Microsoft Confirms What Most of Us Assumed: No More Windows Phone
If there was any hope that Microsoft had any plans to come out with any new phones based on Windows 10 Mobile, or add new features to that version of the OS this year, HP and Microsoft both appear to have dashed them.
The chatter about the all-but-forgotten Windows Phone emerged a week ago when The Register reported that HP will no longer sell or support its Elite x3 Windows-based phone after the end of 2019 and would only offer whatever inventory is still available. The report quoted Nick Lazardis, who heads HP's EMEA business, during the Canalys Channels Forum. Noting that HP had insisted as recently as August that it was committed to the platform, and specifically the Windows Continuum feature, Lazardis attributed the change to Microsoft's shift in strategy with Windows Phone.
HP's Elite X3 3-in-1 device received positive reviews, including one published by Redmond magazine earlier this year. However, Samsung's release of the S8 phone and DexStation dock, allowing users to dock their phones and run Windows-based remote desktops and virtual apps, has proven a strong option to those who want Windows on a smartphone device.
Asked to confirm HP's plan, a company spokeswoman responded: "We will continue to fully support HP Elite x3 customers and partners through 2019 and evaluate our plans with Windows Mobile as Microsoft shares additional roadmap details," according the e-mailed statement. "Sales of the HP Elite x3 continue and will be limited to inventories in country. HP remains committed to investing in mobility solutions and have some exciting offerings coming in 2018."
In wake of the HP report, Joe Belfiore Corporate VP in Microsoft's Operating Systems Group, posted a series of Twitter responses on Sunday night about Windows Phone support. One question was about whether it was time to give up on using Windows Mobile.
"Depends who you are," he tweeted. "Many companies still deploy to their employees and we will support them!" But, he continued: "As an individual end-user, I switched platforms for the app/hw diversity. We will support those users too! Choose what's best 4 u."
Responding to a tweet asking directly about the future for Windows Phone, Belfiore stated what was until now largely presumed: "Of course we'll continue to support the platform. bug fixes, security updates, etc. But building new features/hw aren't the focus," he said with regret (based on his emoji).
If that left ambiguity, a response from a Microsoft spokesperson shouldn't. "We get that a lot of people who have a Windows 10 device may also have an iPhone or Android phone, and we want to give them the most seamless experience possible, no matter what device they're carrying," according to the spokeswoman. "In the Fall Creators Update, we're focused on the mobility of experiences and bringing the benefits of Windows to life across devices to enable our customers to create, play and get more done. We will continue to support Lumia phones such as the Lumia 650, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, as well as devices from our OEM partners."
Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 10/11/2017 at 1:42 PM