Microsoft's Windows and devices chief, Terry Myerson, has reaffirmed the company's commitment to its struggling Windows 10 Mobile platform. In an internal email, obtained by Windows Central, Myerson addresses concerns around Microsoft's mobile plans. The Verge can confirm the email is genuine.
I understand that you are hearing concerns from certain partners about Microsoft's commitment to the mobile space.
Let me be very clear: We are committed to deliver Windows 10 on mobile devices with small screen running ARM processors.
We are currently in development of our next generation products and I wanted to reconfirm our commitment to Windows 10 Mobile. We believe in this product's value to business customers and it is our intention to support the Windows 10 Mobile platform for many years. We have a device roadmap to support that from Microsoft as well as our OEM partners who will also be selling an expanded lineup of phone devices based on this platform.
In an interview with The Verge last month, Myerson revealed that Windows Phone isn't the company's focus this year. While Myerson doesn't address the company's 2016 plans directly in his internal email, it's clear "next generation products" are in development. Rumors suggest those products won't arrive until 2017, and Windows Central claims the "Surface Phone" will arrive in April next year.
Microsoft revealed last week that it only sold 2.3 million Lumias in the recent quarter, a massive 73 percent drop from the 8.6 million in the same period last year. Lumia sales are now trending downwards, and Microsoft appears to have no plans to continue to use the Lumia brand. Earlier this week, Microsoft started giving away Lumia 950 handsets with Lumia 950 XL sales, a clear sign the company is clearing its inventory.
Myerson's email also hints that Microsoft primarily sees value in Windows 10 Mobile for business customers. Windows Central suggests that the rumored Surface Phone will be the "most secure phone in the world," and "the best phone for productivity." That sounds like a phone that's targeted directly at businesses, rather than consumers. April 2017 is still a long year away, and without any planned Lumia devices until then it leaves it up to OEM partners to provide Windows 10 Mobile devices. Microsoft still controls over 90 percent of all Windows Phone devices, so it's unlikely that OEMs will step up to help push Windows Phone over the next year.