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Microsoft To Abandon Windows Phone? 505

Posted by samzenpus
from the red-headed-step-child dept.
symbolset writes "Microsoft has had some trouble as of late getting adoption of their mobile products. Even Bill Gates has said it was inadequate. Despite rave reviews of Windows Phone in the press it has failed to get double digit share of the smartphone market. Now comes reports from WMPoweruser that WP8 will lose mainstream support in July 2014."
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Microsoft To Abandon Windows Phone?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 17, 2013 @06:53PM (#43199237)

    Yes, WP8 will be abandoned... for WP8.5 or WP9.

  • by RightwingNutjob (1302813) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @06:53PM (#43199243)
    Microsoft is still dealing with the fact that their flagship products throughout the 1990's are almost universally associated with crashes, poor performance, and overhyped marketing. It bit them with the Zune, and now it's biting them with the phones. You know why XBox is so big? It doesn't have the word 'Windows' or 'Microsoft' in its name, and it had (still has?) its own business unit with its own management structure not tied to Windows.
  • by pablomme (1270790) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @07:00PM (#43199313)

    Ridiculous headline title.

    And a great example of Betteridge's law of headlines [].

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @07:06PM (#43199365)

    it's just part of the push to release everything quicker, more often, and more detriment to the consumer who must constantly re-purchase everything.

    I know Microsoft shafted their customers over windows Phone 7 [and earlier versions] sacrificing a 10% smartphone marketshare for 2%, but you can only do so for so long. That 2% they have now they can expect to drop [to nothing] if they continue to abuse its customer base.

  • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @07:08PM (#43199381)

    Probably longer than Windows phones will, but yes, given that the smartphone market is a ~2 year turnaround business that probably means they're freezing anything new for WP8 nowish, and by this time next year they'll be winding up anything WP8 specific and they'll have WP9 out the door (or 8.1 or whatever it ends up being).

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @07:16PM (#43199437)

    Microsoft is still dealing with the fact that their flagship products throughout the 1990's are almost universally associated with crashes, poor performance, and overhyped marketing. It bit them with the Zune, and now it's biting them with the phones. You know why XBox is so big?

    Except the reality is Windows Phone [was] is not very good, [125 REASONS NOT TO BUY A WINDOWS PHONE 7.5 []. The harsh truth is it was never a serious competitor which will hurt Microsoft in the future, as its potential customers continue to get will end up like the Zune.

    ...oh and the Xbox yeah it lost to last generation model, and drew with Sony who produced a product at what can only kindly be called premium, at the cost of Billions to the company.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday March 17, 2013 @07:19PM (#43199455) Homepage Journal
    "If you want updates, buy Nexus." Is there a problem with that rule of thumb, other than that U.S. prepaid carriers tend not to carry Nexus phones?
  • by DogDude (805747) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @07:21PM (#43199471) Homepage
    Microsoft is still dealing with the fact that their flagship products throughout the 1990's are almost universally associated with crashes, poor performance, and overhyped marketing. It bit them with the Zune, and now it's biting them with the phones.

    No, Windows Phone 8 is really good (I like it better than the other Big Two), and all of the reviews for it are almost universally very positive. Windows Phone 8 doesn't crash, doesn't have poor performance, or overyhyped marketing, as you say.
  • by interval1066 (668936) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @07:24PM (#43199479) Homepage Journal

    You know why XBox is so big? It doesn't have the word 'Windows' or 'Microsoft' in its name...

    You must be new to the world. Microsoft is still the leader in the desktop market, regardless of your opinion. The world is changing, however, and Microsoft isn't chaging with it as fast, I think this is their bigget problem. They smply weren't fast enough to attach to the moble market, and its bit them, hard. Your thing about crashing, etc... however is just hyperbole. Windows IS the desktop OS. Not too sure where you've been living...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 17, 2013 @07:30PM (#43199507)

    Er did you just criticize iOS over Android for update availability?

    For someone who professes to know of business models, you are pretty out of it.

  • by Tom (822) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @07:42PM (#43199599) Homepage Journal

    You're misreading the quote you quoted. It doesn't say this is fact, it says this is image. Or, in other words, after the past experiences we've had with MS products, nobody sane would even consider buying a phone from them.

  • by Mawen (317927) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @07:45PM (#43199619) Journal

    There is sensationalistic journalism, and then there is blatantly misleading journalism. This is the latter.

    Assuming /. wants to be taken seriously, someone's wrist should be slapped for this and/or the headline updated.

  • by dissy (172727) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @08:08PM (#43199753)

    I'm fairly certain the GP was not implying WP8 has any of those problems.
    He said Microsoft has an image problem due to previous products, which is very true.

    Older MS phones had a bad image, requiring reboots multiple times a day due to crashes and poor performance. Phones locking up when receiving calls, missing alarms, and the stylus interface that attempted to mirror the desktop on a teeny screen were all problems older WinCE phones had.

    Windows 95 was famous for not being able to function much longer than a month at a time without a reboot. All of the pre NT series of windows were very unstable, and were very insecure due to the chosen single user design.

    Both of those together created an image in the public mind that Microsoft products crash, are flaky, and can not be relied upon.

    Now, compare that to today. Windows 7 and 8 are pretty stable, and much much more secure than predecessors (irrespective to any comparison to their competition)
    As you say, WP8 has none of those older problems (I am taking your word for that, as I have no experience with windows phones since CE 6 - But at least they didn't stick to the desktop UI!)

    Neither of those facts has yet had enough time to change that older image that has been in place for over a decade. They may not until yet another decade has passed.

    Peoples purchasing decisions are not based on facts, at least not completely (or even mostly) - so such facts as how great the product actually is, is irrelevant.
    The facts from the past have tainted their image so much that purchasing decisions of today are being based on that instead.

    It may or may not be fair (which is a whole other discussion) but that is pretty much what is going on, and why sales are so low.
    It doesn't matter how great the product is today, what matters is their experience in the past and their personal limit on taking a chance of the same result again.

    Personally, if a person or company screws me over and has no remorse at doing so and no indication they want or will change, I refuse to have that person or company as a part of my life.
    If a person or company screws me over enough times, even with all the apologies in the world and the best of intentions, after a point I will be distancing myself from them more as well.

    It's much easier to convince someone to try something completely new, than it is to convince them to try something they have done before and had a bad experience with.

  • And all you have to do is trust that Microsoft will not abandon their existing customers.

    I'll leave the consideration of that track record as an exercise for the audience.

  • by zullnero (833754) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @08:36PM (#43199889) Homepage

    Pretty much so. They continued with the clunky, sluggish and buggy Symbian for waaay to long.

    Uh, no. As someone who actually USED a Symbian phone and wrote code for Symbian phones (for longer that I wanted to), the problem wasn't bugginess. The problem was that it was terrible to write code for. It took C++ and decided to spin it around and around until it made you want to throw up. They had their own notation, for pete's sake. But as far as bugginess goes? Android is FAR buggier and FAR more insecure than even Symbian circa 2006.

    Not like this mattered much in regards to the top level story anyway, Nokia's CEO was desperate to push Nokia back into the US market again (they had always been solid in Europe), and figured teaming up with a very US-ish company like Microsoft would give them a market edge (as if they adopted Android, they'd be just another Android blah blah phone manufacturer competing with the rest of them...and Google itself). It turned out to be a bad call...Windows Phone is the latest in a fairly tainted line of mobile OSs and that taint still haunts all of the children of WinCE to this day. Every new regurgitation has something wrong with it that drives its users up the wall. Microsoft just never "got" mobile. And when it was too late, they started paying off bloggers to write good press about their stuff. Instead of doing what Apple and Google did...basically, imitating and building on the successful points and user interaction flow of previous mobile OSs, Microsoft was transfixed on making its users enjoy their own generally jarringly different user experience and flow. They always had to have things work their way, even if their way wasn't very practical. Mobile client OS design isn't easier than desktop client OS design, and there are way too many people at Microsoft that didn't understand this.

    That said, if Microsoft decided to drop mobile, their shareholders would be furious. They'd lose a lot of stock value. The press would be terrible, PR damage control would be too much to deal with. They will continue to count on that handful of very headstrong people, typically older people, who have been using Windows for 20 years, refuse to ask anyone else's advice, and just conclude that Windows Phone would be the easiest for them to use. Then they get frustrated and complain about it at me. They may continue to ride that 10% of the market for the next 10 years if they have to, because quitting for them would cost them more than losing cash on it for the next 10 years. Just ask Meg Whitman over at HP about that one.

  • Re:Good news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SQLGuru (980662) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @08:38PM (#43199895) Journal

    Even the article says that WP8.Next would have its own a WP8.5 or WP9 would still get at least 18 months of support. The summary is just FUD. There was nothing in the article and nothing in their source saying that Microsoft was abandoning Windows Phone as a platform......just that the OS support has a time limit.

  • by dcherryholmes (1322535) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @09:06PM (#43200035)

    As the owner of a Verizon Galaxy Nexus, who bought it believing what you said is true, I can tell you that they are not. At least not on Verizon. I know, shame on me for thinking it would be otherwise, but your statement is still wrong.

  • Re:RTFA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gadzook33 (740455) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @09:14PM (#43200069)
    Calling the posting FUD is being generous. It's complete crap.
  • by rubycodez (864176) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @09:21PM (#43200105)

    if what you said was true, no one would be stuck on a win 7 phone....but there they are.

    Redmond is the FUD factory

  • by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @09:42PM (#43200195)

    "If you want updates, buy Nexus." Is there a problem with that rule of thumb, other than that U.S. prepaid carriers tend not to carry Nexus phones?

    How are people so lacking in foresight that they can't do the *very* simple math of calculating the significant price difference over time between a "free" phone with an ass-raping contract and buying a phone outright with only the plan and features they need?

  • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by guttentag (313541) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @09:54PM (#43200221) Journal

    18 months sounds like an incredibly stupid length, though, given that most mobile phone carrier contracts are 24 months.

    That's true, but my experience has been that they let you upgrade "early" after 21 months. In the U.S., the carrier and vendors want the thought bubble over your head to look like this:

    • Months 1-6: I have a shiny new phone!
    • Months 7-12: I have a dirty/cracked new phone!
    • Months 13-18: I have a dirty/cracked/scuffed phone that's been rooted by the Chinese/Russians but it's been patched so it's all good!
    • Months 19-21: This phone used to be cool, but now it send all my friends spearphishing emails, the battery life sucks, it can't display modern Web sites and it's not supported anymore! I need a new phone, but I can't get out of my contract. Need a new phone... need a new phone...
    • Months 22-24: I can upgrade early?!! Sweet! I'm getting a good deal here! Getting out of my old contract early and getting a new phone for next to nothing! What a coincidence that they offered this great deal just when I really needed it!

    They don't want you to get here (which is where I've been for the last 9 months):

    • Month 25-infinity: No more contract, and my phone still works just fine, so I can get my phone unlocked, hop carriers all I want and shop around for the best rates!
  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @10:09PM (#43200261) Homepage

    Microsoft has abused its locked-in public for far too long; failed to fix things which were important to users, forced "upgrades" onto business. They abused their monopoly power to everyone's annoyance... even the developers, developers, developers.

    Is it any wonder why, when Microsoft decides to expand into a market they were too late for, that they couldn't draw any fans (because there are none) or developers or anyone? You can only buy so much, but you can't buy customers ... well you can to a degree, but you can't pay them enough to suffer through more Microsoft than they already have to.

    I remember long ago.. Windows95... I was excited. Windows98. Still excited. They were good and popular because anyone could get it... piracy was part of their market share and part of their marketing plan. Once they had full control, the turned on "genuine advantage" and here we are.

    Fool me once, Microsoft, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.

  • by jazzmans (622827) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @11:13PM (#43200483) Journal

    My mod points ran out yesterday, so I can't mod you up.

    But, and this is coming from a linux and android fan, Your post is spot on!

    FUD sucks no matter where it's coming from, and this (OP and thread) is totall sheit.

    Mod Parent Up!

  • Re: Good news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pale Dot (2813911) on Monday March 18, 2013 @12:09AM (#43200659)
    The summary is wrong, but I don't think it's FUD. It's more like trolling to get the clicks of all the Microsoft bashers and haters.
  • Re:Good news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dr Max (1696200) on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:45AM (#43200891)
    They aren't abandoning windows phone. If the story poster had read the story, he would of seen they are stopping support for windows phone 8 in 2014, but considering windows 9 will be coming out fairly soon, that is hardly a problem. Does this guy think that Microsoft has abandoned windows because they stopped support for XP?
  • by davester666 (731373) on Monday March 18, 2013 @02:34AM (#43201033) Journal

    > And Windows Phone 8 phones will be upgradeable.
    >,2817,2416002,00.asp [] []

    Have you read that article. It was 100% bullshit. They claim WP8 is flexible enough to adopt new hardware components, which WP7 couldn't, because the spec for WP7 phones was really specific.

    Well, if WP8 is so flexible, why can't they make it adopt old hardware components like the ones in WP7 phones?
    The reasoning in the article would be why WP7 won't run on newer hardware, not why WP8 won't run on older hardware.

    FTFA: "We're going to have an upgrade path going forward"

    This can easily mean exactly the same as what happened with WP7. We'll skin the homescreen to make the old OS look like the new version, and if you want the new features, buy a new phone.

    FTFA: ""Windows Phone 8 can evolve. We have an architecture that enables portability and is fundamentally hardware independent," he said. "As the market evolves and customer requirements demand it, we'll evaluate options."

    So basically, they didn't port it to WP7 hardware because customers didn't demand it.

  • Re:Good news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RaceProUK (1137575) on Monday March 18, 2013 @08:42AM (#43202161)

    I can always choose not to use Google, but where do I turn when my own computer OS is data-mining my privacy back to Redmond?


  • Well when they dropped windows mobile they said that windows phone 7 would be the new thing going forward...
    Before too long they dropped it, and came out with yet another new incompatible replacement.

    Who's to say they won't do the same again?

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen