Even Microsoft’s own presenters have given up on Windows Phone

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Sitting through all the keynotes at Microsoft’s Build, there’s one giant gaping hole in the coverage: Windows Phone was barely mentioned. In fact, it seems like the keynote speakers were actively avoiding the platform in most of the sessions, showing that Microsoft has basically thrown in the towel altogether.

We don’t care if it’s Android or iOS, we have you covered.
— Presenter at Microsoft Build

In one presentation about how Visual Studio development, for example, the presenter received some enormous applause about the announcement that Xamarin was going free, and then went on to talk about how fantastically exciting it is that the platform covered all the platforms!

“We don’t care if it’s Android or iOS, we have you covered,” the presenter said, and continued onto the rest of his presentation. Spot any platforms missing from that two-bulletpoint-list? Spoiler alert: He didn’t mention BlackBerry, Symbian OS, Tizen, Sailfish, Palm OS … or Windows Phone.

Showing off a key partnership with BMW at Build 2016... That's not a Windows Phone.

Showing off a key partnership with BMW at Build 2016… Hey wait a minute, that’s not a Windows Phone.

 

It wasn’t just in this particular keynote, either; throughout all of Build, there’s been a whole fat lot of nothing about Windows Phone. Surface? For sure. Xbox? Yeah, why not. Windows 10? Hells yes. IoT? Now you’re talking my language. Windows Phone? I’ll let this GIF do the talking.

A Starbucks and Outlook demo. Finally! A Windows 10 device! Oh, wait, no.

A Starbucks and Outlook demo. Finally! A Windows 10 device! Oh, wait, no. iOS again.

At the conference, BMW did all their demos on iOS devices. Starbucks did the same. And so did many others… In fact, unless I briefly fell asleep (which is entirely possible), there may not have been a single Windows 10 mobile phone device on stage at any time during the Build keynotes.

Not only did Microsoft’s presenters not care about Windows Phone, I didn’t spot a single Microsoft staffer with a Windows Phone either. That, I’ve got to say, has to be a proper kick in the teeth for people who bought Lumia devices after they took Microsoft at its word when it said it was doubling down last year. Although, come to think of it, they did try and turn your Windows Phone into a computer, so maybe that was a sign of things to come.

Maybe they’ve finally come to their senses and taken a leaf out of Amazon’s book: Leave mobile to iOS and Android, and focus on the parts where you can really add value. In Microsoft’s case, they’re doing some genuinely incredible things with the Azure cloud, bots, the elegant Microsoft Ink interface, and the Cognitive Services announced earlier at Build.

See ya, Windows Phone. We barely knew you.