After a run of 3 years, starting back from 2014, Microsoft has ended support for the second iteration of their mobile OS, the Windows Phone 8.
Back in 2010, when mobile operating systems like iOS and Android were still in their prime, Microsoft decided to enter the ever expanding mobile race with its Windows Phone 7 platform at the time.
It was received with mixed reviews, some praising it for its fluid UI with tiles and smooth animations while others criticized it for being too bare bones and not having enough features (there wasn’t even a copy and paste option back then!).
The Rise of Android/iOS
iOS and Android had expanded exponentially during the previous three years and hence were the preferred platform for all major developers and users alike. This made it difficult for Microsoft’s new OS to come into its own in the already crowded mobile OS space.
The end of Windows Phone 8 marks the end of support for around 80% of users still using the Windows Phone 7, 8 or 8.1.
Although the next iteration, Windows 10 Mobile was released later, it seems to be the last effort that Microsoft has made in the mobile OS space.
Less Than 1% Market Share
Already 99.6% of all new smartphones run on either Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android OS. This gives MS only a 0.4% share in the mobile OS spectrum.
If the expulsion of around 7800 Nokia employees was any indication, Microsoft seems to be moving away from this market. It is looking to focus on cloud services and its Surface line of products.
Although there are a few devices which can be upgraded to the latest OS, but they are not that much significant in numbers.
Moreover Microsoft also seems to be following the ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ phrase as it is looking to increase the compatibility of Windows 10 OS for desktop computers with mobile devices running iOS and Android.
According to Microsoft, it’s not about what OS is being used to interact with the machines, rather, who is using the machine that’s important.