Microsoft seems all too willing to replace Windows Phone with Android

    Microsoft is one of Android's most unlikely supporters

    I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard of a new Widows Phone (or Windows 10 Mobile) announcement. That’s because Windows Phone is not doing very well. Back in February, the latest analysis of Gartner found that Microsoft’s controversial mobile software made up to just 0.3 per cent of all smartphones sold across the world in Q4 2016.

    And with no new Windows Phone handsets coming out, it’s hard to image the figures going anywhere but downhill in the upcoming months. But this year actually marks a change of strategy for Microsoft who seems to have all but abandoned its Windows Phones efforts in favor of …well, Android.

    Is this the new logo for Microsoft’s phone division?

    With its Windows Phone manufacturing dreams shattered, Microsoft probably came to the conclusion it might have future as a Android re-seller instead. Case in point, a few weeks ago, the Redmond giant announced Microsoft Stores across the US will start offering a Samsung Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition.

    Unlike the Galaxy S7, no Microsoft apps come pre-installed on the Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition. However, once connected to a Wi-Fi connection the handset in question gets populated by a slew of the company’s iconic apps including Office, Skype and Cortana.

    What once was

    If we take a look in China, we find Microsoft has infiltrated itself even deeper into the Android camp. Last year, we heard Xiaomi and Microsoft have signed a deal in order to put the latter’s apps on the former’s handsets. Now we’re told Microsoft is selling the Xiaomi Mi 5s complete with Microsoft apps through its Microsoft Stores across China. To sweeten the deal, the company is also offering a 2-year MS Store warranty with the purchase. However, puzzling as it may seem, there’s no trace of a Windows Phone in Microsoft’s stores in China. Yes, folks it’s that bad.

    The possible savior – a Surface Phone concept

    Still there might be hope for Microsoft. The long-rumored Surface Phone might be the pivotal product needed to reserve these failing fortunes. Tons of digital ink has been devoted to describe the phone’s alleged specifications. A few months back we even heard the product might actually come equipped with a futuristic 2-in-1 foldable body and running Windows 10 Mobile.

    But at this point there’s no real indication Microsoft actually has plans to release a Surface Phone in the near future. Has Microsoft given up altogether on smartphone production and from now on will just continue to sell Android devices? It’s quite possible, as the evidence presented above seems to indicate. The naked truth is that if Microsoft truly believed Windows Phone had a place and a future in the world, it would have sold WP products through its stores. It stopped doing so and this should tell us something.

    • McHale72

      The biggest problem with Windows Phone was Microsoft’s ridiculously absent marketing and advertising. Every once in a while I pop a sim into my Lumia 950XL and I quickly realize how great of an OS it is and especially how amazing their email and calendar app is. Not only that, but the bluetooth integration with your auto is the best in the industry and has been since Windows Phone 7. A few of us stuck it out to the very end but Microsoft abandoned the platform WAY before I did. The best Microsoft apps were released for iOS and Android and typically, NEVER for Windows Mobile. That’s crazy if you’re really trying to make your OS succeed (which once Satya Nadella came onboard they were obviously not). The *ONLY* thing they could sell me at this point is an Android version of their Windows Mobile Email/Calendar app. It’s so good on Windows Phone that if they could replicate it on Android, I’d pay almost anything for it.

    • dakuma

      I still using Windows Phone, and will continue to do so until I literally can’t get a new one. The OS is fantastic, the Office integration also rocks. I text, rarely call and don’t play many mobile games and could give two shite’s about the latest Social Media craze.

      • McHale72

        I picked up an s7 edge mainly because of the apps. SO many apps are missing from Windows Phone now. I’m not even talking games, Amazon, ebay, and Chase bank anymore, I’m talking the many random USEFUL apps like MyPassport or one of MANY apps that Microsoft released for Android and iOS that will never come to Windows Phone. It’s a shame that Nadella seemingly went out of his way to destroy it. It’s still the best OS out there (though I would argue pretty hard that it was MUCH better before 8.x when they got rid of all the hubs).

    • I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard of a new Widows Phone (or Windows 10 Mobile) announcement.

      Then you must not read tech news at all. Wileyfox announced one within the past few weeks.

    • Code Yoda

      This is a ridiculous article.. Basic clickbait garbage.

      The phones release TWO YEARS AGO are still selling .3 percent of a billion unit sales quarter (read millions of phones!).

      There is no new phone yet because they are working on bringing FULL WINDOWS to the next round of devices and will, once again, change the playing field. Read any ACTUAL TECHNICAL ARTICLE on the subject to see lots of evidence of this. They are not putting out new devices until the chipsets that run the full version of Windows are available so that the users that buy these devices will be able to upgrade to full Windows on their devices instead of being left behind.

      I fully expect to see announcements of new generation Windows Mobile PCs with cellular being released within the next twelve months.

      • Henry

        I think your point is in line with mine. But MS should have stayed away from mobile until the chips were ready. They came in way too late, instead they should have scrambled to bring their software to iOS and Android much sooner. That’s a persistent problem with MS. They seem to be in a perpetual state of trying to catch up. Every time they release something, all I see is “now we have one too” instead of “no one else comes close.”

      • Jeffrey Byers

        I’m confused on this. It was ARM, then Intel tried to get x86 working (hence “full” Windows) but had severe efficiency issues due to the power draw of the CPU. I tried to find confirmation on what’s going on but I thought they were giving up on “full” Windows.

    • Henry

      Instead of making phones, Microsoft should continue shrinking their laptops and tablets down towards phone sizes until they find a sweet spot that users resonate with. When I use Microsoft hardware, I expect full Windows capability. Preferably, I’d like to connect to a larger external monitor because I like using a mouse and keyboard for greater fidelity using visually “dense” software that would not be practical on a touch-friendly screen. I use a Windows laptop for work which has a touch-screen and I never use it. I still prefer working on a large screen without my hands covering it up. If Microsoft can continue to be seen as the best option for using large programs, they must adapt assuming that their users already have an Android or iOS. If they keep trying to build a substitute, it’ll get nowhere.

      • Jeffrey Byers

        Uh… what?
        You do understand that Windows 10 on all devices (phone, tablet, desktop) can switch between TABLET and DESKTOP mode? You can for example, open your e-mail in tablet mode on the train, then go to work and attach it to a large screen for easier viewing in DESKTOP mode.

        I’ve got mixed feelings about using ARM processors and thus limiting to specific STORE apps but I guess that’s mostly about power efficiency in the mobile form factor. Intel spent MILLIONS of dollars trying to get x86 working better but I think it’s just too difficult though perhaps they’ll revisit that later. Probably not though, and frankly I’m not sure if any of my “must have” x86-only programs are ones I’d use on a phone anyway.

        • Henry

          I found the switch mode to be more of a bandaid solution, but it can be good enough for some apps like email.

    • Marty

      I think it would be very apropos for Apple to license iOS to Microsoft to make their own version of an iPhone while using the same appstore. I think it would enhance the product image of both companies too.

    • pony bits

      Their phones are great,they don’t have the low memory problems android can have, but the recent Facebook messenger not being compatible anymore makes me think this article could have a ring of truth, I prefer their apps to Android

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    • UsingWalmartWifi

      just saying that these publishers are called AndroidGuys, just note that 😛

    • Glasskeys

      Microsoft needs at least one phone to showcase UWP apps on mobile, so that’s why I believe it will ship a surface phone. Plus, PCs & laptops will eventually be replaced by phones anyway, Microsoft realizes this, and is getting ahead of the curve with dockable continuum phones.

      That being said, as a precaution, I purchased an unlocked dual sim 650 running Windows 10 in addition to the 1020 I use as my primary phone, because there’s no chance in h*** I will ever use any of Google’s spyware laden, battery hog devices running Android OS as my personal phone.

    • Joseph Turgeon

      I’m using a 950Xl in Continuum to type this, but I wont mind if the next Windows phone is android based. As long as there’s no google on it, and the back end cloud is all Microsoft, and it syncs with my i7, I could handle the change. It might take some learning at first..