Some 18 months ago, I wrote about the death of Windows on a phone. I’d been there. I saw how Microsoft chief executive, Steve Ballmer, laughed off the iPhone. I saw how many loyal fans were kicked away by Microsoft as continual reboots of the platform killed upgrade paths. I saw, in the Redmond HQ in Seattle, how glacially slow things were changing. The app store just didn’t have everything. Developers didn’t stick around and the competitors out-manoeuvred them.
Eventually, and after I posted a number of articles detailing the collision course with the iceberg, it smashed into it and went down.
Still though, there was a rumours of a new platform or a new phone. Perhaps a new solution for Microsoft fans wanting a mobile phone with Windows.
Sadly not. Today it’s (finally) official, and there is to be no more Windows mobile operating system.
It’s a double punch too, with plenty of pain for any remaining Windows Mobile / Windows Phone / Windows 10 Mobile fans.
First, the new Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, has admitted that he wasn’t a fan of the route Ballmer was taking. Ballmer strong-armed the purchase of the Nokia mobile division, and Nadella voted “no” when it was put to a vote.
In his new book, Nadella states that it all seemed fruitless…
I did not get why the world needed the third ecosystem in phones, unless we changed the rules… But it was too late to regain the ground we had lost. We were chasing our competitors’ taillights.
Now, Windows 10 chief, Joe Belfiore, has landed the second punch. He’s admitted that the mobile version of Windows is no longer a focus, and he has, just like Bill Gates, switched to Android.
Android and iPhone apps is where the Microsoft mobile direction is now, and it does seem to be serving them better. The idea of “universal” apps, which run on both phones and PC’s, is pretty much dead too.
A set of tweets, responding to queries from concerned customers, states that support for the OS will continue, but Microsoft will no longer build any new features.