An epitaph is a tweet with which Joe Belfiore, VP of Microsoft, has publicly announced the end of Windows Phone. Yesterday, the software giant has formalized what had been in the air for months: Microsoft will not develop new features or hardware for Windows 10 Mobile.
Few Windows Phone fans hoped that Microsoft would upgrade the platform with new features, but it is now clear that the operating system will not have a future and Microsoft will only maintain support for bug fixes and security updates for existing users.
During the development phase of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, it was already clear that Microsoft would no longer work on the mobile experience. The software development process has therefore been blocked by “feature2”, with fan disappointment.
The Microsoft Windows Phone platform has been dead for more than a year, but the company has never admitted it before. CEO Satya Nadella also seemed to have abandoned the mantra “mobile-first, cloud-first” by replacing it with the terms “intelligent cloud” and “intelligent edge.” It seems that Microsoft is working on a multi-device scenario and cloud technologies that will not necessarily include the world of Windows.
The poor Windows Phone is not even granted a glorious farewell: Belfiore himself, like Bill Gates days ago, admits he went to Android.
The crucial point of the issue is that developers have never been attracted to the idea of developing the app for Windows: the volume of users is indeed too low to stimulate the investment of companies and developers.
A past of small successes
From the arrival on the Mobile market, Microsoft has never really garnered the right credit for its commitment:
At the time of its launch on October 11, 2010, Windows Mobile immediately talked about its originality and audacity: the interface design was really new with iOS and Android. Completely distant from the icons of his two competitors, the colored tabs of Windows Phone crashed some users and fascinated others, making Microsoft’s intention to stand out clearly.
The operating system was launched on exclusive phones such as Samsung Omnia 7 with a 4 inch OLED display, Dell Venue Pro with the slider and HTC 7 Surround. But in the following year, in 2011, the real leap of quality with the arrival of Windows Phone 8X and 8S thanks to HTC and the launch of Lumia 800 with Nokia.
In 2013, Microsoft made an interesting contribution from the hardware point of view: it is the year of Lumia 1020 that, like the Nokia 808 PureView (with Symbian operating system), mounted a 41-megapixel camera.
However, the second half of 2013 also distinguishes itself from software-side issues with the Windows Phone operating system: emerging applications, such as Instagram, are delaying the release of Windows and the hostility between Google and Microsoft further causes problems. For example, YouTube is the application whose absence weighs more on users.
2014 is the year that Microsoft acquires Nokia and focuses on the Finnish brand: they follow a series of failed (re-positioned) attempts in the market, where Microsoft sets itself the ambitious goal of competing with high-end phones until the definitive deposition of weapons today and withdrawal.
The project of a full-screen Windows Phone
Just as Microsoft officially announces the withdrawal from the mobile technology market, Windows Central comes from the news that in the past of Windows Phone there was also a small, ambitious project: the unbranded screen, that is to say, we rejoiced fans of Apple Announces New iPhone X.
Remember Microsoft Lumia 435? Do not worry; you are not the only one to remember this model which was, in fact, a cheap device. At the time of development, code-named “Vela,” had been thought of as a “full-screen phone” available at less than $200. Of course, the project has not been successful, but Windows Central has nevertheless managed to have the prototype.
Windows Phone from 2015 to today has been little more than a survival within the Google/Apple duopoly. Despite all, its attempts to diversify, bankruptcy and route changes have contributed to shake the waters during the naval battle between the two big mobile technology and have shown new opportunities for companies still hopes to enter the Mobile market.