Chase Bank devastated the Windows Phone fan base this week by dropping support. I predicted that this would cause others to soon follow and now Bank of America announced that they are dropping support as well. I won’t be surprised if we see another two or three in the next week. As a die-hard supporter of Windows Phone, I am sad to see this happen.
Microsoft has been focusing on low-end phones for emerging markets such as the Lumia 435 and 535. They have not released a new high-end flagship phone in over a year. This gives those holding iPhones and Android devices no reason to switch. It’s leaving those who have supported Windows Phone wanting more. I’m personally still using a Nokia Lumia 920. The phone works fine but there is really nothing to upgrade to. I’m not going to upgrade to another Lumia that is either old or possibly even a step backward. Some have claimed that the Lumia 830 is a decent upgrade. However, it’s hard for a consumer to switch to a phone where the model number decreases instead of increases.
We’ll see new phones from Microsoft with the release of Windows 10. I think Windows 10 on the phone will be a solid release and will be an enjoyable experience, but it’s simply too late. With major banks dropping Windows Phone, others major companies are sure to follow. Maybe they will reevaluate things after the release of Windows 10, but I won’t hold my breath.
Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones is coming in February and that means we are months out from a version that is generally available to the public. While I am excited to see what the new version will bring to Windows Phone, I feel that Microsoft is too late. With Windows Phone only having three percent of the global market share, app developers simply aren’t embracing the platform. For those that have, Windows Phone is now a cost center instead of a revenue stream.
On the plus side, Windows 10 brings universal apps. This allows a developer to effectively write their app once and have it run on Windows 10 laptops, tablets, phones and eventually Xbox One. This could be the kick-start that Microsoft needs to finally get the Windows Store into shape. Traditional app developers can write an app targeted for a device like a Surface Pro 3 and get support on the Windows Phone with minimal effort. As a game developer, it has to be appealing to know that your game could run in so many places with minimal effort. This could be a good thing for phones running Windows 10.
Is this the end of Windows Phone? Others already claim it is dead and some think it is on life support. I think Windows Phone is going to have a rough year until Windows 10 is released and we see new phones.