In a series of tweets this weekend, Windows VP of Operating Systems Joe Belfiore confirmed what many had already suspected: the Windows phones will be no more.
In response to a question about whether users can expect a new Windows mobile device in the future, Belfiore said the company would not be developing new hardware or features. He wrote, “Of course we’ll continue to support the platform.. bug fixes, security updates, etc. But building new features/hw aren’t the focus.”
In other tweets, Belfiore said the lack of apps is what led to the death of Windows 10 phones. He wrote, “We have tried VERY HARD to incent app devs. Paid money.. wrote apps 4 them.. but volume of users is too low for most companies to invest.”
Since research and development costs are high, app creators design only for the most popular devices, and 99.6% of smartphone users opt for an Android or Apple.
Windows had tried to lure business customers to their phones through devices such as the Lumia 950 and HP Elite X3. Both phones could double as Windows PC devices, but since the devices were expensive and there were so few apps offered, they failed to find an audience.
While this is the first time a senior Microsoft executive has said there will be no more new Windows phones, the company hinted at this in 2016. Windows chief Terry Myerson told The Verge that “If you wanted to reach a lot of phone customers, Windows Phone isn’t the way to do it.”
To which phone are Windows execs telling users to switch? Android devices. Microsoft founder Bill Gates admits that he uses an Android, and Belfore tweeted, “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.”