Joe Belfiore, Microsoft’s operating systems vice president, wrote in a series of Twitter posts that users should expect only security patches and bug fixes from now on. In other words, we shouldn’t expect any new phones. (Even Belfiore isn’t using Windows mobile anymore.)
According to Gartner, Windows only made up 0.1% of the global smartphone market as of Q1 2017. That made it a non-starter for app developers, which in turn drove hardware vendors away from the platform. Meanwhile, Microsoft wrote off its 2013 acquisition of Nokia as a loss and canceled at least one phone of its own.
Still, Microsoft may have one more trick up its sleeve: An internal project called “Windows Core OS” will reportedly create a single, modular version of Windows that can run on all kinds of hardware, including phones. If there’s a niche market of users that wants to cram the PC experience onto a mobile device, maybe there’s a future for them.