Bad news for the Windows Phone lovers out there; according to Business Insider “over the weekend, Microsoft Corporate VP of Windows Joe Belfiore confirmed what its biggest fans already knew — Windows 10 Mobile, the company’s smartphone operating system, is dead.”
The issue for Microsoft, however, is that its mobile division had become untenable. According to The Telegraph:
Windows-powered smartphones have consistently struggled to compete. Windows devices accounted for less than half of one percent of all new smartphone sales in the last quarter of 2016,
The lagging sales may have cost the company more than their mobile division however.
While the news itself isn’t such a shock, the ramification of this decision could be more far reaching. In a world where mobile technology means so much, Microsoft’s decision to scrap its lone smartphone model may be putting a cap on the company’s development.
Business Insider reports that Microsoft’s focus has shifted to AR, or augmented reality, a technology that “layers images on top of views of the real world via a smartphone or… special glasses.”
The problem for Microsoft is that the decline and demise of Windows 10 Mobile could undermine its AR strategy, as Ars Technica’s Peter Bright noted back in August.
Microsoft’s future now relies almost entirely on its ability to create an AR system that doesn’t rely on any of its competitors. It will also have to prove that its AR system will be financially accessible and competitive with new AI development coming out of the other major tech giants. It will be a battle between visual and verbal systems.
Microsoft investors should be on their toes. The company has effectively gone all in on their AR business and will feel the pressure to produce something that is both tangible and viable for field use in the near future if it wants to keep pace with the other GAMA stocks (Google, Amazon and Apple). As the race continues to be about what companies have locked up in their R&D departments, Microsoft will have to show that it isn’t just a one trick pony.
To read The Telegraph’s article on the shutdown of the Windows phone, click here.
To read Business Insider’s article on Microsoft’s scrapping of the Windows phone and their AR project, click here.
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