Microsoft's Mobile Roller-Coaster Ride: 9 Contributing Factors - InformationWeek
Mobile // Mobile Devices
07:06 AM
Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
Connect Directly

Microsoft's Mobile Roller-Coaster Ride: 9 Contributing Factors

Microsoft has never excelled in smartphones, but its mobile strategy has taken a turn for the worse. What went wrong, what will come next, and are there signs of hope? Here's a closer look.
1 of 10

(Image: RonBailey/iStockphoto)

(Image: RonBailey/iStockphoto)

As the mobile space heats up with major tech players staking their claim in the lucrative market, it's time to ask: Why is Microsoft still struggling to be a serious contender? 

Industry watchers have been pondering this for a while. Redmond has struggled in the mobile space for years, and smartphone sales continue to decline as its other products and services generate profit.

During its most recent earnings call, Microsoft executives noted a slowdown in PC and smartphone sales hurt overall financial results for the third quarter of its 2016 fiscal year. This past quarter generated $21.78 billion, a year-over-year decline of 6%.

[Microsoft and Google have agreed to drop lawsuits against one another.]

Its third-quarter earnings are the sign of a trend Microsoft can't seem to reverse. During its first fiscal quarter of 2016, the company sold 2.3 million Windows Mobile devices, a massive plunge from the 4.5 million it sold during the fourth quarter of 2015, and a 73% decline year-over-year.

Microsoft has reached a point at which its stronger products and services may not be able to overcome the losses it suffers from poor smartphone and PC sales. As its earnings reflect poorer results, IT watchers are increasingly curious to know if, or when, it's going to throw in the towel with mobile.

Here we take a closer look at the signs Windows Phone is failing. What went wrong, where is the company going, and is there any chance things will improve?

What are your thoughts on the future of Microsoft's mobile business? Are you a current, former, or future owner of a Windows Phone? We welcome your thoughts in the comments.

Kelly Sheridan is Associate Editor at Dark Reading. She started her career in business tech journalism at Insurance & Technology and most recently reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft and business IT. Sheridan earned her BA at Villanova University. View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
1 of 10
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Ninja
5/2/2016 | 5:57:26 PM
No compelling reason to use MS Mobile
Microsoft's committment to any mobile platform has been iffy at best. They were late to the PDA market and when they finally came in, their platform was decidedly inferior to Palm. Their apps were never very good and they took up major resources on the devices as compared with Palm (and even Apple for a while way back then). Almost the same thing happened in the smartphone market. They just seemed halfhearted when they joined the party. There is no compelling reason to jump from Android and iOS to MS.
User Rank: Apprentice
4/29/2016 | 11:52:10 AM
APP Store Weakness is MS downfall
I have owned several Windows Mobile Devices over the years, the latest one being a Lumia 1020 and now a 950. While I love the phone and its features as well as the integration with Windows 10 desktop, the lack of great apps frustrates me on a weekly basis.

My next phone will most probably still be a windows phone but I really hope that MS can entice some of the more main stream APP producer to create APPS for their platform.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends for 2018
As we enter a new year of technology planning, find out about the hot technologies organizations are using to advance their businesses and where the experts say IT is heading.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll