Windows-powered smartphones have had declining market share for years, and at this point even Microsoft has pretty much given up on its own Windows 10 Mobile operating system (although it will continue to offer security updates for a little longer). So it’s not surprising that developers of third-party apps have largely abandoned the platform as well.
Google never really fully supported Windows 10 Mobile. The company never released Windows versions of Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, or other apps that are popular on Android and iOS. But there is an official Google Search app for Windows 10 Mobile… it just hasn’t been updated since 2013.
Fire up the app and try to conduct a search by text or voice, and you’ll apparently get a “could not connect to server” error message. The error is said to affect Windows 8.1 phones and tablets as well as Windows 10 Mobile devices.
I haven’t been able to confirm the error message because, like most people, I don’t actually have access to a phone or tablet running one of those operating systems.
The good news is that there’s an easy workaround: it’s called a web browser. Type Google.com into the URL bar of Microsoft Edge and you can still use Google search.
But this is yet another sign that Microsoft’s existing smartphone operating system is currently a wasteland. While there have been rumors making the rounds for years that an upcoming “Surface Phone” capable of running desktop and mobile apps may be in the work, right not it’s little more than a rumor and with Android and iOS dominating the mobile space, it seems like any sort of new Windows phone would be a tough sell.