Windows on Mobile Is an Interesting Concept But …
Windows on Mobile is not just a concept anymore. Microsoft’s Windows Phone continued to lose market share, thru benign indifference, continued poor marketing or a management decision to allow it to slowly decline to be ultimately be replaced by what?
Microsoft did not want to allow a vacuum to develop in the interim. Did Windows on Mobile became the go-to strategy by default?
What Is This Windows on Mobile of Which You Speak?
If Microsoft couldn’t get us on their devices, they were damn sure going to get us on their cloud, SAAS and apps. There was a vision, where any smartphone on any platform would be a Microsoft phone. Regardless if your phone ran Android or IOS, you would be using Office365, OneDrive, Skype, Edge and other Microsoft services for personal and business use. Your phone would sync seamlessly with your desktop / laptop device and even allow you to continue your browsing session from mobile on your desktop PC.
Your Contacts, Calendar and other critical work and play information would work with Microsoft services. All these instead of Google or Apple services. Windows on Mobile is platform agnostic, service based and dominantly Microsoft driven. All with the same user and login details that you use to access your PC.
The use case was for everyone, home users, education, business and more. Using familiar tools and services, no matter where you are and what device you are using. No learning curve, just connect devices to the Microsoft account and keep on working.
The attraction of being able to choose what services and apps are at the core of your device and be able to remove the redundant ones has big appeal to many users. There was even talk in the past of Android phones coming pre-installed with Microsoft services and apps and not the Google equivalents.
SPOILER ALERT: every time you buy an Android phone or tablet, the big winner? Surprise, It’s Microsoft.
A Forbes article from 2015 explains the details of how Microsoft holds a slew of patents for Android which is a golden goose in licensing fees.
There had been a rumor in 2016 that Microsoft was interested in purchasing Cyanogen, back before they shuttered and open sourced the code. The anticipated strategy was to provide an Android ROM with all your Microsoft apps and services bundled.
Still the business strategists at Redmond knew better than to have one plan. Even before this, Microsoft has become the uncrowned king of cross-platform apps. Jump forward to 2018 and your Android smartphone’s best launcher is made by Microsoft, you can use Edge on Android which works with Cortana. All this and more.
The Warptest POV
The idea of Windows on Mobile is an interesting one. Especially if you are a COO or IT Manager and you want your employees to have access to your Microsoft services outside the office.
Most Android device owners chose the OS and their phone specifically for Google Apps and services and are skeptical about replacing Chrome with Edge, Google Apps with Office and so on.
There is certainly a substantial section of Android owners who are happy to have both Google and Microsoft services running on their phone as needed. When Microsoft and Nokia were getting into bed together, the Nokia X family of devices were floated as Android out-of-the-box with Microsoft services installed. Microsoft cancelled these phones 5 months after acquiring Nokia though.
The idea appeals to many ex-Windows Phone owners who opted to leave the platform for Android but want to retain some of their comfort zone and don’t want to move away from these services and apps.
The fact is that Microsoft doesn’t need Windows on Mobile except as a way of retaining and onboarding more users to their apps, services and cloud, regardless of OS.
In a nutshell, Microsoft is providing an answer for Android & IOS users who want a Windows on Mobile solution, whether exclusively or not. All this may just be a stopgap solution that allows Windows Mobile to die gracefully while Microsoft work on their rumored, disruptive folding mobile device that finally delivers a true Windows 10 Mobile experience.
The rumored Microsoft “Andromeda” folding mobile tablet
Where do you stand on Windows on Mobile? Are you ready for an Android smartphone devoid of Google services or are you rooting for Andromeda?
Either way, Windows on Mobile offers a competitive push to Google & Apple. What are they going to do with it?