Re: Microsoft's wind-down of its phone business is "expected to be completed by the end of the curre
I suspect it's also W10M. Mary Jo Foley and Thurrott both essentially just said this, and furthermore, MJF says that any 'Surface' phone is not a certainty, a 'maybe' and way way off, 2018 at the earliest.
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Thurott is so cynical and depressive I suspect he needs anti-depressants. Or at least therapy. Reading his news reel is like drinking a forty ounce of "the future is boring, everything is hopeless, in fifty years there will be no new technologies, be cautiously optimistic and excited about nothing". Thoroughly myopic, hardly balanced in the slightest.
Third hand rumours should not be considered a source of anything. Only one that knows what the distant future of windows on mobile devices is, are the inner circles at MS. And if I were to hazard a guess, I'd bet they want to see how Cortana's skill apis, smart home intergration, windows cloud, windows on arm and scorpio do first. There are a lot of plans for larger screen devices, that COULD feed into a re-entering into mobile. I mean that is kind of the strategy here - create one OS, so that every platform leverages every other. That's only just coming into play with scorpio, windows on arm, windows cloud, this year. Its only really just fermenting, literally soon.
The whole play, that they started probably five years ago-- just now coming about. So will that lead to a substaintive rise in UWPs and UWAs? Cross development and development growth? Create a little momentum?
It should. Logically. Its a developers dream to code once for many devices, and a large audience. And if it does, mobile can be leveraged from say, cellular tablets, hybrids and consoles, which share the need for UWPs, touch friendly and simpler apps, and apps with mobility based functions, like chat, GPS and calling.
Common sense suggests this should open a path. But should for some weird reason it fail, it'd be pretty silly not to have other backup plans. A firm commitment to releasing a surface phone, or even having a finale form of phone would be premature.
The priority instead would be the software - software for smaller factors. A cshell for small mobile devices. That, I would consider a certainty regardless of mobile market share, or run away success with convergence - because convergence of OS across platforms is just a plan smart market strategy. Using development from one device catergory for another allows you to break ground in markets you'd never be able to otherwise. It allows you to leverage every win against every loss.
So, for myself, I am sure we will see a cshell for windows 10 on arm, for both watches and phones or other "with you at all times FF". Could be something weird or new first though. At some point, it'll come..
You can't really fully plan market strategy, without seeing how consumers respond. My strong suspicion is this - MS fully intend to re-enter mobile, have a few plans for that, but because of all the balls in the air, especially this year and next, aren't actually sure themselves.
I would very much doubt that any such phone if it comes will be business focused. Blackberry and windows 10 mobile has been doing that for years, and its been a total failure. Microsoft should know full well by now that business mobile space success is related to consumer space success. As should anyone else.
Consider you were planning a war. Not a single battle, but a war. How far ahead to you plan? How many variations of outcomes do you consider?
Same with a game of chess.
I think anyone who things even google or apple knows exactly what they will be releasing or planning for sure in two years is not quite on the ball. And for MS, they are playing A LOT of strategic plays, and long games. I am fairly sure that means they have "probabilities" and "potentials" in that timeframe, not plans.