Let’s be honest, the Surface Phone, the most discussed topic among Microsoft’s Windows Phone lovers is still based upon rumors. It is not even confirmed that the Surface Phone will come out or not. But hey, a little glimmer of hope can do good to us amidst all the cries of doom and gloom. We have gathered here all that we know about the mythical phone and collected the facts for you guys, so let’s dive in.
The glorious past and the abysmal present
Most of us are quite aware about Microsoft’s abysmal position in the Mobile market today. Windows Phones are all but officially dead. No new phones, no new OEMs, no promotion and Microsoft’s brilliant plan of retrenchment have almost killed the once loved Windows Phone market. Fans, users and the tech pundits are not pleased. After all in the vast array of Android and iOS options, Windows Phone felt like a breadth of fresh air and was welcomed by many.
Many devices came and went, and some left a prominent mark on the Smartphone market. The Nokia Lumia 1020 was heralded for the superb camera technology and the Lumia 920 took the design of Smartphones to a new level. The OS was welcomed by many and iOS was having a tough time competing with Microsoft’s Windows Phone in many countries.
All was going well until Microsoft decided to purchase Nokia. Things started to take a downhill turn from then and Windows Phone was never the same. Apps started pulling out from the store, market share declining in countries and importantly meh phones caused users to leave the platform. Still the fan base remained and people knew that there is something called Windows Phone. This situation, however didn’t last long after Satya Nadella became the CEO.
From the beginning, Nadella was not in favour of the Nokia acquisition and started reversing his predecessor, Steve Ballmer’s decision. The decision of retrenching from the smartphone market sounded the death knell for Windows Phones. With no new devices, the horrible state of Windows 10 Mobile and the attitude towards the remaining Windows Phone users, Microsoft was hell bent on driving away all the remaining customers. Windows Phone was no more a smartphone OS for consumers, it was all about the enterprise users now.
The last line-up of Lumia devices, the x50 series launched in late 2015. The flagships Lumia 950 & 950XL were followed by the budget Lumia 550 and the business centred Lumia 650. More devices were in the works, but Microsoft killed all of them. The Lumia 650 was the last of the Windows Phone to be produced by Microsoft. Fans were sad and angry but Microsoft promised that OEMs would take up the lead and more great phones were coming up. Never before was such a great lie told.
Except HP, no big OEM invested in the already dying platform. Acer and Lenovo came up with mediocre phones and quickly dropped them and vanished from the Windows Phone market. Small OEMs like NuAns tried and failed. Windows Phone became a standing joke, and people laughed at the mention of them. Frustrated users, heartbroken fans and small time investors, all were leaving the platform and Microsoft just didn’t give a damn about them. It seemed that Microsoft wanted the remaining user and fan base to die out.
Microsoft wanted the remaining user and fan base to die out
The current scenario
So what’s the current situation now? Is Windows Phone still a thing? The answer is no. Microsoft has done all to sink the platform to the lowest depths possible. No new phones, no new OEM partnerships, no advertising, just nothing. To make matters worse, they have now started selling Android Phones in the Microsoft Store. The excellent Samsung Galaxy S8 and other similar devices are available at the Microsoft Stores which offer a ‘great Microsoft experience’. It hurts, right?
The Lumia 950/XL is now an old phone. The Alcatel Idol 4S, though a great phone has a limited availability and the best the platform can offer, the HP Elite x3 is not a consumer centric phone. Whatever remaining people are still using Windows Phone are on old devices, mostly Lumias. Though disgusted by the lack of apps, they were pleased about one thing. Microsoft still supported their old phones with continuous updates that improved the performances and brought, if not much, but a few features nonetheless.
At least Windows Phone users were proud of one thing, updates. No Android phone receives so much support and Apple’s iOS updates are notoriously known for slowing down older devices and rendering them useless. Well, Microsoft ended that too. Starting from the Creators Update, only 13 phones would receive further updates. The remaining devices would only get security updates and the supported ones will get feature updates if there will be any. The Creators Update for mobile looked more like an afterthought when compared to the PC counterpart. No new features but only bug fixes, that was all about the Creators Update.
The creators Update for mobile looked more like an afterthought.
To cap all the matters, the new insider builds for Mobile has deviated from the main development branch and has been side lined to a ‘feature2’ branch. Though Microsoft claims that this all a part of development process and would soon get normal, fans can’t help but get suspicious. We tried to pacify the readers that their suspicions were not entirely true, and Windows 10 Mobile is still alive.
The future and Surface Phone
Get it straight folks, the Windows Phone that you once loved and cherished is now dead. At best it is in maintenance mode, but that is all. No new OEMs are making new devices, save HP. There is a faint rumour of a Windows 10 variant of the Samsung Galaxy S8 but that’s still a rumour and not a very credible one. The phone that will be coming from HP will be a enterprise focused device and will likely not pique the interests of consumers.
Is there any device which can save Windows Phone as it is now? Will there be a savior which will again grab the attention and resurrect Windows Phone in its former glory? The answer is clear. In it’s current form, Windows Phone doesn’t have a chance. But if Microsoft overhauls the platform completely once again? It is clear that without the presence of Windows on phones, Microsoft’s goal of ‘1 Billion devices running Windows 10’ will remain an unachievable dream.
Enters the Surface Phone. The mythical phone which will be able to run full Windows 10, run all traditional x86 apps and will drive you to Mars one day(okay this was a joke). While it seems all rosy and nice, there are no solid facts behind the existence of this phone. From all that we know, it may come sometime in late 2017 or early 2018. Knowing Microsoft’s love for phones, it may well get cancelled too.
Get a fact straight folks, Windows Phone is dead. And by dead we mean, buried deep down never to rise again. The OS however, lives on and is still being supported by Microsoft currently. Updates will come, your phone will still live on, and you can make calls from it. But after it breaks, what phone will you get? Will it be Android, iOS or will you hold out for the Surface Phone? Tell us in the comments below!