Schlagwort-Archive: Lumia

Windows Phone is as good as dead



Image: Mashable composite, Microsoft


With Wednesday’s layoffs, Microsoft, saddled with the losing mobile hand that is Windows Phone, has essentially folded. The bulk of the 7,800 people let go are from the company’s phone division, a tacit admission that its big plans for Windows Phone haven’t exactly worked out.

The company’s not leaving the casino, though: Windows Phone, the platform, isn’t going anywhere, even as Microsoft greatly scales back its hardware ambitions. The company has labored for years to create both a full-featured mobile operating system as well as an ecosystem of devices — PC, phone, tablet and more — that all use the same code base. It would be silly to just abandon its mobile platform, especially as people spend more and more of their time on smartphones.

In fact, if you’re not one of the 7,800 people losing their jobs, there’s actually a lot to like in Satya Nadella’s explanation: Microsoft will continue to build Windows Lumia handsets, but only three types: flagships, business-focused enterprise phones and low-end budget devices.


They’re retreating from being a mainstream player

They’re retreating from being a mainstream player,“ says Martin Reynolds, vice president at Gartner Research. „They’ll continue to bring products to market, but not particularly aggressively.“The move represents a clear refocusing, putting Microsoft’s phones in the arenas where they might actually score a few punches before Android and the iPhone walk away with all the market share. It also rightly ditches the current strategy of offering several different Lumias, each with region-specific models, which led to a muddled brand and a confusing market strategy message to consumers.

Retreating forward

Even without the model shake-up, trimming the fat on the handset business Microsoft acquired from Nokia was probably inevitable. With a few exceptions (hello, curved screens), smartphone design and technology have more or less plateaued — it’s no coincidence that both iOS and Android have essentially taken a „bye“ in 2015, with few feature updates. Big hardware teams aren’t really needed to build good smartphones in 2015, as illustrated by upstart Chinese companies like Xiaomi and OnePlus.

„Things have changed in the last few years,“ says Reynolds. „You don’t have [to be a] big company to run a small phone business. They certainly don’t need the design teams and manufacturing people going forward.“

Still, there are new Lumias — and certainly a new flagship — coming soon. A couple of months after Windows 10 debuts, Windows 10 for phones will arrive, and, as Nadella suggested in his letter to employees, those phones will emphasize the big differentiators in the Windows ecosystem. Commentators like Daniel Rubino at Windows Central almost have you believing that a leaner-and-meaner Microsoft mobile division will be poised to succeed, albeit with lowered expectations, once Windows 10 is fully formed.


That point of view overlooks the crux of the matter: Windows Phone’s fate was never in the hands of Microsoft. What the company does in mobile at this point is virtually irrelevant. It designed a beautiful (and influential!) user interface, offered sweeter deals to developers than competitors, and helped engineer some of the most sophisticated cameras ever seen on mobile.

None of it mattered. Developers and consumers didn’t respond, locked in a deadly catch-22: If the apps weren’t there, consumers wouldn’t buy the phones; if there weren’t enough people on the platform, developers wouldn’t bother creating apps.

„Windows Phone is not even a blip on [developers‘] radar,“ says Richard Hay, a longtime Microsoft observer and contributor to SuperSite for Windows. „They’re not going to start flocking to it, because what’s the draw? You’re still going to have the app gap.“

The „app gap“ ultimately dug Windows Phone’s grave, and even though it’s only got one foot in it, today’s news will be widely perceived as an admission that the other will soon follow. If there were other Windows Phone manufacturers, it might be a different story, but Microsoft makes 97% of the Windows Phones being sold, according to Ad Duplex. If they’re scaling back, who’s going to step up?

Windows 10 and mobile

If there’s a way Microsoft can resuscitate Windows Phone, it’s with Windows 10. Its ecosystem strategy doesn’t depend on it, but with the new OS, Windows Phones will be more connected to the platform than before, sharing all the same code and development tools.

„The universal Windows platform helps,“ says Hay. „Will that persuade developers to develop for handsets and smaller tablets? Is it enough to come back from the edge? i’m just not sure it is.“

That means Windows developers will be able to create Windows Phone versions of their apps with minimal effort, and some of Windows Phone’s key differentiators, like Cortana, will get a chance to shine on PCs, which could ultimately have a positive impact on the platform.

Finally, there’s Continuum — the feature that allows Windows apps to adapt from PC to tablet to phone seamlessly and lets a Windows Phone theoretically act as your PC when it’s plugged into an external screen. And although there will always be performance concerns when trying to do PC with a mobile processor, it’s a pretty cool trick.

Continuum, though, has only the slimmest chance of being the ace in the hole that wins the day — any day — for Windows Phone. Even for enterprise customers, it’s hard to picture any of Windows 10’s differentiators winning over users, especially now that we’re firmly in a BYOD and single-device world.


Even if Continuum ends up being an X factor, who’s left to give Windows Phones a chance?

Even if Continuum ends up being an X factor, who’s left to give Windows Phones a chance? Microsoft is certainly hoping today’s belt-tightening and the Windows 10 launch will lead to some kind of success in mobile, albeit on redefined terms. But it’s not acting in a vacuum. Today’s retreat — or rather the perception of it — may have sealed Windows Phone’s fate. Who would believe the recommendation of a Windows handset after today?Without those new users, developers will have even less incentive to create apps. And without those experiences, Windows Phone will be even more of shell than it is now. What then?

It’s admirable that Microsoft is taking painful steps to preserve what it’s built, but it’s hard not to see its Windows Phone restructuring as delaying the inevitable. Yes, by reducing its ambitions, it’s no longer losing on big bets. But in mobile, there really isn’t a low-stakes table.



Microsoft launches MS-DOS Mobile for Lumia smartphones

Today Microsoft launches MS-DOS Mobile, a new OS designed especially for Lumia smartphones.

Microsoft is going back to where productivity started for millions of people, launching a beautifully simple OS.

The MS-DOS Mobile preview is an essential download. Whether you’re going back to BASIC, or simply booting into DOS for the first time, MS-DOS Mobile marks the next step in Microsoft’s reinvention of productivity.

The OS allows you to run a number of already installed applications, while the sleuths amongst you will delight in uncovering a few extra special features – all through the medium of the much-loved C:\ prompt.

To find out how, and to learn about the story behind it, watch our exclusive launch video.

Daniel Glass who led design on the project, said:

“Turning our back on graphics was hugely liberating. We’ve dropped the resolution, and in doing so re-discovered our roots.”

“The inspiration for the graphical design is Courier New meets film noir.”


Tom Messett, from the marketing team at Microsoft Lumia, said:

“MS-DOS Mobile allows us to look proudly back, while at the same time moving us defiantly forwards.”

“It’s simple, effective productivity re-imagined through the medium of DOS. “


Designed to complement the heritage feel with a new-age operation, MS-DOS Mobile has been re-built from the ground up.

Do you remember MS-DOS? Or is it the stuff of computing legend that you’re getting your hands on for the first time? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Today, Microsoft has launched MS-DOS Mobile, a new OS designed especially for Lumia smartphones. In case you didn’t know, MS-DOS was installed on millions of desktops. Well, now you can install it on your phone. „Black and white text has never looked so good,“ says Tom Messett from Microsoft Lumia Marketing in the launch video. Watch the video to see glimpses of the new/old OS before deciding if you should install it on your phone.

MS-DOS Mobile goes back to the basics. The user type commands to the prompt to access files and folders. The main apps are located in C:\PROGRAMS\PHONE. You can access that by typing these commands:

  • cd programs
  • cd phone
  • dir

This lists all the available apps. For example, typing camera.exe in the next line launches the camera. The camera has three modes: ASCII, B&W, and CGA. You can also switch between the front and rear camera.

MS-DOS Mobile

The ‚internet.exe‘ command in the same folder opens up Internet Explorer. You’ll briefly hear connecting sound before launching the app. There are several other programs that you can check out:

  • Contacts – Opens the contacts list.
  • Email [address] – After user types a message and presses the done button in the application bar, the platform’s email composer is launched
  • Maps [search terms] – Launches the map app with search terms
  • Market – Launches Windows Phone Store
  • Phone [number] – Launches phone app with given number
  • Review – Launches review page for this app
  • Cortana [search terms] – Launches Cortana with the search terms
  • SMS [number] – Launches SMS composer with the number

Before you start complaining how ridiculous this sounds, go check today’s date. It’s April Fools Day! Isn’t this kind of funny? We don’t want to ruin all the fun, so we suggest installing the app and navigating through the command prompts. Watch and re-watch the video for some Easter eggs as well. Hint: there’s an interesting game you can play.

Download MS-DOS Mobile for Windows Phone (Free)

QR: MS-DOS Mobile