No matter the details of today's sale announcement, the overall result remains gloomy for Microsoft in mobile hardware. "It's certainly the latest indicator of how Microsoft's commitment to its smartphone business has waned over the last couple of years," said Dawson in an analysis he posted to his research firm's blog today.
How Microsoft exits the market, assuming it does, will be just as telling. If Microsoft decides to halt smartphone sales -- as other analysts have expected for more than a year -- and can't convince third-party manufacturers to build and sell more Windows-powered devices, the company's overarching strategy of Windows 10 and its "Universal" app model, will be called into question.
And that cuts to the core of Microsoft's foundation for the future.
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