We’ve known for a while that the Windows Phone was dying. But over the weekend, Microsoft has publicly confirmed that the platform is — officially — dead.
Joe Belfiore, Microsoft’s Windows 10 chief, admitted in a series of tweets on Sunday that the company will no longer be developing new features or hardware for the Windows 10 Mobile operating system. Belfiore tweeted that Microsoft will still issue bug fixes and security updates to users of the platform, but that new features and hardware are no longer the “focus.”
In another tweet, the Microsoft senior vice president said that the company had tried “very hard” to incentivize app development and foster the app economy on Windows 10.
In some cases, Belfiore said his team paid developers money or wrote apps for them. But, in the end, the “volume of users is too low for most companies to invest,” he added.
Microsoft basically marked the end of the Windows Phone era in July when it killed support for the lineup of devices. But, until this weekend, the company has never publicly admitted that the platform was being killed off. With Belfiore’s confirmation that new hardware isn’t the focus at Microsoft, rumors of a new Surface Phone seem to be dead in the water.
The Windows Phone first debuted in 2010, and the Windows Mobile operating system quickly became the third most popular OS in the world. Despite that, Microsoft’s platform couldn’t compete with the likes of iOS and Android. Together, the two mobile giants accounted for about a 99.6 percent combined global market share earlier this year.
Interestingly, in response to a tweet that suggested users might switch ecosystems now that the Windows Phone is dead, Belfiore added that the “huge, huge majority” of PC and Xbox users are already “mixed-ecosystem” users.
Actually, a huge, huge majority of our Windows/Office (and Xbox) users are mixed-ecosystem. MOST people have a different phone than “PC” https://t.co/maS1yBRPSs
— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) October 8, 2017