When it comes to smartphone operating systems, there’s Android and iOS — and then, there’s everybody else. BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile are both in the low single digits (or lower) and have failed to gain any significant traction in the marketplace in recent years.
Despite the fact that Windows 10 Mobile is continually evolving and getting better as the year progresses, Microsoft made it clear that mobile isn’t a primary focus at this time. "We're fully committed to that 4-inch screen, there will be a time for it to be our focus, but right now it's part of the family but it's not the core of where I hope to generate developer interest over the next year," said Microsoft's Terry Myerson in an interview in late March. "There's no lack of recognition to realize how important that form factor is, but for Microsoft with Windows and for our platform it's the wrong place for us to lead."
Microsoft apparently doesn’t want people to get the wrong idea that Windows 10 Mobile is a second class citizen at the company. Although Microsoft hasn’t addressed the matter publicly since Myerson’s comments in March, the following email has been circulating internally, and was obtained by Windows Central:
I understand that you are hearing concerns from certain partners about Microsoft's commitment to the mobile space.
Let me be very clear: We are committed to deliver Windows 10 on mobile devices with small screen running ARM processors.
We are currently in development of our next generation products and I wanted to reconfirm our commitment to Windows 10 Mobile. We believe in this product's value to business customers and it is our intention to support the Windows 10 Mobile platform for many years. We have a device roadmap to support that from Microsoft as well as our OEM partners who will also be selling an expanded lineup of phone devices based on this platform.
Microsoft clearly has a long-term strategy for the Windows 10 Mobile operating system, and it appears that the “next generation products” that are currently in development could be a reference to the oft-rumored Surface phones that could launch in 2017. Something is clearly needed on the hardware front to spur buyers as Microsoft sold just 2.3 million Lumia smartphones in its most recently completed quarter. That was a steep fall from the 8.6 million Lumias that it sold during the same period in 2015.
With that being said, Microsoft’s latest crop of flagship smartphones — the Lumia 950 and 950 XL — while competent devices haven’t exactly won over consumers. In fact, Microsoft is currently giving away a Lumia 950 if you purchase the more expensive Lumia 950 XL. The promotion is running through May 1st and represents a savings of $549.