Microsoft has announced end of support for Windows Phone 8.1, and this is literally pulling the plug on the Windows Phone platform. Though phones running the platform will not be bricked, users should not expect any future updates. Microsoft, which has clearly lost interest in the smartphone business over the past few quarters, is yet to announce its plans for Windows 10 Mobile.
The Windows Phone operating system was supposed to be Microsoft’s counter to the growing popularity of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. While the tile-based design was radically different, the operating system never really became that popular. In fact, Windows Phones could never garner more than a single digit makeover share in crucial markets.
This also stifled the platform’s app ecosystem as developers were not that keen to create apps for a relatively small user base. The lack of numbers meant smartphone manufacturers too were not that keen on creating devices for Windows. There were a few good phones, primarily Lumia devices from Microsoft partner Nokia, but that could not trigger adoption in volume markets like India.
Despite, the coming together of low technology giants, the Lumia phones ended up being an also-ran in all segments. Those who still went ahead and bought these phones suffered from the BlackBerry-like frustration of being left out of the app economy. So is the Windows Phone itself dead? Well, for that we will need to wait a few quarters to see if Microsoft will announce a Windows 10 Mobile phone. But I doubt this will be the case.