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Should Microsoft kill Windows Phone?

Preston Gralla | Sept. 1, 2014
The company is backing away from Android and doubling down on its own smartphone OS just when the smart move seems to be to surrender.

On the other hand, it could be that Microsoft just never knew what it was doing when it bought Nokia. Because in mid-July, Microsoft abandoned the experiment and instead doubled down on its bet on Windows Phone. It announced that it would sell low-cost Windows Phones and kill off the X2 line. The brief flirtation with Android was over.

This looks like an outrageously bad move. It's not just that Windows Phone is going nowhere. It's caught in a death spiral. Apps sell phones, and developers have been leery of developing apps for Windows Phone because of its low market share. As the market share drops, even fewer developers are willing to develop for it. Because of that, consumers stay away, which leads to less market share, which leads to fewer developers devoting resources to it.

Android, meanwhile, has more of a lock on the worldwide smartphone market than ever. So it may well finally be time for Microsoft to abandon Windows Phone and instead fully embrace Android using the Nokia X model: build Android phones with Microsoft services on them such as Outlook.com, Bing, Skype and OneDrive. Doing that might be a blow to Microsoft's ego. But it could prove to be a big lift to its bottom line.

 

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