Getting developers to create apps for Windows 10 Mobile is very much a chicken and egg scenario. Developers are hesitant to dedicate resources to a platform with such few users, while users don't want to use a platform with no apps.
To try and alleviate this app problem, Microsoft came up with a scheme called "Bridges", to help developers easily port their Android and iOS apps to Windows. Today, sadly, Microsoft is killing the Windows Bridge for Android. With the iOS bridge being the final exciting "Bridge" attraction, Windows 10 Mobile consumers should probably just buy an iPhone instead. Right?
As of 24 March, Microsoft's Skype Qik app will be no more. The video messaging app has essentially been swallowed up by its big brother Skype, meaning that it is now surplus to requirements.
Microsoft says that the reason for the closure is that Skype Qik's features are now available in Skype. As a result of this, iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone users who had come to rely on the tool to keep in touch will have to seek out an alternative and take steps to save any messages they want to keep.
Apple has launched a new program called Trade Up With Installments which makes it possible to upgrade to the latest iPhone in a more affordable way. As the name suggests, this is more than a straight trade-in program -- upgraders can use the trade-in value of their old handset to reduce on-going monthly costs.
This is something that will appeal not only to people with older iPhones who are looking to get their hands on a newer model, but also ex-Android fans -- Apple is opening up the program so Android handsets can be traded in and their value offset against the cost of a new iPhone. Windows Phone handsets are also eligible.
After Microsoft revealed that Windows phone revenue fell 49 percent and Lumia sales dropped to 4.5 million units last quarter, disingenuous headlines like "Windows Phone is dead" started to show up. Believe it or not, some pundits actually believe that Q4 was the quarter when the platform met its end, like it did not "die" a long, long time ago.
Objectively speaking, Windows Phone was never relevant enough in the modern smartphone market to be truly alive. Lumia sales, which have typically accounted for the vast majority of Windows Phone sales each quarter, were never strong enough to pose a threat to the iPhone line or let alone the Android crop. Windows Phone was a feeble player from the start, which lost any real chance of mattering years ago, outside of the Microsoft crowd that is.
Joe Belfiore is now on a break from his job at Microsoft, taking an "educational trip" across the globe with his family. Given that Belfiore "runs the team building Phone/Tablet/PC versions of Windows" you might expect him to use a Windows phone to share updates with his followers as, after all, most are Windows enthusiasts.
However, Belfiore is publicly using an iPhone, and he expects his fans to be OK with it. You do not see Jony Ive, for instance, rocking an Android smartphone or a Windows 10 Mobile device, because that would not make the iPhone look like the best smartphone there is. So why would it be fine for Belfiore to use a rival's device?
Microsoft announced in early October that the Windows 10 Mobile rollout for existing Windows Phone 8.1 devices would kick off in December. But, with less than two weeks to go before the end of the year, the software giant now says that the much-awaited software upgrades will not be available until later than expected.
Microsoft expects Windows 10 Mobile software upgrades to be made available starting "early next year" for "select existing Windows 8 and 8.1 phones". That is, assuming everything goes according to plan.
A lot of Xbox customers shill out the extra money for a Live account to improve the gaming experience. With the vast amount of Xbox consoles out there, that is quite a few customers. Now Microsoft is acknowledging that the keys for some of those faithful users have been exposed.
Before you panic, this doesn't necessarily mean you've been hacked, but the possibility is there. In a new security bulletin the company claims that the SSL/TLS digital certificate keys for xboxlive.com were exposed and that this could be used by hackers for man-in-the-middle attacks.
Windows Phone's market share took a huge hit last quarter, dropping to a ridiculously low 1.7 percent. Things could improve following the introduction of Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL and other Windows 10 Mobile smartphones, but, in the long run, the platform is not expected to regain much of the ground it lost to Android and iOS.
Windows Phone's market share for 2015 is expected to be around the 2.2 percent mark, according to an IDC forecast, which would be a major decline compared to last year, when its market share was 2.7 percent. But, that's not the real bad news. By the end of 2019, Windows on smartphones is expected to only see a slight bump to 2.3 percent.
Microsoft held its yearly shareholder meeting this week in Bellevue, Washington. According to executive vice president and chief financial officer Amy Hood, the company did well during the fiscal year of 2015 and it has already reported a strong start when it comes to the current fiscal year.
However, former CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer was displeased with the level of disclosure at the meeting concerning Microsoft’s revenue. He believes that revenue is a key metric and that it should be reported as opposed to the run rate.
Windows 10 Mobile is already running on seven percent of compatible Windows Phone devices, according to a new report from ad network AdDuplex, ahead of the official roll-out. The new smartphone operating system from Microsoft has reached this distribution level thanks to pre-release builds installed by enthusiasts who joined the Windows Insider program.
Windows 10 Mobile is currently the third most popular release of Windows on smartphones, after Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows Phone 8. But there's a long way to the top for the new kid on the block as the current leader, Windows Phone 8.1, powers 78.9 percent of all Windows smartphones.
When you look at which operating system powers most smartphones and tablets, it is Google's Android which comes out on top. Apple's iOS is a distant second in both cases, while Microsoft's Windows and Windows Phone are in even weaker positions. But, if we take a look at the enterprise sector, things look quite a bit different.
In the enterprise market, according to a new report by Good Technology, 66 percent of devices activated in the third quarter of the year were iPhones and iPads. Meanwhile, only 31 percent of devices activated during that time frame were Android handsets. Windows and Windows Phone devices make up three percent of activations.
Windows Phone is becoming an increasingly unattractive proposition in the eyes of smartphone buyers. The tiled operating system dropped to 1.7 percent market share in the third quarter of the year, thanks to extremely weak sales of Lumia devices. Microsoft is the largest vendor of smartphones running the tiled operating system, so its performance has a strong effect on the platform's popularity.
In the third quarter of the year, Windows Phone sales reached 5.87 million units according to research firm Gartner. For the same period, Microsoft says Lumia sales were 5.8 million units, suggesting that its platform market share is close to the 100 percent mark. And things don't look great for Windows 10 Mobile devices either.
As Microsoft has released numerous preview builds of Windows 10, testers have been able to provide feedback and make suggestions via the UserVoice website. In two weeks, this feedback system dies completely.
The killing of UserVoice actually took place on 30 October, but the site remains accessible until 16 November -- almost coinciding with the expected release of Threshold 2. Before you start to panic that Microsoft is killing the feedback that has been provided, there is a contingency plan.
Hot on the heels of a new desktop build, Microsoft has now released Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10549 to Fast ring Windows Phone users. While there are a fair number of improvements and new features, there is also a serious problem for anyone upgrading from Build 10536 -- although there is a work around.
So that’s the bad news, what's the good? Riding the current wave of interest in diversity, this build includes diverse emoji; a recognition of the fact that there are many hues of skin color. There are improvements to the messaging app -- although no Skype integration just yet -- and to Cortana, but that's not the end of the story.
Windows 10 devices were responsible for over 50 percent of all Windows Store downloads in September, according to the latest Windows Store Trends update from Microsoft. The new operating system had been installed on over 100 million devices by the end of last month, increasing its reach to more than 110 million devices earlier in October.
That is not the only piece of good news, as Microsoft also says that Windows 10 gets two times better user engagement and four times the revenue per user compared to Windows 8.x. The most popular category of apps with Windows 10 users is games, which makes up just shy of 45 percent of all Windows 10 downloads.