The mobile version of Windows 10 died not because no one was developing apps for it, or no OEM was making phones or tablets for it, rather it’s because of Microsoft’s own conscious decision to slowly disregard its own OS and start giving preference to the two rival mobile platforms, all because the CEO Satya Nadella “did not get why the world needed the third ecosystem in phones”.
But in the process, not only Windows 10 Mobile really did die–which is what Nadella wanted all along–it also resulted in the failure of other Windows 10 features and Microsoft services and apps whose success was dependent on mobile.
UWP. UWP is completely useless now as no developer would ever want to make apps using this platform. There is little incentive to port apps to the now-dead Windows 10 Mobile, or bring app from there to PC. Now Microsoft is being forced to embrace the much inferior PWA, only because UWP has failed. To add fuel to fire, Google has just released Flutter to compete against Xamarin!
Edge. Most of the internet browsing is done on phones, not on PCs, and consequently Edge is bound to lose market share. Releasing Edge on iOS and Android is futile–why would anyone download and use Edge on iOS or Android when they can use the native browsers that come with these platforms? And by using Chrome or Safari on phones, users won’t be able to sync their history and bookmarks with Edge in Windows PCs. Even if they download Edge on iOS and Android to use this feature, Windows-to-Windows syncing is much superior to Windows-to-iOS or Windows-to-Android syncing. Bing is also going to lose market because of no mobile.
Cortana. Again, voice assistants only make sense on phones, which you can carry anywhere. Cortana on Android and iOS has many limitations, and no one would use it anyway because there’s Google Now and Siri that come baked into their respective platforms.
Groove. People listen to music on their phones. Nothing more needs to be said.
Ebooks. Like Groove, ebooks will failed too. That’s the whole point of ebooks – they are read on ebooks on handheld devices like tablets and phones, not on laptops or desktops.
Maps. Bing Maps will eventually die as people need maps only when moving around.
Linking with PC. Why would users want to install Cortana on iOS or Android just to see notifications coming from their PCs? The new option for linking iPhones or Android phones is extremely cumbersome and buggy.
Skype and messaging. Skype was nicely and successfully integrated with the Message app of Windows 10 Mobile, a feature they later removed. Then there was Messaging Everywhere that allowed sending text messages from PC through Windows phone. This too was killed before being officially released.
Office and OneNote. Microsoft Office is popular, no doubt. But on Android, there is Google Docs and Sheets that come pre-installed in the phone. People would use that instead, and not bother to download Word, Excel, etc.
Background syncing. One of the most frustrating experiences when using such apps as OneNote and To-Do is that the notes or to-dos don’t sync in the background. You have to open the app for the syncing to start! Had there been mobile, apps such as OneNote and To-Do could have been integrated into Windows 10 to allow background syncing. People instead use native notes and reminder apps of iOS and Android.
So you see, Microsoft is being beaten in all of the above services. With no Windows phones on the market, less people will use Edge, Cortana, Bing, Bing Maps, Groove, ebooks, Skype, Office, Outlook, OneNote, To-Do, buy apps from the Microsoft Store, and, most importantly, make apps for the Microsoft Store.
Because someone at Microsoft does not get why the world needs a third ecosystem.