back to article Microsoft dumps mobility from its Vision

Microsoft has dropped any mention of mobility from its strategic vision. The change emerged last week in Redmond's Form 10-K, the annual warts-and-all documents public companies are required to lodge with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Microsoft's vision is usually outlined in a section of the 10-K …

  1. DougS Silver badge

    Simple

    They had to update their vision to be buzzword compliant for 2017. Talking about "mobile" is old news. That market has stopped growing, the hot thing today is AI. Look for them to drop the word "cloud" in a couple years as that is in the beginning stages of getting a bit tired as far as buzzworthiness, and it'll be replaced by something new. Maybe AR, or maybe a new buzzword that will be invented tomorrow on Sand Hill Road.

    1. Phil Kingston Silver badge

      Re: Simple

      Disappointed they didn't manage to get "disrupt" in there somewhere.

    2. jacksmith21006

      Re: Simple

      MS really has already lost AI. They are just way too slow with things. If you look at GitHub Google is adding 12x the stars on average compared to MS for the strategic OS for AI which is the frameworks.

      MS has CNTK and Google TensorFlow. It is not close.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Simple

        No one has "lost" AI because there is no AI yet. Google's AI is just a warmed over version of the same shit we've been able to do for some years now. They have access to more computing power so it is improved a bit, but there have been no major innovations in the field aside from better marketing.

        All the "intelligence" in AI comes from the programmer writing the code, machines still aren't able to learn shit on their own except in the narrow fields which have been prepared for them by the programmers.

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Come on MS, say it... Windows Mobile is a dead duck.

    They bet a huge part of their business on Mobile - failed mainly because it was just years late.

    Now it is Cloud everything. We shall have to see if that works in the real long term for anything not related to your product lock-in (Office 365 etc)

    As for their dig at POTUS

    “Changes to U.S. immigration policies that restrain the flow of technical and professional talent may inhibit our ability to adequately staff our research and development efforts.”

    Perhaps it should say?

    “Changes to U.S. immigration policies that restrain the flow of technical and professional talent may inhibit our ability to adequately staff our research and development efforts salaries that are just above minimum wage."

    I fully expect that whole departments within MS will soon relocate to India. Didn't I read that there are 350,000 Qualified Engineers unemployed in India?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Come on MS, say it... Windows Mobile is a dead duck.

      "Didn't I read that there are 350,000 Qualified Engineers unemployed in India?"

      probably, and there may be a reason why: If they are out of work, it may be because they're work (quality, quantity, outcome) isn't worth paying them the apparent low wage that a contractor in India might pay their employees as compared to someone working in Redmond.

      A lot of this isn't due to a lack of education, or intelligence, or even real qualifications on the part of the 'out of work' engineers in India (or those who are working, for that matter). A lot of this is PROBABLY the 'rules of engagement' and the instructions given to the "body pack" that's ultimately hired to do the work.

      Throwing bodies at a problem, i.e. 1000 previously out of work (and poorly paid) engineers are now working on "the problem". But they can't step outside of the box for fear of someone else quickly assuming their role at the company. And so REAL innovation goes out the window, problems are shrugged off and even HIDDEN to avoid conflict, and we get a lot of "yes sir" when there should be objections...

      You can't blame them, of course, and I am just pointing out what I think is happening "over there" and why the phone support, engineering efforts, etc. seem to be 'below our standards' over here - and it's because 'boiler plate' is the rule of the day and nobody DARES go around it, against it, etc. - the nail that sticks up GETS THE HAMMER, right? Anyway... that would be the "rules of engagement" for doing the actual work.

      So ultimately it has proven that off-shoring everything to India can be a bad idea, regardless of their intelligence or the apparent cost. It's the 'rules of engagement' that cause the fail and bureaucratic "solutions".

      In any case, if Micro-shaft wants QUALITY people, they'll have to PAY for them. And you often get what you are willing to pay for, as long as you actually PAY for it. And don't "get cheap". etc..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Come on MS, say it... Windows Mobile is a dead duck.

        "MicroShaft"

        Mind you, took you til the last paragraph this time Bob - is the broken record becoming unstuck

        Tedium tedium snore

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Come on MS, say it... Windows Mobile is a dead duck.

      It was years late, under featured, unreliable battery sucking turd

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Come on MS, say it... Windows Mobile is a dead duck.

        When the Windows Mobile OS (Windows Phone 7) went RTM in 2010, the Microsoft employees held a mock funeral parade declaring the demise of the iPhone.

        Those pictures are still floating on the Internet.

        Seven year itch, meet your dear friend: seven year karma's a...b****.

    3. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: Come on MS, say it... Windows Mobile is a dead duck.

      Failed because they have been abandoning mobile phones/pdas for the las 19 years.

      Every 2 years, new "Windows CE/Mobile" paradigm, incompatible with previous devices... and well, peoples trust just gets killed.

      Windows is being killed by abusive licensing in the workplace, and at home it is being replaced by cheaper tablets.. running a windows shop is SO expensive...

      1. cambsukguy

        Re: Come on MS, say it... Windows Mobile is a dead duck.

        It's not that incompatible; I am still running a WP7.5 app and it works exactly as it did on my first WinPhone - except faster of course.

        They should have done an Xbox and just persevered, sinking whatever billions were required in order to stay in the market and hold out until WP10 existed long enough for app developers to make their Win10 UWP apps available for the platform.

        Of course, they still can, HoloLens, Xbox, PC, throw in a mobile version, it just isn't that hard.

        They need to continue to make the 950 pair available and introduce a new phone to ensure the customers they have can stay if they wish and eventually hope that some OEMs will make other phones.

        Wishful thinking it seems, I hope a Surface phone appears before my 950 fails.

        1. JLV Silver badge

          >done an Xbox

          I agree. While the numbers are horrendous, MS really is taking a big risk by bailing out on mobile. There's a huge chunk of stuff that naturally will gravitate, or be closely involved with, mobiles. Take personal health. And, in a way, cloud + mobile is good reason for cloud too. Step away, and others may sneak in.

          With their massive cash flow, MS has spent decades and untold B$ trying to diversify from Windows n Office. Often for no discernibly good reasons - Skype, Linkedin.

          Many people aren't that fond of either Android or Apple. A clever, humble (as in, listen to customers) and deep-pocketed vendor could still find a spot.

          Might be MS is just realistic that they only have one of the above qualities. But it still showcases their worrying lack of perseverance that adopters of new MS ventures best keep in mind.

          1. TVU

            Re: >done an Xbox

            "I agree. While the numbers are horrendous, MS really is taking a big risk by bailing out on mobile. There's a huge chunk of stuff that naturally will gravitate, or be closely involved with, mobiles. Take personal health. And, in a way, cloud + mobile is good reason for cloud too. Step away, and others may sneak in".

            No one's so far been able to break the Android/iOS phone duopoly no matter how much cash has been spent by the third party pretender. Windows Phone, Ubuntu Phone, Firefox OS and Blackberry are all dead so I cannot see a Windows Phone OS ever returning on physical phones again.

            But they're not abandoning phones - they're just making apps for Android and iOS and they're trying to make Windows 10 sync nicely with Android and iOS devices. Similarly, in order to survive, Blackberry has basically morphed into a security software company.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Come on MS, say it... Windows Mobile is a dead duck.

      There's a video on Youtube of Bill Gates (then Microsoft CEO) going to the US Congress and urging the politicians to allow for an unlimited number of H1-B visas.

      No wonder Microsoft is upset at a nationalist president who's trying to stop the madness of unbridled outsourcing.

    5. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Come on MS, say it... Windows Mobile is a dead duck.

      The problem with moving who departments to India is the disruption it will cause. I doubt Slurp would any of the US workforce to India; the ones with the knowledge. Anyone hired in India will be a rookie with no veterans to tutor them. Fundamentally, this is the basic problem with 'offshoring'; the loss of experience and unwritten knowledge.

  3. Steve Litchfield

    You're reading too much into things. 'Platforms' includes mobile. And Windows 10 Mobile is still being updated through 2017 and beyond.

    Yes, MS gave up making phone hardware for now, and yes, third parties aren't making phones in big numbers, but I do think your headline is a *bit* misleading.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Windows 10 Mobile is still being updated through 2017 and beyond and until they think nobody is watching anymore and they can 'dump the body somewhere....

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      What would a fair headline be?

      Q1 2017 installed base is 81% Android, 19% iOS and (because of rounding error) 1% Others. Q1 sales are 0.1% for Windows Phone.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: What would a fair headline be?

        I was really sad when my Lumia 950XL stopped working (made better by Amazon's refund policies), but as much as I'd have loved another, they're just no longer supported properly.

        When I first reported the problem to Amazon, they referred me to Microsoft. Microsoft referred me to their online forums - this isn't support!

        Now using a Blackberry Priv - I'm a sucker for lost causes. Blackberry have done a good job with a mediocre OS, but still not as good to use as Windows Phone (or whatever it's called this week).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What would a fair headline be?

          I saw the Priv when Andrew Orlowski was messing around with it, sorry, "reviewing" (only joking - the only way to review these things is indeed to use them for a while and mess around with it).

          The Priv was the first phone I have seen with a truly usable blend of full screen and slide out keyboard* - if that design could make it into a standard Android phone I'd buy it, even thought I normally use an iPhone.

          * It's IMHO not the best keyboard I've had my hands on, though, that honour goes to the two-sided keys of the Sony Ericsson P1i which did a full alphabet with only 20 keys, and about zero chance of mistyping.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What would a fair headline be?

        From that article. 85% Andorid, 14.5% iOS

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually it's the term "edge" that specifically includes mobile. "Mobile computing" lost the buzzphrase wars some years ago, and MS (and others) switched to "edge devices".

      Speaking as someone who only recently left the mobile computing industry (and therefore AC), MS's biggest mistake with the platforms that it replaced Windows Mobile 6.x with was to take a big, long look at Android and iOS, and then learn all the wrong lessons.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        "MS's biggest mistake... was to... learn all the wrong lessons."

        They seem to be very good at this.

        Windows 8 showed Microsoft that if they offer people a substandard Windows release, they would not choose to upgrade.

        The lesson they learned was not to avoid substandard Windows releases. The lesson they learned was not to give people a choice.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oops, a bit of truth accidentally slipped out

    One thing that hasn't changed is Microsoft's identification of Open Source as a competitor

    And, that, ladies and gentlemen, pretty much confirmed my suspicions regarding their Linux efforts.

    Avoid like the proverbial!

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Oops, a bit of truth accidentally slipped out

      The problem is likely that due to litigation society reasons (US), Microsoft cannot sensibly state that they are dominant therefore there are no real competitors because that's an instant, legally binding statement that they are in a monopoly position. Microsoft have to name a competitor or two in their statements (because otherwise they are a monopoly be default), so who is Microsoft's competitor? Far better a nebulous description that cannot really be disproved than an admission of a monopoly state.

    2. Ropewash

      Re: Oops, a bit of truth accidentally slipped out

      I'm no expert on the GPL but what is the problem with MS doing anything involving linux?

      While it is wise to be suspect of their linux efforts, what exactly do you think they'll be able to do?

      Other than trying to foist another variant of systemd on the userbase there's no possible way for them to EEE the GPL. Anything released under GPL isn't owned by any entity they can buy, they can't poison GPL'd code because they have to release the source. The only thing they could do would be to try and build a whole system from the ground up while avoiding the use of any GPL code... They already have that. It's called Windows.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge infused with artificial intelligence.

    So that's more Azure and Cortana. Fabulous. I can hardly contain myself.

    "Cortana, where are my documents?"

    "That will be $599 per month. You'll need the enterprise license (POA) if you want to edit them."

    "Oh Cortana, you do make me laugh!"

    "That was not actually a joke."

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
      Terminator

      "Where are my documents?"

      "As our payment system disconnected yesterday, when your bill was due, you missed a payment"

      "Thankfully I was able to delete all your documents and products correctly for you."

      "Would you like to know how my AI has been improved with our AR Blast Processing? Please pay £4.99 for a videoscanholotape of this exciting opportunity..."

    2. Tim Seventh

      "That will be $599 per month. You'll need the enterprise license (POA) if you want to edit them."

      "Oh Cortana, you do make me laugh!"

      "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid that wasn't a joke."

      ftfy

  6. Garfunkle

    "Our strategy is to build best-in-class platforms and productivity services for an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge infused with artificial intelligence (“AI”)."

    It's uncanny how Dilbert-esque these statements are...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah, the new Clippy!

    Now it all falls into place.

    "It looks like you're writing a complaint letter to Microsoft. Do you want me to automatically add profanity or will you do it yourself?"

    :)

  8. Wade Burchette Silver badge

    New strategy

    "Our strategy is to build best-in-class platforms and productivity services for an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge infused with artificial intelligence (“AI”)."

    I noticed the new strategy doesn't involve actually giving what their customers want, such as the permanent banishment of the ribbon, a proper and logical start menu, no more forced updates, absolute and complete respect for our privacy, the return of a proper backup program, a working pre-boot F8 again so we don't have to wait 3 unsuccessful boots to start in safe mode, and Aero or at least an option to enable it. I am convinced that Microsoft is now run by hipster doofuses who have book knowledge and buzzword knowledge but absolutely no wisdom and who live in a reality bubble shielded away from the real world and do not realize how much people hate their product outside that bubble.

  9. ForthIsNotDead

    Here... Let me fix that for you...

    “Changes to U.S. immigration policies that restrain the flow of technical and professional talent may inhibit our ability to adequately staff our research and development efforts.”

    “Changes to U.S. immigration policies that restrain the flow of technical and professional talent THAT WE CAN EMPLOY FOR MINIMUM WAGE WITH NO BENFITS may inhibit our ability to adequately staff our research and development efforts.”

    You're welcome, Microsoft.

  10. Roland6 Silver badge

    "LinkedIn faces competition from online recruiting companies..."

    Preparing the ground for either a massive (HP sized?) writedown or setting revenue expectations as very low.

  11. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Corporate vision

    So did corporations request a box for this blather or was the 'mission statement' an organic response to an unprovoked and incomprehensible box on the form they felt compelled to fill in a way they felt was coherent?

    These never read like the professional coherence of a collective of the sane, but this one is a new low.

  12. jacksmith21006

    Edge is very, very insecure and should be avoided. At Pawned 2017 Edge was basically hacked at will. Penetrated over and over again.

    MS needs to freeze all new features for Edge and fix the fundamental security issues.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Edge 5 times.

      Safari 3.5 times

      Firefox 1

      Chrome 0

      Previous year

      Safari 3

      Edge 2

      Chrome 1 partial.

      Hardly "at will"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Still on top, though.

  13. TheElder
    Trollface

    Cloud?

    I have always wondered what "CLOUD" means? Is that like when I stick things on my server(s)?

    My first server ran on dial-up... It was sure nice when they switched to ultra fast 1000 baud.

    As for mobility that must be something like using a phone with a couple of pounds of batteries clipped to my belt.

  14. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Childcatcher

    Windows Mobile

    ....was never anything more than a crib toy to hang out there to distract the infants wasn't it?

  15. WolfFan Silver badge

    Cortana

    But Microsoft's Cortana assistant is available on Android and Apple's iOS, so the company has a way onto plenty of devices other than PCs.

    that depends... Cortana is not available in the Apple Store on my iPad, though it is available on my iPhone. And I had to go looking for it. And Siri ships with both my iPad and iPhone, and I turn it off first thing, so I'm not actually going to install and run something from MS. Most people will just use what's on their devices in the first place, or, more likely, will just ignore Siri or whatever and never even think of installing Cortana.

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Cortana

      Best feature about Cortana on iOS or Android?

      It's uninstallable.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So... anyone of you still think Windows phones are still relevant?

    Genuinely curious to know why you still think so.

    P.S: "I love my Windows phone!" is not a valid reason.

  17. J J Carter Silver badge
    Windows

    But seriously!

    Once an Android 6.x mobi has Microsoft's Arrow launcher installed plus all the Microsoft apps, inc. Cortana installed linked to Office 365 and is under the management of Intune, is close to being as good as Windows 10 Mobile.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: But seriously!

      The one thing Win Phone had was a different GUI and *dark background*. I'd pay good money for a proper working GUI editor for Android (or iOS for those who use it), so I can have white text and black backgrounds.

  18. J. Cook Silver badge
    Joke

    Well, that's not nice...

    Nutella is a respected spread and is damned tasty to boot.

    *shows self the door*

  19. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    My cat

    Given the constant churning of Slurp's 'vision' statement you have to wonder if they any focus on anything. My cat cannot program but he does have a focus: food and a nice lap. Slurp could take a lesson from him.

  20. Champ

    Hybrid cloud

    “What differentiates Azure is our hybrid consistency”, which sounds a lot like “we have Azure Stack and no-one's close to us with that."

    C'mon, guys - you know there's an awful lot more to hybrid cloud than Azure Stack

  21. AbeSapian

    Oooh - So Close and Yet So Far

    I guess this means that we can look forward to a Windows 11 that fails to grasp basic computing requirements at a higher level.

    Microsoft! I didn't need a bigger tablet. And I don't need a walky-talky that doesn't understand what I need.

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