Microsoft recommends Apple and Android phones for customers, gives up Windows 10 Mobile
Microsoft will stop issuing security updates for Windows 10 Mobile this December and is recommending that users switch to an alternate platform. In doing so, Microsoft is confirming its commitment to making applications for every platform, even those of competitors, and not trying to dominate the operating system market.
The Lowdown: In ending support for Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft is encouraging consumer and commercial users to switch to devices running alternative operating systems, including Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
The Details: Microsoft says the discontinuation of support impacts users of Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise. In December, Microsoft will stop issuing security updates, non-security hotfixes, free assisted support, and online technical content updates.
The Impact: The impact is minimal, as Windows 10 Mobile holds one-third of a percent of global market share in mobile operating systems, according to StatCounter. By comparison, Android has a 75 percent market share, and Apple’s iOS has 22 percent.
Background: Microsoft initially dismissed the early success of Apple’s iPhone, but quickly realized mobile devices represented a threat to its operating system dominance. Over the past decade, Microsoft made several efforts to compete against Apple and Google in mobile operating systems, including spending $7 billion to buy Nokia’s smartphone business.
Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft shifted its focus from dominating all segments with Windows at the center to marketing applications that run on every platform regardless of the publisher or manufacturer.
The Buzz: Some industry observers speculated that Microsoft would field a new mobile operating system and take another run at Apple and Google, but the formal discontinuation of Windows 10 Mobile shows that Microsoft is serious about its “Hit Reset” strategy.