Without a doubt, the Windows Phone line has led a rocky and treacherous life. Being 3 years late to the smartphone race, combined with a general lack of flagship devices does that to a platform. But things are looking up; Windows 10 Mobile’s release is promising, and has delivered, great things – but will it be enough? Yes, or at least I believe so. Here’s why:
1. Project Islandwood – The so-called ‘app gap’ is arguably the bane of Windows Phone, but Microsoft’s new project is set to fix this in the coming years. The primary reason that developers neglect WP with their sweet, sweet attention is because there just isn’t an audience (enjoy that delicious 3% market share WP developers). Islandwood is set to change this by providing a super easy way to port apps designed for iOS to Windows 10 Mobile, the idea being that creating a Windows app is so easy that developers make one simply because ‘why not?’ instead of ‘why?’. Islandwood is available to developers currently but a general release date has not yet been set.
2. Universal apps – Microsoft’s dream of creating a base operating system for; desktop, tablet, and mobile use is finally a reality – with Windows 10 being installed globally on over 200 million devices (that are being used more than once a month) as of January 2016. This number is soon predicted to rise to 1 billion devices, meaning that Windows 10 is simply unavoidable to developers. Since the code of Windows 10 is, at its’ core, the same across all devices – porting apps between PCs, phones, tablets, and even Xbox’s is easier than ever before.
3. Surface Phone – Microsoft’s Surface Book and Surface Pro lines have been huge successes, which gives backing to rumours that a Surface Phone is in the works. Surface Phone is supposedly an ultra high end pocket-sized flagship device to replace the hordes of confusing Lumia smartphones with 1 simple yet productive device. Despite rumours that this will be targeted towards business-centric users, there’s no doubt that it will be adopted by more casual users looking for a familiar Windows experience – which could give developers the incentive to produce more apps.
4. Updates – The bugs that have plagued the platform all the way from Windows Phone 7 could soon be a thing of the past thanks to more and more updates from the techies for the Windows 10 Mobile Preview Program. These updates are getting more and more recent, especially for the insiders on the ‘Fast track’ of the program, which will hopefully iron out most of the problems.
Great things are on the horizon for Windows 10 Mobile, especially with the potential release of a rumoured Surface Phone. It’s just all up to Microsoft to pull it off.
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