Windows Mobile: Pandemonium! The Sky Is Falling!

Episode 84 is the one where we speculate, as wildly as humanly possible with no basis in reality, whether or not there’s a future for Windows 10 Mobile after being announced that it was being tossed out an airlock into the cold, dark, vastness of space… or something like that. Pandemonium! The Sky Is Falling!

But first, we start off with a public service announce as the tip of the week, discuss some candid feedback about Skype Universal’s SMS Relay, and if we can’t keep Windows 10 Mobile, maybe we can at least get its keyboard on PC and tablets!

Tip of the Episode

If you have just 10 minutes for this podcast, we want you to at least get a piece of information which you can use immediately in your everyday life. Today’s tip is: Stay Calm and Don’t Be a Jerk.

— Reminder to be critical of problems but be respectful to the team members you are speaking with about your feedback.

The Mobile Minute

We spend a few minutes talking about a wonderful Skype Engineer who contacted me directly about feedback I posted regarding the state of SMS Relay, and the response from the team about that feedback. See the link below for more information in Beyond the Podcast!

Microsoft responded to 7 complaints I had with Skype SMS Relay

Insider Feedback Item

Every week, we like to pick a feedback item to highlight that we think represents what the Insider program is all about. Whether it’s an obscure bug that needs addressed or a feature request for something awesome, we want to get some eyes on it and help boost those upvotes!

Bring the Windows 10 Mobile Keyboard w/ Shape Writing to Windows 10 desktop —

And here’s a sample of what I’m looking to have…

Top News

What is the future of Windows 10 Mobile? Is it really dead? Well, Aaron has a theory on this…

The long and short of it… It’s worse than dead… it’s brain is gone! Haha, no but really, let’s start with the supposed controversy:

Announcing Windows 10 Build 16176 for PC and 15204 for Mobile
We are also releasing Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 15204 to Insiders in the Fast ring. As we release new builds from our Development Branch for PC, we will also be doing the same for Windows 10 Mobile just like we have been in the past. However, Windows Insiders will likely notice some minor differences. The biggest difference being that the build number and branch won’t match the builds we will be releasing for PC. This is a result of more work we’re doing to converge code into OneCore – the heart of Windows across PC, tablet, phone, IoT, HoloLens, Xbox and more as we continue to develop new improvements for Windows 10 Mobile and our enterprise customers.

From <>
This statement is in stark contrast to what her predecessor Gabe Aul had to say back in January 2016 with Build 14251…

Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14251
Sharp-eyed Insiders likely noted the big jump in build numbers from our last preview build (11102). Historically, the codebase for mobile had a different OS version than the codebase for PC because they were developed by different teams on different schedules. With Windows 10, we became one Windows team and brought these two codebases together. We started by changing the version string displayed in the UI to be consistent, which is why you saw similarly labeled builds over the past year for both Mobile and PC, but the underlying binary version numbers were still different. As part of our work getting the common codebase ready for the next release, we decided to complete that work and sync the build numbers between mobile and PC. Because the mobile codebase used higher build numbers than PC, we needed to jump ahead a bunch of build numbers to ensure updates to future builds will continue to work. So that’s why build numbers went from 11105, 11106, and 11107 to 14251.

From <>

Clearly Dona is telling us the sky is falling! Mobile is being cast aside and PC and others are moving forward. How can you claim convergence when you’re separating the branches? For this, there’s some deeper concepts you need to understand about software development process.

Good chance that we’re looking at Windows Phone 7.8 Part Deux… old stuff is old, and well, it’s time to say goodbye…

But does that mean they’re putting phones out to pasture? No, at least, not new phone-capable mobile devices… but let’s consider what we’ve heard since the launch of Anniversary Update in August:

Interview with Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet in October 2016:

MJF: I realize this year was a year when Microsoft planned not to release any new Windows Phones itself. But the question I keep getting is why is Microsoft wasting time updating Windows Mobile when the market share is one percent? You don’t have that many phone OEMs. Why not just say, you know, maybe we’ll come back some day, but for now, let’s just stop playing around with mobile.

MYERSON: Technically, there are really two things that are unique about Windows Mobile. One is cellular connectivity and the other one is the ARM processors that are there. And I think both cellular connectivity and ARM processors have a role in the technical landscape of the future.

So we’re going to continue to invest in ARM and cellular. And while I’m not saying what type of device, I think we’ll see devices there, Windows devices, that use ARM chips. I think we’ll see devices that have cellular connectivity.

When you stop investing in these things, it’s super hard, super, super hard to restart. And at Microsoft we have a few of those examples where we stopped. Sometimes, when you’re investing into growth, it’s easier, but when you’re investing for technical strategy or things like that, sometimes people can question it — like you’re doing right now. But especially among your readers, I don’t think there’s much debate that ARM processors have a role in the future. And cellular connectivity does as well.

From <>

Interview with Satya Nadella pre-announcing an ultimate mobile device in November 2016…

“We will continue to be in the phone market not as defined by today’s market leaders, but by what it is that we can uniquely do in what is the most ultimate mobile device,” he said.

“Therefore [with Nokia assets], we stopped doing things that were me-too and started doing things, even if they are today very sub-scale, to be very focused on a specific set of customers who need a specific set of capabilities that are differentiated and that we can do a good job of.”

From <>

Finally, here’s the demo of Windows 10 for ARM on a Snapdragon 820/821 exactly like the HP Elite x3 which is stated by the Qualcomm executive VP Cristiano Amon at the 12-minute mark which clearly indicates that the intent is to have phone-style devices powering these high end experiences in the future.

Windows 10 on ARM full demo at WinHEC 2016

Now I’m not sure about anyone else, but there were lots of oohs and ahhs in that demo, and the performance on a Snapdragon 820 was pretty slick, so what do we have to say about the future of Windows 10 on Mobile Phone Devices? Well…

It Ain’t Over – Animal House (1978)


Personal Media Picks

  • App – Netflix – Can now download!
  • Music – Piano Guys
  • Film/TV – Dave Chappelle
  • Podcast – Phone Show Chat – Steve Litchfield and Ted Salmon

In Conclusion…

Thanks for joining us again this week, friends!

If you’d like to continue the conversation, you should follow us on Twitter: @MSMobileShow, @GoodThings2Life, and @VernonEL

If you feel the need to communicate more formally with us, you can email the show at

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We want to give a big thanks to MSPoweruser for sponsoring this episode! The few bucks I make each week doing that show help me justify doing this one that doesn’t earn any money! Be sure to take a listen, if you don’t already subscribe.

About VernonEL

Vernon E. L. Smith enjoys his work in food manufacturing safety and management. He finds the Microsoft ecosystem to be the best fit for his life, both professionally and personally. Gladly choosing to be an early adaptor of Window Phone 7 Series, he has grown in his passion for the platform as it has matured. Vernon is married with three children. In his meager spare time, he enjoys listening to podcasts, and improving his home renovation skills. He also hosts the MSPoweruser Podcast each week, and publishes video to YouTube as often as he can.

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