Windows 10 Mobile won’t get new features or hardware: Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore
Head of Microsoft’s Windows division Joe Belfiore says no new features or hardware are planned for Windows 10 Mobile.tech Updated: Oct 09, 2017 15:46 IST
If you’re still using a Windows-based smartphone, probably it’s time you switch to Android and iOS. Joe Belfiore, a Corporate Vice President in the Operating Systems Group at Microsoft, on Sunday revealed that the company is no longer putting its energy into building new features or hardware for the operating system.
“Of course we’ll continue to support the platform.. bug fixes, security updates, etc. But building new features/hw aren’t the focus,” Belfiore tweeted.
He also explained the reason why the company has decided to abandon the platform which doesn’t really surprise us. “We have tried VERY HARD to incent app devs. Paid money.. wrote apps 4 them.. but volume of users is too low for most companies to invest,” he said.
In all fairness, Microsoft did its best to push its Windows mobile platform, but Google’s Android and iOS always maintained the lead. In spite of investing in the developers and an ecosystem, the company also failed to find one disruptive hardware platform that could have boosted Windows’ presence in the mobile segment.
We have tried VERY HARD to incent app devs. Paid money.. wrote apps 4 them.. but volume of users is too low for most companies to invest. ☹️ https://t.co/ePsySxR3LB— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) October 8, 2017
Of course we'll continue to support the platform.. bug fixes, security updates, etc. But building new features/hw aren't the focus. 😟 https://t.co/0CH9TZdIFu— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) October 8, 2017
The company had launched its mobile operating system in 2000 and a Windows CE software for personal digital assistants, known as PDAs, in 1996. While Apple never looked back after its iPhone (2007), Google thrived with its open-source Android (2008), which allowed OEMs to develop a wide range of phones across price categories. Microsoft clearly failed to translate its prowess in the PC segment into the mobile phone segment.
According to netmarketshare, a website that tracks the market share of operating systems, Windows Phone currently has mere 0.87% market share. Google’s Android leads the segment with more than 65% share.
Before Belfiore’s disclosure, Microsoft had been sending signals about wrapping up its mobile phone business for a very long time. After acquiring Nokia’s phone business in 2014, the company wrote off $7.6 billion related to the deal, and announced laying off 7,800 employees in 2016. The last Windows-based phone was launched in India in 2016.
Microsoft in its earnings report for Q4 2016 revealed its revenue from the phone division had slumped by 81% compared to the same quarter last year. The company is estimated to have sold less than 1 million smartphones in 2016.
While Microsoft hasn’t officially announced the end of Windows 10 Mobile, Belfiore’s statement and the company’s changing course towards cloud and services, leave no scope of a comeback. That being said, even the company founder Bill Gates has moved to an Android smartphone.
First Published: Oct 09, 2017 15:45 IST