Despite their best efforts to claim they are a “cloud first, mobile first” company, Microsoft continues to make solid hardware. It may have taken some time but the Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 are hits, the Microsoft Band is getting a new version later this year, and Lumia devices are reliable hardware even if we are still waiting for the mythical flagships. A variety of factors have placed Microsoft in a unique position. While they are at heart a software company that also makes hardware, many look to them first for their Windows devices. Stuck between Apple’s device manufacturing exclusivity and Google’s reliance on OEMs making their devices is Microsoft. In this week’s poll we’re asking what the Windows 10 Mobile landscape will look like in the long term. We’ll discuss the results in this week’s WinBeta Podcast which will have plenty of other hot Microsoft related news with IFA happening this week.
At IFA Acer announced a Windows 10 Mobile device with high end specs that fully supports Continuum. Other manufacturers such as HTC have made Windows mobile device (or Windows Phone in the case of HTC) as well but no phone running a Windows operating system has received the support that Lumia devices have. This makes many customers hesitant to jump to a new OEM. The main question here is, will Windows 10 Mobile, and Windows 10 in general, change the landscape of phone manufacturers.
In Microsoft’s perfect world the phone market would look similar to the PC and tablet market. Satya Nadella made this clear in his interview with ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley saying “If no OEM stands up to build Windows devices we’ll build them.” In their interview they compared how Windows Phones work in a similar way to the Surface line. Microsoft makes flagship devices such as the Surface Pro 3 that are a model of what a Windows device can be. Making high quality devices like these also raises the bar and forces the hands of PC manufacturers such as Lenovo and Dell to make well made devices. Nadella’s quote shows that the hope is for other OEMs to make the majority of Windows 10 Mobile devices with Microsoft stepping in if needed.
With Windows 10 Mobile still in preview, it’s impossible to tell how customer adoption and OEM support will develop. That doesn’t mean however that we can’t take our best guess. Let us know what you think will help through voting in our poll and explain your reasoning in the comments.Further reading: Microsoft, Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile