After many years of significant invest, Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 Mobile will no longer be a focus for the company. Though, they will continue to release bug fixes in the near term. Microsoft was early in the mobile space with its CE operating system but was caught unprepared for the launch of Apple iOS in 2007 followed by Google Android in 2008.
At this time Microsoft has not achieved any appreciable market share:
- Microsoft 1.3%
- Android 64%
- iOS 34%
The device partners did deliver good equipment, but at the center of the failed strategy was the target focused on chasing a large volume of applications at the expense of all quality. Each year excessive amounts of incentive money were poured into developer incentive programs, literally buying apps for the app store, there was no emphasis placed on quality. So the store quickly earned a bad reputation. The advertising platform was also a crippling factor in not being able to adequately support apps that were popular.
The missed opportunity was in not leveraging Microsoft’s enterprise strength. Microsoft was already starting far behind Apple and Google. By blindly chasing a parity play of consumer applications they were guaranteed to always be trailing and created no real incentive for a consumer to switch platform. A consumer app based store was always a long-term play that could have developed over the long term. If Microsoft could have built the 10 – 20 most critical enterprise applications that supported back-office integration, dashboards, reporting, and integration into critical 3rd party enterprise software it may have become the indispensable device for all corporate employees. It could have been licensed in packages with existing enterprise software. It may have created a market of its own that everyone else would struggle to catch up.
Now history has been written, goodbye windows mobile….