Microsoft Calls Time on Windows Phone
The company's Windows 10 chief, Joe Belfiore, has tweeted that developing new features and hardware for the Mobile version of The Operating System was no longer a "focus".
In a marketplace where the US tech giant has continued to struggle against the key players in the mobile device and OS sectors, this hasn't really come as a shock to anyone.
Apple and Google have dominated in the area that really counts for consumers and businesses alike, app development. With only 0.03% global market share (according to research company IDC) based on smartphone shipments - between April and June, and despite some attractive incentives from Microsoft, app developers have chosen to develop for the more lucrative iOS and Android markets.
Mr Belifore even admitted that he had switched to Android for the "diversity of its apps and hardware". Although he did go on to explain that Microsoft would continue to support the companies that had adopted the platform as a key part of their mobile strategy.
What now for Microsoft on mobile?
Microsoft will now focus it's efforts on integrating it's commercially successful software into other mobile ecosystems. For example, ensuring that Office apps on iOS and Android provide a familiar and seamless experience between desktop and laptop PCs running Windows and mobile handsets running different Operating Systems.
Last week, Microsoft announced that it was bringing its Edge Web Browser to iOS and Android in an attempt to further support its "Continue to PC" feature. This feature links a specific phone or tablet to a Windows 10 PC, then automatically hands off certain in-progress tasks, such as a half-finished Office document opened in a browser, from one device to the other. All very useful for today's businesses where the days of completing tasks on just one device are far behind us.
It is worth noting for businesses that Windows Mobile will continue to receive stability and bug fixes for the foreseeable future but fresh innovations will not be forthcoming and this will eventually end up with businesses being forced to switch to iOS or Android as older Windows devices get to the end of their life.