Microsoft has no more Windows Phones left to sell
After a couple of years on life support, Windows on mobile has been dead in all but name for some time. Now we’re one step closer to burial as Microsoft has sold its final Windows-powered devices on its own American store after heavily discounting them for some time.
The last Windows-powered device reviewed here on Alphr was written by me over two and a half years ago, and it’s perhaps telling that that first party handset – the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL – sold out long ago. The remaining handsets on Microsoft’s website were the HP Elite x3 and dock bundle ($299, down from $799), the Alcatel Idol 4S ($99.99, down from $299.99) and the same handset with a pair of VR goggles for $169.
But now all three are out of stock, and the four handsets that remain – three Galaxies and a Razer phone – all run Android. Microsoft highlights that they’re all “compatible with Microsoft Launcher App” in their description, but it’s somewhat optimistic to believe that most consumers would see this as an essential selling point.
In other words, if you want a Windows Phone in 2018 (overlooking the obvious question of “wait, why?”), your options are somewhat limited. Ebay and Amazon marketplaces are the obvious first port of call, or there’s Wileyfox which is still selling its own stab at a Microsoft-friendly phone, the Wileyfox Pro for £199.99, which promises support until December 2019.
As for Microsoft’s mobile hardware plans more generally, I think we can now officially say that former Alphr editor Ian Betteridge was dead right when he declared Windows Phone dead back in January 2016. “As a serious player in the mobile market, Windows is over,” he wrote. “Microsoft may well produce some kind of “Surface Phone” as a flagship device, and it may well sell a lot better than the current Lumias (it can hardly sell worse). But it will never sell in serious volume and the mobile world will continue to be dominated by Android (in the mass market) and Apple (in the high-end market). There’s just no room for a strong third contender.”
Two years later, and we still have no Surface Phone to test the flagship part of the theory, but the rest seems pretty much spot on from where I’m sitting.