Microsoft Marketing

Microsoft Windows Phone rides off into sunset


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

November 8, 2016 | 2 min read

The Windows phone will never be a major player in the smartphone business. With just 1% of the global market share, it appears that Microsoft may be giving up on its Windows phone, according to a story by the Business Insider.

The Windows 10 Mobile operating system barely made an appearance at Microsoft’s recent Surface hardware event, save for on the HP Elite X3 smartphone.

In addition, Windows executive VP Terry Myerson told Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet that the main reason the company is still working on the Windows 10 Mobile OS is more about an investment in technology than building commercially viable products. In particular, that work makes Microsoft better at working with cellular devices and with ARM processors, the energy efficient chips that Windows for PC doesn’t fully support.

"When you stop investing in these things, it's super hard, super, super hard to restart," Myerson told Foley.

The Business Insider story said that the slow decline of Windows phones may be a setback for the company, but that it should shed the effort and start rising through its strengths.

The death of the mobile efforts started with Microsoft saying that the operating system would reach one billion active devices in three years across multiple platforms as it tried to lure developers to the Windows Store. That it didn’t work out now means Microsoft can refocus and make the best of its situation.

Microsoft has shown that is appeals to niches within its Surface business and it is doing well at getting its best work on other platforms, which it can now focus on as it lets its mobile go.

Hardware continues to be a strength for Microsoft, as the Surface Pro tablet and Surface Book laptop’s strong sales have shown. The coming of the new Surface Studio PC should bolster the lineup. The lack of smartphones may be a blow to the Microsoft ego, but if it leverages its power on the Surface, it will be the smart move it needs.

Microsoft Marketing

More from Microsoft

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +