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Windows 10 on phones to come after PC launch

Spot the phone

Following the big Windows 10 reveal yesterday, including the news that Android and iOS apps will be supported on it, news continues to trickle out of Microsoft’s Build developer conference.

Microsoft mobile boss Joe Belfiore (pictured) spoke to The Verge at the event and made it clear that the mobile version of the unified OS won’t be released at the same time as the desktop one. “Our phone builds have not been as far along as our PC builds,” he said. “We’re adapting the phone experiences later than we’re adding the PC experiences.”

Windows 10 is positioned at the first truly unified Windows OS, with the same software running devices of all shapes and sizes. The clumsy imposition of the Metro UI onto Windows 8 users was apparently designed to prepare the market for this great unification, but Microsoft’s strategy has matured since then.

When Windows 8 was launched in 2012 Microsoft still fancied its chances at taking on Android and iOS as a major smartphone platform. Since then it has become clear that there is no money to be made from smartphone OS software licenses, so Microsoft’s strategy has shifted to selling mobile software and services on all platforms.

While Microsoft would obviously like people to use Windows phones, and will maintain an optimal experience for things like Office and Skype on that platform, it can’t afford to underserve the millions of potential customers that are likely to stick to one of the dominant mobile platforms.

Having said that there may be grater grounds for optimism on the tablet front, where Microsoft has been investing heavily in the Surface range. Strategy Analytics reckons Windows increased its share of the global tablet market in Q1 2015.

“Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 has performed better than its predecessor, its more affordable cousin Surface 3 launches late in Q2 2015, and traditional PC vendors and White Box vendors alike are testing the limits of lower cost license-free Windows Tablets under 9-inches,” said SA analyst Peter King. “All of this adds up to a foundation for further growth as Windows 10 arrives in the second half of 2015.”

SA Q1 2015 Tablets


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