Is windows phone dead?

This article certainly collects a lot of opinions (facts even?) supporting the inevitable conclusion this is true:


I think the tech press in general loves the “Is [Technology X] dead?” theme. I also think there’s some wishful thinking involved, because the tech press in general dotes on Apple, and covers Android because they have no choice, given the scale of its success in numbers.

I’m an unabashed fan of Windows Phone. Never owned an iPhone, so I can’t make a direct comparison, but I did own, and use, a Nexus 7 tablet for a while, and for all that there are indeed more apps in the Google Play store, the difference was mostly which games were available (at the time, Candy Crush Saga had not yet been released for WP) and apart from that, there was SO much crap to wade through in the Play store.

Personally, I hate the thought of having to choose between a device where Google controls my info, or overspending in the Apple ecosystem. But that’s not relevant to whether the platform itself will survive. I think Windows Phone is a solid OS. I think that it’s better in many respects than the competition. But it’s also not gaining traction. So unless the Universal Windows Platform (or whatever it’s being called this week) thrives, then it’s going to be a difficult road for Windows Phone.

It may well be that tactically, it’s a market that Microsoft needs to stay in, regardless of whether their market share ever grows. We’ll see. I will probably hang in as long as the devices are good, and the OS keeps giving me what I need. So I’m not ready to call it dead yet.


It certainly seems that standalone phone products built by Microsoft are being given the ax, but it’s not clear to me what the future of Windows Mobile as an operating system is. Certainly, it has a huge uphill climb in terms of share (and this makes that worse), but everything I have read so far is about the phone product line - not the Universal app platform or Mobile OS.

Personally, (before I went all NETMF-distracted) I developed for all three platforms (iOS, Android and Windows) and generally used Xamarin and Universal apps to get coverage across seven platforms and form factors (Windows Desktop, tablet, phone; iOS tablet, phone; Android tablet, phone). WinPhone is just a small incremental bump in effort to get in one more app store, so I will keep it in the matrix for the forseeable future.

@ devhammer - I definitely agree - from a usability and programmability standpoint, I am a big winphone fan. I have one of each form factor in all three platforms, but winphone is what I carry with me.

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@ mcalsyn -

Personally, (before I went all NETMF-distracted)

Boy, that describes me to the T as well. Can’t seem to focus on anything but these baby boards.

I read on my local newspaper during the lunch that MS will fire 7800 of people in the mobile branch…

Yes, and that bothers me. Who knows what would have happened to Nokia if the acquisition had not occurred, but I think whatever would have happened, it probably would not have resulted in disrupting this many lives and livelihoods in this short a time.

Making strategy mistakes and enduring the consequences is a fact of life for businesses - it happens, but when you make an acquisition and then say “oopsie” and let massive numbers of people go, well, I can’t help but really feel for these folks – people who put their trust, faith and livelihoods in the hands of other people who made bad choices and who will very likely still have jobs when the dust settles.

I truly do care about and support the company I work for, but there’s no way that you can look at this situation and not feel a) deep sympathy for the affected folks and b) a cold wind at your back.


@ mcalsyn - I think it’s entirely possible that without the acquisition, Nokia would have gone out of business, or perhaps attempted (a la Blackberry) to salvage their handset business by a switch to Android. That strategy (the strategy du jour) doesn’t seem to be working for Blackberry, and I doubt it would’ve worked for Nokia.

So while it’s a bummer for the ~7800 being laid off, I’m guessing that at least that many would’ve lost their jobs absent the acquisition. You are correct that there’s no way for us to know for sure, but Nokia was hardly in a healthy position before being acquired, so it’s not hard to guess that some would probably have gotten the axe either way.

@ devhammer - You may well be right - I don’t know how healthy/unhealthy there were, so maybe it was to be either way.

Did you know that Nokia will soon start to build phones again :slight_smile:
When MS bought the phone branch from Nokia, the defined a deadline by which Nokia is not allowed to sell phones.
This ends some when this or next year.
After this, Nokia plans to build phones again. If I remember right, it will be WindowsPhones.

I’d suggest reading this:

Microsoft has not bowed out, they have a plan to release fewer phones targeting Value, Business, and Flagship with 1-2 devices per category, likely regular and XL. It did not serve Microsoft well to A) make 50 variants and B) be the dominant player in the Windows Phone market. It’s hard to get Samsung to make a phone when you’re taking 95% market share. It’s far better to do like the Surface division where you make a couple of reference models, then help manufacturers get similar products out to the market.

This is more like pruning a plant to make it grow better as opposed to killing it.


I agree with everyone that Windows Phone is better than the other platforms for many compelling reasons. However, I also believe that we’ve now had enough time in this smartphone business to know that the world just does not want more than two options in this space. It’s just too expensive to develop apps for more platforms and nearly impossible to convince people that understand math that they should invest in building apps for a platform with such a small market share. Apps are why we have phones and as long as the phone isn’t just terrible (think sub $50 Android phones…) then most consumers don’t really care which OS they’re running.

So, the only thing that I see that could possibly turn the current tide would be for Microsoft to develop some technology for the phone that is so new & huge that people flock to it or for Apple to continue on their current path of not really innovating. I don’t really see much hope for either of these strategies. However, I’m still carrying my Lumia 920 and have been eagerly awaiting a new flagship phone that will make me want to upgrade. The lack of information in that regard so close to the Win10 release date also doesn’t give me much confidence. I also lost a lot of confidence when Microsoft themselves started releasing app updates for other platforms before its own. As much as that may make sense from a statistical point of view, its just a dumb move if you want to show consumers you believe in your own products.

For example… Just 10 seconds ago I received an email from Microsoft announcing the glorious news that “the new Power BI Preview app for Android is now available!” No such thing exists for Windows Phone.

July 27 - OnePlus Two will be officially announced! :dance:

Tempting… OnePlus One is a really nice phone and is top of my list outside of Windows Phone.

Some of the details on Two that are in the open already:

Type C connector
Fingerprint Sensor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v2.1

I love my Windows Phone, but let me tell you a story that is repeated many times across many products at Microsoft that will help demonstrate a much larger problem that exists within Microsoft and has for years.

The date is September 4, 2014, location Berlin at the IFA. Microsoft demos and announces the Lumia 830 and Lumia 730/735 and a bunch of really cool features of the Windows Phone. They announce that the Lumia 830, 735/730 will be available globally that month. Great as my Wife needed a new phone and the 730 was pretty much on the button for what she wanted. So I wait and start calling around to see where I can get it, nowhere. I wait and try again, nowhere. After awhile I got so pissed that I started calling the Microsoft store everyday asking when it would be available and eventually had to buy something else, its still not available at stores in Canada. The iPhone 6 was announced September 9, 2014 and it was available globally that month, so it was actually possible to do it. Now this is hardly a unique occurrence with Microsoft, I’d like to get a Microsoft Band announced in October 2014, nope can’t get it here.

Its not a secret that I don’t like marketing, but I understand that its part of business so I do it, but if I was the head of Microsoft I would have fired every single person involved in the production, marketing and distribution of the Windows Phone. Empty offices would have done a better job then they did. The phones are great but if you can’t get them into the hands of your customers, it just doesn’t matter. I sometimes wonder if its this frustration which is driving the whole open source thing at Microsoft now as an attempt to forgo marketing etc (it won’t work however).

Microsoft has great technical products and people, they have invested hugely in research and we are seeing the fruits of that research now, but when your production, marketing and distribution sucks as badly as Microsoft’s, its all just wasted, so if anyone should be let go at Microsoft, its anyone in those groups that should go as its hard to imagine them doing a worse job.

Now I’m a geek and love technology, but I understand shipping is what pays for my technology addiction, Microsoft has no problem with technology, but shipping has clearly become a problem that needs to be addressed and addressed soon as it not just a Windows Phone problem.


@ Duke Nukem - Didn’t Microsoft announce it was cutting ~7K jobs in the phone division yesterday?

@ Mike - I fear they let the wrong people go and let some technical folks go while keeping their shitty marketing folks.

Nothing is worse for a technical company then making geeks fall on their swords for making a great product because marketing failed.

Another article which has a good take on it.