Microsoft’s Windows Phone was oddly absent at the annual Build developer conference in San Francisco. Does this imply that Microsoft is no longer making the Windows Phone a priority?
The Microsoft Windows Phone mobile operating system has never been one of the company’s biggest assets. It is in third place behind Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
For the most part, Microsoft has accepted that Apple and Android own the smartphone market and has decided to make their software work on those platforms. For now, the company will focus on its strengths, like their rock-solid video gaming platform, and devices like the Microsoft Surface, which generated close to $4 billion in revenue in 2015.
A recent IDC survey says Microsoft dominates the detachable-tablet market. The survey suggests that Microsoft’s Surface Books might eventually replace the iPad. This kind of data might explain why Microsoft has been in no hurry to get people to use Windows 10 for Mobile.
Haje Jan Kamps, TechCrunch contributor, noted that none of the keynote speakers at Microsoft’s recent Build conference mentioned the Windows Phone.
“At the conference, BMW did all their demos on iOS devices. Starbucks did the same. And so did many others … In fact, unless I briefly fell asleep (which is entirely possible), there may not have been a single Windows 10 mobile phone device on stage at any time during the Build keynotes.
“Not only did Microsoft’s presenters not care about Windows Phone, I didn’t spot a single Microsoft staffer with a Windows Phone, either.”
Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Vice President for Windows and Devices, says the Windows Phone is not the right place for the company to focus its efforts this year.
Even though Microsoft does not plan to lead the way in smartphones, the company still has diehard Windows Phone fans who continue to stand by the brand.
Emil Protalinski, News Editor at VentureBeat, says “Windows Phone fans and fanboys have a tough job. They have to stand by an operating system with a new name every few years, significantly fewer apps than the competition, and a distant third place spot in the market. The latest news out of Microsoft isn’t making their lives any easier.”
Windows Phone fans are loyal because of the features.
“A number of Windows Phones have amazing features like the personal assistant app known as Cortana.
“Check any of the latest Window Phones and you can find Windows 10, which also has features like the Continuum. This feature allows you to use your phone on a larger display — which provides a PC-like experience. Users can also control the phone with a mouse as well as a keyboard.”
Most Windows Phones have a screen size that is well beyond the 4-inch standard. Windows Phone users who are happy with that screen size will be pleased to learn the company is still committed to the 4-inch screen, although “there will be a time for it to be our focus, but right now it’s part of the family but it’s not the core of where I hope to generate developer interest over the next year,” Myerson says.
For now, Microsoft plans to leave the smartphone business to the brands that are doing it the best. The company is focusing its efforts on their core strengths and assets that generate the most revenue for the business.
Windows Phone revenue declined 61 percent in 2014, despite the $2.3 billion in earnings during Q2 2015. Windows Phone revenue declined by 49 percent for the second quarter of 2016.
[Image via Pixabay]