back to article Dev boss: What will Microsoft do with Windows 10 Mobile? Surprise – it's for work!

One of the puzzles about Microsoft’s platform in 2016 is Windows 10 Mobile. In the run-up to the launch of Windows 10 in July 2015, the plan seemed to be that a unified operating system across PC and mobile, combined with applications developed for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), would boost Windows Phone and create a …

  1. Mage Silver badge

    Surface?

    A last phone branded "surface" ...

    Because the only Win 10 MS hardware product likely to sell to Enterprise is an x86 Surface pro. Basically an ultra laptop with detachable keyboard.

    1. DainB Bronze badge

      Re: Surface?

      If the are smart, and I'm seriously doubtful about it, they'd release x86 based phone and docking station for it. Off the dock station - it's phone UI and phone apps, connect it to dock station and it turns into full blown Windows 10 desktop. Too bad we'll never see it.

      1. uqrxur

        Re: Surface?

        Microsoft's strategy has never been to give consumers the product they want but rather ask what product you want and give you something a little bit different and constrained.

        Windows 10 is an exact example of this: listen to everyone, build this dream product. Then, destroy the concept of privacy (even though people were quite clear about that), make it free (even though people asked cheaper, not free), then streamline it across multiple platforms such as continuum (consumers love this) but constraint it just enough so that users can't run the applications they need.

        That's Microsoft. Awesome products, with a catch.

      2. Phil_Evans

        Re: Surface?

        You're right about the x86, but actually, the 'Continuum device' can do this. It allows you to connect the phone and display and use as a desktop. The device can also 'cast off to other displays too. When you un-hook your phone and re-connect it's like Kim Dotcom arranging his wardrobe. Whoppee!!

        Another comment here says no RDP (I think). This IS actually available but again you need Terminal services and app services enabled in Azure with all sorts of jiggery-pokery to make it work. Even then it's like a TS-session from hell. And it not a no-cost option like it is for desktops, even connecting to a two-license standard server role in your tenant.

        UWP apps are crap on a desktop format. Try moving them between displays and guess the resulting window size. There are also virtually no ent apps packaged as UWP apps.

        Microsoft have not run out of ideas, however and this is exactly the problem. The question from BYOD-invaded MSFT-fan IT managers was "Could we have a WINDOWS phone?". They wanted one that would leverage the gzillions they've spent on AD, Azure and now O365.

        No, they got a consumer device that, starved of any real sales has been floundering around in the darker corners of Phones4U ever since. And then to manage a fleet of mobiles with MSFT tech you need Exchange online with Activesync and probably intune.

        Those same IT managers blinking in the sunlight have found that they've been sold a goofer. No-one in MSFT has the cahunas to own up to the fact that biz requirements came last and probably too late.

        In the meantime, all the Windows infra bells and whistles continue to be added for the Android and iPhoney ecosystems whilst Rome burns.

        Unless Windows Phone whatever anniversary edition is a 'seamless experience' at the back and front ends, expect the unhappy marriage to end in the divorce court.

        Windows Phone remains a very expensive Microsoft Office Device for business.

    2. arctic_haze

      Re: Surface?

      I believe an x86 Surface phone was the plan. It died when Intel cancelled the very Atom chips (code-named Sofia and Broxton) for mobile devices.

  2. Dadmin
    Go

    best time to market... just past by us last quarter. Oops.

    Hey, they also appear to be launching an NFC payment option too, so good for MS and HP for not letting the entire market stand in the way of these dubious product releases! Who knows? Perhaps they'll ship with a pro-exit background pic and it'll become the top phone for the UKers. Good luck with that! :P

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Without it, the UWP concept hardly makes sense..."

    .."yet it is hard to see anything other than a small niche for the operating system"...

    Unless UWP is more about Windows-Store lock-in / UWP-Windows-10 lock-down (Side-loading ousted etc)....???

  4. Mikel

    Declare victory now

    They're going to declare victory and rejoice in their triumph over whatever challenges they have overcome, by defining the goal as what happened. Might as well do it now, get it over with and move on before they burn another $10B on this pyre.

  5. Disk0

    Keep trying

    they might just sell enough to run a beta

  6. TeeCee Gold badge
    Meh

    The problem, though, is lack of third-party applications.

    Hmm. In the corporate world, that could be considered a plus. Having your users unable to install "unapproved" applications, rather than continually stomping on the ways they've found of doing so, could save effort.

  7. Shao

    No $hit

    When Microsoft abandoned Windows Mobile 6.x it was because they didn't sell enough units to warrant it and needed to target the consumer market to carry it, hence the strategy with Windows Phone 7 which didn't support the needed business functions until WP8.x. Now they're going back? No doubt a year later they'll repeat the same cr*p about not selling enough in the business segment to justify their own phone again!

  8. Updraft102

    "The truth is that Windows 10 Mobile is in an awkward spot, the victim of the company's frequently changing mobile strategy as well as competition from Android and iOS. Without it, the UWP concept hardly makes sense; yet it is hard to see anything other than a small niche for the operating system."

    So Microsoft will have squandered any goodwill they'd accumulated, spread adware by means of the formerly trusted Windows Update system, pushed uncommanded multi-gigabyte downloads and started uncommanded upgrades, made their "last version of Windows" into a disjointed half-and-half mess, rendered many customers' PCs unbootable, spawned the creation of programs with names like "Never 10", driven a significant number of customers to Linux or OSX...

    All for nought?

    Good job, MS; this should be amusing to watch.

    A month or two ago, I would have said that now that the push for an app store for Windows mobile phones has demonstrably failed, this whole UWP business and the ill-conceived half-phone, half-desktop UI can finally be put to rest, and Windows 10 can be morphed into a decent desktop OS. They may have failed to capture the mobile market, but they still have desktops, and if they act quick, they can stop the self-inflicted bleeding.

    As I am one of the ones MS has frustrated to the point that I've decided to leave the platform, though, I really don't care what they do anymore. I've already discovered how little I need MS, and that genie's not going back into the bottle.

  9. Dieter Haussmann

    Nobody wants to carry a Windows 10 mobile phone.

    They (MS and HW partners) should pitch it as a feature-ritch cordless desk phone - a much needed replacement for horrible Cisco VOIP and Callmanger.

    Stays on your desk, AD integration and Skype for business etc...

    I'd like that.

  10. Goit

    Something went wrong, please try again later

    I bought a 950xl with a hub for Continuum just to see what it was like.

    So close, yet so far.

    The phone should have been targeted at IT professionals. Given it domain features, got the Citrix client and the RDP client working with continuum before release, given it DirectAccess functionality and they'd have been onto a surefire winner.

    I have a Sony Android phone and an i6 too, I'll probably end up back on the Xperia, if just for Fing and file commander.

    Silly MS.

  11. Hans 1
    Windows

    Can a Windows Phone do contacts properly ?

    We have moved to Office 365 and, well, roughly 5% of contacts are completely mangled up for me. These same contacts work perfectly for the others ... I expect them to have these types of issues with other contacts ... I contact a great a number of contacts of our company, so .... maybe it is that ...

    We all have pictures, name and email address ... now, in, for example, Lync (Skype for Business), when I search for, say "John", I get a contact with John Doe's photo, named Erika Mustermann, which is another employee of ours but in no way related to John Doe, the email is john.doe@company.com.

    If I search for John in Outlook, I get neither Erika Musterman nor John Doe, but some Joe Don (name made up) with John Doe's photo and email address, when I search for "Doe" in outlook, I get Joe Don, with John Doe's photo, and some other email address, not related to either ... Now, the worst is, I get that with 8 others and we have a headcount of like 200 ...

    Now, this is Office 365, Lync as shipped with Office 2016 with latest patches, I call it lync because that is the name of the executable and it has nothing to do with Skype, apart from the theming.

    I took some screenshots, we have been laughing like mad for quite some time, as I find new discrepancies ... but in outlook, I have to REALLY make sure the email address is correct, I expect that to be the email address used when I send the message .... not even sure of that ... note that I do not have that problem on my BB10 phone, so for these contacts, I send a message from the phone ....

    Any such mashup with Windows Phone ? I would appreciate if the three Windows Phone users would reply to this post separately, even if I know they are all in the same office room over in Redmond, Washington.

  12. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
    Flame

    My new windows phone

    I've just got a windows phone. Guess what it cant do

    RDP a desktop PC? no - it can do that

    What it cant do is absolute basic bog standard mandatory functionality.

    The sort of thing where I'm surprised they have the gall to call it a phone without this function.

    What is it?

    REPEAT MESSAGE ALERTS

    Every phone has had this since day one. My first mobile had this - a samsung A500 i think.

    Apparently this is impossible on a windows phone - even if you want to make your own app due to restrictive APIs .

    This makes the phone not fit for purpose IMO.

    I'd be getting my money back and reporting them to trading standards , if id paid for it

  13. CRConrad

    Kevin Gallo -- O RLY?

    Caption of pic #1: "Microsoft Corporate VP Kevin Gallo at Build Tour London".

    Doesn't really look like a "Kevin".

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