HP answered with the Elite X3 (read our full review here), which banked heavily on the Windows 10 Mobile Continuum experience. Featuring a 6-inch display, Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage (with microSD expansion), the flagship device used Continuum to turn into a [nearly] full-fledged Windows 10 desktop machine when using the optional Desk Dock with a mouse/keyboard and monitor. Or, in a rather interestingly turn, the device could also convert into a full-blown notebook computer (also via Continuum) with the Lap Dock.
Unfortunately for HP, Microsoft is for all intents and purposes winding down it smartphone operations, including its commitment to Windows 10 Mobile. That is leaving HP, which had poured a considerable amount of resources into the Elite X3, in a tough position.
HP had plotted out a full roadmap for the X3 family, with HP EMEA boss Nick Lazaridis stating at the Canalys Channels Forum in Venice, "X3 was going to bifurcate, there were going to be a number of products." Instead, HP is now only committing to selling its solitary X3 (and supporting it) through 2019. However, there is limited inventory of the product available at the moment, so supplies of the X3 might be depleted well before then. And that's assuming that consumers or corporations want to devote money and resources to what is essentially a dying platform.
Lazaridis explained this change of direction, stating, "Microsoft, as all companies do, decided on a change in strategy and so they are less focused on what they thought they would be focused on today.
"Given that, we also had decided that without Microsoft's drive and support there it doesn't make sense. If the software, if the operating system ecosystem isn't there then we are not an operating system company."
To see how far Microsoft has fallen with respect to its smartphone "game", look no further than company co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates. He revealed in a recent interview that he ditched his Windows Phone for an Android device "with a lot of Microsoft software" on it. He didn't specify which Android device he currently carries around with him.
Current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expressed in his new book that he was completely against Steve Ballmer's decision to purchase Nokia's Devices and Services division. “The hope was that combining the engineering and design teams at Nokia with software development at Microsoft would accelerate our growth with Windows Phone and strengthen our overall devices ecosystem," said Nadella. However, he reasoned that there was really no place for an also-ran third-place operating system in a market dominated by Android and iOS.
"It was too late to regain the ground we had lost. We were chasing our competitors’ taillights," Nadella continued.
The purchase went through, and Nadella ended up writing off the Nokia acquisition to the tune of $7.6 billion after he took over as CEO.