Microsoft to downplay Windows phone in 2016

If you were watching the opening keynote of Microsoft’s Build 2016 conference with us, you might have been amazed at some of the things that Microsoft has up its sleeve in the coming year. That being said, there was one thing that was almost completely missing from the entirety of the conference: Windows Phone. Throughout the conference, Windows Phone was only shown once–during the Skype for Windows Mobile demo.

For those hoping that 2016 would be the year that Microsoft decided to give this branch of their strategy the attention it deserves, there isn’t much hope to hold on anymore, especially not with the latest from Microsoft’s management.

The Verge got a chance to speak to Microsoft Executive Vice President Terry Myerson, where he stated:

For Microsoft with Windows and for our platform it’s [Windows Phone] the wrong place for us to lead.

Myerson further went on to explain:

If you wanted to reach a lot of phone customers, Windows Phone isn’t the way to do it. If you want to reach a lot of Windows customers, then this is the largest install base of 9 to 30-inch screens.  If you wanted to do new and exciting things, then the Xbox and HoloLens is the place to have a discussion.

In short, it seems like Microsoft doesn’t want to focus on Windows Phone through the year of 2016, instead focusing on refining Windows 10 for other devices, and working on Surface and HoloLens. You shouldn’t completely give up hope, though–Myerson made clear that they do intend on focusing on Windows phone, but 2016 is just not the time. He further commented to The Verge:

We’re fully committed to that 4-inch screen, there will be a time for it to be our focus, but right now it’s part of the family, but it’s not the core of where I hope to generate developer interest over the next year … We’re going to do some cool things with phones, but this year phones are an important part of our family but not the tip of the spear.

It’s no surprise, then, that Windows phones weren’t the focus of Build 2016’s keynote address. The simple fact is, phones aren’t Microsoft’s focus right now, period.

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Will Microsoft hold to their promise to focus on Windows Phone at another time?