So it comes as no surprise to readers of this blog. But it's now official. Microsoft has announced that it has stopped the development of the smartphone OS platform that once was known as Windows Mobile, at another time Windows Phone and most recently Windows 10 Mobile. The existing product is not yet ended but all development has ended. You say tomato, I say potato. Same difference. Windows on smartphones is dead. Good riddance too!
Very briefly, I was chronicling the rise of Windows onto smartphones and chaired the world's first smartphone conference. I kept tabs on the role of Windows which briefly was the world's second-bestselling smartphone OS a decade ago. I warned of the mistakes Microsoft was making that started the death-spiral - very importantly from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone, the bizarre arrogant decision by Steve Ballmer to not have a migration path to Windows Phone OS (this was still before the Nokia related end to the platform). I was proven right and Windows lost half its share and fell to fifth ranking in smartphone OS wars just as the 'Bloodbath' was heating up (which we followed intensely on this blog).
Then came the end. The unholy alliance of Nokia and Windows, orchestrated by the worst CEO in corporate history, Stephen Elop (aka E-Flop as he's often called in Finland). Nokia's inept CEO messed up what chances the partnership would have had. I predicted that Nokia sales would collapse (as they did) and Nokia's handset unit which had never one in Nokia's history produced a loss - would start to produce losses (which it did) and that Nokia would never return to profits in smartphones (which it didn't) and that Nokia would have to sell its handset business (as it did) and that would be to Microsoft (as it occurred). Not bad predicting, eh.
And a few months after the Nokia deal, Steve Ballmer then put the final nail into the coffin of Windows smartphone hopes - when Microsoft purchased Skype. Once again, as with the previous forecasts, when I explained why Skype was the death-nail to the smartphone OS platform, numerous readers came and loudly protested in the comments, claiming I was a fool. Yet in a matter of weeks, all other major Windows Phone handset makers instantly quit the platform (like SonyEricsson, LG, Motorola, Dell) or dramatically cut down the Windows Phone product portfolio (like Samsung and HTC) and Windows share collapsed from 5% the year before to half that by the time the first Nokia branded phones started to ship on the platform. It was not the Nokia deal that killed Windows, it was Ballmer's purchase of Skype - as I explained and as turned out to be true. The carrier community put Windows smartphones into a sales boycott and Microsoft never recovered. This all happened before Nokia started selling Lumia phones on Windows, but later, when Nokia CEO was asked about a sales boycott, he admitted one existed and that it was hurting all Windows phone makers, including the then-brand-new Nokia Lumia sales. Various other Nokia and Microsoft execs admitted the boycott or in some synonyms like 'carrier reluctance' to sell the Windows OS phones (not just Nokia Lumia but from other Windows vendors too that remained, like Samsung and HTC).
Nokia Lumia edition 1 failed as I predicted. It was replaced by edition 2 on a new version of Windows Phone OS which failed, as I predicted, and then the third edition failed, by which time Elop was demoted and Nokia sold the whole handset business to Microsoft, tossing Elop in the package back to his former employer too. I predicted that Nokia would recover with the telecoms infrastructure business which is at Nokia's core telecoms competence (as it did). I predicted that the ex-Nokia handset business would continue to be a failure at Microsoft, exactly as it did fail too.
Of the Nokia handset business sale to Microsoft, again, I made a series of predictions, that now every single one of my predictions came true. I said that the first recourse at Microsoft to the failing handset business would to fire the incompetent Elop from running the handset business (as it did). I said Microsoft would give their handset unit to another exec to run (which it did) and that exec would have two years until the business unit would be shut (as it happened). I even postulated a fantasy 'Hollywood ending' scenario by which Nokia's handset business would be sold back to Nokia, after it had failed at Microsoft. While that technically did not 'exactly' happen, gosh, it is close, considering how the sale happened to HMD. I then said that the OS platform itself, was obviously doomed because HMD aka 'New Nokia' would release Android phones, not Windows phones - as it happened - and now we see the end of Windows smartphone OS itself. Incidentally about the timing? I said Windows OS at Microsoft had a rough life span as a doomed 'dead man walking' division of never producing profits, of about two cycles of two years ie four years. Look at the calendar? Its autumn 2017. Four years on the dot.
There is nobody else in the industry who gave all this in predictions before they happened. And nobody else who explained each of these events WHEN they happened (no migration path Windows Mobile to Windows Phone, Skype Purchase, Nokia Partnership, Nokia Purchase, ex-Nokia Sale to HMD) and how that would impact Windows smartphone OS platform. Every single step in Windows fall was predicted correctly here on this blog and nobody else saw all that happening. This is now the final part. Yeah. It makes me happy to see Microsoft suffer, I hated Microsoft long before they got involved with Nokia. But regardless of my feelings about the company, the actual events - every single one I predicted, came true, and nothing I ever predicted did NOT come true. I even pointed out the silly forecasts of famous industry analysts who promised Windows would be bigger than the iPhone today in 2017 haha and have something above 20% market share of smartphones today. I was here, when it happened, and told you exactly what would happen. As it all happened.
Oh. One more bit. I was the first to also tell you that Google won the battle of the century for the OS of all high tech - when Android was passing Windows (all devices, not just smartphones, but PCs included). Nobody else told you that either. It is now becoming apparent to many experts that Google owns the tech world via Android. Who told you first? The dude who saw how Windows was truly collapsing and that iOS was never a threat to Google's world domination plans. Yeah, we'll return to those issues in coming years no doubt. Goodbye Windows smartphones and by darn it, good riddance too! Ballmer gone. Elop gone. Lumia gone. Windows smartphone OS gone. Now when can we see Microsoft the company gone too, please, next?