Thursday, March 30, 2017

The End of the Windows Phone #DeadPhoneWalking

Almost exactly a year ago I purchased a Windows Lumia 950 phone to replace an old iPhone. At the time I had obviously considered purchasing a new iPhone, but they were very expensive and I was constantly running out of space on my old one having to delete photos, music, and apps to make room for new things. The Windows phone seemed a good alternative - it was considerably cheaper, had a good hardware reputation, had plenty of space (I have a 64 GB extra SD card), and the piece-de-resistance was the brilliant 20 MP camera. Sure I - had heard about the "App Gap", but was assured by Microsoft and on-line commentators that this gap would get smaller. In any event, the main apps like Whatsapp, Facebook and Spotify were Windows enabled - while Edge and Outlook were good alternatives to Chrome and Gmail. Overall I was impressed by it and was happy to work around some of its limitations (for example, there is no Radio App - I simply added a shortcut to the URL of the RTÉ Radio Player to the Home screen).

Image source: Swoon.
In today's Irish Independent, an uncredited article (presumably by Adrian Weckler), iPhone and Android win out as Microsoft pulls plug on Windows handset, confirms the demise of the Windows phone. It's been coming for a while as Microsoft's market share has declined, and the likes of "Snapchat and YouTube, which never launched versions of their services for Windows phones, have been utterly vindicated". Lumia Twitter accounts have not been active since last November.

So now I have a dead-phone-walking in my pocket with more than likely no new apps and very few updates to come over the next few months as support will slowly dwindle and eventually stop. While I feel I was a bit of a sucker for changing from an iPhone to a Windows phone, I actually really liked my Windows phone. While there is frustration that most Apps were iOS and Android compatible only - there are work-arounds.

I don't know how long I will keep using my Windows phone, but I am in no hurry to get rid of it. It is still a great piece of kit and I absolutely love the camera on it. I have recently been thinking of replacing my faulty iPad with a budget Windows 10 tablet, but I am re-thinking this already - what will Microsoft pull the plug on next?

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