Based on materials from Android Authority
On October 8, Joe Belfiore of Microsoft announced the death of Windows Phone on his Twitter account. Microsoft will no longer add new features to Windows Mobile and will discontinue support and security patches in the coming year. And this week, the company officially announced that Windows 10 Mobile is no longer supported. Although devices on this OS will continue to work, office applications Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote will receive updates and security fixes until January 12, 2021. Thus ends a long and sad story Windows Mobile.
If you had a PDA in the early or mid 2000s, it almost certainly worked for Windows Mobile. This mobile platform has dominated for a long time, however Microsoft has failed to maintain its almost unconditional monopoly on smart devices.
How did it happen?
How did it happen that Microsoft in ten years went from being the most popular mobile OS in the world to announcing her death? The growth of the App Store from Apple and the Play Store from Google itself had very little impact – Windows Mobile suffered from a dearth of apps in its own store. You were looking for the most popular applications in the world, and, as a rule, you received low-quality products from random developers, or no result at all. Despite the fact that Microsoft paid developers and even developed applications for them, she never managed to attract big names to the store, which were so necessary there. And the lack of applications has resulted in a lack of users.
However, Bill Gates has his own opinion about the reasons for the failure. Speaking at the Dealbook conference, he voiced his thoughts on errors Microsoft in the mobile segment. 'There is no doubt that the antitrust lawsuit was disastrous for Microsoft and we would have focused more on building the phone's operating system were it not for this lawsuit, so instead of using Android today you would use Windows Mobile, Gates said. “If it weren't for the antitrust case … we were so close, I was too distracted. I lost because I lost my guard. '
The last big try Microsoft was Windows 10 Mobile. The new OS was released in 2015 and promised an integrated app store for computers and smartphones running on it. But since the Windows Store didn't have the same abundance of apps as the App Store or Play Store, several big names got involved in development. It was supposed to be a step that would bring the two platforms together, and Microsoft bet its desktop division will provide the mobile division with enough apps to attract new users.
But Windows 10 never met expectations, and the breakthrough that was expected Microsoft did not take place. Key names like YouTube, Google Maps, Snapchat or Pandora never made it to the Windows Store, and the issues Microsoft remained the same as before. Despite the efforts and money invested in Windows 10 Mobile, it just didn't take off. First, new devices stopped appearing, then more and more sluggishly rolled out new functions. And just two years after its release Windows 10, Mobile was declared dead.
And now what i can do?
Windows Mobile that's all – but that doesn't mean Microsoft should throw the baby out with the water. This may come as a surprise to some, but for the last couple of years Microsoft has been developing applications for Android as well. She bought many well-known apps such as Wunderlist, Sunrise Calendar and SwiftKey, and even improved them under her own name. The mobile division Microsoft still has impressive assets and the company is still able to build the app ecosystem it needs. She just needs to do it for Android, not for Windows Phone.
To find a pattern for such a move, Microsoft just look west of your Seattle offices – at the company Amazon. Microsoft has the advantage that it can learn from the mistakes of both companies. Amazon doesn't have as large a hardware division as Microsoft, but it released the Fire Phone. Few devices were in for a huge excitement and the same spectacular failure. However Amazon quickly realized the mistake, got rid of the stuck leftovers and moved to a mobile strategy that was based on distributing applications to phones. Microsoft exactly the same is required.
Microsoft has several key benefits that Amazon does not. For starters, she has a small but loyal fan community who adores her phones. There are people who are seriously mourning death Windows Mobile, however, many of them used Windows Phone at best a couple of years ago. For some, the last hope was the Lumia 950 XL smartphone, but it suffered from performance issues on top of everything that slowed down Windows Mobile. Therefore, the unfortunate ones rushed between devices on iOS and Android in the eternal search for something similar, but better.
Users who love Windows 10 Mobile would certainly happily use Android if Microsoft gave them the ability to convert their device of choice into a hybrid Android and Windows. Microsoft has already added over 100 apps to Google Play, but none of them mimic the experience Windows Mobile.
Yes, now all of you on the other side of the screen will begin to resent the obvious answer: because you failed Windows Mobile. Why would Microsoft develop applications that mimic it?
The phones on Windows Phone may never have been as popular as on Android, but Microsoft has sold a large number of them. And now fans of this OS are looking for a new home, and the launcher Windows Mobile is one of the options for resolving the issue. Maybe it sounds like nonsense, or maybe it is, but just look, just one of the launchers that emulate the look and functionality of Windows 10 Mobile has been downloaded over 500,000 times.
And now it is time for Microsoft to make the right move. Allow people to use their Android device the way they would use a device on Windows Phone.
In this imaginary new Windows – launcher Microsoft, one would have to tackle tight integration of the Cortana assistant. Even those who enjoy interacting with Cortana due to its simplicity, speed, and accuracy rarely use this voice assistant because it is inconvenient. Cortana isn't built into the system like Siri or Google Assistant. It cannot be easily accessed from other applications Microsoft. Continuous pain.
Microsoft can never replace the Google Assistant because Google will never allow it. But she can learn a lesson here too. Recently Amazon integrated its Alexa into the Amazon Music app. And it's an easy task for Microsoft: just embed Cortana in all your apps where it makes sense. It is unlikely that it will win the great battle of voice assistants, which is currently being led by Amazon, Apple and Google, but it can take its own niche. But it doesn't seem like an incredible effort to press the Cortana call button in the launcher Windows instead of long pressing Home to launch the Google Assistant. Cortana can do a lot of what the Assistant and Alexa can do, and it can also sync notifications across mobile and PC. And this is on almost any PC on Windows! This is a big advantage Microsoft and something that she needs to develop further. Possibly doing it on the base Android is all a company needs to become a major player.
It's all about applications
Even if you are not interested in using the launcher Windows Mobile or Cortana, Microsoft has something to attract you. Of course, we are talking about its excellent applications, which are worth the company to focus on them. SwiftKey is without a doubt one of the most popular keyboards on the Play Store. Word and Excel are unmatched, and Outlook remains one of the most comprehensive email applications.
Microsoft should develop the image of a company that makes amazing apps for Android. When you buy a new Android device, your first step should be to search for apps Microsoft in the Play Store, as this is what makes your favorite apps. The company needs to build apps that we can't live without. Apps that make our life easier. Apps that perform better than anything we currently have.
Death Windows Mobile should be a lesson, and applications should be a step forward. Take the ecosystem you were trying to build on your platform and move it to Android, where literally billions of potential users are waiting for you.
Microsoft will never replace Google with Android. But on Google's platform, the company will be able to operate in a much more open environment than iOS, with over a billion potential users. Microsoft may have failed with Windows but is still able to create her own success story on mobile.