There has been a lot of buzz in the last 24 hours about the fact that Microsoft has asked Windows Phone users to switch to Android or iOS. I am still wondering why this is considered news.
It is no news because Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile support has been ended a long time ago. No new features have been added to Windows 10 Mobile in two years. All that existing Lumia phones and other Windows 10 Mobile phones get are monthly security updates. Let’s call that mandatory house cleaning.
But the house has been abandoned. There have been no new apps. Many big developers stopped work on their existing Windows 10 Mobile apps in the last two years.
Told to switch to Android or iOS in 2017
And if you have followed Windows Phone news, you know that in 2017, Microsoft VP in charge of Windows Phone said he had switched to Android to enjoy the greater availability of apps. And he encouraged other users to make a switch to Android or iOS.
Before then, Bill Gates himself had switched from a Windows Phone to an Android phone. We published a piece to make it clear that Microsoft did not care any more whether you used a Windows phone or not.
When your leaders abandon ship and tell you so, and even encourage you to follow in their steps, you have to be drinking an unhealthy dose of vodka soaked in weed to stay on that ship.
My Switch from Lumia 950
I am perhaps one of the greatest champions of Windows Phone in the world. I loved that platform, warts and all. I still do. And my trusty Lumia 950 is still in operation. I put it to use every other day.
But it has not been my primary smartphone in about two years. If I had held on to it as my main smartphone, my work would have suffered. There were no new apps for all the great new services that I needed. Even those that had existing Windows 10 Mobile apps were not updating them, so the apps were obsolete. There was no question about what I needed to do, love or not: I needed to switch. And so I did.
I love my Lumia 950, but the Android phones I have used in the last few years are better productivity tools than it is. If all I require was a great camera phone, the 950 would suffice. If I only wanted to make calls and use SMS, a Windows Phone would suffice.
Which reminds me: mom used a Windows Phone exclusively till her passing in November last year. All she did on it was voice calls, SMS, pictures, video, and music. She did not need to switch. It was the perfect phone for her uncluttered lifestyle.
I, on the other hand, have a more complex lifestyle that has digital heavily woven into it. Windows 10 Mobile did not suffice any more. Many of us lovers of the platform switched, though we have kept our love for Windows Phone alive. And even after the servers are shut down and the last Windows Phone is sold, our hearts will still beat for this platform that could have been better but never achieved its potentials.
The 3rd mobile ecosystem
I still mourn the lack of a viable 3rd smartphone platform. That war has been fought and won. And Windows Phone lost.
KaiOS is not exactly a smartphone platform. It runs on feature phones, though it can be argued that once a device can run apps, it is a smartphone. For now, the powers that be call KaiOS a smart feature phone platform. It is the 3rd largest mobile platform in the world, after Android and iOS. And Google has made a smart move, investing in it.
Feature phones are taking a bold step up in the world. About half of the mobile phones in use in the world today are feature phones, as the smartphone market has hit a plateau. Rather than die, feature phones are evolving to fill the gap.
So to everyone who is excited about the non-news of Microsoft telling Windows Phone users to switch to Android or iOS, thanks for the non-news. Microsoft told us as far back as 2017.
We already switched before now, though we have held on to our beloved Windows-powered smartphones. We are holding on till the day they blink their last. Yes; you would still have to pry the Lumia 950 out of my cold, dead hands.