Microsoft CEO regrets giving up on Windows Phone

Peer Networks UK Windows Latest Microsoft CEO regrets giving up on Windows Phone


  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expressed regret over discontinuing the Windows Phone OS, considering the possibility of reinventing the category between PCs, tablets, and phones.
  • Despite acknowledging the decision as a misstep, Nadella confirmed there are no plans to revive the mobile business, especially after the unsuccessful Surface Duo.
  • The legacy of Windows Phone remains strong, with many still regarding it as one of the best innovations in the mobile space.

Windows Phone and Microsoft, a love-hate story panning across years, ended in a heartbreak. Once hailed as one of the best Smartphone OS, Windows Phone (later Windows 10 Mobile) was axed by Microsoft in 2017.

Featuring Live Tiles, a unique take on the home screen, Windows Phone was ahead of its time. The OS was smooth, fluid and easy to use. Coupled with the Lumias from Nokia and later Microsoft, Windows Phone gave a strong competition to Android and iOS in its heydays. The Lumia 520 was one of the best-selling phones of all time.

Windows Phone Lumia 1020 camera side
The Lumia 1020 was a photography king | Image Courtesy: Windows Central

Then there was the camera prowess of the Lumias. The Nokia Lumia 920, 1020 and the Microsoft Lumia 950XL took some of the best photos of their time. I had a 950XL and boy, did it take some amazing photos!

However, not all was rosy.

The OS was rebooted several times. Users can still recall the Windows Phone 7 to 8 fiasco when none of the phones running the older OS could be updated to the new OS. Microsoft probably learned from their mistake and Windows 10 Mobile was rolled out to most phones.

Coupled with features like continuum and UWP apps, Windows 10 Mobile promised to be a game changer until the real problem of Windows Phone cropped up again. Apps.

App availability was never a strong point of Windows Phone. With declining sales and waning interest from developers, Microsoft axed their smartphone division in 2017.

Many industry experts criticized the move. We at Windows Latest were also devastated, but Microsoft was adamant. Windows Phone was dead.

Many years have passed and Windows Phones have been mostly relegated as fond memories by their users. The beloved OS was mostly forgotten by everyone.

That was until this week.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft met with Axel Springer, CEO of Insider and gave a wide range of interviews on various topics. Ranging from AI to the acquisition of Activision, Nadella spoke about a lot of things.

But there was one thing which caught many of our attention.

Windows Phone.

Yes. Nadella spoke about the ill-fated OS and even regretted the decision of axing it.

“The decision I think a lot of people talk about – and one of the most difficult decisions I made when I became CEO —was our exit of what I’ll call the mobile phone as defined then. In retrospect, I think there could have been ways we could have made it work by perhaps reinventing the category of computing between PCs, tablets, and phones.”

Lot of language there, but yes, the CEO of Microsoft admits killing their mobile business was wrong.

But then, that’s all there to it. While he admits he was wrong killing it, Nadella isn’t bringing it back to life. After the ill-fated Surface Duo, Microsoft is no longer in the smartphone business.

Is there a future for Windows on Phones? Who knows, but one thing is sure, whatever the form is, Windows Phone was and is still one of the best things to happen.

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