Windows 10 Mobile is dead. Regardless of how many articles you read that state it differently, Microsoft has killed Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft is treating Windows 10 Mobile a lot like another mobile operating system I know that suffered from the same swirl of rumors that it is wasn't dead as a doornail; WebOS.
Besides telling you what my very first Windows phone is or how I came to love Windows 10 Mobile, I am going to try to explain why I am leaving Windows 10 Mobile for good. Before I moved to Windows phone from Android, I moved from WebOS to Android. At the time, I had a Palm Pre on Sprint and later moved to the Palm Pre Plus on Verizon. I raved to friends about how the "Pre" was able to play music and run apps at the same time and how the Pre had wireless charging (two things that the iPhone couldn't do at the time).
After following developments religiously on every WebOS forum available at the time, I was convinced that once people used WebOS, they would see its potential and share my love for what a great operating system WebOS was. When it was announced that HP would buy Palm (much like when Microsoft bought Nokia Lumia), I was sure that HP would bring WebOS to the consumers in a better way than Palm ever could. The bizarre Palm Pre commercials weren't exactly helping Palm sell phones.
On April 28, 2010, HP bought Palm for $1.2 billion or $5 a share. HP got Palm and all of its patents in a bargain deal. HP could have done great things with WebOS, but the operating system didn't stand a chance in an already saturated mobile market. In 2009, the Palm Pre was the fastest selling phone in Sprint's history at the time. HP bought Palm in the hopes to recreate that selling magic, but instead, HP fell flat.
When HP announced new phones, including the HP Pre 3 and HP Veer, along with the HP Touchpad tablet (seen above), I thought that HP would be taking WebOS places. However, the only place that HP took WebOS was to the dumpster. Eventually, HP would abandon WebOS and made it open-source. The HP Pre 3, Veer, and Touchpad suffered from extremely poor sales and when the Touchpad did sell, it was due to an HP "fire sale." The fire sale of the HP Touchpad was proof-positive that HP realized they made a big mistake buying Palm.
After Microsoft bought the Lumia brand, I had a similar inkling. Never in a million years would I think a company like Microsoft would do what Microsoft did to Nokia's successful Lumia brand as HP did with Palm and WebOS. I was wrong.
There is probably a very good reason why Nokia's new phones are running Android this time around. Microsoft started off strong with the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. The lower-end Lumia 550 and Lumia 650 were released, but we later found out other mid-range Windows 10 Mobile devices, the Lumia 850 and Lumia 750, were canceled before their releases with no explanation.
There was a glimmer of hope when HP, of all companies, announced the HP Elite X3. While the HP Elite X3 and its allegedly enhanced version due out later this year are only for enterprise customers, I was hopeful that Microsoft would at least introduce a new Lumia for the consumer market. Unless Microsoft announces the Surface Phone in the next month, Windows 10 Mobile is done. Currently, Windows 10 Mobile's global mobile market share is 0%, regardless of any remaining decimal points (0.2%).
With the recent release of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ "Microsoft Edition," it is safe to say Microsoft is finished with Windows 10 Mobile and will instead focus on Microsoft apps on Android and iOS. Another sign that Windows 10 Mobile is dead is Microsoft's support of Samsung's DeX feature for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.
I find Microsoft's support for DeX to be alarming and really confusing due to DeX being a direct competitor to Microsoft's Continuum feature that is already available on the Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL, HP Elite X3, Acer Jade Liquid Primo, and Alcatel IDOL 4S.
When compared to Android and iOS, the Windows 10 Mobile "app gap" is becoming more and more of an issue for me. There are many Windows 10 apps that are not yet true UWP apps yet, and therefore there are apps are not yet available for Windows 10 Mobile. For example, I can listen to Howard Stern on the official Windows 10 SiriusXM app on my Surface Pro 4, but there is no official SiriusXM app available for Windows 10 Mobile.
In my opinion, I can no longer be a Windows 10 Mobile user while the "app gap" remains a leering issue. Microsoft has done everything that they can to made it easier for developers to bridge their Android and iOS apps to Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. However, it is obvious that developers are just not interested.
Microsoft devices are another issue. It's painful to see all the new Android phones that are coming out this year. The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is quickly shaping up to be the smartphone of 2017. Even if I can't afford the Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+, there are plenty of other affordable Android smartphones out there.
In case you need to be reminded, the last Microsoft flagship devices, Lumia 950 XL and Lumia 950, were released in October 2015. Other than the HP, there are no other companies out there making Windows 10 Mobile phones worth buying. The WhartonBrooks Cerulean is a joke. Without any new devices being officially announced by Microsoft, Windows 10 Mobile is a goner.
I don't want to abandon the Windows 10 Mobile ship, but it's sinking faster than the Titanic. Microsoft may say that they remain "committed to mobile," but Microsoft never said that they were committed to Windows 10 Mobile. I am sad to see the demise of Windows 10 Mobile, but I am not going to stick with Windows 10 Mobile for as long as I stuck with WebOS.
As I write this article, I am trying to figure out what Android phone I should get. I am currently weighing my Android smartphone options, but I have some requirements:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and above
- 4GB RAM and above
- 5.5 inch AMOLED QHD display
- A great camera
- 3,000 mAh battery and above
- Priced between $300-$500
I am confident I can find an Android phone that meets all or most of those requirements. I would love to be proven wrong, but as I see it right now, Windows 10 Mobile is dead.