By Ye Zhu
On Oct. 9, 2017, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore announced that building new features and hardware for Windows mobile would not be the focus of their work. The company will only continue to support the platform by fixing bugs and updating systems for security reasons. This is the first time for Microsoft to admit that they are going give up on the Windows Phone system. The industry generally pointed out: the third biggest firm for the smart phone system in the world is dead.
Likewise, the report about the use of smartphones from the marketing research agency IDC shows, in 2017, Windows Phone has only a 0.1% portion of users in the world. By contrast, Android’s portion is 85% and IOS’s is 14.7%. IDC also shows, that the developers didn’t focus too much on the system because of the lack of new cooperative partners, which led to the constant decrease of the portion. In the end of September, the founder of Microsoft, the previous CEO, Bill Gates admitted that he had switched his Windows Phone to Android.
For each mobile business, cell phone manufacturers, developers, and users are the three most crucial elements. The developers are not willing to create Apps for Windows Phone because they have too few users. On the other side, consumers don’t want to use the Window Phone as the number of Apps they own is so small. Actually, Microsoft has contributed a lot to attract more developers. However, the developers still put the emphasis on IOS and Android. For Windows Phone, the speed of software renewal becomes slower and slower. There are always so many bugs, which haven’t been fixed in a timely manner. Therefore, the situation always brings about a very bad user experience. Furthermore, some Apps on Windows Phone have been difficult for user use. For example, ALIPAY, one of the most popular Apps in China, gave up renewing on Windows Phone and announced it would not support the old version either.
Missing the correct time is also a crucial reason for the failure. In 2010, Android became more and more popular, and gradually took the smartphone markets. Likewise, the iPhone 4 was also widely praised. This year, Microsoft decided to join the competition and ultimately published the Windows Phone system. Furthermore, the previous CEO, Steve Ballmer has told the media that the cloud service had been explored under his leadership, but Microsoft didn’t take any measures about hardware at that time. He said the mistake that they had made on Windows Phone system was always taking some old-fashioned strategies, like software licensing and other miscellaneous things. There were also several problems with the business model and delivery methods. However, the source of all these problems are not having the ability to develop something new.
Consequently, Microsoft failed to set up a market positioning. The original intention to publish Windows Phone system was to move the desktop advantage of Windows to the mobile. By giving up this strategy, Windows Phone lost out in the smartphones market, as a hesitant strategy couldn’t catch up to the changing market.