It seems like yesterday that Microsoft scooped up the Nokia handset business, purchasing a company with a great history of building quality hardware. With a purchase price of $7.2 billion, Microsoft was ready to enter the world of phone manufacturing.
Sadly, it didn’t work out for them. Producing phone after phone, Microsoft just never managed to find an audience. Microsoft continued to pour money in to the platform, even paying developers to bring apps over, but it didn’t work. Just this year, Microsoft showed some real promise with first testing a way for users to run android apps, which they later scrapped, and then a way to Windows 10 Mobile to act as a full fledged desktop with a dock. That didn’t work either.
Today, Microsoft confirmed they are pulling out of the handset business. Microsoft will close the former Nokia handset business in Finland, with 1350 employees being put out of work.
It’s a sad day when we face the possibility of losing another platform. Unfortunately, the duopoly of Android and iOS are running other platforms out of the race before they ever hit their stride. I have spent a very limited time exploring Window’s Phone and I must admit, I liked it. It was no BlackBerry 10, but with my little experience I will say it was much more attractive than iOS or Android, and it would have been nice to see it grow. While there was obviously no connection between BB10 and Windows Phone, I will admit I always kind of looked at Windows Phone as a little brother. They seemed to be going through the same issues BlackBerry went through, although it seemed to be one to two years later. This should serve as a somber reminder of what easily could have happened with BlackBerry if not for John Chen’s leadership. And for those that state BlackBerry should throw money at developers and marketing, that very thing did not help Microsoft phones.
In any event, best of wishes to those former employees in their future endeavors.