Microsoft's decision to scale back its first-party smartphone operations last week has led to questions about the company's commitment to its mobile operating system. According to the company's chief executive, however, Windows 10 smartphones will play a major part in the company's plans, thanks to the Windows ecosystem.
In a wide-ranging interview with ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said one of the reasons the company made the computer version of Windows 10 free is to "improve our phone position." Why will having Windows 10 come to computers aid Microsoft's position in the smartphone market? Because of its universal Windows application platform, Nadella said, noting that "all of this comes down to how are you going to get developers to come to Windows."
Microsoft hopes Windows 10 will bring developers to its entire ecosystem
"If you come to Windows, you are going to be on the phone, too," he explained. "Even if you want to come to Windows because of HoloLens, you want to come to it because of Xbox, you want to come to the desktop, all those get you to the phone. It's not about let's do head-on competition. That will never work. You have to have a differentiated point of view."
Nadella hit on many issues during the interview, though he primarily championed the strength of the Windows ecosystem and reiterated that the company has no plans to exit the smartphone market. He specifically pointed to Terry Myerson's comments that premium first-party smartphones will be released in the near future.
Despite the recent focus on Microsoft's Lumia smartphones, Nadella said it's also important that the company continues to work with third-party hardware manufacturers to bring Windows to more consumers. If partners don't build Windows devices, though, "we'll build them," he said, because Microsoft's focus "is about the overall health of Windows."