Windows Phones Are Really, Truly Dead

It was the coroner in "The Wizard of Oz" who once said that "she's not only merely dead, she's really, most sincerely dead!" I know he was speaking of the Wicked Witch of the East, but today he could also be speaking of Windows 10 Mobile.

Microsoft operating system group vice president Joe Belfiore revealed on Twitter today that Microsoft is no longer focusing on its mobile platform.

The HP Elite x3, one of the last Windows Phones. Credit: Jeremy Lips / Tom's Guide

(Image credit: The HP Elite x3, one of the last Windows Phones. Credit: Jeremy Lips / Tom's Guide)

"Of course we'll continue to support the platform," Belfiore wrote on Twitter. "[B]ug fixes, security updates, etc. But building new features/h[ardware] aren't the focus."

Belfiore wrote on Twitter that the volume of users on the platform was too low to incentivize app developers. Last week, Microsoft announced that its Edge browser is in beta for iOS and Android, and it released a new app launcher for Android. At Microsoft Build in May, the company revealed a number of ways it was integrating Windows 10 into other mobile platforms, including a universal "Pick Up Where You Left Off" feature, One Drive for iMessage and access to OneDrive files while offline.

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Of course, this kills our hope for the long-rumored Surface Phone, which would have paired Microsoft's hardware with its software. Now, Microsoft has turned its mobile attention to iOS and Android entirely. Belfiore, for his part, revealed he switched to Android, and Bill Gates revealed that he did so, too, in a recent interview with Fox News Sunday.

HP, which tried to fuse the Windows PC with the phone with its Elite x3, also recently announced that it canceled its slate of Windows Phone devices.

Last year, Microsoft cut over 1,800 jobs as it phased out the Nokia brand, which is had acquired previously to bolster Windows Phone. Now, it seems, that beyond some security patches, the final death knell has truly sounded.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is an editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming as well as keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag, Complex, Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag among others.