Microsoft Once Again Backs Away from Windows 10 Mobile

Subject: Mobile | October 8, 2017 - 03:14 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10 mobile, windows 10

Windows 10 Mobile has been in a holding pattern for a couple of years now. Microsoft has not really announced any new hardware initiatives, but they were also saying, consistently, that the platform would get revisited in some other year. Likewise, they were keeping the mobile OS up-to-date, even tying Insider builds roughly in lockstep with PC build releases. If you were also paying attention to the Windows on ARM announcements, you could assume that Microsoft was waiting for several pieces to fall into place before pushing, once more, with all of their weight.



Today, Joe Belfiore of Microsoft has tweeted that features and hardware “aren’t the focus”. Windows Central goes on to note that some enterprises have already adopted Windows 10 Mobile.



He also goes on to discuss initiatives that they’ve attempted to attract app developers. They commissioned works, and even built apps to get third-parties started. They didn’t take off because there wasn’t enough users. (Personally, I was scared off by development requirements and restrictions back in the Windows 8 Developer Preview days, which is an ongoing issue with UWP. That said, the developers that Joe Belfiore is talking about are the type who would publish on iOS, so that’s not an issue for them.)

But let’s think about this for a second. Microsoft still seems to be pushing Windows 10 for ARM, and it’s ever-less likely to be for an upcoming mobile initiative. So, why are they doing that? I can see how they would be concerned that Intel and AMD, in the future, repeat the mistakes of ~2007-2010 and fail to keep up with ARM vendors on an important market segment (which was tablets and mobile phones at the time, but might not be going forward). It could be a good opportunity to make this big change while the rest of the company is struggling with many other big changes, rather than waiting for the dust to settle to try again (although that’s already happened a few time over the last several years). Also, there are some implications for the server market, although I always assumed things like x86 emulation was for the consumer and enterprise markets.

It’s also possible that they don’t really have a cohesive plan. Some of these ideas could be running on momentum alone, until they gradually come to a stop.

October 8, 2017 | 08:03 PM - Posted by 1984 (not verified)

From MS's behaviour I have come to the following conclusions

- they are destroying Ballmer's legacy. It seems like anything and everything the man touched is being undone, especially Windows Phone.

- They're busy creating a new product line for the mobility space, uber secret.

October 9, 2017 | 03:55 AM - Posted by ET3D

- they are destroying Ballmer's legacy. It seems like anything and everything the man touched is being undone, especially Windows Phone.

I don't see how it's even possible to destroy what Ballmer affected. Ballmer was CEO from 2000 to 2014. Apart from building Windows and Office to almost where they are today, he built the Xbox and Surface brands, which I think are still going strong. He's also done a lot of things which then died during his tenure, so if anything, getting rid of stuff is completely in his spirit.

Can you elaborate what exactly you're alluding to, apart from Microsoft getting out of phone space?

October 9, 2017 | 08:48 AM - Posted by ItsAllOnTheSatNadsCloud (not verified)

Developers Developers Developers do not want anything to do with any M$ Burning Phone Platform. The Developers know that M$'s past history with M$'s phone OS support has always gone up in smoke with the Developers thrown into the fire.

" but volume of users is too low for most companies to invest" has always been what will occur with M$ and its phone ambitions and Developers will just be wasting their time and resources on any M$ phone ecosystem. UWP may just be the platform to cause M$'s PC/Laptop OS domination to burn likewise as it's been very hard for M$ to get people to move away from Windows 7 and give up so much freedom and control related to the users' PC/Laptop hardware.

"they are destroying Ballmer's legacy", not really they are just continuing the movement away from M$ as an OS only company that was started under Ballmer and Windows 8, and Nadella only knows the cloud so there is only a little more than 2 years before Windows 7 goes EOL and 3 more after that before Windows 8.1 is EOL also.

Windows 10's gains are mostly because it's been forced on new PC/laptop hardware and Only Gamers's mostly want/need to use Windows 10 for DX12 games but Vulkan will be more widely avaialable across Windows/Linux and phone/tablets so there will be many staying on windows 7, 8.1 or moving to Linux the closer it gets to 2020-2023.

There is a reason that most folks did not choose Apple and its closed ecosystem for their PC/laptops and M$ appears to have forgotten that PC/Laptop users did not necassarly ever like M$. It's just that M$'s OS/OS ecosystem was more open than Apple's closed ecosystem and Windows 7 stayed mostly out of the way and out its users business. Windows 10 is still not going to be adopted until most people have no choice after 2023 and there will be many still running Windows 7 after 2020, even more than did the same with windows XP.

Really I think that M$ could care less about it's consumer OSs and maybe Nadella would just want to make use of Android/iOS based devices that use M$'s Cloud based Office software with M$ only caring about its more profitable Windows 10 enterprise customers and M$ Azure Cloud services revenue streams. M$ has its Android Apps running on its M$ Azure Cloud services platform and that's what is most important to Nadella. M$ does not care about its consumer PC/Laptop OS users anymore as that base is shrinking relative to the numbers of consumers using phones and tablets.

And Nadella will already have had all of M$ productivity Apps working on Android, and iOS, in addition to the PC/Laptop OSs as Azure cloud based services. And M$'s productivity software has already been ported to M$'s cloud services hosted on it's Azure Cloud and made available cross PC/Laptop/Phone/Tablet Platform under Windows/MacOS/Android/iOS.

Windows 10 will be the OS that M$ will provide on PC/Laptops with M$ treating the end users in a similar manner to any phone/tablet Cloud driven app ecosystem users. And M$'s productivity software is already based in the Azure cloud and Windows 10 will become more like Google's Chrome OS and less and less like a PC/laptop OS of the past. And M$'s main cash cow Apps will all run across OS platforms from M$'s Asure Cloud services. M$ is becoming more and more like Google every day, Just look at Windows 10-S to see where Windows OS is going.

Under Nadella if Developers will note come to M$'s platform then M$ will come to the developers under any OS PC/Laptop/Phone/Tablet OS/platform because eventually Windows 10 S will be the only consumer OS available and Windows 10 S will be no different than Crome OS/Android OS/iOS Etc. So M$ will be in the cloud under any OS ecosystem that makes use of any M$ producticvity/other apps running under on any OS with those cloud based apps hosted on M$'s Azure Cloud platform.

Satya(The Cloud) Nadella will have M$ totally in the cloud in not too many more years and that's just part of Ballmer's long Range devices/services master plan.

October 9, 2017 | 04:56 PM - Posted by CNote

Im not sure if im the only one but as soon as I see M$ i stop reading

October 9, 2017 | 09:29 PM - Posted by EnjoyYourXBONEdOSandGamingFuture (not verified)

So what! M$ it will be until M$'s desktop OS market share goes below 50% and enjoy the windows 10-S because after 2020 that's going to be all the consuemer gets from the M$$$$ folks in Redmond.

SatNad's got you there right by the SatNads!

Vulkan will have a much larger install base, and SatNad in all about the cloud.

October 9, 2017 | 09:38 AM - Posted by Gunbuster

So lets see, because they could not give up the idea of that 20% app store profit skim (on the effectively zero apps they had on mobile screw the fans reboot try number three) They ignored the possibility of running android apps on their own ecosystem and in the process killed everything off probably to the tune of 15 billion dollars...

Now they are stuck creating apps in the play store, oops.

October 9, 2017 | 11:24 AM - Posted by remc86007

It really makes one wonder what android apps on Windows Mobile would have done for them. Having left my 950XL for an iPhone (after extensively trying out a S8 and hating it), I still think that Windows 10 Mobile was far and away the best OS of the three. but the lack of apps meant it was a non-starter for consumers.

October 10, 2017 | 01:49 AM - Posted by ET3D

They didn't ignore the idea. In fact, they had it in beta. I think it was hard to do because most apps require Google Play Services, and it was either hard to emulate or legally thorny ground.

October 9, 2017 | 01:56 PM - Posted by Michael Rand (not verified)

I can see the Surface line getting the chop soon to.

October 9, 2017 | 03:04 PM - Posted by Mark Granger (not verified)

If full Windows 10 for ARM could be turned into a small tablet sized phone and ran all Windows apps (via cross-compilation or bitcode) including big ones like Photoshop and Visual Studio, I think it could do quite well indeed. 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB storage and i5 or better performance with the ability to hook up to a large monitor and keyboard via a tiny dock and you would have something very interesting indeed.

October 10, 2017 | 08:42 AM - Posted by Gunbuster

Yeah and a UFO to fly around the world in an hour would be great too.

If Win 10 on ARM was high performing they would have products out. It's been months. No one wants Atom 2-in-1 performance all over again but for $1500 in a phone handset form factor.

October 9, 2017 | 10:07 PM - Posted by Joe (not verified)

And the answer is... UWP, at least as far as the development angle. It's yet another pointless SDK to deal with. In part, it was obviously an attempt to create a closed system, which is the antithesis of the Windows platform.

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