After a long time of silence and only half-answers, we now have some plain speak by Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Windows, on the company's current and future plans for Windows 10 Mobile.
As pundits and observers have claimed for a while now, as far as Microsoft is concerned, Windows 10 Mobile is more or less on life support. Belfiore today clarified that Microsoft will continue to push out bug fixes and security updates for the platform but if you're holding out any hope for new features or hardware, you really shouldn't.
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
When directly asked if it's time to leave the Windows Mobile platform, Joe's response was a nuanced yes. In fact, he even admitted that like Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, he too has switched to Android. If the man in charge of a platform is no longer using it, that doesn't exactly inspire confidence in others to stick with it, either.
(1/2) Depends who you are. Many companies still deploy to their employees and we will support them! ... https://t.co/LKQBL3w7gA— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) October 8, 2017
(2/2) As an individual end-user, I switched platforms for the app/hw diversity. We will support those users too! Choose what's best 4 u. https://t.co/LKQBL3w7gA— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) October 8, 2017
If you're wondering why Microsoft has seemingly abandoned its platform, Belfiore lays the blame squarely on the massive app gap and the lack of developer interest in filling it. Belfiore explains that despite the company even paying for developers to bring their apps to the platform, the number of users on the platform was just not large enough.
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
In one of his final tweets on the matter, Belfiore remarked that most of the company's users on Windows, Office, and Xbox are already on Android and iOS and that they tend to prefer this cross-platform approach. It seems that after years of trying to court them to its own mobile platform, Microsoft has thrown in the towel and accepted things as they are. If you can't beat them, join them and that's exactly what Microsoft is now doing by bringing a majority of its services to competing mobile platforms.
Though these tweets may appear to be the death knell for Microsoft's mobile ambitions, the company is still rumoured to be working on something called Andromeda. How those plans will factor into Microsoft's current direction for mobile computing remains to be seen.
Via: Windows Central