Microsoft’s Windows Phones with Lumia branding were the talk of the town at the time. At their peak, these Windows Phones offered an emerging alternative to Android and iOS phones. But these days, Windows Phones are virtually unheard of. It turns out that even Microsoft’s CEO has some thoughts about Windows Phone and the company’s decision to abandon them. Here’s what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in an interview about the company’s Windows phones.
Microsoft CEO regrets abandoning Windows Phones
In an interview with Business insiderMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella said a few words about the company’s previous phone business. When asked about any “real strategic mistake or wrong decision”, the CEO replied:
“The decision that I think a lot of people are talking about – and one of the hardest decisions I made when I became CEO – was to exit what I called mobile phone as it was then defined. In retrospect, I think there could have been ways we could have made this work by perhaps reinventing the category of computing between PCs, tablets and phones.“
Nadella refers to his decision write off the company’s $7.6 billion acquisition of the Nokia Phone business. Even though it happened some time ago, it’s clear that the CEO had big ambitions for the future of Windows Phones. As he mentions, Microsoft wanted to innovate in the computing ecosystem of tablets, phones and PCs. It would have been great to see what today’s Lumia smartphones could look like if their adoption never dwindled.
However, it is worth noting that Satya Nadella is the third Microsoft CEO to expose the company’s mistake regarding Windows Phones. Co-founded Microsoft in 2021 Bill Gates came forward to admit that “Ultimately, Microsoft didn’t execute the mobile operating system well enough.” Steve Ballmer, who was replaced by Nadella, reflected similar thoughts, admitting that the company should have focused on the phone sector earlier.
Microsoft has made good progress in AI
However, that doesn’t mean the company hasn’t made progress in other areas. Microsoft is significantly accelerating the artificial intelligence industry with several products. First there is Windows Copilotthat brings an AI-powered assistant to Windows 11. Made possible by Microsoft Bingthe company has come a long way.
Their cloud computing platform, Azure, grew significantly thanks to the generative AI products offered within the platform. Today, more than 18,000 organizations use Microsoft Azure OpenAI services (through: New York Times). They also have the Microsoft Designer tool which aims to bring the magic of professional photo editing and powerful brand asset creation to your fingertips, all thanks to AI. So despite the failure of Windows Phone, the company’s positioning in the AI industry is quite strong.
Nevertheless, Windows phones were an exciting product at the time. The aesthetic was completely different from iOS and Android. The operating system design had a similar appearance to the tile design that was introduced Windows 8. The mobile operating system had a sleek and minimalist look, with both dark and light modes having their appeal. The Lumia 1020 was also one of the first smartphones with a 41 MP camera sensor.
Microsoft decided to do that exit the smartphone business in 2017, and from then on things just went wrong for Windows Phone. Even now, many miss the features of Nokia Lumia smartphones. Did you like old Windows Phones? What were your favorite features of this now discontinued line of phones? Let us know in the comments below.