Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore has finally come out and admitted that Windows Phone is stone dead.
Belfiore’s belated admission comes after HP Inc had been forced to kill off its plans to expand the Elite X3 three-in-one mobile device, which can be used like a (Windows Phone) mobile phone on the move, but will plug-in to a docking device to be used like a PC in the home or office.
Windows Experience chief Belfiore confirmed via Twitter that the company had put the mobile platform in “service mode”, which means that it will continue to provide security and bug fixes, but will no longer continue development.
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
The move is cemented by Microsoft’s alternative mobile strategy that has seen a dedicated Microsoft browser and a mobile version of Edge for Android, instead of trying to conquer the mobile market via its own Windows-based operating system.
The company has bought several major apps to boost its presence in other ecosystems, including Swiftkey and Wunderlist.
Although the platform effectively died when Microsoft closed its Lumia unit more than a year ago, the company has never openly admitted that the thousands of staff that were laid off meant the end for Windows Phone.
Belfiore said that one of the biggest problems had been lack of app support. He added that despite working alongside a number of partners to produce their Windows Phone apps, and even pay them to have a presence in the Windows Phone app store, the volume of customers hadn’t justified continued support for development.
The goal had been to get adoption for Continuum – the feature in Windows 10 that enabled users to switch between computer and mobile of the same device. In the event, the demand wasn’t as strong as people thought, and problems in development meant it wasn’t ready at launch.
This combined with repeated delays in updating Windows Phone meant that it simply couldn’t catch on.
That means no (more) Continuum, and no Surface Phone as the company shifts its attention to compatible software for Windows 10, rather than the mobile platform, which cost the company many millions to develop.
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