Farewell Windows Mobile
So it would appear that it’s fairly official, Windows mobile is no more. There will no longer be any new features or phones from Microsoft. They will only be pushing out bug fixes or security updates to existing windows mobile users. This comes straight from the Twitter account of Joe Belfiore. Joe is a Corporate Vice President in the Operating Systems Group at Microsoft.
In 2003 the first Windows handsets were out on the market and they were giants. Everybody wanted a PDA, XDA, HTC and various other acronymic handsets. They were the 1st choice for businesses big and small, and for many techie consumers to. So how did this software giant lose their part of the smartphone market? ……. App Stores!
Although Windows Mobile was a massively popular phone in the business market, with it’s easy to use and customizable homescreen, and its familiarity as it became an extension to the business user’s desk and an office on the move, in recent years there has been a steady decline in sales and a steady increase in the size of the “app gap”.
In 2007 the first iPhone was launched, aimed at the consumer market and very desirable. This then sparked the rise of the smartphone era with every consumer wanting these new shiny handsets. With these handsets came the ability for consumers to be better connected to the internet, with a larger touchscreen to surf and browse, and the “App Store”! A whole world filled with amazing apps and games to make life easier and more fun.
No longer were the most techie handsets only really available or affordable to business customers. The new smartphones were marketed well, and the networks were fighting for exclusivity when the releases happened. This consumer market went so crazy, so quickly, with everyone being seduced by these amazing new devices, that very soon the Google Play Store and the Apple AppStore were bursting with new apps that developers were climbing over each other to get their latest creation into.
And it seemed that it all just happened to quickly for the Windows Store. The difference in the amount of potential app end users from the Apple AppStore and the Google Play Store, to those that would access the Windows Store was so great that app developers would not build their apps for Windows phones. They would spend their time and money to release their apps on the devices with the largest audience.
For the last 10 years Microsoft have tried their hardest to work with app developers to get apps into their store, but to no avail. Their appeal to the app-obsessed consumer market was gone. It was a vicious cycle, the app developers wouldn’t build their apps for the windows platform due to the lack of users, and Windows couldn’t sell their product to more users due to the lack of apps. With more business integration apps and services available on the Android and Apple phones they were losing their business users to.
“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.”
Joe Belfiore – Twitter – 8.10.2017
And so we are here today, bidding adieu to a brilliant business phone and consumer smartphone, that tried everything but just couldn’t stay.