The Microsoft Lumia and Windows Phone business is dead. Unless, y'know, it isn't. Satya Nadella has now "clarified" the strategy, but it seems there are more questions than answers.
As far as Your Humble Blogwatcher can tell, the plan is to make a few more phones in the hope that OEMs will start making more. But if they don't... well, Microsoft simply carries on making them.
Oh, OK, fine, it makes sense. No, wait... How is that even possible? Most of the expertise has been fired. So I guess I was right: Lumia is indeed dead.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers argue whether or not the Lumia parrot has been nailed to the perch. Not to mention: Proof that Microsoft is still making phones...
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
Mary Jo Foley caught up with Nadella backstage, asking is Microsoft "getting out of the mobile market?"
Not at all. ... I want to be able to be present on every mobile endpoint...on every one of the two billion devices...because to me...it's not like, oh, they're just application[s]. [But] we have to be on the hunt for what's the next bend in the curve.
I just don't want to build another phone...I'm not going to launch a phone a day [but] a few phones that actually grab share [and] showcase our uniqueness. ... Let's stop this thing about trying to atomically dissect [the strategy].
If no OEM stands up...we'll build them. There will be Lumia devices. ... If there are a lot of OEMs, we'll have one strategy. If there are no OEMs, we'll have one strategy...what matters to me is what customers care. MORE
Seemingly feeling vindicated, Daniel Rubino gets to the central point of the story:
The...interview is truly fascinating...Nadella is very precise in his language.
Much has been made of Microsoft's decision last week to cut back on Lumia models and to seemingly scale back investment. ... Some pundits are claiming that this is the beginning of the end while others like myself see this as a smart...shift.
Microsoft's strategy appears to be...let their OEMs build [phones]. [It's] committed to having Windows Phones now and in the future. Ideally, Microsoft's OEM partners build [them]. However, if they do not step up, Microsoft [will].
Nadella though is focusing on the next era, what comes after smartphones. His...answer to this is Continuum. [So what] about "Intel-powered phones"? ... Yes, early next year. Microsoft does have an Intel plan [for] an x86 phone that can be a true computer. MORE
Greetings, Professor NotFalcon. How about a nice game of chess?
I am okay with anything that makes Thurrott look like a jackass. Well, more so than usual.
With all the nonsense around Windows Phone the last week, he's been at the forefront of those saying that Windows Phone is literally dead now. I think...he completely over analyzed the statement that was put out and tried to read things between the lines that aren't there.
I would much sooner believe the guy running the company than someone talking out of their ***. MORE
But tehnets completely disagrees:
Read between the lines, people. Notice how deliberately vague he's being...pointing to a general Microsoft ecosystem across smartphone platforms. No promises about OEM support, no "I'm going to continue pushing WP", no improving carrier relations, a total 180.
Windows Phone is clearly on the chopping block, and if it's not killed outright then it'll be relegated to desktop Linux status. A token Lumia phone released later this year...and Office on Android/iOS for everyone else. Any hope about WP being the 3rd smartphone platform is gone. MORE
If he wasn't giving up on windows phone, he would have started his answer with, "We are not giving up, we are buckling down." [But] he started with, "Let's define what mobile is." MORE
And Andrew Dodd wonders how Microsoft could possibly compete:
They've just fired the Nokia staff left manufacturing phones and, more importantly, marketing and selling them to users and carriers. ... I don't see any scenario where MS alone will invest the huge amounts of money necessary to retain WP's market, let alone increase it.
[So] what happens if the third-party OEMs don't turn up to fill the gap? ... MS can't and won't fill that gap because they are getting rid of the people and capability. ... WP would technically still be alive but it would be irrelevant. MORE
Meanwhile Kirill Petrovsky looks to Intel as savior:
[Continuum] will be very cool and useful, if they go with Atom. If they stick with ARM, then it will be Surface RT all over again.
And that means you'll need a full PC anyway, and then the whole point of Continuum will be gone. MORE
Proof that Microsoft is still making phones
You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or email@example.com. Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.