Goodbye to Windows Phone – Brief History of how Microsoft Lost to Android and Apple

//Goodbye to Windows Phone – Brief History of how Microsoft Lost to Android and Apple

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.

By |2017-10-23T16:33:16+00:00October 23rd, 2017|Technology|2 Comments


  1. Daniel Ogeto Omwancha November 5, 2017 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    So farewell then, Windows Phone. The world of digital technology is truly a jungle to the ones who don’t know how to navigate this jungle, well, the results are usually near tragic to say the least. This is the case Microsoft mobile. With the overwhelming number of innovative startups targeting the Android App market, and the wide fan-base, in the end, Android had too strong a lock on the mass market and Apple’s iPhone had time to become a strong enough enterprise player that Microsoft couldn’t unseat them both at one go. But, maybe with Microsoft’s intent to focus on Cloud technologies, all this doesn’t mean that, even now, Microsoft is entirely out of mobile. True, it has mostly switched its strategy to making sure that its apps run on Android and iOS instead, but it still has a toehold in the hardware world too. Take Windows 10 Mobile, which has some interesting features — particularly Continuum, which allows a smartphone like the HP Elite x3 to be connected to a big screen and keyboard and function pretty well as a desktop computer. But despite good reviews and a potential enterprise audience that’s still, for the most part, loyal to Microsoft on the desktop, these devices have seen limited success so far. There’s also a chance that, somewhere down the line, the work to make Windows 10 run on ARM processors will mean that Microsoft can get into the phone game again. Although this is mostly aimed at making laptops lighter and more energy efficient, that work could also help build Windows tablets and smartphones too. And, because these devices should run a full version of Windows 10, the app shortage issue will be less acute, because standard Windows apps will be supported. In the meantime, the dwindling band of Windows Phone loyalists are likely to continue to move to Android or iOS, making it even harder for Microsoft to have another go at mobile in future.

  2. Joan Miguel Siso Yancen December 21, 2017 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    It´s well known that Windows Phone’s death is a fact that has come happening from 2015, the low sales and the absence of launches have been announcing his disappearing from the market. It’s dreary for me because I waited more from Microsoft, it has been a company who has given a lot of promising works and his sudden exit makes us to question the reasons. However it’s not the end for this industry, maybe it’s just another beginning for the cloud computing. Interesting article!

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