Microsoft Has Given Up On Trying to Make Windows Phones a Thing

At least it will still put out security fixes.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone efforts are finally over, judging by a series of tweets from Windows 10 chief Joe Belfiore.

A few months back, Microsoft msft ended support for its Windows Phone 8.1 platform. However, that version was succeeded by Windows 10 Mobile—a more handset-friendly version of Microsoft’s desktop operating system.

Responding to questions from Windows Phone users on Sunday, Belfiore said Microsoft would still provide bug fixes and security updates for Windows 10 Mobile, but building new features and hardware is no longer a focus for the company.

It’s no surprise that Microsoft has turned its back on the smartphone operating system market. The firm laid off thousands of workers last year as it slashed the mobile business it had bought from Nokia in 2014—a purchase that led to a $ 7.6 billion write-off.

Last month, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates outed himself as an Android user. On Sunday, Belfiore said that he too had “switched platforms for the app [and hardware] diversity.”

The lack of app diversity on Microsoft’s mobile platforms was a big problem for the company. Developers of mobile apps, dealing with limited resources, go for the most popular platforms first in order to recoup their investments; without a hefty app roster, it’s near-impossible for an underdog platform to take on its larger rivals.

“We have tried VERY HARD to [incentivize] app devs,” Belfiore wrote. “Paid Monday… wrote apps 4 them… but volume of users is too low for most companies to invest.”


Microsoft spices up Surface Hub with Azure cloud services

Microsoft’s supersize Surface Hub is often viewed as a computer for videoconferencing and digital whiteboarding, but it is emerging as more than the centerpiece of a conference room.

The Surface Hub is a one-of-a-kind, all-in-one PC with a 55- or 84-inch screen that started shipping a few months back. The device provides new ways for users to present, exchange, share and manipulate data from the Azure cloud, said Hayete Gallot, general manager at Microsoft Devices.

Users are still exploring ways in which it can be used. The large screen and collaborative features can be powerful tools in visualizing data extracted from the cloud, Gallot suggests.

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At Build, Microsoft tried a different way to mobile developers’ hearts

At its Build developer conference this week, Microsoft showed how it plans to stay relevant in the mobile computing market without a popular mobile OS.

Microsoft’s plan isn’t so much to rely on developers building applications for Windows 10 Mobile, but rather to create tools to help them build apps on any OS and hope this trickles down to help Microsoft as a whole.

One key move in this regard is releasing Xamarin’s tools to developers for free. Xamarin, which Microsoft acquired a few weeks ago, lets developers create apps for iOS and Android using C#, a programming language that Microsoft originated.

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