When Microsoft announced its commitment to Windows 10 Mobile yesterday, we echoed concerns about how organization focused the presentation was. It appears that concern was well founded, as the company will be pulling out of the consumer smartphone market.
The information comes from Le Point, who managed to get an interview with Vahé Torossian, Microsoft France's new president. Allegedly, the company will stay away for a few years and wait for a technology shift.
The Price is too High
“The entrance ticket to the mass market smartphone is now too high,” said Torossian. According to the exec, the foothold of Android and iOS is too strong. However, Windows 10 Mobile will have continued support, and the company will focus on businesses.
It's an announcement that's been a long time in coming and has been hinted at by several execs. The company plans to re-enter the consumer mobile market when the smartphone has changed radically enough for them to have a chance.
It's probably the smart move. The OS is continually losing sales share to Android and iOS, and Microsoft has plenty of investment in future technologies such as AI.
However, It's hard to say what exactly this means for the Surface Phone. While Microsoft mentioned first party mobile devices recently, this could simply mean Surface tablets. The Phone is rumored to be productivity-focused, so it's possible that Microsoft will release it anyway for use in enterprise scenarios.
When asked about the matter, Torossian was very careful about his wording, saying “the product line Surface is designed to evolve into new types of form factor.” Though that sounds hopeful, it's probably just a reference to the all-in-one Surface PC.
Now we just have to hope that UWP is still attractive to developers, and current consumers won't be left behind.