RIP Windows Phone: 2010-2017

The boys at Redmond are taking the mobile platform out behind the shed.

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Microsoft officially launched its Windows Phone platform back in 2010 in an attempt to shoehorn itself into the lucrative smartphone market with Apple and Google. In October of that year, HTC delivered the first handset featuring the Windows Phone operating system, the HTC 7. The Windows Phone operating system used Microsoft’s Metro UI and offered a smattering of live tiles for its homescreen. The Metro UI was also featured in the company's largely unpopular Windows 8 desktop OS, possibly contributing to consumer hesitation towards the mobile counterpart. Windows Phone never gained traction with users or app developers and has been on life-support for years. It appears that the plug has finally been pulled.

In a tweet posted yesterday, Joe Belfiore, a Vice President in Microsoft’s operating systems group, revealed that the Windows Phone platform would see no further hardware or software feature updates and that existing users should expect nothing more than bug/security fixes going forward.

Belfiore also touched on the struggle Microsoft had getting third party developers and end users to pay attention to its baby. Maybe people would have been more willing to smile and wave at that baby if it wasn’t so ugly and unpopular. That one guy on the forum you read occasionally is going to be super-bummed about all of this.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

From The Chatty

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    October 9, 2017 10:05 AM

    Chris Jarrard posted a new article, RIP Windows Phone: 2010-2017

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      October 9, 2017 10:26 AM

      Finally. Fuck Microsoft.

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        October 9, 2017 12:41 PM

        Did Microsoft kill your dog or something?

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          October 9, 2017 12:52 PM

          They squandered their opportunity with horrible decisions and then left those of us who supported and loved the platform in limbo for years.

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      October 9, 2017 10:51 AM

      I'm that one guy... ...

      i still use my Lumia 1020 (as i desperately cling onto it waiting for US release of Nokia 8 or 9)... and i love this phone. RIP windows phone.

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        October 9, 2017 12:18 PM

        I am still on my 950. Bought a replacement battery for it yesterday. I guess I should just start shopping. I was hoping to hold out until the Surface phone, but I knew it was a pipe dream anyway.

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          October 9, 2017 12:31 PM

          Mostly happy with iOS so far here.

          I still miss the back button because it left the side swipe gestures open to doing useful things in apps instead of just going back and some other stuff (the Windows Phone keyboard was way better)

          Overall though, I think it's a net win just by having a supported system - oh and it's WAY faster at web browsing.

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            October 9, 2017 12:32 PM

            I can't buy into the Apple ecosystem. Never liked it and I doubt I would now even though a lot has changed. I will probably move begrudgingly to Android sometime after Christmas when there are deals on phones about if my 950 can hold out for that long with a new battery.

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        October 9, 2017 12:53 PM

        950 here. Not in a rush, but looking at alternatives, including no smart phone

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          October 9, 2017 1:19 PM

          Go back to a razr. Reall the perfect flip phone, amirite?

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      October 9, 2017 1:16 PM

      I went from an iPhone to a Lumia 920 then 1020, and loved them both. Too bad it didn't work out.

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      October 9, 2017 1:46 PM

      I actually kinda liked those. The Live tiles felt very modern at the time. Still do actually.

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        October 9, 2017 1:50 PM

        I still like the UI better than Android and iOS.

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          October 9, 2017 3:31 PM

          fuck, the Zune HD feels more modern than iphones. I loved the Windows Phone tiles and interface. Actually made your home-screen interesting and useful rather than just a giant quicklaunch bar.

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          October 10, 2017 10:16 AM

          agreed, it is the best UI still... just couldn't get the app support it needed :(

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        October 9, 2017 4:06 PM

        I loved them. iOS should rip them off. Dynamic icons that are resizable would work great for something similar.

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      October 9, 2017 1:51 PM

      I was a very early adopter (day 1) and loved the OS. Its too bad. Not sure why it did so poorly but I guess they got in too late

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        October 9, 2017 2:49 PM

        It did poorly because they clung to the C# requirement for apps which made it incredibly impractical for cross platform development. Why spend a significant amount of effort for something on a platform with a tiny fraction of the market? So they got second rate knockoff apps which didn't give a compelling reason for people to move to that platform despite it being a better user experience (imo).

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          October 9, 2017 3:50 PM

          Didn’t they reboot the platform every other year for a while too?

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            October 9, 2017 4:05 PM

            yep, this was the main problem

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              October 9, 2017 4:16 PM

              I dunno. WP7 was basically DOA because the store sucked and had no comparable apps to the other ones. That basically killed the whole thing going forward. You'd hear about these sweet games and apps that people had on other phones and there'd be nothing for the WP.

              There was a significant barrier to entry (completely separate codebases) for a tiny market segment. If users could get the same games and apps on the Windows Phone when it originally came out then there could have been a decent reason for them to give it a try.

              Personally, I loved my Samsung Focus (WP7). It was fantastic. But the store couldn't compete so I ultimately abandoned the platform.

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                October 9, 2017 5:31 PM

                that has nothing to do with C#

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                  October 10, 2017 3:49 AM

                  Are you sure? WP7 was C#-only, so coming from another platform, you really did have to rewrite absolutely everything, even any support libraries you used.

                  The reason it was C#-only was of course stupid wince :( it took a few more years before that was finally kicked out and they could allow native apps, and by then it was probably too late.

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                    October 10, 2017 8:20 AM

                    Eh, that probably didn’t help for some games but not much beyond that.

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                October 9, 2017 5:47 PM

                True, but it had a chance. WP was growing in market share in a LOT in countries outside the US and UK. Mexico and a few other countries for a while had WP ahead of iOS. But then they decided to basically restart the App Store once, which was bad. Then they decided to essentially do it two more times. Oh, and if you bought some of the older hardware right before these major software releases, you were left to go fuck yourself because that phone won’t get the update, even if it was just released.

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          October 9, 2017 4:04 PM

          yeah, no.

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          October 10, 2017 3:51 AM

          That’s not true, JavaScript and c++ were also supported. Main failure was app builders literally saying fuck off. Many of the app builders got offered a lot of money but they kept on saying no. Snapchat said fuck off because they hated ms.

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            October 10, 2017 4:05 AM

            C++ support came with wp8 in 2013, it was C#-only before then.

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      October 9, 2017 3:25 PM

      2017 is a little of a stretch. It's been dead for years

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      October 9, 2017 4:09 PM

      Ah Windows Phone...the "me too" copycat that did way too little, way too late.

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        October 9, 2017 4:33 PM

        I'll give them this much - they strung together every tech they had - Windows Mobile, Windows CE, .NET Compact Framework, WPF - and had a solution to market way faster than BlackBerry did with BB10.

        It was kind of an impressive engineering achievement.

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        October 9, 2017 5:05 PM

        How in the world is it a copycat

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      October 9, 2017 4:25 PM

      That's the single biggest WTF for me - they made this phone whose UI was innovative, sure, but whose sales numbers were trounced by motherfucking BlackBerry, and they decided the best thing was to bring that UI to Windows and force everyone to use it.

      Like I said I understand the argument for the innovative interface and the long haul strategy for the eventual Universal Windows Platform (wtf is that now, being able to run it on the Xbox?) but look at how many people don't want to upgrade from goddamn Windows 7.

      Fun part is going to be all the articles unearthed showing how they figured Microsoft was going to own the whole thing since they'd have so much money to throw at it.

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        October 9, 2017 5:34 PM

        Xbox, Hololens, Desktop, Surface Hub, IoT devices. There's still a fairly strong story for UWP.

        If they quit dragging their feet on Xamarin there's a chance at targeting iOS and Android as well.

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          October 9, 2017 5:38 PM

          Not only that but UWP is a more secure, sandboxes, smaller attack surface for applications than classic Win32 so people should be rooting for it even if desktop is the only platform.

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      October 9, 2017 5:06 PM

      Next up Mobile Enterprise?

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      October 10, 2017 3:40 AM

      Still using Lumia 920 but I'll upgrade to Nokia 8 or 9 (if it comes out). It had the best OS in my opinion. They attempted a lot and got a lot right, but a bit too late to the market.

      At least they gave it a shot.