Still holding out for the elusive and mythical Surface Phone? If you still haven’t seen the writing on the wall, this is practically the nail in Windows 10 Mobile’s coffin. Joe Belfiore, Microsoft’s very own veep for Windows, confirms on Twitter that “building new features/hw aren’t the focus” anymore, as far as Windows 10 Mobile and Microsoft is concerned. Short of an official statement that may never come, this tweet practically means what almost everyone knew all along: Windows on mobile is dead.
The series of tweets coming from Belfiore were prompted by a question on whether it’s time to leave the Windows Mobile platform. Belfiore candidly admitted to have switched platforms for the sake of platform/hw diversity, which he admitted to being an iPhone “today”. Naturally, this kicked the hornet’s nest, which Belfiore tried to address in less than 280 characters.
He does assure users that current devices will still be getting bug fixes and securityupdates, but these are most likely meant more to appease its enterprise partners, like HP, whom it is practically abandoning. But he makes it clear in no uncertain terms that developing anything new, software or hardware, isn’t a priority anymore. And, yes, that most likely also means the Surface Phone.
Belfiore explains the reasoning behind this change of course, which shouldn’t really surprise anyone. Windows Mobile in all its incarnations failed to gain any developer traction to warranty continued investment in the platform. To be fair, Microsoft did try to use every tactic it could to give developers incentives to develop for the mobile platform or, at the very least, its Universal Windows Platform (UWP). Although the situation now with Windows 10 is significantly better, it may have just been too little too late.
It’s a chicken and egg problem that any mobile platform other than Android and iOS now face. Developers wait for more devices in order to maximize their chances of reaching more users but hardware makers wait for more apps and developers to get onboard before investing in new hardware. Users are, unfortunately, left to just watch and hope for a happy ending. Sadly, this won’t be the case for them.