Microsoft announced the end of support on Windows phone 8.1 last week, marking the latest action taken towards winding down the market of Windows Phone. Coming from the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, the company does not want to be in the mobile phone business and has put many mobile phone staff out of service. After the disastrous acquisition over Nokia, with a sum of $7.2 billion, the company realized that the scope of its product has been decreasing at a major pace and that the company cannot withstand the huge pressure of the competition coming from the iOS and Android smart phone deals taking into consideration the customer interest. Though the company doesn’t want to admit, the sales of Windows phone has been falling apart while the market share of Windows phone has fallen under 1%. Google’s Android now owns over 86% of the global Android smart phone market share while Apple’s iOS has a smaller market share but it collects a huge chunk of revenue due to its expensive handsets.
Microsoft recently has been showing the door to former Nokia executives and has decided to clear out about 7,800 jobs in the company’s smart phone business. While the company went through the messy divorce with Nokia, the results of last financial year of Microsoft’s mobile device division were not even published. No new devices were launched by the company while the company has been resizing the mobile phone workforce, firing away tens of thousands of employees back in July 2015. The company has even downgraded the Mobile platform for Windows 10 while it is focusing on new hardware development in recent years. So the question about the company’s future plans still persists.
Nadella, CEO of Microsoft has his own visions about the company which aren’t clear to the public yet. It is assured that he doesn’t want to be in the business of mass production of multiple phones anymore. He wants Microsoft to take action on what it can do better to mobile phones presently and in future. Microsoft is still concerned about the Windows phone but not in the conventional way. Microsoft yet has plans for Lumia which includes flagship models, low-budget devices and business phones with a greater security but the absence of any definite plans and deadlines indicates to the vague future of the mobile business of Microsoft. The lack of interest shown by the app developers towards creating new applications for Microsoft’s platform, in addition with the existing competition with the iOS and Android platforms makes it even more difficult to see Microsoft’s vision clearly.
As remarked by Nadella, the restructuring of the company’s handsets is more likely to reduce the confusing numbering schemes of the mobile phone business and will allow selection from a huge variety of handsets, thus creating a “more effective phone portfolio” along with “better products”. But the number of positive terms coming from the CEO still fails to clarify what it all means. While it is easy to conclude that there are negligible amount of unique capabilities of a Windows phone, the restructuring can be started off by diminishing the app gap issue.
Article by Sushmoy.