RIP Windows Phone: Microsoft confirms smartphone platform is no more
Microsoft has finally admitted that the Windows Phone platform is no more, and that from now on it will only receive bug fixes and security patches. There will be no new features or hardware.
The news comes just a week after Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates admitted that he no longer uses a Windows phone, instead opting for an Android handset.
Windows 10 Mobile was the last installment for the Windows Phone platform, which was intended to fight against Apple's iOS and Google's Android, but struggled to earn itself a meaningful share of the market.
Although the software has effectively been on life support since 2016, the company has now confirmed its demise for the first time. Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president in Microsoft's Operating Systems Group, broke the news on Twitter over the weekend.
Belfiore said: "We'll continue to support the platform...bug fixes, security updates etc. But building new features/hardware aren't the focus."
In a second tweet, Belfiore said the platform's downfall was in part due to developers being uninterested to creating apps for it, because there were so few users. Figures published earlier this year by IDC claimed Windows Phone accounted for just 0.1 percent of the global smartphone market.
That share was half what Microsoft had the previous quarter, and eight times smaller than its share at the start of 2016. Meanwhile, iOS and Android combined account for 99.7 percent of the market.
Belfiore added: "We have tried VERY HARD to incent app devs. Paid money..wrote apps for them..but volume of users is too low for most companies to invest."
Just like Gates before him, Belfiore admitted that he had also switched away from Windows Phone. "As an individual end-user, I switched platforms for the app/hardware diversity. We will support those users too! Choose what's best for you."
Microsoft produces a wide range of applications for iOS and Android, including its Office suite of apps like Word, Excel and Powerpoint.