Windows Phone 8 fades out as Microsoft mulls mobile strategy

San Francisco: Microsoft has ended support for its Windows 8 smartphones, as the US tech giant focuses on other segments, amid ongoing speculation about its strategy for mobile.
Users of Windows-powered phones — which have failed badly against rivals from Apple and Google Android — were invited to upgrade to its latest Windows 10 version after Microsoft officially stopped supporting the earlier version on Wednesday.
But Microsoft, which is now concentrating on business services, cloud computing, augmented reality, remains a part of the mobile landscape with applications, digital assistants and other offerings.
“I think it’s the death of Windows 8 phones; not the death of Microsoft’s offerings in mobility,” said Moor Insights and Strategy principal analyst Patrick Moorhead.
“Microsoft is very active in mobility, just not active in phone devices.”
Microsoft in May unveiled a forthcoming Windows update aimed at keeping its desktop and laptop computers at the heart of lifestyles increasing reliance on smartphones.
Enhancements to the widely used operating system to roll out later this year are designed to make applications built on Microsoft technology work more harmoniously across an array of Internet-linked devices, according to demonstrations given at the company’s Build developers conference in Seattle.
One key addition of the Windows 10 Fall update will allow people to leave what they are doing on one device and pick up where they left off on another — be it a Windows, Apple, or Android driven machine. Windows personal computers “will love all your devices,” said Microsoft operating systems group corporate vice-president Joe Belfiore.
Windows 10 will be able to integrate with a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets and virtual or augmented reality gear, executives said. — AFP