For the first time, Microsoft has publicly admitted Windows Phone is dead for good. The company’s Joe Belfiore, who has been the face of the platform over the past several years, announced the news in a series of Tweets, blaming poor adoption from developers as the primary reason behind Windows Phone’s demise.
The news highlights the difficulties companies face when trying to compete against Android and iOS. Previously, we saw the death of platforms like webOS and BlackBerry OS—now, it’s officially a two-horse race.
“We have tried VERY HARD to incent app devs,” Belfiore said in a Tweet. “Paid money… wrote apps 4 them… but volume of users is too low for most companies to invest.”
For anyone who pays close attention to the mobile market, it was a matter of when, not if, Microsoft would shut down Windows Phone operations. The Redmond-based giant dismantled its phone business in 2016, while sales have been hugely disappointing compared to iOS and Android.
“Of course we’ll continue to support the platform… bug fixes, security updates, etc,” Belifore said. “But building new features/hw aren’t the focus.”
As if to further accentuate his point, Belifore admitted he has already switched to Android due to the app and hardware diversity. Microsoft currently offers some excellent Android and iOS apps, so the company’s mobile ambitions aren’t totally buried.
In fact, Microsoft is focused on creating experiences that share features between Android and PC. A recent launcher for Android built by Microsoft features some clever hand-off features, allowing users to continue viewing photos, edit documents, and more from mobile to a PC.
According to data from earlier this year, 99.6-percent of new smartphones run Android or iOS, highlighting just how little interest there was in Microsoft’s Windows Phone. If you’re a current Windows Phone users and don’t know where to turn, there are many great phones available right now.