Sat, Jul 15, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Discontinuing Windows 8, Microsoft eyes next platform

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

Microsoft Corp has ended support for its Windows 8 smartphones, as the US tech giant focuses on other segments, amid ongoing speculation about its strategy for mobile.

Users of Windows-powered phones were invited to upgrade to its latest Windows 10 version after Microsoft officially stopped supporting the earlier version on Wednesday.

“I think it’s the death of Windows 8 phones; not the death of Microsoft’s offerings in mobility,” Moor Insights and Strategy principal analyst Patrick Moorhead said. “Microsoft is very active in mobility, just not active in phone devices.”

Windows phone sales continue to fall due to a lack of new hardware partners or enthusiasm for a platform showing little life, according to industry tracker IDC, which estimated market share at 0.1 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Microsoft in May unveiled a forthcoming Windows update aimed at keeping its desktop and laptop computers at the heart of lifestyles increasingly reliant on smartphones.

Enhancements to the widely used operating system to roll out later this year are designed to make applications built on Microsoft technology work more harmoniously across an array of Internet-linked devices, according to demonstrations given at the company’s Build developers’ conference in Seattle.

The company has held firm that it has not given up on the mobile market, but in the interim is updating Windows to remain relevant in a smartphone-centric world.

Better tuning Windows-powered computers to mobile devices could also serve as a “bridge” to what is being heralded as the next big computing platform — mixed reality infused with artificial intelligence, according to analysts.

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