We’ve known for a while that Windows phones are dead because Microsoft itself confirmed that no new features and devices were planned, but the company at least promised to keep the Windows Insider program alive on mobile with new builds.
But it turns out that “plans changed” (Microsoft’s very own words) and now no new builds for Windows 10 Mobile users enrolled in the Windows Insider program are on the table.
As for the reason why this is happening, Jason Howard says it’s all happening because “plans change [and] such is the nature of things.”
Surprised? You shouldn’t be
Without a doubt, Microsoft shutting down the Windows Insider program for Windows 10 Mobile is not surprising by any means, especially because the user base has been shrinking significantly in the last 12 months.
Microsoft not shipping feature updates for its mobile platform pushed users to Android and iOS, and Joe Belfiore himself recommended users to switch to a different operating system should they want apps and a growing device portfolio.
Market research firms currently put Windows 10 Mobile at 0 percent market share and Microsoft will certainly abandon the platform completely next year when it reaches end of life. More importantly, Windows Phone 8.1 support ended in July 2017 and now security updates are only shipped for Windows 10 Mobile.
As for the future of Microsoft’s mobile push, it mostly comes down to shipping apps and services to iOS and Android. It’s also believed that the software giant might be working on the eagerly-awaited Surface Phone as well, though a confirmation in this regard has never been offered. And even if this project is real, there’s a big chance it relies on Windows 10 (most likely ARM) than on Windows 10 Mobile.