Microsoft announced last year its decision to stop making Lumia smartphones. In essence, it was a split in the company's plans for hardware and software. No more devices, but Windows 10 Mobile would live on and be the focal point of Microsoft's mobile push to businesses. However, there is evidence that this plan if not working out.
In Norway, over 100 local councils have abandoned Windows Phone in favour of Android. Those authorities have been using Microsoft's platform because of its versatility and security. However, a lack of compelling hardware driven by the end of Lumia has pushed the councils to drop Windows.
The change has not happened yet, but it is a major pointer to the problems Microsoft faces. The company wants the platform to be a go-to for organizations, but OEMs are simply not building devices.
Microsoft's Lumia was the leading choice for companies wanting to adopt Windows 10 Mobile. There are no other interesting smartphones that are worth getting behind. At the same time, OEMs are not interesting in putting their weight behind Microsoft's platform.
Manufacturers are interested in the consumer side of the market. If a handset does not sell well then it is a failure. Windows Phone devices do not sell well because of the poor market position of the platform.
Embracing Enterprise with Windows
Some companies are waking up to the potential of enterprise, but the consumer market is still the driving force. In other words, there is no financial incentive for OEMs to build on Windows. In turn, there is no hardware incentive for authorities and businesses to adopt Windows 10 Mobile.
How Microsoft deals with this is a major conundrum for the company. It is not willing to abandon the platform, but has no hardware backup to help push Windows to organizations.
It is becoming increasingly clear that if Microsoft wants companies to adopt Windows 10 Mobile, then the company itself must pick up the hardware slack. Microsoft simply needs to re-enter the hardware market to help its platform. The much-rumoured Surface Phone will land in 2017 and could help Microsoft carry out its ambitions with Windows 10 Mobile.