Windows Phone is dead. Now what?


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Active.    1,700
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Windows Phone started off life as a promising alternative to Android and iOS five years ago. Microsoft positioned its range of Windows Phone 7 handsets as the true third mobile ecosystem, but it's time to admit it has failed. If a lack of devices from phone makers and even Microsoft itself wasn't enough evidence, the final nail in the coffin hit today. Microsoft only sold 4.5 million Lumia devices in the recent quarter, compared to 10.5 million at the same time last year. That's a massive 57 percent drop. Even a 57 percent increase wouldn't be enough to save Windows Phone right now.[...]

With Lumia sales on the decline and Microsoft's plan to not produce a large amount of handsets, it's clear we're witnessing the end of Windows Phone.  [...]

it's the end of the line. Farewell, Windows Phone.

[Source]

 

So with that out of the way. What's next for MS's mobile/handheld efforts? Are they going to build upon Android/iOS to offer their services? Is there still a future for Windows (of some kind) on phones?

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Anibal P    2,056

They'll keep it on life support, they know they have a few thousand fanboys who still care and will cater to them for a little longer 

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Jim K    16,031

I think with the rising popularity/sales of Microsoft's Surface ... they really need to release a phone under that name.  At the same time...they can not expect to sale the devices at equal to or higher than the competitions price ... or people will not jump ship. 

 

I wouldn't call Windows Phone dead yet as Anibal said ... Microsoft is keeping it on life support.  It will be dead when they've decided that enough is enough...which could be much sooner than later. 

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Active.    1,700
2 minutes ago, jjkusaf said:

It will be dead when they've decided that enough is enough...which could be much sooner than later. 

So let's speculate, if they did that: what would be their mobile story? Are we sure this could actually happen. I'm assuming they have the resources to drag WP along endlessly regardless of its success.

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scumdogmillionaire    373

I was on Windows Phone starting with Windows Mobile 5 -> 6. Then I got a Samsung Focus (WP7), a 920 and then an 830 when the 920 died. My wife followed a similar path but ended at the 920. We both loved the platform but the app thing was getting really old.

 

I was in the Insider Preview since July on my daily driver, and just didn't see improvements. I felt Windows 10 Mobile was a disaster and saw the writing on the wall. After seeing the 950 and being completely disappointed after waiting for a worthy upgrade, I finally gave up.

 

We both moved to iPhone 6s in November. While I think WP is a superior OS, honestly the Microsoft apps are BETTER on iOS than WP. It's really sad. Don't regret the move one bit.

 

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+devHead    2,171

Please, as soon as I saw it was more Windows hating FUD from the Verge, I tuned out.  I will say that I got an iPad, and find it to be awesome as a tablet compared to my wife's Windows 10 tablet.

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Jim K    16,031
2 minutes ago, Active. said:

So let's speculate, if they did that: what would be their mobile story? Are we sure this could actually happen. I'm assuming they have the resources to drag WP along endlessly regardless of its success.

Good question ... which I don't know.  In reality I do not think they will bail out of the mobile market all together ... because it is (still) a growing sector as these devices are becoming more powerful and productive.  Microsoft is in a predicament...one of which I do not know how they get out of.  Consumers are pretty much split between Android and iOS and it will be hard to pry those devices from their hands.  It isn't just having something better to offer (say a more powerful phone and UI/UX) ... but also and incentive to switch.  Once you've invested in a particular ecosystem (be it Windows, OSX, iOS, Android) it is hard to move ... at least for a lot of people (which MS needs).  What does WP offer that I can not get with Android or iOS?    Continuum?  Ability to have a similar experience on the phone as I do on a W10 machine?  None of that stuff interest me ... and I'm not sure if it interest users of Android or iOS either.  My web browsing history is synced because of Chrome; my items are stored on Drive/OneDrive...I mean I just do not see the need to abandon Android for a WP.  Of course the biggest issue with WP is the app gap...off the top of my head I have two very important apps on Android (both financial) which aren't on the WP.  But this isn't about me ... I just think it highlights a problem Microsoft has.  They release their own apps for competing phones before they do for their platform?  I just don't get it ... nor do I know where they go from here.  Heck...they may just want to start releasing Android phones.

:)

 

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dead.cell    4,799
5 minutes ago, scumdogmillionaire said:

I was on Windows Phone starting with Windows Mobile 5 -> 6. Then I got a Samsung Focus (WP7), a 920 and then an 830 when the 920 died. My wife followed a similar path but ended at the 920. We both loved the platform but the app thing was getting really old.

 

I was in the Insider Preview since July on my daily driver, and just didn't see improvements. I felt Windows 10 Mobile was a disaster and saw the writing on the wall. After seeing the 950 and being completely disappointed after waiting for a worthy upgrade, I finally gave up.

 

We both moved to iPhone 6s in November. While I think WP is a superior OS, honestly the Microsoft apps are BETTER on iOS than WP. It's really sad. Don't regret the move one bit.

 

You're not alone. I had a friend finally switch to the dark side as well this Christmas. He had stuck it out with Microsoft since the Mobile 6 days as well, back when I was still using a flip-phone lol.

 

You're absolutely right though. The OS is not bad at all; however, if I'm going to avoid an iPhone, I likely want to be able to do more with my phone. Unfortunately, that means having apps and customization. For those who want that? There's Android running with flagship devices with choices. Outside of that though, not many people are looking over to the Lumias saying, "Hey man, what's THAT?!"

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Pork Chopper    126

Any phone without quality apps will fail.

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Hurmoth    518
32 minutes ago, vcfan said:

the verge lol

Tom Warren, who use to be with Neowin, wrote the article. While normally I'd say the same thing, he's one of the few writers there I trust.

 

And at any rate, he isn't wrong, just look at the numbers. How long can Microsoft justify to shareholders that a failing product is worth keeping around, at least in the current form?

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techbeck    7,583

Just an opinion piece.  Anything could happen.

 

With that said, MS will not get rid of WP anytime soon, if ever.   MS has the money to keep to keep it going for a long time and their egos wont let them admit defeat.    Look how long BB is staying afloat....MS has the means to keep WP around for a much longer time.

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LUTZIFER    473

Better not be dead. I just finally got one.

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LUTZIFER    473
1 hour ago, Pork Chopper said:

Any phone without quality apps will fail.

Windows Phone has been around since long before there was such thing as apps, and it didn't fail. Obviously it didn't do well since Windows Phone still isn't popular even though it's been around longer than iPhone.

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mrdeezus    42

As a windows fan I agree but this isn't actually news anymore......MS was late and kept changing which hurt development of apps, that and no marketing whatsoever because why market something that is always incomplete? Then there's the Zune music software/xbox music fiasco, laughing at the iPhone, lack of apps and featureless common apps like FB and twitter. I have had a lot of windows phones and where they lost me was Zune software, I originally got a WP because of it and fell in love with music again...now the groove app is ok but no where near what Zune was.....software I mean. Now we have the 950 series failure, which is basically a developers phone that is broken. BT doesn't work, restarts, no apps and iris scanning that isn't consistent. I can't even set a ringtone without settings crashing! MS just released a ringtone maker that doesn't even work on their flagship phone!!! What MS shouldn't do is release a Surface phone with W10M on it that doesn't RUN ANDROID OR IOS APPS natively. And google play If it android. W10M would be a nice android skin and that's how they will succeed and at the same time work on a dedicated OS that will run those apps natively on all platforms. MS will make a big mistake if they tarnish the Surface name by releasing a mobile handset with W10M it will not save it because there are no apps!! period. That's the bottom line, no one wants a phone with no app support.

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7Dash8    560
2 hours ago, Active. said:

Is there still a future for Windows (of some kind) on phones?

There's only a chance for Windows phones if Microsoft can grasp the fact that most people are familiar with the power of traditional Windows on the desktop, and would buy a phone which closely mimics that experience.

 

Unfortunately, Microsoft has taken the opposite approach of creating an inferior, watered-down mobile OS, and then trying to get most of their user base to get accustomed to that same inferior watered-down experience on the desktop.

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Michael Scrip    495
10 minutes ago, mrdeezus said:

As a windows fan I agree but this isn't actually news anymore......MS was late and kept changing which hurt development of apps, that and no marketing whatsoever because why market something that is always incomplete? Then there's the Zune music software/xbox music fiasco, laughing at the iPhone, lack of apps and featureless common apps like FB and twitter. I have had a lot of windows phones and where they lost me was Zune software, I originally got a WP because of it and fell in love with music again...now the groove app is ok but no where near what Zune was.....software I mean. Now we have the 950 series failure, which is basically a developers phone that is broken. BT doesn't work, restarts, no apps and iris scanning that isn't consistent. I can't even set a ringtone without settings crashing! MS just released a ringtone maker that doesn't even work on their flagship phone!!! What MS shouldn't do is release a Surface phone with W10M on it that doesn't RUN ANDROID OR IOS APPS natively. And google play If it android. W10M would be a nice android skin and that's how they will succeed and at the same time work on a dedicated OS that will run those apps natively on all platforms. MS will make a big mistake if they tarnish the Surface name by releasing a mobile handset with W10M it will not save it because there are no apps!! period. That's the bottom line, no one wants a phone with no app support.

Microsoft didn't do too well with their own mobile OS... so they should become one of 1,000 other Android makers?

 

I realize they're out of ideas... but this one doesn't seem so hot.

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FloatingFatMan    21,369
5 hours ago, vcfan said:

the verge lol

That's right, when you have zero argument, attack the source instead. Sad.

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FloatingFatMan    21,369
4 hours ago, LUTZIFER said:

Windows Phone has been around since long before there was such thing as apps, and it didn't fail. Obviously it didn't do well since Windows Phone still isn't popular even though it's been around longer than iPhone.

Incorrect. Windows Phone post-dates the mobile app revolution, by a considerable margin. You're thinking of Windows Mobile, which was an entirely different beast.  It's not just a rebrand, you know... It's a completely different OS.

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LostCat    1,632
7 minutes ago, FloatingFatMan said:

That's right, when you have zero argument, attack the source instead. Sad.

I don't know enough about The Verge to say much about it, but some news sites definitely have a strong anti MS bias to the point of posting really pathetic pieces.

 

As for W10M, I wouldn't say it's dead until MS does.  People who do like the platform are likely waiting for the 10 rollout to finally occur, and the mid ranged phones.  The 650 should be a good start, but I don't know what else they have planned (does anyone?)

 

Until those releases happen and/or MS actually opens up about its future plans, it's just a very awkward time to buy.

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Above The Gods    453

For me, the answer for Microsoft's mobile efforts is easy: abandon the windows phone hardware and bolster their software, service and consultancy expertise around iOS. Look at the IBM + Apple partnership (https://www.apple.com/business/mobile-enterprise-apps/). That should have been Microsoft. IBM basically builds custom apps for business customers and provides data analytic, while Apple provides the hardware and special AppleCare for business.

 

Why hasn't Microsoft worked to pre-install Office on iPads in education? (https://www.apple.com/education/preview/) Why don't we hear much about Windows Intune for iPhones, iPads and other bring-your-own devices? Why isn't swift (now opened source) supported in visual studio?

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sorlag    53

Microsoft arrived late for nearly everything and fought against big market leaders until it dominated each space. If only young Bill Gates was back, with his skills... He would stomp phone competition as a young hungry microsoft leader, that he was back then.

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LostCat    1,632
1 minute ago, sorlag said:

Microsoft arrived late for nearly everything and fought against big market leaders until it dominated each space. If only young Bill Gates was back, with his skills... He would stomp phone competition as a young hungry microsoft leader, that he was back then.

Back then, they were hit with an antitrust lawsuit that basically paralyzed them (to some degree.)  Which is funny, because other companies later basically got away with murder compared.

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Raa    1,612

Switch to Android or iOS... Simple.

 

When WM6.5 ended I went Android and never looked back.

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Above The Gods    453
6 minutes ago, randomevent said:

Back then, they were hit with an antitrust lawsuit that basically paralyzed them (to some degree.)  Which is funny, because other companies later basically got away with murder compared.

Windows Mobile was released in 2000, right after the anti-truth issues. Microsoft basically failed on it's own.

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