Microsoft has failed to impose its OS for smartphones or ARM tablets, be it Windows RT or Windows 10 Mobile or Windows 10 S. However, it retains its chances against Chromebooks and iPad Pro , provided that Microsoft is still making efforts on its Windows Store.
Bill Gates on Android: a whole symbol?
If it still needed a symbol to support the fact that Windows on smartphone belonged to the past, we just found it: Bill Gates himself now uses an Android smartphone . And sorry to destroy your dreams of Surface Phone , but … Yes, I too would like it to become reality. Despite its qualities and a nice idea of applications running independently on smartphone, tablet, PC or even Xbox One, Windows Mobile 10 probably belongs to the past.
Fortunately, Microsoft had not waited for Bill Gates’ “switch” to look for the way out and find his place on competing smartphones. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, Office Lens, Outlook, ToDo … it’s hard to find a Microsoft app or service that does not have an Android version, The same goes for iOS. A defeat, therefore, but rather well managed, since Microsoft like its competitors there find their account.
Windows 10 S: Chromebook Chance
But if Microsoft has been forced to throw in the towel on its own smartphone OS, that does not mean that there are no other areas of mobility where it can still prevail. Android and iOS manage to occupy the field of the computer “post PC”, allowing to carry out office tasks or even more without the complexity of administration of a “traditional” computer under Windows or macOS. Apple is making progress on the high-end segment of this segment with the iPad Pro, while Google, failing to have Android on tablets, gets nice results, notably across the Atlantic, with its Chromebook.
Microsoft has already tried an approach in this area with Windows RT, and wiped a failure. Windows 10 S gives him a second chance that can pay off. This simplified version of Windows 10, already launched in the spring on a few entry-level PCs and the Surface Laptop , allows to install only applications from the Windows Store. Thanks to the Centennial project, which makes it easy to convert a Win32 application to a universal app, it’s a little less constraining, at least on paper, than in the Windows RT era. Some publishers, including Spotify , have already taken advantage of it. Especially since the extinction of Windows Phone removes the pressure of developers who no longer have to take into account the smartphone side.
According to Mary-Jo Foley of ZDNet, always well informed on the subject, Microsoft is about to support an offensive of a few cheap PCs (under the bar 350 or even 300 US) in Windows 10 S, typing directly into the most accessible Chromebook segment , especially for companies. On the other hand, if one believes the recent leaks, Google would have in its cartons a PixelBook launched October 4, kind of Chromebook hybrid which, instead, plays in the category of Pro Pro or iPad Pro 12 inches. And in this category, Microsoft already seems pretty well installed with its Surface range. This is where the Windows card can be effective, while ChromeOS barely hosts Android applications, and iOS is progressing on the “mobile productivity” side while remaining more constraining than a PC even flaccid.
The Redmond firm therefore still has strengths not to be completely excluded from “post-PC” mobility, other than as a supplier of applications and services for its competitors. It will remain for this reason to attract more developers on the Windows Store, what it has failed with Windows Phone and Windows RT.