Android is the world’s most popular smartphone operating system, followed by iOS. Windows comes in a distant third, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon… unless Windows movies further down the ladder.

According to a new report from Gartner, about 3 percent of all smartphones sold during the third quarter of 2014 ran Windows software. During the same period this year that number was just 1.7 percent.

gartner q3

In hard numbers, Gartner says about 9 million Windows handsets were sold in Q3, 2014. A year later the number was closer to 5.9 million.

According to a recent report from Ericsson, part of the problem is that Windows phone users aren’t as loyal to their platform as Android and iOS users.

This year about 82 percent of Android users who bought a new phone bought one running Android, while 73 percent of iPhone users who switched phones bought a new iPhone. But Ericsson says only about 20 percent of Windows phone users who bought a new phone purchased a model running Windows software. About 60 percent of users switched to Android phones, while about 15 percent switch to iOS.

ericsson loyalty

Microsoft is clearly hoping to reverse the trend soon… the company’s Windows 10 software for mobile phone has new features including support for Universal Windows Apps and high-end phones like the Lumia 950 and 950 XL can support Continuum for phone features, allowing you to connect an external display and use your phone for some desktop-like activities.

The company is also encouraging developers to convert iOS, web, and classic Windows apps to Universal apps that can run on phones, tablets, and desktops… although plans to offer tools for migrating Android apps seem to be on hold.

But clearly Microsoft is facing an uphill battle in the smartphone space.

What about other operating systems? BlackBerry OS comes in a distance fourth place in the market-share wars, and BlackBerry has recently started offering phones that run Android. Meanwhile other operating systems including Tizen, Sailfish, Firefox OS and Ubuntu grabbing a small enough market share that they tend to be grouped together as “other” in most reports.

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85 replies on “Reports: Windows Phone market share is falling fast”

  1. Hopefully before too long Microsoft will understand that this gives them “cover” for ditching their failed mobile efforts and finally ripping WinRT and Metro Tiles out of Windows entirely, adding back a real Start Menu, etc. before even more people find alternatives and the entire Windows brand goes down the tubes. The death wish has to end before it becomes actual death: fire Nadella and Hejlsberg immediately!

  2. I think once Intel x7 for phones comes out windows phone will become a decent competitor basically the only OS already setup to run desktop level apps.
    Windows phone running on ARM is a dead end since there is very little 3rd party support for desktop apps which leads it down the same road as the original surface tablets

  3. Windows Phone has no more room for customization. That what was killing the WP markets. Microsoft should replace all those ARM processor in their phone with Intel Atom and install Windows 10 with a very good phone application using Bluetooth headset.

    So their new phone is actually a computer and could be used as a desktop PC and a phone if needed. Windows CE based OS is dead. No more development activities. Even car PC which was based on WinCE has widely moved to use Android OS due to the easy to customize to meet their needs.

    It’s the last chance for Microsoft to decide whether to make a micro PC with calling ability or to stay with the Zombie Windows Phone. Even Windows OS now getting less and less room available for customization. Microsoft definitely has lost their direction.

  4. Android has 84% share. I’m utterly amazed that’s the case because the little experience Iv’e had with helping family with their Android phones is the devices were battery drainers, the updates were complicated, downloads were hard to stop, ads were everywhere. I just don’t understand the popularity. The only thing that I find truly impressive with Android are the games. They also have good Office style suites. With my Lumia 950 I’m hoping the Word / Excel / Outlook experience will be good.

    1. My Android phone — battery drainer, nope (still more than 50% at the end of the day). Updates — restart phone (not complicated). Downloads — when I want them. Ads — only on apps that I decided not to pay for the no-ad version (my choice).

      i.e. no idea what you’re talking about.

      1. Just like you said. Some people get the cheapest phone with bad HW and then they complain about Android.

        1. Android does require more resources to run smoothly, doesn’t prioritize resources as effectively as either WP or iOS, gets lots of pointless customization from carriers and the various OEMs with custom launchers, etc, also many gets bloatware, is one of the least secure platforms that has the most to worry from spyware and malware… which is why there’s now a market for secured/privatized devices that have been heavily modified to provide extra security and privacy…

          OEMs are pretty much subservient to Google because if they don’t follow Google’s rules then they can’t use Google’s apps and services and then have to come up with their own, and so far only Amazon has successfully done that but that’s why the others keep on trying to develop Tizen, Ubuntu Touch, FF OS, etc. to try to break free of Google… Sure, there’s alternatives to many of the apps and services but none with the popularity and dominance of Google’s, which are all proprietary and thus fully under Google’s control…

          While fragmentation means there’s a lack of universal support, the majority of devices are still running older versions of Android, updates are monthly or longer with many carriers dragging their feet when it comes to priority updates, few will be supported for longer than 2 years with many supported for less before they move on to the next model release…

          Rapid end of life marketing makes it increasingly harder to find a phone with user replaceable batteries and many make repairs more costly… why some devices like the Nexus don’t push expandable storage and tiered pricing for storage capacity that costs far more than the actual storage offered…

          Yeah, you can probably make a pretty good list of reasons why people like it and some things on the negative list also apply to the other two platforms but lets not pretend the platform doesn’t have a list of problems too and pretending it’s just the cheap phones is being in denial…

          There is basically just no platform that will appeal to everyone and most people tend to feel the platform they like is the better and thus tend to ignore the negatives but they’re always there, so don’t be in such denial when other people notice the problems more than you do…

          1. You are right about a lot of the points. OEMs are very slow with updates a they don’t update most models at all. Only the flag ships. That’s a clear Android’s problem.

            However fragmentation is not an issue. People are using happily Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10 on all kinds of different HW and nobody talks about fragmentation. It’s not a problem, 99% of Android apps can run on all phones.

            Also WP is not faster then Android on the same HW. It is true that you can buy a much more powerful HW with WP for the same money. Microsoft looses in average $70 on every sold phone. But if you compare the 2 systems on the equal HW, Android won’t be any slower.

            You are complaining about the lack of replaceable batteries, SD cards and difficult repairs. I also need these features. But most people probably don’t because they buy phones without them. That is how the market works. You can not do anything about it. But as long as I can get Android phone with custom ROMs (free of bloatware) available, replaceable battery, SD slot and good HW for good price, I have no reasons to complain.

          2. No, Windows fragmentation is a fraction of what Android deals with… and Windows OS gets support for 10 years vs less than 2 for Android releases. So you can’t dismiss the fragmentation being a negative…

            Also WP can run well with just 512MB of RAM as a Android device running with 2GB of RAM… Efficiency is not always which has the better specs but what the OS does with those specs.

            You also have to drop the 99%… it’s more like 89% now as more and more apps are proprietary and not all get updated or even offered to all devices. Exclusive games for Nvidia Shield devices, for example, are only available for Nvidia Shield devices and none of the other Android devices.

            There’s also a difference between running a App and actually running the app well or without bugs. So even dismissing the proprietary apps/games the 99% is still misleading a estimate…

            In terms of security/privacy, the fragmentation is actually more important a factor because there isn’t a industry wide support for 3rd party solutions to compensate.

            It’s far easier for WP and iOS to ensure updates are pushed to most, if not all, devices and that helps better protect users and help fix issues faster and more consistently. Apple’s tight control is the reason why they were able to switch to full 64bit first and much more smoothly than Android, for example.

            Especially, as most people on Android aren’t prone to get the flagship model all the time and thus more likely to get less support.

            Btw, lack of SD cards, difficult to repair, lack of user replaceable batteries are all factors that lead to rapid end of life and user lock ins… Elements that don’t benefit the users but the carriers and OEMs.

            Android is suppose to be the platform of choice and flexibility but the issue is that there are contradictory elements that it deals with and thus there are reasons to complain…

            Also, most people never change the OS from what the device came with and thus why support is such a issue with these devices as it’s left to the carriers and OEMs to keep most devices up to date… So no, custom ROMs, etc only matter to a small percentage of people willing to modify their devices but you have to realize what matters to most people… especially, with the large majority who just want something to work right out of the box because getting what you paid for shouldn’t be something that is optional or come with caveats they never told you about …

          3. Of course if you have a slow HW you can not run the most demanding applications and mainly games. But that is the case with all existing OS.

            I have shitty Chinese phone with ancient MT6582 CPU and 1GB RAM. The CPU is slower then the one found in slowest Lumia 520. And the phone runs so much faster and better then Lumia.

            I didn’t update my phone to Lollipop 5.0 and stay with KitKat 4.4. There is not a single case from my list of 300 installed applications that they would have any problem with my outdated OS, they would crash or misbehave. Of course as long as the poor HW of my phone allows it. So the 99% is my educated guess and based on just my experiences I would say 100%.

            If a manufacturer has applications limited to his HW, you simply can not count them. Even Nokia had apps limited to their phones a not offered to other WP phones. That is not fragmentation.

            Then there is no need to support old systems as long as the new version doesn’t require more powerful HW and is for free. Also you can not compare the life-cycle of a PC with phones which people change much faster and also the progress in development is much faster.

            Android never had any problems running on 64bit CPU. Any version could run on ARMv8 and thanks to Java there is absolutely no problems with applications taking benefit out of it. Unlikely in iOS where only applications recompiled to ARMv8 were optimized for the new HW. I rather won’t mention WP situation…

            I already wrote that the support for older devices and not flagships is a problem. But you are wrong with one thing. Most sold Android phones are flagships. It is the world of WP where Lumia 520 is far the most selling phone.

            What matters to most users can be clearly seen from the statistics. 84% people chose Android as the OS for their phones even though you get much better HW with WP for the same price. And most people who previously bought WP phones didn’t stay with that platform and chose another OS the next time.

          4. Well, first most Lumias target the value range… Second the actual performance for equal hardware is better for the WP devices…

            Again, try using Android with only 512 MB with the latest Android release and you’ll experience far more lags… Your WP experience also sounds like it’s limited to early releases before MS worked out the bugs…

            Such examples goes both ways, I can just as easily list Android devices that run extremely slow because of a lack of updates, etc…

            While you also have to get used to a OS… Experience always seems tougher the first year of use as you get used to the OS… Especially, getting to know the quickest way to get things done, how to optimize settings, etc.

            Along with unique features like adjusting touch sensitivity so you can use gloves, etc. Without needing special conductive gloves… Knowing things like needing a headset to act as a antenna for the radio feature, etc.

            So experience of someone used to the platform is usually better just by perception…

            The only thing WP has a issue with really is the lack of apps… Otherwise, it’s more secure, stable, more consistently updated and less chaos on all the different models UI layouts…

            Android gives a lot of choices but like iOS WP does appeal to those who just want something simple and little to no learning curve for each new device…

            Though, besides apps WP also needs developers to actually make use of all ita features… Like little to nothing has been taken advantage of with what the tiles can actually do, which of course makes them seem much less than they could be but it’s not like Android takes advantage of everything either… Enabling some features in only custom ROMs, etc. But the lack of developer support is definitely more noticeable for WP…

          5. You can not really compare the RAM usage on Android and WP since Android supports full multitasking and WP doesn’t. However KitKat can run with 512MB RAM without any problems and 1GB RAM is enough for every version. Of course if you can not have many applications running simultaneously with that low RAM. You also need more RAM if you want to run a heavy launcher or OEM’s bloatware.

            WP needs more powerful CPU and GPU to run then Android. This is clear since Linux has been always know to be less demanding on HW then Windows.

            The lack of applications on WP is of course the main problem. But the problem lies in the OS itself. I don’t if you ever tried to write a program for your phone. It is so easy to do on Android. And so difficult with a lot of obstacles (although Microsoft managed to remove a lot of them) on WP. That is the reason why developers are not interested in WP.

            The features you list as unique to WP are in fact HW features. As I said the HW is quite good. But the OS takes it down.

          6. Uh, no… Android does not support full multitasking… This is why they keep trying to develop more capable custom ROMs… While WP does support multitasking, it’s just one of those things you have to learn to use and could be more elaborate but you’re not going to be really multitasking on a small phone anyway but that’s changing with the newer W10 mobile devices that’ll go up to 7″…

            The rest is mostly either agree or a matter of opinion which is as always is each to their own… Just realize that for those with different preferences to you own can find plenty to justify not liking Android, just like you can claim for being against WP… No platform is perfect for everyone but that’s why choice is always preferable… Even if it’s not one you would choose…

          7. In Android if you switch to another program, the one that you used previously remains active in RAM. It is still loaded and keeps on running. That is what I call full multitasking. It has just one difference compared to desktop OS – if the system runs out of RAM (because of too many actively running apps), it will close the app that you haven’t used for the longest time. But apps have the ability to be resistant to these requests.

            This has the advantage that programs can do something in the background and switching between them is instant. The disadvantage is that a background application can slow down the system. In this case you can force close such misbehaving application.

          8. Hate to break it to you but there’s a lot more to multitasking than just keeping a app in memory, besides which WP can do that too and you can switch between open apps or close them without switching to them…

            Besides, Androids multitasking is still relatively new and still is being developed… So you might as well compare the improved multitasking that’s coming to W10m…

            I wouldn’t say you’re entirely wrong to make this specific comparison, Android has moved faster on this score, but you’re either unaware of the continued developments or you’re letting your preference exaggerate the differences…

          9. Of course Microsoft has made a lot of improvements to WP and since 8.1 the multitasking features are quite good.

            But Android has had the full multitasking I mention since the first version. It is built into the base of the system.

          10. No, all mobile devices originally didn’t push multitasking because it’s a good way to drain the battery too fast and battery life was a lot worse when Android first came out…

            At best you’re talking about extreme basic multitasking in the early days… Mind the early days also offered less RAM, back in the days when Android devices could have 256MB of RAM…

            So let’s not get into a revisionist history debate…

          11. Android has always worked like this. You can read about the multitasking feature in this article from year 2010: https://android-developers.blogspot.de/2010/04/multitasking-android-way.html

            I have owned Android device from the start of the platform so I know it. My first Android phone was General Mobile DSTL1 with only 128MB RAM. It was not enough though, I had to be careful with launcher choice and number of displayed widgets. The next phone I got was Motorola Defy with 512MB RAM. That was a great phone.

          12. Sorry, but that’s just revisionist history on your part… In no possible honest way can you legitimately compare multitasking from back then to what can be done now…

            The fact you even tried to argue that just discredits you… Really, multitasking with 256MB of RAM… Exaggerating just doesn’t cover it!

            Never mind anything before Honeycomb was phone optimized only… You’re really trying too hard…

          13. You might not remember it, but people were multitasking in Windows 3.11 with 4MB RAM! Windows Mobile 6 could do full multitasking with just 32MB RAM.

            Did you read the article I posted? It is from year 2010. There is explained how multitasking worked in Android from the beginning and it still works the same way because it was designed right. It doesn’t matter if it is tablet or phone. It works and has always worked equally on both.

            Today’s systems and apps are much more demanding because the main focus is on development speed not HW optimizations.

          14. You’re still discrediting yourself, first Windows 3.11 can run on a fraction of what a modern OS, even a mobile one, runs on now… Second, if you understood anything without bias you would understand that there’s a massive difference of what could be done then with Android from what can be done now… Both the apps and the OS have to support features and up till recently mobile devices where prioritized for best battery life and that meant minimum to no multitasking… Never mind you’re confusing keeping something in memory from true multitasking…

            Really you could have done more multitasking on PDAs than early android that was crippled by low specs in those early days and optimized only for phone usage…

            You’re trying to argue a fan boy logic argument that just because there was some potential that the feature was always there when that’s extremely misleading at best…

          15. So please tell me, what can Android do now a what it couldn’t do in the first 1.x versions regarding multitasking.

            I could open a web browser, switch to messaging app and let a page load in the background. Then I could switch back to the browser, copy something and paste it to the messaging app. Both apps were running all the time and the switch was therefor immediate.

            It seems like you never owned any of these first Android phones and you are assuming something what is absolutely not true.

          16. Are you kidding? There’s a ton of stuff you can do now that you couldn’t do back then…

            When Android first came out it was on a stripped down limited separate branch of the Linux Kernel but now it’s on the mainstream Kernel… Early Android devices had very little RAM in MB vs GB now… Original Android was only usable on phones and now you can get a custom ROM with near desktop like usability… Original Android ran on single core devices and now there are multi core devices with a massive difference in performance…

            For someone trying to promote Android you seem to have no concept of how much has changed over the years…

          17. It is clear that today’s devices are much more powerful. Everybody knows it. It is the same as in desktop Windows. Windows 95 was running on Intel 386 with 4MB of RAM. Windows 10 needs fast multi-core CPU and at least 2GB RAM. But nothing has changed in Windows multitasking since Win95.

            And nothing has changed in Android multitasking since 1.5 (maybe even 1.0, but my first version was 1.5 so I’m not sure). If you think otherwise, I repeat my question: What exactly I can do now and I couldn’t do earlier?

          18. First, stop comparing to Windows or any other desktop OS… Android is not a desktop OS and doesn’t offer as much multitasking capability as a desktop OS…

            Mobile OS are specifically limited because they have to be much more lightweight and capable of dealing with the limited hardware of mobile devices.

            Second, you obviously know nothing of Android’s history if you think nothing has changed since 1.0… Did 1.0 support multi-app side by side simultaneous usage in split screen? Nope!… Did 1.0 have anywhere near as good a memory manager as the modern Android supports now? Nope, which meant early Android dealt with a lot of inefficiencies that made multitasking impractical at best… Did opening a app and then switching to another meant the app stayed open in 1.0? Nope, for Android the processes and applications are not strictly linked and the app can thus be suspended or otherwise turned off.

            Early Android only really supported maintaining multiple processes, not to be confused with multiple apps, in memory and used tricks like remembering the state of a app from the time the user left it to allow going back to where the user left off but it wasn’t really running the app in the background, which again wasn’t practical with the limited hardware at the time and the less efficient memory management of the time made it worse because it wasted memory and that forced killing apps/processes more often to free up memory… Besides, developers had to specifically support running apps in the background and not all did…

            But the process in practice wasn’t very efficient, which is why many early devices suffered from memory leaks and needing methods to free up memory and prevent the device from using up too much power and killing the battery life… Something that isn’t a problem anymore just to tack one of many aspects in which the user experience has improved and now allows for better multitasking than what was originally possible.

            Third, this isn’t covering what custom ROMs allow with things like more desktop like functionality where apps can be windowed and multiple apps can be swapped between without really having to switch between them one at a time anymore.

            Android didn’t support anything but phone optimized apps until 3.0 came out, which meant apps that were all full screen and made for small screens that limited usability and didn’t scale well to larger screens, which in turn meant they didn’t have the flexibility and scalability that allows better quality of multitasking now with the far more functional modern Android…

            Modern Android OS version will let the user do things like manage tasks across devices, whether they’re Android apps, Chrome apps, web-based apps or web elements of apps… None of which you could do in 1.0…

            Really, I can keep on listing things for the next hour but you should look up what multitasking really means and stop pretending Android could do it all right from the beginning… It had neither the efficiency, the hardware resources, or the sophistication and features to provide anything but a mostly false sense of multitasking on a very basic level when it first came out compared to what it can do now and it still isn’t as capable as a desktop OS…

            This is why people are still trying to get desktop Linux to run on mobile devices and they even have developed ways to run Android and desktop Linux distro at the same time now…

            Sure, you can cling to that some elements of the early Android hasn’t really changed much but that’s like comparing a model T car to a modern car, just because you can drive it and have it work under very similar principles on how it works but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a night and day stark difference in the user experience and there’s a big difference from having similar things that worked similar in principle from early basic designs to modern sophisticated designs…

          19. As I said, I’m not sure about 1.0 but I know how it worked in 1.5. You can read the article I posted, which describes it.

            Did 1.0 support multi-app side by side simultaneous usage in split screen? – What does it have to do with multitasking? That is just the way the apps are displayed.

            Did 1.0 have anywhere near as good a memory manager as the modern Android supports now? – It was good enough. Of course it has improved in current version. But there was good one from the start.

            Did opening a app and then switching to another meant the app stayed open in 1.0? – Of course it did! What you wrote is the way how WP was dealing with app switching.

            What you wrote about problems with memory and battery life was true in Windows Mobile. Not in Android. Problems with battery life were very rare. Switching to Android from WM was such a huge leap forward.

            Then you mention a lot of things which have nothing to do with multitasking. Tablet UI, split-screen etc. are just GUI features. But the same multitasking system is there from the start unlike iOS or WP which didn’t support multitasking initially.

            By the system I mean this logic:

            – Keep nackground apps in the memory, just switch the displayed app
            – Apps in the background can work as if they were in foreground
            – If system runs out of memory, kill the least important process
            – User doesn’t have to close apps, the system will do it automatically if needed

          20. Sorry but you need to understand that what you’re describing and what those linked articled state are not the same thing!

            A common misunderstanding about Android multitasking is the difference
            between a process and an application. In Android these are not tightly
            coupled entities: applications may seem present to the user without an
            actual process currently running the app; multiple applications may
            share processes, or one application may make use of multiple processes
            depending on its needs; the process(es) of an application may be kept
            around by Android even when that application is not actively doing
            something.

            This quote is from one of your links… What it actually showing is that the apps aren’t actually always being run continuously and it’s really the processes and app state that is being recalled… Making it more like wake up from suspend but quicker, so it’s not the same as multitasking as done by a desktop OS… as the article also goes on to explain that mobile devices don’t have lots of resources like large swap files and so compensates with a alternate way to juggle resources but it’s not true multitasking!

            Multitasking is also not limited to just keeping instances running or referenced, there are hundreds of things that allow and interact with each other that determine the range of multitasking and it’s in no way limited to just what you’re attributing to it…

            Early Android lacked many multitasking features when it first came out, Android still doesn’t come with a native file manager that allows easy navigation of system files and file/data management, except for a few examples like the Samsung Note most multitasking capabilities aren’t even enabled on most devices unless you’re one of the fraction of users willing install and run a custom ROM…

            How apps are runs, whether things like crashes goes beyond the immediate app/process (an advantage of a OS based on a micro-Kernel, which Android is not), what features are standard vs what may be only available on certain apps,

            Many elements of the Kernel also help determine the range of multitasking, such as the scheduler, scheduling strategies, the state machine, and other. All of which became more extensive once Android merged its Kernel with mainstream Linux, but again this was not the case in early Android that ran on a more limited, stripped down, separate branch of the Linux Kernel… Never mind how early Android wasn’t even really tied to the Kernel like most regular OS…

            You’re even totally dismissing early Android never had unlimited RAM, which is the only way even the early limited multitasking you’re referring to requires to really be even remotely useful in any real sense to the average user…

            What you call multitasking is little more than hype because in
            practice you couldn’t really do much of any multitasking on early
            devices… It doesn’t matter if you have multiple processes in memory running for a indefinite length of time if it still doesn’t let you actually multitask and produce real work results or be as efficient as you can be with true multitasking capabilities…

            This is why people still use PC’s because mobile devices, even Android, can’t provide the same level of multitasking and productivity capabilities… Even the latest Android still falls short in this regard despite the range of improvements over the years…

            Besides, it wasn’t until Android L that they started to really improve multitasking… allowing apps to have more than one card, among other improvements that subtly but significantly started to push what multitasking meant on Android… Earlier versions also had a lot more hidden features, making multitasking harder instead of what you get with quick access to the same features…

            Really, saying early Android had multitasking is like saying you have multi-thread processing by just having a multi-thread processing capable processor but it’s not that simple because you need the software to actually take advantage of it otherwise it defaults to more single threaded processing…

            Early Android was little more than a glorified app switcher which had yet to have many of the features it has now, the UI was far more basic and harder to use with way too many features hidden and requiring too many steps to use and it all had to run on limited hardware, the apps weren’t designed for true multitasking and even now most apps are still designed primarily for phones instead of devices that can make better use of multitasking…

            QNX, Desktop Linux, Etc. all handle multitasking better anyway… So it’s not like there wasn’t always room for improvement, especially from the beginning!

          21. By full multitasking I mean, that an application can run in the background the same way it runs in foreground (which Android always allowed) and you can instantly switch between running applications.

            What Android does differently comparing to desktop OS is that it automatically closes background applications/processes if it runs out of memory.

            There has a lot of changes in the UI. But you could always do multitasking effectively. Android 1.x was showing only app icons, 2.x added app previews, Lollipop added 3D carousel and ability to have multiple “tabs” for a single application. But only the UI changes, not the system in the background.

            You are always talking about things that have nothing to do with multitasking. A file manager? It is an application, there is ton of them for Android for free, even Total Commander. Why should there be one in the system when most people don’t need it?

            There is no difference between phone applications and tablet ones. Just the UI is different, not the multitasking system. Everything in Android is an application. You can choose different launcher which you can compare to switching between KDE, Gnome, Unity or Xfce on desktop Linux. Dialer is an application, keyboard is an application, SMS manager is an application. And all of them are treated in the multitasking system the same way.

            Of course in custom ROMs you can tweak some behavior. For example you can force some apps (launcher, dialer) to stay always in the memory. Today it is not really needed because phones have enough RAM and it is unlikely that system would close them.

            So yes, a lot in the UI has changed. But the multitasking system is still the same. You can not say that it is worse then desktop multitasking. It is different and optimized for mobile devices. In Windows or desktop Linux you have to close every application manually. If you don’t do it, the apps will stay in RAM and once the system runs out of RAM, it will start swapping and becomes non responsive. You don’t want this to happen on a phone. Windows Mobile users could have told you a lot about how bad it is to have desktop-like multitasking system on a phone.

          22. Again, you’re confusing full multitasking with what Android does… Android does just automatically kill off apps to free up space but uses processes in place of swap files so apps don’t need to run to be switched to… In Android the open app doesn’t mean it’s running and can be essentially closed but the state you left it is remembered and thus can quickly resume from when you left off, and in many cases even after the app/process had been killed…

            While again you’re attributing full multitasking to just what’s happening under the hood of the OS but full multitasking involves everything that allows a user to multitask and be both as efficient and productive as possible…

            Like it or not, Android never really covered that last part and while it has improved it still is no replacement for a desktop OS for true user multitasking…

            Really, you’re confusing what’s really basic multitasking with full multitasking… Besides, the way you’ve been arguing you’ll confuse anyone who doesn’t know better that Android was always as capable as it is now and that there’s nothing left to improve and that’s definitely not true…

          23. The behavior you describe is in Windows Phone which until 8.1 didn’t support multitasking and background applications were hibernated and then resumed if you switched to them. Android doesn’t work like this. Background processes are kept in RAM and active.

            If you say multitasking has not been efficient and productive, that is simply not true. As I said I was always able to switch between recent apps immediately, they were running in the background all the time and a GUI to do it has always been there in Android. Yes it is prettier now with 3D effects and previews. But that has nothing to do with productivity or efficiency.

            Android is not meant to replace desktop OS. It is perfect for phones and tablets. There is no reason to use it on a desktop or laptop. These are different devices meant to do different tasks. Android apps are optimized for touch screens with small sizes and devices with limited resources.

            The Android multitasking system has been very good thought out in the beginning and there is no reason to change it. Of course there are small improvements with every new version but the whole logic remains untouched.

            The one that might be confusing someone without enough knowledge is you. You have written several false statements. I haven’t done that.

          24. Sorry but nope, the only one confused here is you because you won’t let go of the fan boy logic… What I described was Android and is backed by what you’re own posted links show!

            You’re just exaggerating what Android was doing from the start and spinning a technical point to sound like it was a practical point that users could really take advantage of when that was clearly not the case…

            So stop trying to confuse a talking point with what is actually being discussed…

            Dalvik vs ART, separate limited and stripped down Linux Kernel branch vs mainstream Linux Kernel, Project Butter and other examples improved the responsiveness and user efficiency over the years, the ability to multitask over various devices and not just the device you’re on is another on a long list of improvements they made over the years…

            Android originally didn’t ship with much of anything, not even a soft keyboard and is one of many examples of why multitasking was harder back then, it wasn’t until Cupcake before Android got its first On Screen touch keyboard…

            Copy & Paste was pretty limited at first too, largely limited to text fields and links at first, which meant that text couldn’t be copied out of browser windows or Gmail, two places where you’re very likely to want to do it. Though full clipboard capability wouldn’t come to Gmail for several more versions, Cupcake added support to the browser, allowing you to copy plain text out of a page.

            The idea of split screen wasn’t even a remote possibility until Donut introduced resolution independence, which along with Universal Search made working between apps a much more real possibility from that point forward but not before…

            Another improvement to multitasking didn’t come out until 3.0 Honeycomb as Google took a page out of webOS’s playbook (keep in mind that webOS design guru Matias Duarte was employed by Google by the time Honeycomb was released), introducing features like a Recent Apps virtual button at the bottom of the screen producing a list of apps recently used — and more importantly, screen captures for each. On Gingerbread and prior, seeing recently-used apps involved a long-press of the Home key — something users would rarely think to do — and you were presented only with each app’s icon, not a helpful thumbnail that made switching between apps far more efficient and convenient from that point forward…

            Really, there’s tons of examples that are frankly glaringly obvious if you just stop trying to spin talking points and look at the actual history and what multitasking actually means to the people who use these devices…

            You might as well compare Mac OS9 to OSX or Windows 95 to Windows 10… I already told you before that what you’re doing is at best comparing a Model T car to a Modern car… Don’t confuse similarities and some basic common principles with nothing having changed over the years… at best you’re only fooling yourself here…

  5. Ordered my Lumia 950 two days ago. Excited to get started with Win10m. Last time I used winphone was 2002-ish. I still have my HP iPaq w/Win Mobile 5 in the drawer. Windows 10 for desktop is fun to use so I decided it’s time to try win10m. Specs and features on the Lumia 950 appear pretty spectacular.

    1. I switched to WP about a year and a half ago, because I liked Windows 8 and was hoping that it would be Windows 8, only on a phone. That was not the case. They’ve moved closer towards my goal of having Windows 10 on a phone, but it’s still not entirely the same.

      What I did find, however, was a delightful experience, nonetheless. While WP8 wasn’t the same as Win8 and WP8.1 still wasn’t the same as Win8.1, there was a great deal of alignment on the backend services that made it close enough for the time being. Cortana made that even better, and it was the single greatest feature of WP8.1, of which there were many to choose from. Now, with WIndows 10, the backend services are even MORE aligned and Cortana bridges gaps between the desktop and the phone wherever the apps come up short.

    1. I think Nokia was taken down with clandestine warfare, moles, spies, Trojan horses in high places.

      As always, it’ll be 50 years before we’ll hear the real story.

      Finland being small, with a small economy, the whole country is suffering from the loss of Nokia, with 6% year over year declines of the overall economy.

      1. I don’t think it was intentional. It was just stupid. Both companies (MS and Nokia) lost billions while trying to get Windows Phone to market. They didn’t realize the most important thing: WP is a bad OS.

        Meego was a very well thought out system. They chose the great Python as the main language instead of Java found in Android or C# in WP. Qt GUI toolkit is also great as you can see in Ubuntu or Sailfish today. Nokie threw all this away because of the ugly WP system.

        It looks good from the outside. Most people are only complaining that there are no good apps. But it is the OS which prevents good apps to be built for it.

  6. I’d be willing to jump from Android to Windows, but there’s at least a couple of apps that are needed first. It’s not a chicken and egg problem–apps are needed first.

    1. apps aren’t the only thing. But there’s a reason other than volume that they’re not appearing:

      Microsoft has abandoned the iterative approach, lacking a will to backward compatibility.

      1. Which is odd, given what Microsoft did to maintain backward compatibility in the PC area.

        1. Well, Microsoft kinda lost their head when Gates took off. He had incredible attention to detail and always a purposeful goal matched with a working strategy on how to implement it.

          His CEO replacement was mostly underwhelming and sad to watch. Nadella we don’t know, he inherited a ship aimed straight at an iceberg called Google at close range…

      2. That’s an old story. Nothing has broken backwards compatibility since they moved from WM7 to WP8.

        1. Old stories live on for good reason. Its called “history” one of the most valuable resources to predict the future.

          And we’re not just talking about OS or apps. If you don’t know about the myriad other examples, you shouldn’t even bother commenting.

          Forgive and forget is absolutely not advisable with corporations nor with most people.

          Whatever they did before, they will do again.
          Just don’t be in their line of fire :p

    2. I need email, the Web, good phone call quality, useful notifications, a good Calendar/Tasks system and a good virtual keyboard (I’m looking forward to trying Word Flow). Once those are mastered the rest is “nice to have”. I took a look at Windows Store, it’s pretty good.

      1. And the OS has to be stable. That’s a big thing for me. Has to be smooth, crash rarely, offer solid multitasking e.g., play a podcast or music while surfing the Web, and have all their respective sounds play at the same time, etc. I need to be able to flip in and out and over to different apps quickly.

        1. Smooth = absolutely yes. Multitasking = yes. Great calendar, tasks, and reminders = absolutely yes. Phone quality = well ,quality is subjective, but the features are awesome. Actionable and useful notifications = yes. Virtual keyboard = very good after you adjust to it.

          As far as stability and rarely crashing go, WP8.1 was rock solid. Windows 10 is a new animal, and no one is running the real deal yet (except for the rare few who have received their 950’s and 950XL’s). I can only hope that it runs just as well as WP8.1 did. I’m running the RTM version of the insider preview, but even that will differ slightly in stability from what you’ll find on the finished OS on a shipping model of the new phone.

        2. I switched from iOS, and I don’t miss much except for the third-party apps. A friend of mine switched from Android and he complains about missing the native Gmail app from Google. Apparently they had some nifty organizational tools baked into it that aren’t replicated in other standard email apps.

      2. I’m pretty sure there’s no Wink app, and some other home automation (e.g. Chamberlain Doors). And I know there’s no app for one thing I use for business (even though it did exist for prior versions of WP).

        1. Yeah, I’ve had this argument many times where people assume they don’t need third party apps. Most just don’t realize how accustomed they’ve become to all of the useful apps that are available on other platforms. Internet radio, banking, weather, news, sports, games, cloud storage, photos, sharing, commerce, shopping, IoT and automation, etc.

          I live in rural louisiana, and local business are offering mobile apps now. Of course, for iOS and Android, only.

          You just don’t realize how many times you interact, if even briefly, with some kind of mobile, third-party app.

  7. The loyalty factor really explains a lot. If MS can’t keep previous customers then it probably will lose money by being on mobile. They have good loyalty with xbox and PCs.

    1. You sure its loyalty? Certainly isn’t with me.
      Its lock-in, cause I can’t run my software on Linux.

      Microsoft itself makes sure of the lock-in, for example by not updating Skype for Linux, so even very basic things like Skype cause problems when you try to switch to Linux for your every-day OS. Skype on Linux is so outdated, connections are unreliable and other weird bugs happen, I forgot now, but it made talking to people a challenge.

  8. I’ve been a Windows Phone user for about a year and a half now, having switched from iOS. The devices are quite good and the platform is really incredible. Yes, there are some frustrating elements here and there, but that’s the case with all of the mobile operating systems. The “app gap” is THE problem with WP, though. It’s the only reason I haven’t recommended it to all my family and friends.

    I’ve found that it effectively “splits the difference” between Android and iOS. It’s a little bit more “fresh”, customizable, and less-restricted than iOS, but still very user-friendly with some (sensible) restrictions, and not quite as “wild west” as Android. You can run it on a range of hardware options (with features to match your usage requirements, like microSD and Miracast if you want them), but you get the same fast and beautiful experience and UI on all devices. At the same time, you can count on first-party support from MS with guaranteed updates and improvements, much like you can count on Apple to update their phones.

    For instance, my Lumia 1520 over the course of a year and a half has become better, and better, and better with the addition of new features and better performance. The already amazing camera kept getting updates like 4K video, unparalleled burst photo performance, and the Living Images that are so popular on iphones now. Miracast support rolled out to it, and then improved over time. Sensor-core tech was added and now it does pretty neat tricks with that. And finally, Windows 10 will be coming to it and I’ll be seeing a huge new set of improvements.

    1. Well, but its Microsoft.

      The company that didn’t fix Windows CE for a decade, because they figured at 36% market share, they had the market sewn up as well as they could – and could afford to hang their users out to dry.

      Now they’re in desperation mode instead, cranking out one disparate ‘miracle’ OS after another, being very disruptive with every move. New stuff announced, last years stuff already out. Forward compatibility: low to nil. For people with a work flow and real work to do, that doesn’t cut it. Sure Tinkerer’s don’t mind wasting time on all kinds of stuff totally changing between releases.

      But if you just want to get your work done and otherwise prefer not to touch the phone, cause there’s still reality to live in, Windows phone just isn’t it.

      1. The only break with backwards compatibility was with the jump from WM7 to Windows Phone 8. Yes, they’ve rewritten some apps and moved some services and features around, but it’s no different than any of the other OS’s have done. But, none of that has affected 3rd party apps. I’m still running apps that were written for WP8 on my WM10 phone right now.

        1. wasn’t only taking about apps and OSs, its also their internal architectures and APIs aimed at developers they keep toppling over. That royally screws up small shops that made an investment in that stuff. And a lot of the time, Microsoft changes things around without any underlying advancement or benefit that required those changes. They’re just throwing bullshit at a fan and see where it splatters, see who is bamboozled – in hopes to find a new way to siphon cash some place.

    2. I do and yes it has most of the everyday apps a user needs not always what they want.
      e.g a user might want to play Candy crush on their device but no one needs it else we’d all have it installed.
      the only things users need for everyday use on phones is to text, call, maybe social media is either a browser or the app e.g it has social network apps, its has Internet Explorer which do the job.

      The difference would be Nokia phones especially are cheaper because they are budget phones, have lesser hardware specs because the operating system by design uses less resources meaning the applications use less lesser impact on battery life so wp is a more resource friendly OS if you want something a bit more efficient. WP also uses the same restrictions as windows 8 on laptops secure boot technology prevent the user making changes to the bios and registry.

  9. not surprised after having one the past 5 months,,,,HORRIBLE !!!if they were half the price….Maybe..heading back to Android as we speak…just bought Moto X pure…

      1. But WM10 won’t bring anything. The core problems will remain – lack of applications, restricted OS with limited API and probably the same poor support from Microsoft.

  10. Not surprising that Windows Phone has been struggling while MS has frantically been trying to get its ducks in a row with Windows 10 and their universal apps platform. I wouldn’t count them out just yet, since they know how lucrative having a successful mobile platform can be, but it’s not going to turn around overnight, that’s for sure.

  11. M$ was stuck on 32 bit SoCs and Qualcomm only and that’s on them. It’s not ok for someone their size to fall behind like that.
    Ofc few OEMs make Windows phones and M$’s own devices are not appealing.
    The thing is, they might as well give up since what matters next is foldable and then glasses. In both Google is behind since Google just gave up on tabs (foldable means phone/tab hybrid) and they are making a mess when it comes to glasses.
    Today Google might lead but they are badly positioned for the future and not showing any signs that they are doing anything to fix that.

    1. You’re right about Google botching glasses so far. If they haven’t got anything secret up their sleeves, everybody is going to be off with other solutions. But Google won’t care if someone else makes better glasses but uses Android anyway.

      1. Glasses wasn’t a tech issue, it was a perception issue. People get the creeps when they see strangers wearing cameras looking at them. You try walking around town pointing your phone’s camera at people all the time. You’ll be lucky not to get punched in the mouth.

        Doesn’t matter who did it first, this would have been an issue.

        1. They were also technically crappy, low res plus various other annoyances.

          I’m sure the NSA would have loved proliferation of these…

    2. “but they are badly positioned for the future ”

      Really? Google has 85% market share for mobile phones, Apple 13% and Microsoft 1.7%. Google poorly positioned?

      Do you also realize that out of the three companies Google Android is NOT only the largest but also growing faster than either of the other two? Trend is Google’s friend.

      Out of the top 10 apps used on ALL smartphones Google has 5 of the top 10 and Facebook 3. Apple and Microsoft do NOT have a single app in the top 10. Poorly positioned?

      Google is the only company in the world to have six different brands each with over 1 billion active users. They include Maps, Search, Play, Chrome, Android and YouTube. They have two more with over 900 million users. Plus some of their new products have quickly gained traction like Google Photos having over 100 million users in the matter of a couple of months.

      PC sales declining? Well Microsoft is experiencing declining PC sales. Apple Mac/PC sales are flat. But Google experienced over 35% growth YoY with Chromebooks. That is correct fast growth in a declining segment.

      Google completely owns K-12 education with their education software and their Chromebooks. Google has the government paying for the education of millions of kids use of their ecosystem. These are the future decision makers. Poorly positioned?

      I am curious if Google is poorly positioned who do you think is well positioned?

      Honestly all of what Google has is NOTHING compared to their ability to attract the top engineering talent in the world. Engineers are the raw material necessary for success. Their ability to attract top talent gives them an unfair advantage, IMHO.

  12. Any device running Windows 8 Metro Tiles is DOOMED! Windows 8 is even worse than Vista!

      1. 8.1 is really not that bad. But there is a huge difference between “not that bad” and “good”. The tiles are staying for now, but they became less important in Win10, kinda like widgets.

        1. I’d really like my widgets back, because those were actually USEFUL.

          The tiles, I never need to see, thanks to the free “Classic Start Menu” software.
          And how useless they are. use up lots of space for mostly no more function than a basic icon of yore. And everything goes full screen only! What a joke is that on a desktop OS called ‘Windows’.

          Sinowsky was a moron with a log of firewood for a brain and now he’s screwing up the minds of university students. What a retarded stunt, trying to tell us how to do things on a desktop as if it was a lame 7″ tablet.

          1. When Vista came out, I switched to Kubuntu. I still have XP in dualboot for those few programs which need Windows (phone flashing apps mainly).

            I had Windows 8 on a tablet and that was a terrible experience. Now I have Windows 10 on a portable PC and that looks OK. But still not as good as Windows 7 and XP.

        2. Yeah, I’m afraid I disagree. What made it worse than Windows 7? It WAS windows 7, with some small improvements (faster, lighter, better tools, and more options). So you didn’t like the Start screen rather than the Start menu? Big whoop. It was full screen rather than half screen. Otherwise you could set it up almost identically.

          It hardly deserves to be maligned as much as it was. It was pretty great, actually.

    1. I didn’t like Windows 8. I felt like I lost a year of my life being suddenly unproductive after switching from XP to 8. Windows 10 is fun again. The Start button that carries tiles is nice. Sometimes the little things matter. I need a Start button and a Desktop.

      1. Not having a Start button was a bone-head move. However, they added one back almost immediately, and there was a temporary fix. Once they added it back, though, the only difference was that the start menu was – *gasp* – full screen. Other than that? It was an improved (faster, better tools, more options, etc.) version of Windows 7. I can understand enterprise not liking it because of the Store, but for consumers it was just plain better.

  13. MS could just throw in the towel to Windows Phone.
    They could simply add phone functionality to x86
    Windows 8.1, which after all, has been able to run
    on hardware priced competitively with Android
    tablets.

    1. If I could run some of my fav Windows XP utilities on my win10m that would be SO amazing. I’m not counting on it and Iv’e made a decision to get the Lumia 950 for Windows 10 apps, but if MS does the win32 support, wow, that would be so amazing.

      1. I have a little file indexer search utility I would love to use on my Lumia 950. If I could I would carry all my personal data. Would be revolutionary to truly have Windows 10 in my pocket.

        1. You can already do that with onedrive! You don’t even need to waste your processing power either. Your search results are instant from the cloud.

          1. Another one who never leaves his town with 100% internet coverage.

            There are a thousand technical issues and other things that can make stuff you stored online somewhere inaccessible or go poof entirely.

  14. I suppose with all the MS apps launching on those other platforms there’s not much reason to fight the tide. Even if you need/want MS ecosystem interaction you can get plenty of it on other platforms now.

    1. Unfortunately, this is pretty much what I did. Although I love WP as an OS.

      1. Love should be reserved to living things, not weird material crap.

        But yes, Word Perfect was a great OS, if you could remember all those keyboard shortcuts.

        1. Just in general the OS is simple yet customizable. It can really only be described as a consistent, smooth experience.

          Android has all the apps, but the OS is not nearly as simple. It takes a lot of work to make it smooth.

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