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Microsoft Executive Says Windows Phone "No Longer a Focus"

joe belfiore windows phone
After years of trying to gain more apps on the Windows Phone ecosystem, Microsoft has finally decided to give up. 

It's no secret that Windows has since struggled against its two operating system rivals, Android and iOS. And with the scarcity of available apps on the Windows Phone ecosystem, Microsoft has caved in to the pressure. 

Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Operating Systems Group Joe Belfiore sent out a series of tweets to reveal the decision of the company. Belfiore pointed out that the reason behind their decision was due to the shortage of apps available for its Windows Phone device users. 

When asked whether or not they will continue to service their existing customers, Belfiore responded by saying that they will "continue to support the platform." This included offering bug fixes, security updates, and many others. But as for building new features/hardware, the Microsoft executive wrote that it was "no longer a focus." 

Belfiore pointed out that they had tried "very hard" to offer incentives to app developers as a way of enticing them to build apps on their ecosystem by paying money and writing apps for them. Unfortunately, most companies did not want to invest in this venture since there was a low volume of users available on Windows Phone devices. 

Ever since the start, Windows Phone users have always struggled with the immense problem of not having enough apps compatible with their device. As a matter of fact, one of the widely used apps, Facebook, was not built by the developers of the social network but by Microsoft. Other commonly used apps that are not available for Windows Phone ecosystem is Google+, Pinterest, and Snapchat. This goes to show that there is, indeed, an issue with the available apps on Windows Phone devices. Even though Microsoft attempted to fix the shortage by building these apps on their own, the company was unable to address this issue. 

Even the top honchos of Microsoft have realized the need to switch to a rival mobile platform. Belfiore admitted that he has made the switch because of the app shortage problem Windows Phone continually experienced. Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, himself recently admitted switching to an Android device over the Windows Phone. 

In the end, Belfiore promised that its currently existing Windows Phone users will continue to be supported by the company. He does give an advice via Twitter, however, to "choose what's best 4 u." 

Among the devices that run Windows OS include the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL, Microsoft Lumia 950, Nokia Lumia, HP Elite x3, and many others. Apart from Microsoft, HP Inc. has announced that it will be putting a stop on the production of its flagship handset, another Windows device. A representative said the company will no longer be adding a new model following the Elite lineup.


48 comments:

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  1. So what's the point of the Microsoft stores now?

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    1. Selling Surface and 3rd party Windows laptops and tablets. The stores always carried those and they probably outsold the phones.

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    2. There isn't one.

      They botched Windows 10 by moving away from its core strength and ginormous number of desktop apps, in favor of trying to build a new ecosystem from nothing.

      Now that it predictably failed, all their investments in the Metro ecosystem, including brick and mortar stores, went up in flames.

      They could've stuck to Windows' core desktop functionality, expanded it into the mobile ecosystem, and wound up gathering mobile and PC customers under the same roof.

      But instead, they're stuck with a dilemma of what to do with retail locations that no longer (and will likely never) serve a purpose given their complete irrelevance outside of the PC market.

      It's actually sad that they screwed up so bad.

      They still could've catered to techies by rebranding themselves as a lifestyle that disrupts and rebels against the egotism and conformity of Apple, as well as the out of control fragmentation that still plagues Android.

      Their stores could've even been a hangout of sorts for tech savvy net dwellers and gamers who didn't fit in with Apple's spiffy clean progressive image, but who still wanted a relatively uniform experience between devices.

      But by trying to copycat Apple, they pretty much doomed their retail outlets to obsolescence from the start since they're target demographic was already Apple's loyal customers.

      If only Microsoft could recapture the spirit of garage grunge from the 80s and 90s i.e. the stereotype that real techies work in a garage rather than an office, and don't need their OS locked down or kid-friendly.

      That'd give them a much more unique and appealing identity than a company that tries and fails to be Apple.



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  2. Already reserved a place for my windows phone when it dies, right next to my Zune player and MSN TV !

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  3. When Bill Gates uses Android, whaddaya expect?

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    1. Why would someone long retired continue to eat his own dog food?

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    2. Whatever he claims, Gates has probably been running a rooted droid for at least 5 years.

      In fact, I'm sure he's using the Z2 Force right now.

      The optical zoom mod is great for leering at Tim Cook from afar, while the shatterproof glass is a godsend every time he throws it at a wall.

      After all, the guy's watched Windows' turn into an invasive trainwreck while his competitors enjoy great success.

      He'd need a phone that could handle the full force of his sorrowful nerd rage.

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  4. My windows phone is a decent Pandora player.

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  5. Today Windows Phone, tomorrow Windows PCs. Chromebooks already do what most people need them to do and they do it better and easier than Windows ever did.

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    1. Except if you really want to get something done, you get an actual PC. I've looked into Chromebooks, really I have, but I would not be able to run most of the software I need.

      Chromebooks give a crippled limited experience, but yes for some markets, that is enough.

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    2. Chromebooks are highly unrated. For the last 2 years I've been using a Chromebook for everything, including every post on this site, document creation and editing, image editing, web development and Android hacking with adb via crouton. I only things I've needed MS Windows for is proprietary phone manufacturer utilities like Odin, LgUP and Kies. I don't miss all the time I used to waste with Windows Update or anti-virus apps.

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    3. Chromebooks don't need antivirus?

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    4. No, the OS is encrypted and sandboxed. User processes, which include any possible rouge downloads, can't see the OS or modify it.

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    5. Agreed, Dennis. I've been using a ChromeBox (got to have my big display) for the last year plus as my primary desktop. It does everything I need. Nearly silent, and sips less than 10 watts. I don't miss the management and hassle of Windows on a daily basis either. They are highly under-rated because most people won't give it a chance - they are too entrenched in the Windows (or Mac) ecosphere to consider an alternative. For the rare occasion that I need Windows for something, I do have a modern Dell rig that I can remote to when needed. Otherwise, it's Chrome. Absolutely love it.

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    6. Would I be able to create/edit spreadsheets on a Chromebook?

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    7. Yes, I work with spreadsheets everyday using Google Sheets. I'd say it has a bout 95% of the functionality of Excel. I find Sheets better than Excel for worksheets that need to be shared with and edited with multiple people. But Excel has more formatting options and templates.

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    8. All work done with a chromebook is not private since an internet connection to google is needed to use a chromebook’s functions

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    9. Privacy? Unless you are doing something wrong, there's nothing to fear

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    10. It is impossible to know whether "you are doing something wrong." in 1982 the Justice Department tried to determine the total number of Federal criminal laws. In a project that lasted two years, the Department compiled a list of approximately 3,000 criminal offenses. This effort is considered the most exhaustive attempt to count the number of federal criminal laws. There are additional state criminal laws, and tens of thousand of other laws that are not criminal laws but may carry fines for violation.
      Misuse of private information by government, law officers or their contractors can have serious legal and monetary consequences. And damage your reputation even if you are not convicted.

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    11. Chromebooks can create and store files locally in internal memory or on the SD card.

      But much of the power of using a Chromebook comes from its's close integration with Google Drive. Storing and retrieving files on drive is done over an encrypted connection and the files are stored encrypted. Drive files are private unless you choose to share them with individuals or make them public. Private Drive files can normally only be accessed by you, although Google can and will access them and turn them over to the authorities if ordered to do so by a court.

      If you don't want the government to ever be able to access your data you should not store it on any internet connected device. If you don't trust Google you should not use their products.

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    12. I don’t trust G and won’t use their software. I’d never buy a Chromebook, but if I needed the capability I could just install Neverware ClouldReady on Windows it Mac. Or buy a Windows S laptop if it ran the software I needed. I have no need for those options since our Macs are so easy to secure with a few basic precautions, secure cloud account and a fast VPN service.

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    13. Too bad Android isn't as secure as Chrome OS seems to be.

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    14. As Dennis can tell you, Android is just as secure as Chrome OS.

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    15. Actually, Android is significantly less secure than Chrome OS because phone manufacturers and carriers do not consistently deliver Android security updates to their devices.

      ChromeOS is automatically updated by Google. Chrome OS updates are guaranteed for three years and most older Chromebooks are still getting updates beyond that.

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    16. Wouldn't an Android antivirus app help with that?

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    17. Android anti-virus apps are largely useless. Unpatched Android is pretty secure as long as you don't download apps from shady sources and don't disable its built-in Google Play Protect or Verify Apps features. But Chrome OS is even more secure.

      Android Has a Big Security Problem, But Antivirus Apps Can’t Do Much to Help
      Android Antivirus Apps Are Useless - Here's What to Do Instead - ExtremeTech

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    18. Don't Chromebooks support Android apps now?

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    19. Chromebooks are a cheap gimmick.

      They're not versatile enough to be real workhorses if you need more functionality than just web browsing and office software.

      They're especially worthless when it comes to gaming.

      That is, unless you run mirrored versions of Windows apps (like Photoshop), or install Steam/Linux to get the full gaming/productivity experience.

      But at that point, you're basically just compensating for shortcomings that wouldn't have even been present in a full featured Windows or Linux device, while getting absolutely no benefits from using a gimped Chromebook instead.

      That's not to say they aren't useful.

      They're just LESS useful, sort of like comparing a squeaky toy hammer to a sledgehammer.

      One's kid-friendly but highly restrictive, while the other will let you smash your way through anything that comes up.

      Personally, I'd never spend money on something that didn't "do it all."

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    20. Can Chromebooks run Wine?

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    21. Chromebooks can run Linux using Crouton. So you should be able to run WINE in Linux on a Chromebook. AFAIK, WINE doesn't work on ARM processors so you would need a Intel based Chromebook.

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    22. "I've been using a Chromebook for everything, including every post on this site, document creation and editing, image editing, web development"

      Image editing and web development on a Chromebook? How?

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    23. For web development I use the Caret Chrome app to edit HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP. Chrome Developer tools to debug JavaScript. I used to use FileZilla and Gedit under Crouton to work with files on my server but now that my Chromebook supports Android apps I use the Android Turbo FTP app and its built-in editor.

      I use the Pixlr Chrome extension for most image editing and Gimp under Crouton for advanced stuff.

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    24. Is there a way of installing Chrome OS on my desktop or do I have to buy a new machine?

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    25. Neverware CloudReady will give you almost all ChromeOS features on your Intel machine. Check their site to see whether yours has been tested for compatibility. You can set up a dual boot for Win or Mac. Free download.

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  6. I love Windows Phone, Live Tiles are brilliant. My GPS works when I am far away from cellular coverage. They integrate well with my salesmen's Surface Pros.

    Dennis, please list deals on clearance Windows Phones. I want to stock up before they are gone.

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    1. I hoarded 640s when I was on Cricket. Unfortunately I am on T-mobile now and they're $30 to unlock. I like the UI a lot and two other things: they don't really have malware issues, so I can download YT videos from risky sites and the native lock screen music player widget supports FF and Rewind, and I don't know of any Android that can do that. Oh, and WP's atrocious resale values...

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    2. True..but just like Palm, BlackBerry - great devices, when firms lose their marketing & tech edge it spells the death kneel

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  7. It is shame. I really enjoyed Windows Phone. The hardware was rock solid and reasonably priced to boot. Much smoother than any comparable Android given the price. Live Tiles are nice, always did like that interface as well. Lack of apps was a huge problem. They just never put their heart in to it. And neither did any one else, unfortunately.

    RIP. Tossed my trusty Lumia 640 in the trash the other day. I don't even want it for the dinosaur pile.

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    1. "It is shame. I really enjoyed Windows Phone. The hardware was rock solid and reasonably priced to boot. Much smoother than any comparable Android given the price."

      That's because they were basically a dumbphone, running a browser, able to play music, and run a handfull of outdated apps. It's a lot easier to have a "smooth" phone when it can do little and little is expected of it.

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    2. The problem was that instead of building upon desktop development, they threw it all away trying to build a completely new ecosystem nobody liked or wanted from scratch.

      Metro was an incredibly boneheaded move, and it only succeeded in marring their existing platform in an attempt to pander to a market that had already fallen in love with iOS and Android.

      They were never going to win over already established developers, and they should've just adapted the desktop experience (along with its massive functionality) to mobile instead of trying to cripple and disfigure their golden goose in an insane attempt to appease millennials.

      Apps never would've been a problem if they just improved upon and added versatility to the platform that had already proved its worth once before.

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    3. What's your problem with millennials?

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    4. It's the "appeal to millennials" I have a problem with, as that's the reason companies always cite whenever they dumb down or gimp something that worked just fine in order to turn it into a sanitized, locked down playpen.

      Just look at Chrome and iOS compared to Firefox and Windows, and look how the latter two have deteriorated in terms of quality development.

      Firefox had its customizable toolbar locked despite that being one of its main draws back in the day, while Windows got forced updates, usage monitoring and Metro apps that unnecessarily burdened the OS with a poor UI and a useless second application ecosystem.

      The appeal to millennials is the single biggest justification for incredibly bad software design choices, and I'd rather companies stopped their demographic pandering in order to focus on just making objectively good products that anyone in any demographic can use.

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    5. Platforms are being locked down for two reasons:
      -To satisfy the movie studios and other content creators who think it will end "piracy".
      -To satisfy the non-technical public's justified fears of hacking and identify theft because it's difficult for the average person to secure a more open system.

      The millennial is a stereotypical boogeyman. People born between 1980 and 1990 are no more homogeneous than any other generation. They have widely varying wants, values, talents and ethics. They are no more to blame for Window's declines than boomers or septuagenarians.

      Windows problem is that it's old, bloated and collapsing under 30 years of patches upon patches and management inertia.

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  8. When it finally dies, I will place my Samsung ATIV SE on the shelf beside my old Palm Pre. R.I.P

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  9. Windows phones have not been available for over a year in retail stores. Many windows apps stopped working on the windows phones at least two years ago for example the ebay app which worked better on the windows phones vs android or ios. Also many windows apps were made from foreign entities and could not be found anywhere on android playstore or sideload apks and allowed the windows phone users to watch AND download movies that had just premiered in theaters.

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  10. Microsoft apps on Android and iOS work fine, maybe better than they did on WinPhone. I have installed almost all of them on my Moto and use them in place of the G apps whenever possible. I like the Arrow Launcher better than android. Outlook works great, and so does Skype. Edge is an early version, but works fine for me. OneDrive syncs my laptop files. MS Office apps work the way they should. I like Translate. I am just getting used to Cortana, but it works. OneNote and ToDo work well. I use MapQuest for nav.

    Microsoft could sell a nice Android phone powered by their apps instead of G. It should be configurable to hook into most of the MSFT services.
    Most people would want or need the Play Store, but Amazon Store might be an alternative if all MSFT apps are there. I think they do sell a version of the Galaxy S8 with their apps and G-services.

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    1. Win10 Fall Update drops in 2 days, and will let you seamlessly connect Android phones with Win10 PCs. There will be a new Photos app. You'll be able to interact with Android phone notifications from a Win10 PC.

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  11. I would buy a nice Microsoft android phone without Google services, as long as they had a curated store with tested apps. Android is already very fragmented, and Play Store apps are not even checked before Google allows them in play store. I think a "Quality, Trusted apps" approach could work for Microsoft given all the security issues that exist with android. An effective security & antivirus solution with adequate OS permissions could seal the deal for many customers.

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