Microsoft was forced to reiterate its support for the mobile market, following continued questions about its attitude to this sector.
A memo from Terry Myerson, EVP of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices group, was published by Windows Central, in which it was asserted that “it is our intention to support the Windows 10 Mobile platform for many years”.
“We have a device roadmap to support that from Microsoft as well as our OEM partners, who will also be selling an expanded lineup of phone devices based on this platform,” he continued.
Microsoft’s mobile efforts hardly merited a mention at the company’s recent Build developer conference, with The Verge reporting that Myerson had said that smartphones are “not the core” of the focus in the immediate future.
The company’s mobile devices unit is also in freefall.
The real challenge for Microsoft is that while its Windows 10 platform is gaining traction in terms of PCs and tablets, the company has no real presence in smartphones at all. This means it is not addressing the largest and most important segment of the market.
This is also a challenge for its developer proposition. While the company is pushing application compatibility across devices, the lack of a significant mobile presence will deter developers primarily looking at mobile first.
Microsoft is looking to address this through tools intended to enable developers to bring apps from other platforms easily, while also making its own apps and services available cross-platform to extend its reach.
While Myerson’s missive does assert there will be a future for Windows 10 in the mobile market, it is notably lacking in detail. The company unveiled a Lumia device early in February, but has remained quiet since then, including at Mobile World Congress shortly after.
It has been suggested that it could be the last to wear the Lumia badge.
Microsoft has previously said it will focus its mobile efforts on the high-end and business markets, adopting a similar model to its Surface tablet line – which after a bumpy start has grown into a robust business.
But Windows Central suggests the “Surface Phone” will not come until April next year, alongside an updated Windows 10 build. This would leave Microsoft’s mobile efforts on hiatus for a significant period of time.