When the New York City Police Department announced last year it will roll out Microsoft Lumia to its entire force, it was huge. It suggested Microsoft’s struggling platform had a chance to find a niche in enterprise and services. However, a new report says a year later the NYPD is ditching Windows for Apple’s iPhone.
Like the platform affirming news last year, this decision has wider consequences. It once again highlights the decline and demise of Windows Phone. The consumer market is long gone, and now the organization market is also slipping away.
The New York Post says the NYPD will adopt the iPhone by the end of the year. The decision ends a three-year partnership with Microsoft.
Redmond initially partnered with the police department in 2014, creating a trial that put 25,000 Lumia smartphones in officers’ hands. Last year, the project was expanded with a further 36,000 devices.
The handsets in question were the Lumia 640 XL and 830 and allowed police to search the NYPD database, view wanted posters, and view other information. The rollout of Microsoft’s smartphones was part of a $160 million collaboration.
However, since the expansion, Microsoft has shuttered the Lumia division and stepped back from hardware. The smartphones being used by the department have been discontinued. This is arguably a problem when it comes to replacing units.
Microsoft has continued to support Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile platforms. However, even in this aspect the company’s treatment of the OS has been shoddy at times. I have argued before it is hard to convince OEMs and business partners to back Windows when Microsoft is not putting the platform first.
Many Microsoft apps and services are focused on iOS and Android, with Windows 10 Mobile as an afterthought.
Consumers were the first to turn their backs on Windows phone and now organizations are joining the exodus.
One issue with switching to iPhone is the cost. One of the reasons the NYPD backed Microsoft is because Lumia’s are (were) affordable. The same cannot be said for iPhone. Even if the department chooses older devices, like an iPhone 6, the cost will still be hundreds of dollars for a single handset.
Of course, Apple could be willing to cut a deal to get a big enterprise partner under its wing. One thing is certain, Microsoft is the loser in this situation.