An HP executive said be quoted on record at an industry event stating that the company has axed development of future devices based on Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mobile operating system, and that the Elite X3 will be the final smartphone featuring the OS. HP indicated that Microsoft has shifted its priorities when it comes to mobile platforms and HP no longer sees Windows 10 Mobile as a competitive offering for its clients. Meanwhile, sales of the HP Elite X3 will continue until 2019.

HP was the first to support Microsoft’s Windows CE 2.0 platform in the mid-1990s and has continued to support Microsoft’s mobile operating systems since then, offering devices based on Windows for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone and others. HP was among a few companies to sell smartphones based on the Windows 10 Mobile with its Elite X3, but it looks like the company does not have plans for any future devices based on Microsoft’s OS for smartphones.

Microsoft’s Windows Mobile was among the most popular operating systems for smartphones in the U.S., but after Apple launched iOS and Google released Android, the popularity of WinMo quickly dropped. Eventually, after Satya Nadella took over as CEO of Microsoft, the company began to focus on development of software for other platforms and cloud services.

HP implies that Microsoft does not invest in its own mobile OS enough to make it competitive, which is why HP is no longer interested in developing devices featuring the platform. The company will keep selling the Elite X3 until 2019, so for at least 14 more months.

"Microsoft, as all companies do, decided on a change in strategy and so they are less focused on what they thought they would be focused on today," said Nick Lazaridis, the head of HP EMEA, in an interview with The Register. "Given that, we also had decided that without Microsoft's drive and support there it doesn't make sense. If the software, if the operating system ecosystem isn't there then we are not an operating system company."

Microsoft denies that it has ceased development of its Windows 10 Mobile platform and says that it intends to continue to development of the OS and supporting its existing Lumia smartphones. Meanwhile, the company does not announce plans for future version of the operating system and future devices.

At present, the HP Elite X3 is available directly from HP, from Microsoft Store and from Amazon, so we cannot say that the device has been discontinued.

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Source: The Register

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  • osxandwindows - Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - link

    I bet surface products are next on the chopping block.
  • sorten - Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - link

    That wouldn't make any sense given how much money Microsoft is making on the Surface brand.
  • robinthakur - Thursday, October 12, 2017 - link

    This was reported over on The Register that Lenovo and other oems are aware that Microsoft will be exiting the PC hardware market by 2019. I've cancelled my pre-orders of the Xbox X regular and Scorpio editions as I think MS is avoiding lower margin hardware markets under Nadella, in preference to the huge revenue growth they can get from Cloud.

    This inevitably puts a question mark over Surface and Xbox and points to the massive infighting within MS on their future direction. Regarding gaming, Nadella has only said that he's "joining the dots", whatever that means.

    Despite MS claiming the Surface death rumours aren't necessarily true, who on earth is likely to believe them given their past form? We're going into the holiday season with Surface ads everywhere, but we've been here many before. Kin, Sidekick, Windows Phone 7, 8, 10? The Surface is priced high enough that their volume sales are nothing that approaches Lenovo's but the effect on the PC market, is that Surface is perceived to be the Windows "no-compromise" equivalent to the MacBook line from Apple, and that damages the rest of the PC market by comparison.

    Microsoft always has complete commitment to a product and a market...until it doesn't. On a phone that's a less than $1000 gamble, on a Surface it's up to $4000 and I don't think many people would want to take that chance until MS clarifies in a way that is not nuanced that it is 100% behind the surface. MS only originally developed the Surface line to inspire OEMs to not make such awful, dated, bargain-basement hardware which was making Windows look bad. Now they have improved somewhat, there is logically no reason for Surface to exist.

    The cost of servicing a consumer hardware business are huge, including R&D, coping with the high volume of returns and defects, the loss of reputation if a product goes horribly wrong. The cost of marketing and shipping the low numbers the Surface sells, means that it's not a great money spinner in terms of profit for MS compared with lower hanging fruits which are far less risky and Surface mainly exists to provide rare visibility in the consumer space which it now lacks completely in the mobile market.
  • Samus - Friday, October 13, 2017 - link

    Yep, their future is services. As everything moves to the cloud they will eventually stop making hardware altogether, probably spinning it off as a separate division or just selling the naming rights to someone.

    I suspect traditional software isn't too far behind. Windows OS and Microsoft Office will be around for awhile, but server operating systems will probably disappear from the consumer market. 2016 Server is heavily focused on cloud computing, as was 2012 R2. Windows 10 doesn't even need a local domain controller...I have a number of clients with an Azure-hosted server running Exchange/Office365, single sign-on AD, file server, etc. It is even running a Hyper-V VM to host a QuickBooks 2016 server. We're talking about a company of 13 PC's and 15 employees that's not spending $2500 on annual IT services from Microsoft. That's what they would have spent on entry-level server HARDWARE, excluding OS, licensing, data backup devices, UPS protection, a security platform, and someone to set it all up and maintain it.
  • Gigaplex - Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - link

    What Surface products? They never released a Surface phone. The Surface laptops and tablets use the desktop version of Windows, not the phone version.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - link

    Surface hardware was one of their fastest revenue growers. Windows Phone was a loss prospect. I don't see why they'd cut a positive revenue stream just because they cut a negative one.
  • Flunk - Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - link

    There is a rumor going around that Microsoft has already ceased developing new Surface products and they're just running out the pipeline now.
  • Manch - Thursday, October 12, 2017 - link

    Consider the source of these rumors and consider what Nutella has said as well. I don't believe the Surface line is going anywhere. The Surface line has forced the OEM's to up their game. It's a Halo product that does more for mindshare than most also ran products put out by the likes of Dell, Lenovo, etc.MS relied on the OEM's before and it has burned them on categories from phones to tablets, etc.
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, October 12, 2017 - link

    Already confirmed to be a rumour and NOT fact.
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, October 12, 2017 - link

    Microsoft, this week, confirmed that they will NOT be chopping the Surface line. Nice try.

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