Microsoft made the comment during its Ignite Australia conference this week. The company's Bill Karagounis was asked to discuss the future of Windows 10 Mobile by an audience member during a Q&A session.
Recently, Microsoft has begun to slow down the pace of Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview releases after running into issues that have taken longer to resolve than on desktop builds. The mobile version of the upcoming Creators Update also lacks many
of the features available on PC, including new Continuum capabilities that have already been demonstrated and the anticipated low blue light mode.
READ MORE: APPLE SAYS GOODBYE TO THE HOME BUTTON FOR IPHONE 8
These development hitches have led some to
speculate that Microsoft is finally preparing to put Windows 10 Mobile to rest. However, Karagounis continued the company line, again reiterating Microsoft's lasting support for the platform. He pointed out that the company is still shipping updates to Insiders and intends to keep doing so with the Creators Update and beyond.
"Today, we are still flighting Mobile builds, subject to quality, subject to those release promotion criteria, and we fully expect to keep doing that beyond the release of the Creators Update," Neowin reports
This is far from the first time Microsoft has insisted it's still committed to Mobile. Despite battling media coverage that suggests it's already reached the end, Microsoft has repetitively stated its support for the operating system. Nine months ago, the company explicitly explained its motivation for building the platform in an email to
employees. It's still on working Windows 10 Mobile because it's still used by
groups of fans and enterprises.
Nevertheless, even Microsoft seems to be getting tired of pledging its support. Karagounis' wording doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the company's commitment. His point is less direct than the company's previous statements and alludes to the platform's quality issues.
With the Creators Update set to launch by the end of April, for Karagounis to be "fully expecting" Mobile to still be alive isn't necessarily a good sign. It's safe to say Apple and Google both know for certain if they'll still be shipping updates in three months' time. Although the comment was delivered on the spot during a press event, there does seem to be underlying uncertainty that suggests Windows 10 Mobile could disappear soon.
To most consumers, it already has. According to a report from analysts Gartner
today, Windows Phone's market share has now dropped to an essentially negligible 0.3%. Last year, the platform was at 1.1%.
The year-on-year decline is substantial and all the more so because many users are now enthusiasts and Windows loyalists. Even the most devoted of fans are being driven away from the platform.
Despite all the signs suggesting Windows Mobile should have disappeared months ago, the platform is still here though. With Microsoft consistently refusing to concede defeat, it's going to drag along the bottom of analysts' charts for the foreseeable future. Microsoft may be optimistic but any recovery in the next couple of years is now bordering on implausible.