Corporate vice president of Microsoft‘s operating systems group, Joe Belfiore, confirmed on Twitter that Windows 10 Mobile is no longer on the agenda in Redmond, Washington: ” Of course we’ll continue to support the platform… bug fixes, security updates, etc. But building new features/hw aren’t the focus.”
Questioned on the lack of applications for Windows 10 Mobile, he answered that Microsoft had tried very hard to incentivize developers to build apps for Windows 10 Mobile, but that companies were unwilling to invest due to the low volume of users.
All this is a far cry from the 2010 Mobile World Congress when Steve Ballmer took to the stage to present Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7, which launched that fall. Seven years later, no new smartphones are set to run Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile. After abandoning the Lumia program and lacking partner manufacturers, Microsoft’s various mobile operating systems have fallen out of circulation. The absence of Windows 10 Mobile from this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona surprised to no one.
Currently, Android (Google) and iOS (Apple) alone account for 99% of the global smartphone market, according to figures from Gartner. In fact, the withdrawal of Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile will go virtually unnoticed.
A few days before Joe Belfiore’s announcement, a revealing anecdote showed just how much Windows Phone is now resigned to the past. Microsoft founder Bill Gates — who hasn’t been involved in day-to-day operations of the firm since stepping down as chairman in 2014 — told Fox News that he now uses a smartphone running Android.