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Windows Phone Dies Today (theverge.com) 233

From a report: Microsoft is killing off Windows Phone 8.1 support today, more than three years after the company first introduced the update. The end of support marks an end to the Windows Phone era, and the millions of devices still running the operating system. While most have accepted that the death of Windows Phone occurred more than a year ago, AdDuplex estimates that nearly 80 percent of all Windows-powered phones are still running Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8, or Windows Phone 8.1. All of these handsets are now officially unsupported, and only 20 percent of all Windows phones are running the latest Windows 10 Mobile OS.
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Windows Phone Dies Today

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  • by fred6666 ( 4718031 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @11:42AM (#54787055)

    it never took off.
    A monopoly on both desktop and mobile would not be a good thing for consumers.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      They were too late to the game. If they had been first they probably would have been the standard.

      We'd all have been complaining about it like we do the windows desktop- but it would be silly to have anything else because Windows Phone would be the standard.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        But they never would have been first. The iPhone was a fundamental reimagining of the mobile phone, a generational change. After the iPhone razed the landscape of clunky, carrier controlled phones, others, like Android and Windows phone, were able to step into the new world. The iPhone was the big bang of mobility devices.

        • Re:Glad (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @12:16PM (#54787379)

          But they never would have been first. The iPhone was a fundamental reimagining of the mobile phone, a generational change. After the iPhone razed the landscape of clunky, carrier controlled phones, others, like Android and Windows phone, were able to step into the new world. The iPhone was the big bang of mobility devices.

          That's not entirely true. There was the IBM Simon and the Palm Pilot phones and blackberries before iPhone. There were also other "dumb" phones that could run apps. I had one that predated iPhone.

          Apple were just the first to put a really solid device together that worked well and appealed to a large market.

          It's not impossible to believe that someone at Microsoft could have thought "Let's make a better version of the Palm Pilot Phone" before Apple had the idea... they just didn't. Or if they did, the stupidity of the MS management squashed the idea until it was too late.

          • by swb ( 14022 )

            I think Apple's big breakthrough was that it was all screen. Until that point every PDA Phone was half keyboard, half screen and on the iPhone you had a "giant" screen which seemed even bigger and more useful with pinch zoom and scrolling.

          • There was the IBM Simon and the Palm Pilot phones and blackberries before iPhone.

            1994 to early 00s, that's a huge gap there. You fail to mention Nokia's GEOS-based 9000 Communicator, launched in 1996. It was perhaps the first commercially successful smartphone, and the first mobile device to do web browsing with graphics.

          • At least in the States. Up until then the cheapest one I knew was a couple grand. And there were big fees for getting your app hosted. Forget about 'free' apps.
      • Re:Glad (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dlleigh ( 313922 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @12:15PM (#54787377)

        Microsoft was not late to the market: they have been working on phones for a long time, and PDAs before that. Windows Mobile on phones predates both the iPhone and Android.

        For whatever reason, Microsoft was just never able to get mobile right.

        • I had a Windows Mobile 5 (later updated to 6) phone. It was actually pretty great. And I was doing things miles beyond what the iPhone did years later.

          The only thing it didn't have was built-in GPS, so I bought a GPS receiver ($99 at the time) and an add-on for mapping and navigation (at $5 a month, I think).

          • by stooo ( 2202012 )

            >> Windows Mobile 5 (later updated to 6)
            That's soooo cute, really. Most Winphones didn't update, and were obsoleted overnight !

        • For whatever reason, Microsoft was just never able to get mobile right.

          Totally agree - I'm floored by all the comments claiming MS was late. But I believe what they missed was apps. I agree with the other fond memories of WM mentioned. I remember, despite seriously hating MS, I thought in 2006, "Wow, they got this WM 5.x pretty right, this is the wave of the future. It's just a pain to install software. They need something like apt-get." How many years did MS sit on it's butt before Apple came out with a technically inferior phone, with the exception of the app store?

          • You're underestimating how out-of-this-worldly easy to use the iPhone was for the common population. The iPhone was a smartphone that just fucking worked (as cliched as it sounds). iOS 1.0 didn't even include an app store. It was that browsing the web with Safari was almost as comfortable as doing it on a PC, excepting the obvious differences in form factors.

            Windows Mobile 6.5 was DOS-like in comparison. Obviously designed for an era other than of readily available processing power.
            • Windows Mobile 6.5 was DOS-like in comparison.

              I wouldn't go that far. I'd say it was Windows 98-like in comparison. That's still a pretty spectacularly crap interface compared to the iPhone, though. The pathetic thing though is that we had LCD organizers before either one existed which had an iPhone-like interface with an ultra-simple launcher, apps always taking up the full screen and the like, but Microsoft still felt that phones needed to have an interface just as complex and powerful as a PC in spite of the drastically lesser screen real estate.

          • In fairness to Microsoft, Apple didn't understand the importance of apps at first either. They didn't even allow third parties to create them. In terms of apps, the difference between Apple and Microsoft is that Apple figured out and adapted to the reality of the business rather quickly.

        • a. Microsoft is not hip. You need to be hip to sell phones because like movies the sales are driven by what teenagers buy.

          b. Microsoft, for whatever reason, refused to give rank and file phone salesmen a spiff. So if I went into a Sprint/AT&T/T-Mobile/Whatever and bought an iPhone or Android that salesmen got a few bucks. He/she got nothing for a Windows phone. So they were promptly relegated to the bottom of a filing cabinet in a disused lavatory behind a sign marked 'beware of leopard'.
      • They were too late to the game. If they had been first they probably would have been the standard.

        They were very early to the game. They were there way, way before iOS and Android. They could have owned the market. But, they failed. Ignominiously. Abjectly. As it behooves the despicable company that they have always been. And thank goodness for that.

      • They were too late to the game. If they had been first they probably would have been the standard.

        I had a Windows Phone before Apple started making Ipods being the first in the game is no guarantee of success.

    • I don't think there would have been any monopoly, and besides, Microsoft no longer has even a desktop monopoly. Apple has quite a viable alternative, and if they introduced a few Macs in the $500 range, they'd be good to go. Chromebooks too - if they dropped the requirement that everything has to be on 'the cloud' and provided some w/ adequate storage, they'd be pretty good as well.
      • Chromebooks too - if they dropped the requirement that everything has to be on 'the cloud' and provided some w/ adequate storage, they'd be pretty good as well.

        They're doing that already. Newer Chromebooks run Android apps, which can all use local storage. It isn't a great solution by any means at least until apps that leverage the screen, the keyboard and the mouse start appearing, but it's being done.

    • Phone, computer, iPad etc? Granted...their system integration actually WORKS, but still...
      • I'm also glad Apple doesn't have more than 10-20% market share in the computer and smartphone markets.

    • "Windows Phone Dies Today"
      or is it rather
      "Windows Phones Die Today"
      ?

      is there one or two WPhones remaining in service to die today ?

      • by green1 ( 322787 )

        Numbers in the article talk about "80%" and "20%" assuming whole numbers of devices, that would imply there were actually FIVE devices remaining in service!

    • Window's Phone : https://i.ytimg.com/vi/1Z45FYq... [ytimg.com]

    • The real issue that I see, is that the Windows Phone didn't bring anything to the table. It was just a Me Too attempt.
      The Market was already dominated by Apple as the design that other base after. And Android was the alternative that worked on all the non-apple devices.
      Google beat Microsoft to the rest of the devices game.

      If Microsoft brought something good to the table, Support for native x86 windows applications? or just better cross platform support. That may had been enough to change the market.

      With

  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @11:44AM (#54787087)
    My friend works at a Sprint store. They have a Windows phone in the back room. Everyone asks for the iPhone or whatever Android phone is sale. They never ask for the Windows phone.
  • Story icon (Score:2, Interesting)

    by acoustix ( 123925 )

    Why does it have an Android icon for a story about a Windows OS?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's how dead the windows phone platform is

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      Android license fees paid to Microsoft subsidize windows phones.

    • Yeah, they should have used a Windows icon.

    • Why does it have an Android icon for a story about a Windows OS?

      Microsoft ended support for the Windows Mobile Icon a few years ago. We make do with what we have.

  • does not mean what you think it means.

    • Re:Dies... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @12:59PM (#54787817)

      My coworker has a new Windows phone. He likes it. If you don't need a million apps then it's not a bad product. The UI I think is pretty nice; what fails on the desktop works on the phone.

      However, it's not dead because even the summary says there's a still Windows 10 phone. All that died was the previous version. That in itself should be the story, the Microsoft is accelerating the planned obsolescence in their rush to emulate Apple. But it's not dead. I know it's a Slashdot meme to declare things dead at the first sign of sniffles, but sheesh...

      • by Nutria ( 679911 )

        Will Windows 8.1 phones keep working? If so, then the phones aren't dead.

        • by sd4f ( 1891894 )
          Yea, it's just the official end of mainstream support. Reality is WP8.1's last update was early to mid 2015. With this though, more apps will lose support and possibly stop working. While the OS worked quite well, third party support really dropped badly in the last couple of years, and from the position where it was, i.e. not very well supported to begin with, it just went dire for the platform.
      • More precisely, Windows Phone/Mobile is fine for work: it has Office, OneNote & Outlook coming w/ it, and along w/ Calendar & Maps, it's ideal for use as a business/work phone. Yeah, you're out of luck if you want Snapchat or Pokemon Go: however, there are a few other apps that still work, such as Fandango, which is still supported. The calculator is awesome: features not just a calculator w/ different modes, but also unit conversions. Toss in a currency converter, and they'd be all set.

        Howev

      • However, it's not dead because even the summary says there's a still Windows 10 phone.

        It's dead. Apps in the app store are not updated, my banking apps are being phased out, for Win10. Also, build quality has become gradually worse from the label Nokia to Microsoft. Apps (e.g. whatsapp) becoming worse, more app quirks. Last buy was a Lumia 640, great value, great battery. I found winphone a great improvement to Android 4 but will be returning to Android reluctantly.

    • does not mean what you think it means.

      Meanwhile, Darl McBride, the owner of the intellectual property rights to the Windows Phonery, has announced that the Windows Phone is "not quite dead yet", and "thinks he'll take the Windows Phone out for a walk."

      Owners of iPhones and Android phones will still be able to use their devices, provided they pay the Elusive Useless Litigation Acquiescence of $1,399 to cover the iPhone and Android infringement on the Windows Phone technology. McBride plans to use the influx of funds to finance yet even more li

    • All phones are not upgradeable to Windows 10 Mobile. I tried it w/ a Lumia 520 I once had, but the system requirements clearly stated that it was not possible.

      Microsoft should make Windows 10 Mobile something like Android Marshmallow, so that people can swap the definitions of primary & secondary storage, then pop a 128GB SD card into any old Windows phone, define that as the main memory, and then install Windows 10 Mobile on that, and re-define the 8/16/32GB internal memory as external storage.

  • It's, it's, um, probably pining for Mt. Ranier.

  • The usual story with MS: Enter the market too late, rely on their dominance of the general user desktop market (decreasing with tablets and phones), and hoping a marketing/hype effort will be enough to compensate.IE/Edge is another example. The only question now is, between the heavyweight 'A' players. (Android and Apple) which will dominate the market. (or perhaps a fork of Android)
    • by Misagon ( 1135 )

      To nit-pick, they didn't enter the market late. They were just left behind when the Blackberry and then the iPhone and Android whizzed past them.
      They have been trying to catch up, but didn't make it.

      • It's the same thing that happened to IE.

        When Firefox (and later Chrome) hit the market and started decimating their market share, the just said "meh, businesses still love us." By the time they woke up, all they could do was damage control. Now they bitch and whine about how "browser monocultures" are the worst thing ever.

        • by sd4f ( 1891894 )
          Actually, now that you make that analogy, it seems spot on. MS's approach has been to target 'enterprise' with their mobile products once it became clear the consumer attempt wasn't going anywhere (around 2013-2014). I've been quite sceptical about the strategy of targeting enterprise only, because the rise of the smartphone was decided by consumers, not enterprise. Browser wars appear to have gone in the same direction, while I'm purely an observer, it appears to me that even enterprise has been moving fro
    • The only question now is, between the heavyweight 'A' players. (Android and Apple) which will dominate the market. (or perhaps a fork of Android)

      Depends on your definition of dominate. Android dominates by market share.

      Apple dominates in profits for the host company.

    • You skipped an important aspect of the story: the people who would otherwise be at the vanguard, the Microsoft fanatics, aren't interested. They thought Microsoft was serious about Pocked PC 2000, then it was abandoned. Then Windows Mobile, and then it was dropped. Then Windows Phone 7 was important. Then it was dropped. Then Windows Phone 8...

      It's poetic justice. The big reason Microsoft still dominates corporate desktop is legacy support. Companies are running Windows 95 and Windows NT applicat
  • I still think MS probably should have purchased RIM and re-introduced the Blackberry and BES. Blackberry was the enterprise phone for a long time, and it seemed like a natural fit back when Microsoft was courting Nokia in 2013. BB was on life support back then, but still had its fans.

    It might have worked.

    Probably not.

    • Yeah, that OS might have been more successful had it remained in Nokia's hands. Microsoft could have bought off RIM and integrated their features into Windows 10 Mobile, which incidentally is what Windows Phone should have been like.

      Had Nokia kept it, there could have been 2 stores - one Microsoft's, one Nokia's, and there would have been more of an incentive to buy those

  • the millions of devices still running the operating system

    LOL!

    Yeah, right.

    They should just call the 2 people still using Windows phone to let them know.

    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
      I already know. You need to find the other user.
      • I already know. You need to find the other user.

        Hi! I am the second user. The ops job is done here.

        Shame they broke the promise of the windows 10 upgrade for my lumia 450. Bastards.

        • No, no, no!!! I'm the second user!

          Unless--gasp--there are more than two of us! But no, that wouldn't fit the \. ethos, so it couldn't be true.

  • Yeah, well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by woboyle ( 1044168 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @12:33PM (#54787583)
    I was working for Nokia Mobile Phones when MS took it over. A week before the deal was complete, MS said that everyone would be kept on. Two weeks after the deal was complete, they laid off 20,000 of us! Yeah. MS is a predator! We were a division of Nokia that was serving over 100 million customers world-wide...
  • It sucked (Score:4, Funny)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @12:36PM (#54787601)

    The only place where everybody had a Windows phone was on the TV show 'Under the Dome'.
    And even there they couldn't get any service.

  • This is a stupid story. Support officially ended for it. That doesn't mean it's "dead". Here are the list of all of the products that have support ending in 2017. Are all of these "dead", then?

    Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 2 January 10, 2017
    Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1 October 10, 2017

    Microsoft Customer Care Framework 2005 .NET 2.0 Edition
    Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2006
    Microsoft Voice Command 1.6
    January 10, 2017

    Microsoft BizTalk Adapters for Host S

    • Yes, of course they're dead. Now, some businesses may be stupid enough to continue using a product that is unsupported, but that doesn't change the fact that they're dead.

      • by DogDude ( 805747 )
        What does it mean for software to be "dead"? We still use a bunch of the software on this list and it still works just fine.
  • Remember when Microsoft held a "funeral" for the iPhone in 2010? [engadget.com] Today the iPhone makes more money for Apple than all of MS.
  • I have a Lumia 928 with Windows Phone 8.1 and once it dies, I might not get another phone. Android and iOS are still clunky messes. For as much as Microsoft gets wrong, sometimes they get things right; and I think WP 8.1 on Nokia designed hardware was one of those moments.

  • by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @01:53PM (#54788333)

    Headline does not match summary. Windows Phones running 8.x are now unsupported, but Windows Phones running 10.x are still around and supported. Headline should be "Windows Phone OS 8.x unsupported as of today"

    • clickbait headline is clickbait.

      Windows Phone is on life-support. They can't kill it per se because their OEM partner, HP, released a Windows 10 phone only in August last year.

  • Microsoft thought they could hijack Nokia's passionate fanbase. But those people were hyped for MeeGo, so when that died, everyone was furious. So you could say that WP didn't merely start from zero, it started from a huge negative number: millions of people who hated it by default.

  • Hey Windows guys,

    I know you're reading this. Could you please, please, please flick the switch that lets me install Windows 10 on my Lumia 530 before you turn out the lights.

    Thanks,

    Tezbobobo.

  • It seems to me that Windows Phone died years ago. They're just finally burying the body.

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