Windows 10 Mobile is Dead - Now What?

Windows 10 Mobile is dead, according to Microsoft Corporate VP of Windows Joe Belfiore.  While this announcement doesn't come as much of a shock given the market hasn't had a competitive Windows phone since 2015, it's still the nail in the coffin given that the platform had high hopes in HP's now scrapped Elite X3 Windows phone.  Previously, Windows execs revealed that developing apps for iPhone and Android were becoming more of a priority than Windows 10 Mobile, but there is still hope for the future with a rumored "Surface Phone", based on the Microsoft tablet.  But, with with Windows 10 Mobile gone and the PC market in steady decline, what's next for Microsoft?

The answer, surprisingly, is in augmented reality (AR) technology.  AR technology layers digital images over the real world via a smartphone or specially equipped glasses.  This wouldn't be Microsoft's first foray into AR tech either - their 2015 HoloLens googles were wildly popular.  The hope is to have AR eyewear eventually replace phones - hands free devices are certainly convenient, and glasses would mean users are connected to their texts and Netflix all day.

However, this may not be as easy of an endeavor as Microsoft hopes.  Google and Apple are working on their own AR technology, and both have operating systems to buid to.  Without an operating system, Microsoft would be developing for a market that has already been tapped.  It'd make most sense for them to find another niche, and interestingly enough, it appears that they've found it in gaming.  Microsoft has teamed up with tech giants Samsung and Dell to develop and promote VR headseats for Windows 10 PCs, expanding Xbox offerings, and even bringing some Xbox games to PC (and vice versa).

In the meantime, the Office suite is still Microsoft's heavy hitter and continually receives updates and additions of new features, and they hope to be able to open up new avenues of interaction with PCs in the process.  But, completely without a mobile platform the market is watching Microsoft to see if they're able to remain relevant while competing against its major rivals.

This article was based on a October 10, 2017 Business Insider article by Matt Weinberger.  Read it here.

October 10, 2017