Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile operating system certainly isn't one of the company's strengths. No one has to tell the Microsoft that. It knows it.
A far third place from Apple's iOS and Google's Android mobile OS's, Microsoft has finally revealed that Windows Phone is no longer one of its main priorities.
Its focal points are now devices such as with Microsoft Surface 2-in-1's, it's millions-strong video gaming platform under the Xbox brand, and what seems to be a head start in the augmented reality space with its HoloLens headset.
But Microsoft isn't completely ditching its mobile platform and the smartphones that support it. For 2016, the company would rather just stick to what has actually stuck with consumers and play on its strengths.
"There's no lack of recognition to realize how important that form factor is, but for Microsoft with Windows and for our platform it's the wrong place for us to lead," shares Microsoft's Vice President for Windows and Devices, Terry Myerson.
At Microsoft's annual Build developer conference in San Francisco, the absence of Windows Phone throughout all keynotes was glaringly obvious. In fact, the only time a Windows Phone actually appeared in the midst of all the slides and videos was in a demo of Skype running on Windows 10 Mobile.
Otherwise, Apple's iOS got all the limelight. At Build, BMW and Starbucks showed all their demos on iOS devices. At best, what Microsoft did show regarding Windows Phone was that it could be turned into a computer using Windows 10 Continuum. And that's it.
What's more interesting, however, is Myerson's remarks about what he views to be the size of Windows Phone displays.
"We're fully committed to that 4-inch screen, there will be a time for it to be our focus, but right now it's part of the family but it's not the core of where I hope to generate developer interest over the next year," Myerson says.
Most Windows Phone devices, especially Windows Phone flagships like the Lumia 950, are well beyond the 4-inch screen size. Unless, of course, Microsoft is pulling an Apple and is considering an iPhone SE-sized Windows Phone in the coming future, it could make sense. A smaller, more portable phone could prove to be quite handy, especially if it can one day be hooked up to the HoloLens.
Regardless, if Microsoft isn't taking a page from Apple's playbook, it seems to be following Amazon's lead - leaving mobile phones and tablets to the established players like Apple and Google, and focusing on its strengths instead.
It's unfortunate to see Microsoft put Windows Phone on the wayside, but if it also means better products where Microsoft actually excels, then we should be all the better for it.
Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns | Flickr