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Microsoft: Windows Phone isn’t the way to reach lots of customers

Microsoft has made some surprisingly honest statements about Windows Phone, and has indicated that it won’t be the focus in 2016.

While Windows 10 has gotten off to a good start with 270 million active users in less than a year, the same can’t be said for Microsoft’s mobile plans.

Yes, Windows 10 Mobile is technically part of the Windows 10 ecosystem, but it’s a very small part indeed. What’s more, the combined Windows Phone numbers are minuscule in comparison to iOS and Android.

You might think that Microsoft would be pushing for all its worth to scrape out a position on the smartphone market, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. At the Build conference keynote, Windows Phone barely got a mention.

Following the keynote, Windows chief Terry Myerson clarified the company’s Windows Phone position to The Verge: “We’re fully committed to that 4-inch screen, there will be a time for it to be our focus,” he said, “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,”

Then Myerson made a surprisingly frank statement. “If you wanted to reach a lot of phone customers, Windows Phone isn’t the way to do it,” he said.

Related: 5 things we could see in the Surface Phone

Rather, Microsoft is focusing on the much larger install base of “9 to 30-inch screens,” as well as its more innovative products in Xbox and HoloLens.

Myerson does promise that the company is “going to do some cool things with phones,” but says that in 2016, phones are simply “not the tip of the spear.”


What sort of ‘cool things with phones’ can we expect in 2017, then? The long-rumoured Surface Phone?

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