile?

Microsoft recently presented its current quarterly earnings report and de facto admitted: Windows 10 Mobile is dead. The operating system virtually plays zero role in the market, and that's not something Microsoft can or should brag about.  

It's probably best to deal with this saga like a band-aid. Rip it off with one quick motion to minimize the pain. Microsoft is probably taking this philosophy to heart now, and looking to put end to the Windows 10 Mobile experiment. The current business figures show the whole extent of Microsoft's misery: Windows 10 Mobile and Windows Phone have contributed just about five million dollars to the company's finances - which, considering the size of Microsoft, is a joke. Two years ago, when the mobile division was already showing signs of decay, it had still contributed around 1.4 billion dollars.

Smartphones took a central role when Microsoft introduced its new strategy around Windows 10. A single Windows experience for all devices - from PC, tablets, smartphones, to the Xbox and IoT devices. This is what Microsoft wanted to achieve, but now it seems like they are further away from this goal than ever before. This isn't solely because of its declining relevance in the smartphone market, but also due to the fact that the IoT evolution is happening without Microsoft or Windows.

During an earnings call, Microsoft CFO Amy Hood acknowledged the decline of the mobile division and couldn't give a positive outlook for its future. Hood stated that there was "no phone revenue to speak of" and that there would be negligible revenue from phones in the next quarter. The Windows 10 mobile sector in its current form is history, even if Microsoft has yet to officially pull the plug on the project. Even though Microsoft is still sending out updated versions of the Windows 10 Creators Edition, this won't change the fate of Windows Mobile.  

Of course this doesn't mean that Windows won't ever build another smartphone again. The solution on the distant horizon is called "Surface Phone" and fans the flames of the Lumia enthusiasts. The thought behind the Surface Phone is that it's a smartphone without a mobile OS. It would run the "normal" Windows 10 operating system with its own custom user interface. A core point would be that the smartphone could run all x86 applications, ie the normal Windows programs. Maybe this would the first step for smartphones to officially replace PCs in the future.

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The MIcrosoft Lumia 950 / © ANDROIDPIT

"In the future" is exactly the problem though. The Surface Phone has long been proverbial carrot, dangling on a stick in front of the tech community. The market however does not stand still. Samsung recently launched a solution with its DeX-Dock and despite all its weaknesses (price being the biggest issue), it still has the potential to set a quasi-standard.

The biggest question remains though: how big is the desire or need to connect your smartphone to a monitor, keyboard and mouse? At the moment this concept only satisfies an extremely niche market and this will turn out to be a huge problem for Microsoft. If you want to be successful in the mobile segment, you need a large base of "average" users, not a small niche of "specialists". I'm not sure how Microsoft wants to, or even could, tap into that potential market in the near future.

Source: Neowin, The Register

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  • Sorin Sep 11, 2018 Link to comment

    The success or failure of a phone model, or even a whole series of phones, is also given by the marketing price in relation to the facilities offered. Until now, the retail market has shown as clearly as expensive phones were unsuccessful if they did not offer facilities at the price, so that they were dedicated to good connoisseurs, they had very high claims. In this case and the risk is high, the higher the price of the phone.
    Technology shifts from day to day, and if these expensive phones fail to last for at least one year as a technological advance, then they will be overtaken by other cell phone models, from a lower-priced, but which offer the same performance. Also, the multitude of features offered is often much beyond the possibilities offered, the user normally using a relatively small set of applications.
    That's why manufacturers of lower renowned phones, in order to find their way to the market, have developed phones with the most desirable features of the users - so they have become very successful in sales and continue to impress on the endowments.
    On the other hand, big players with expensive phones, being somewhat less flexible to market demands, or even ignoring buyers' wishes, have developed handsets that were practically a total failure: an excessively high price for brand names only, and facilities already overtaken by phones at less than half the price, is the perfect recipe for bankruptcy.
    Because it's not, the phones are designed to be actually used by buyers, and not to be placed in a crystal display case.

    • Truth in what you say. And the U.S. market needs to open up to the lower price devices because not everyone wants to spend $1k or more for a phone. The carriers need to flex their political lobbying muscles to help that along. Just my two pfennig.

  • If windows phone is dying, Microsoft has to make hard choices. Keep the os' all to themselves, and continue with it's quagmire, or open-source it, and let developers have a stab at it. Take a loss now, for future potential.

  • I agree Microsoft as a mobile OS is irrelevant at this point, but as a top developer for apps to the remaining OS's, not at all. The best bet for MS at this point would be continuing its efforts on that matter, like they've been doing with Samsung lately that distributes their top apps by default, because software wise MS still has a lot to offer. Take Office apps for example surely the best of their kind, and Cortana that not only is a great AI assistant, it also greatly integrates W10 desktop and your smartphone.

  • I may catch a little flack here - but I wouldn't underestimate Microsoft. They have the money to keep a project alive if they want. The XBOX floundered until Live hit its stride. And public perception/acceptance can change in an instant with one really good product (hello, Samsung Galaxy S8). A full-blown PC in a phone would be a big deal - especially if maybe you could cast the screen to a monitor and use bluetooth keyboards and mice. I know I'd like that with my Android phone. I use Android phones, tablets, TV boxes, and even the Remix Mini as often as I can -- but there's a reality that Windows PCs are necessary and preferable in many situations, especially with my job.

  • koken May 2, 2017 Link to comment

    This is all because stupid Micro$oft's CEO Satya Nadella and what they did with Windows for phones: Windows had the chance to win the battle since it is a cool, smart and fast OS.

    If they had taken benefit from the pc compatibility they could have gotten lots of users thanks to it. But Nadella (lets just call him Nutella) prefered to give Android and iOS all Windows exclusives (Office, Skype, Cortana and even the keyboard), release some similar phones with crappy specifications most of them (Lumia 535, 640, 640 XL, 550, 650), ignore users demands and a total lack of advertisement. Add to this amazing mix that Micro$oft had been lying and kinda insulting its mobile users for years.

    I was a Windows user and had to move back to Android thanks to Micro$00N uselessness so, GO TO HELL MICRO$OFT WITH YOUR ####ING SURFACE PHONE. And despite my hartred, nobody's gonna buy it for it's amazing Continuum since nobody wants to connect a phone to a big screen to turn it into a computer because that's what laptops are for, people just want a phone with lots of phone apps.

    PS: your failure is gonna be my amusement Micro$00N, #### you x99999999 times and be a total failure again. Yeah, I'm kinda a hater now, but it's one of the effects this company has on its mobile users, it turns its most loyal users into haters after a long process of lies and betrayals

    Edited for offensive language.

  •   31
    Deactivated Account May 2, 2017 Link to comment

    Windows.. who.. what..?
    Microsoft was far too busy with Global domination... it's corporate head stuck somewhere so dark they couldn't see past their own arrogance..
    what goes around..
    shame about Nokia/Lumia..
    but really Nokia only had itself and it's own problems to blame, like Microsoft they both failed to move with the times..
    they both lost the smartphone battle long before they got together,
    leading to nothing but a massive multi billion dollar write off, Microsoft got what it deserved.
    Nokia has learned from this.
    Microsoft hasn't.

  • The whole rutted business of Lumia gives me the creeps. I have an eerie feeling that the whole fiasco was pre-planned by Microsoft, for some devious end. I noticed that by the end of 2014, Microsoft was beginning to pull the plugs on the whole plethora of Lumia advertising and publicity for reasons best known to itself. At a time when Lumia was generating a great amount of interest, still. It stopped ads, stopped bringing out new models, stopped trying to establish a flagship model of a Windows phone to compete with the iPhone and the Galaxy S flagships, and started ignoring the potential of expanding the app market. Truly, after this total ignoring of its own products, what company could have expected Lumia to survive, much less flourish? This sort of strategy, coming from a company with almost limitless resources and ability to take temporary losses, is explained only if you consider that it was a carefully orchestrated suicidal bid, to attain some nefarious objective. What that may be, I'd love to be enlightened about.

  • storm May 2, 2017 Link to comment

    Last mobile windows product I used was a Dell axim. The Axim was a good product but MS was killing WinCE off and never recovered from even that in mobile.

  • Mark
    • Admin
    May 2, 2017 Link to comment

    Windows was the death of Nokia. If they had gone android they may have still been top player. I have been reading rumors there is a new Windows phone coming out the same time as Surface Pro 5. I like windows on my PC it did nothing for on a phone and like Greg said there where no decent apps for it.

    SorinDeactivated Account

    •   31
      Deactivated Account May 2, 2017 Link to comment

      maybe that's where Windows truly belongs on a PC and where it should stay.. or just for folks who want a mobile extension of their PC.

  • I have a Lumia 820 stashed away in a draw somewhere in the house, and a 520. They were good phones, let down exceedingly badly through total lack of decent apps. Only good for use as a second alarm clock now. A shame.


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