Gartner has released their latest market share figures, and while they are not exactly surprising, they are also not very good for Microsoft.
The lack of new devices running Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mobile is now showing its results as – per Gartner – the Windows market share on mobile devices have fallen to an all-time low of 0.3%.
Microsoft could only manage to sell about a million Windows-powered mobile devices in Q4 2016; compare that with Android, that came running on 352 million devices, and iOS, with 77 million devices.
The death of Windows on mobile has been a slow and exhausting process. The consumers at large didn’t pay attention to Microsoft’s efforts, which meant the developers didn’t either.
Eventually, Microsoft’s OEMs gave up as well, leaving only Microsoft and – somehow – HP to continue with the Windows platform. The entire Nokia debacle didn’t help Microsoft either; the handling of Nokia can perhaps count as Microsoft’s biggest missteps in the past few decades.
Microsoft is working on bringing Windows back to mobile. The company hasn’t abandoned Windows 10 Mobile and still adds features to the Insider builds. The upcoming Creators Update will also release for Windows 10 Mobile, making sure that those who did purchase a Windows 10 Mobile device are not abandoned just yet.
That’s short term, though. In the long term, Microsoft is rumored to be working on the Surface Phone – if the patents are anything to go by, it’s going to be quite unique.
Satya Nadella himself has said that Microsoft is no longer interested in imitating what other are doing in the mobile space, and would rather create a brand new category of mobile devices. The “ultimate mobile device.”
In addition to all that, Microsoft is also working on bringing x86 apps to ARM processors via emulation. The Snapdragon 835 will come with DirectX 12 support, making it the ideal mobile SoC to run Windows 10.
The future isn’t as bleak; the present is still better than Blackberry’s rounding-error percentage of a market share. The past, however, mustn’t be forgotten, for the mistakes cannot be repeated once more.