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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Seems to Have Stopped Developing Windows 10 Mobile

Microsoft Seems to Have Stopped Developing Windows 10 Mobile

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Although no official statement has been issued by the company, some later affirmations by top Microsoft executives tell us that Windows 10 Mobile development is stopped.

In a recent TV interview Bill Gates mentioned that he had switched recently to an Android phone. While being a big fan of the Windows platform, his move to Android is a sign that Microsoft is no longer pushing their own operating system for smartphones.

Joe Belfiore, VP in the Operating Systems Group at Microsoft, has played many roles at Microsoft including leading the development of Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile. He was spotted last year sending messages from an iPhone, and he confessed using both iPhone and Android smartphones to better understand the competition. But now he said on Twitter that he switched to a different platform, perhaps Android, for application and hardware diversity, adding that Microsoft will enter in maintenance mode for their own platform:

As an individual end-user, I switched platforms for the app/hw diversity….

Of course we'll continue to support the platform [Windows Phone – editor’s note].. bug fixes, security updates, etc. But building new features/hw aren't the focus.

According to Belfiore, the main reason why Microsoft is no longer investing in Windows 10 Mobile is the lack of users’ interest:

We have tried VERY HARD to incent app devs. Paid money.. wrote apps 4 them.. but volume of users is too low for most companies to invest.

The main problem is that application developers do not want to invest into a platform that it is not largely embraced, while users do not want to buy a smartphone without a rich ecosystem of applications. This is hard to overcome even with Microsoft’s billions of dollars invested into mobile. Many companies have stopped developing and withdrawn their apps from Windows Store during the last year. Although the Windows Phone market share was initially predicted by some to overpass the iPhone, in reality it reached less than half of percent by the end of last year, and perhaps it dropped even more this year.

Some have suggested Microsoft to make Android applications available on Windows 10 Mobile to address the lack of a proper application ecosystem. Chances are this will not happen. In the meantime, Microsoft is making more and more of their mobile applications available on iOS and Android, including a Launcher for Android, Office apps, Edge and many others.

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