When is comes to mobile, Windows has difficulty winning people over. Microsoft has no trouble developing high-end software and user interfaces at desktop level. However, the company’s appeal somehow fails when it translates itself to smartphones. This week brings news of yet another heavy blow to Windows Mobile. The globe’s most popular music app has just abandoned ship, leaving users with a little less reason to opt for any Windows Phone.
Microsoft Corporation’s stake in the smartphone space is poor enough as it is. Recent months reveal the platform’s market share to be on a steep decline. In response to endless complaints about Windows on mobile, the Redmond firm vowed never to let the OS fall by the wayside with the release of Windows 10 Mobile.
Of Course, saying something and making it a reality are two very different things. Despite Microsoft’s assurances, app developers continued to shy away from Windows phones long after Window 10 Mobile landed. Right now, analysts scarcely believe that the OS will regain much of its lost market. Windows Phones continues to be held back by a lack of innovative services and popular apps. This leaves them highly unfavorable among smartphone users.
Today we learn that another reputable developer has ended its support for the OS. Spotify, a leading provider of streamed music everywhere reports that it will no longer cater to the Windows Mobile OS. This means that the streaming giant will not release updates and newer versions of its app in the future. According to Spotify, its current Windows Mobile app is still be usable and downloadable. It will even get a final security update. However, after that, the company will no longer dedicate its time to Windows Phones.
Microsoft is no stranger to developers abandoning its smartphone software. But the company has strong mobile ambitions and promises to unleash the “ultimate mobile device.” Widely speculated, the company is thought to be working on adding a smartphone to the Surface line-up. Although, with the mass exodus seen on Windows Mobile, whether the device will be a success is highly questioned.
Microsoft left far behind
The smartphone market is truly immense and in this league of giants Microsoft is only a tiny player. If you are in possession of a smartphone, and who isn’t, chances are your device runs either Google’s Android or Apple iOS. Those in Eastern demographics and other developing regions could also be using Samsung’s Tizen OS or that of BlackBerry. Microsoft remains a distant runner up to all of these smartphone players. Although the Windows operating system is undeniably mature and widespread, it finds very little love when translated into phones.
In truth, excitement for the Surface Phone is dwindling too. Those close Microsoft’s supply claim the device has been pushed back by at least a year. There are also news outlets reporting its arrival to be as late as 2019, triggering waves of frustration among some hopefuls and more doubt about its actual release.
“Seeing will be believing,” writes Ed, a reader who commented on a LearnBonds article. “With all MSFT’s resources I don’t know what’s taking so long. There is no better time like the present,” he stated. “And unless it will run conventional Windows software or require minimal conversion, a Surface Phone won’t succeed.”
Surface PC in your pocket
“What we are going to do is focus [our] effort on places that have differentiation.” Satya Nadella assured last year. “If you take Windows Phone, where we are differentiated in Windows Phone, its manageability, its security, its Continuum capability, that is the ability to have a phone that, in fact, can even act like a PC.”
Speculation hints at the Surface Phone being a unique, multi-use device with desktop-level processing. It could revive the QWERTY keyboard or make use of a foldout pad similar to the Surface Pro lineup. It is bound to be a Windows Phone as well. Microsoft is under a lot of pressure to amplify the appeal of the Windows 10 platform on mobile. The HP Elite x3 is said to be a big hint at where Microsoft plans to take Windows Phones. HP’s device is a Windows phone, too. It serves as a perfect example of a smartphone with PC-like capacity.
Perhaps the biggest deterrent for the surface phone is that it would be Windows Phone. Though not with its share of share of fans, the mobile variant of the Windows OS has a difficult time pleasing the masses. It shares many of traits that sent the BlackBerry mobile OS crashing to the ground. Windows Mobile is lax in regards to maintenance and its lack of apps renders it unable to keep up with leading smartphone makers.
If released running Windows Mobile, the Microsoft Surface Phone might hit the market with less than a fighting chance.