Windows Phone

The $7 Billion Reason why the Windows Phone Failed Tremendously

The $7 Billion Reason why the Windows Phone Failed Tremendously

Windows Phone

We all know Microsoft as this company that makes Xbox and Windows. Apart from that Microsoft has other bigger projects that bring them huge profits yearly such as their cloud services. For a brief moment, Microsoft made phones which did tremendously bad. However, there is one huge mistake that Microsoft did that will never be forgotten in the tech industry.

This mistake costed them their whole mobile division. In this article, we are going to discuss a brief history of Microsoft’s mobile division, the main reason why their Mobile division failed and the lesson that other companies should learn from this.

How it all began.

Original iPhone release in 2007 by Steve Jobs

It all begun when Steve Jobs went on stage and announced the original iPhone. This news took the whole tech industry by storm. Every one had different opinions on this. Some loved it while others hated it but little did they know that this gadget would revolutionize how we looked at a phone forever. This original iPhone featured a fully touch operated screen with no buttons.

There was of course a lot of controversy to this design. Big tech giants by then, such as Black berry and Microsoft were not shaken as they never believed that this design would ever sell. By then Microsoft was already a huge company with over 15% of phone market share. Back in the 1990’s Microsoft released a handheld pc which ran on windows CE which was later improved over the years. This is exactly what blinded Microsoft. In fact they had millions of phone sales annually and at that time Apple had almost zero.

Steve Balmer

In an interview with Microsoft’s CEO then. Steve Ballmer, he said that Apple was no threat. He went further and compared their metrics stating that Microsoft was way ahead selling over a million phones annually while Apple had none. These words would soon haunt Microsoft forever.

Rise of iPhones and decline of Microsoft market share.

Variety of iPhones

Despite their high prices, people still embraced iPhones. They started selling and it was clear that people were in love with this design. Google who had been designing a button phone had to scrap all their designs and start over with the new touch screen design that Apple had announced.

Huge companies such as Samsung started following suit. When Apple designed their phone and operating system it was very clear that they wanted full control over their devices. This meant that other manufacturers could not have a pie of Apple’s IOS. This is where Android came in. Google had previously bought Android and developed it. Google then partnered with big manufacturers to incorporate Android into their devices.

Windows Phone

By 2008, Microsoft’s market share had dropped significantly such that they started taking action. It took them two years to come up with a good phone design similar to the Iphone’s. This was the Windows phone 7 which was released in 2010. Microsoft did their best and at that time the performance of that phone was unlike anything. Though they were good they did not attract a lot of buyers. Microsoft wanted full control of their phones the way Apple did but this was a very big disadvantage to them.

Manufacturers like Samsung and HTC had been using Windows based operating system for their devices but due to Microsoft’s greed for wanting to control every aspect of both the hardware and the software, this pushed away manufacturers. Many phone manufacturers ran for Android and this was really hurting Microsoft’s business.

Microsoft partners with Nokia.

Windows Phone

In September 2010, Nokia replaced it’s CEO with Stephen Elop who was a former Microsoft executive. Nokia was in a lot of trouble as their market share was declining quickly. One of the first agenda’s that Elop had was to bring back Nokia back on it’s feet. At this point, Nokia decided to ditch Symbian for Microsoft.

In a span of one year, Windows-enabled Nokia phones were selling quite well. This was due to the ‘special’ treatment that Microsoft was giving Nokia. It was supposedly confirmed that Microsoft was pouring billions of Dollars to support Nokia as they wanted to propel their operating system. But there was a problem to all this. Microsoft was already too late.

Android and Apple were now dominating the smartphone market leaving Microsoft with under 2% of the market share. For any operating system to do well, it takes more than just good hardware and user experience. App support matters the most. Microsoft had good hardware with unmatched user experience but there were no enough developers to provide app support for crucial programs.

Windows Phone in a green color

Apps such as YouTube and Instagram were missing on the Microsoft store which was a big turn off to most people. However, Microsoft continued providing support and updates for the windows phone till 2017 when it was officially declared dead.

Lessons that other companies should note from Microsoft’s failure.

Windows Phone

In a more summarized way, Microsoft mainly failed due to pride and greed. At the time when the original Iphone was launched, Microsoft had a huge market share and they believed that Apple was no competition. They would have taken that opportunity to test the new concept that Apple was bringing on the table just as Google did.

As stated earlier, Google was working on a phone but when Apple came up with their new design, Google decided to follow along and it ended up working for them. As the old adage goes ‘pride comes before a fall’ and Microsoft had to learn it the hard and expensive way.

As a matter of fact, the windows operating system had a chance with the other top dogs such as HTC and Samsung but Microsoft decided to screw it up by wanting to control every aspect of the phone including the hardware part which infuriated most companies.

They wanted to establish a tight control over the software and the hardware just as Apple did but they couldn’t since Android offered more flexibility hence more companies migrated to Android. The Windows phone will go down in history as one of the most expensive tech failures and one that Microsoft will surely never forget.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Nelly Njeri

    A must-read for anyone interested in understanding the downfall of Microsoft’s once-promising mobile venture.

    1. Den.G

      It’s truly insightful, definitely one of my favorite articles.

  2. Caroline Njeri

    Wow. you mean there was a time when Microsoft phones were more successful than Apple? I agree with you, pride and greed messed up Microsoft. They really ruined their chances in the smartphone world. I’ve enjoyed this article.

  3. Gareth Ndubi

    These phones were much difficult to operate if you didn’t have knowledge on how to operate a computer 🖥️


    I had this phone and it was the finest phone I’ve ever used but when it started stopping and apps started misbehaving I really got annoyed and dumped it..


    Lol!I had a windows phones used to be my favourite but I prefer android phones nowadays

  6. Nancy Wambui

    I almost forgot we had a windows phone…that thing needed brains to use

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