Not That Bright
Given that a month ago, Cyanogen announced that their operating system, CyanogenMod, has surpassed the user numbers of Windows Mobile and Blackberry combined, things aren’t all that bright for Microsoft. This is quite the surprise, as CyanogenMod is nothing more than a modded version of Android, and the fact that it managed to do better than two hugely-advertised operating systems is truly astonishing. We’ve all known that Blackberry is slowly dying as a company, with their recent products not getting the reception they’ve been expecting. They’re barely hanging by a thread, with only their data encryption saving them, as police officers and even the President of the United States use their devices for their outstanding security.
However, Microsoft isn’t throwing in the towel just yet.
Windows 10’s July release for computers and tablets has been a resounding success, if we are to believe the numbers Microsoft published online. However, will this be the case for the mobile release this Fall? Microsoft certainly needs it. The features shown at their 2014 keynote seem pretty promising, but we don’t know whether or not they’ve fixed previous shortcomings. For that, we need to hear the opinions of beta testers.
If you own a Windows Mobile device and you want to check Windows 10 out, you can join the beta testing by signing up on Microsoft’s site.
A Loyal Fanbase and Its Consensus
Given that Windows Mobile is different compared to other mobile platforms, the general public reaction is either “Love it or hate it”, there are a lot of die-hard fans which won’t switch from Windows Mobile. Those people are the ones expected to beta test the Windows 10 Mobile release, so their opinions might be a tad bit biased.
Most Windows 10 Mobile beta testers seem to agree on one thing: the new interface is beautiful and functional, while the old one was just… pretty. However, many people complain that most features advertised by Microsoft, such as the sync between devices requires other Microsoft products in order to work. Cortana seems to have certain issues at the moment, but we can only hope the service will become stable by the time Windows 10 releases for mobile devices.
(Re)Set up Shop
It seems that Microsoft has finally started curating their own store, which Is a welcome initiative, especially given the amount of shovelware that started making its way to the store shortly after the launch of Windows 8. In addition to the purge that hit the store by storm, Microsoft also promises easy porting for apps to Windows 10 from iOS and Android. How this will work is currently unclear, but this is certainly a huge step for bringing more people over to Windows Mobile, as the platform’s biggest shortcoming is the lack of apps.
Microsoft has already started promoting their store on the Desktop version of Windows 10, as that will be the only way gamers will be able to grab former Xbox exclusive titles headed to PC. With Minecraft, one of the most popular games, already added to the store, this looks like a promising future for their store. If that wasn’t enough, Microsoft has also enabled support for full Windows programs on the store, which means we might see actually useful apps coming that way.
It’s no secret that Windows Mobile represents a very small percent of the mobile market. But why exactly is that? Well, apart from CyanogenMod, which is basically Android, Google and Apple are Microsoft’s rivals, and it seems that they’re doing a better job at the moment. Apple is currently hyping people up for their next iPhone, which is set to launch next month. Meanwhile, Google is working on a new version of Android, which, depending on its release date, might seriously hurt Windows 10’s release on mobile devices. It’s all a game of popularity and excitement, and all companies know it.
So, what is Microsoft planning to do about all this? They figured that if they can’t beat them, they should steal from them. Rumors around the Internet say that Microsoft is currently working on a Windows 10 ROM which is supposedly able to transform Android devices into Windows 10 devices, switching their native operating system for Microsoft’s new system. Some might call this a dirty move, but many people commend Microsoft’s dedication to their brand.
Watch This Space
With an outstanding number of clever tactics lined up this autumn, Windows 10’s release looks seriously intimidating for their competition and promising for the diehard Windows Mobile fans. Microsoft has certainly stepped up their efforts in the mobile category, with even CEO Satya Nadella mentioning that they will soon become a “mobile-first, cloud-first” company. We don’t know whether or not that will be beneficial overall or if that will even happen, but we can hope that they will make the right decisions.
Windows 10 mobile is set to release this Fall, at the same time as the new Flagship phones, Lumia 950 and 950 XL. The first phones to receive the update will be the Lumia 430, Lumia 435, Lumia 532, Lumia 540, Lumia 640, Lumia 640XL, Lumia 735, Lumia 830, and Lumia 930.