Microsoft in October had published a list that consisted of products that they are planning to discontinue support for in 2017 in four waves of cut in the months of cuts in January, April, July and October.
The Windows Phone 8.1 falls under the third wave of the products that are to be discontinued by Microsoft; this is certainly good news for iOS and Android as this enables them to further cement their position as the leader in the smartphone market. Windows Phone 7 in 2010 with its distinctive tiles based OS had previously struggled to compete with rivals iOS and Android despite the respectable reviews regarding its bright designs.
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Windows Phone 8.1 users will no longer receive update that is to make the handset obsolete. The most recent update for the phone was in 2015. Microsoft introduced Windows 10 Mobile to replace the 8.1, which is a version of its desktop Windows 10 software specifically designed for use on smartphones and tablets. However Windows phones will be able to update to Windows 10 but some phones may not be able to support the new update.
Some of the main reasons that the Windows phone failed to make it big in the market include:
- Not enough Apps: Though the Windows Phone had support for apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp, the OS did not have a huge range of apps as compared to its rivals; especially in the era of Snapchat and Instagram. Due to a low numbers of users, the OS couldn’t even get developers to create more apps.
- Specifically for Microsoft: the phone despite its slicked design was only designed to work with Microsoft products, thus users who preferred to use third party services faced a few issues. Many apps were supported by the phone they didn’t give the feeling that they were tailor made for the phone.
- Lack of manufacture support: The Windows phone was limited to only Lumia phones and didn’t have support from other manufactures such as Samsung and LG etc unlike Android, the lack of availability of choice saw to the decline of the phone. Even though Apple offers only a few handsets, its prosperity has more to do with brand loyalty.
- A bit too late: The first ever iPhone was launched in 2007 and the Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had seriously underestimated its success. By the time the first Windows phone was launched in 2010, rival smartphone companies such as Android and Apple had already established a market for themselves and there was already a fourth generation iPhone.
- The Nokia deal: Microsoft had initially partnered with Nokia to produce the Lumia phones but later on went to buy the mobile business for $7.17 billion, the investment however failed to bear fruit as the windows phone did not really take off.
Image source: PC World