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Microsoft seems ready to give up on Windows phones, if not Windows 10 Mobile

Mark Hachman | Nov. 1, 2016
The Surface phone is dead, long live the Surface device?

And why not, Myerson seems to be saying: “When you stop investing in these things, it’s super hard, super, super hard to restart,” Myerson said. “At Microsoft we have a few of those examples where we stopped. Sometimes, when you’re investing into growth. it’s easier, but when you’re investing for technical strategy or things like that, sometimes people can question it—like you’re doing right now.”

Some observers are probably wondering why it’s more difficult for Microsoft to halt development of Windows 10 Mobile than its own Lumia hardware, or why ARM and cellular connectivity are considered to be differentiating features for Microsoft alone—and not, you know,  every phone ever made. Why didn’t Myerson highlight Continuum, Microsoft’s phone-as-PC argument? Or virtualized Win32 apps, as HP’s Passport uses? He’s a straightforward man, though, so it’s most likely he’s simply answering the question in the way Microsoft is now framing the problem. 

Give Myerson a little credit, though. How often are smartphones used for talking? As screen sizes balloon, phones are evolving more into data-driven messaging and computing devices than simple squawk boxes.

No one believes that the cratering of Microsoft’s phone business was all part of some master plan to usher in the next big thing. But the door’s still open for something interesting to emerge from Microsoft’s mobile business. If Myerson’s to be believed,, however, it may not be a phone.

 

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