Microsoft is bowing out of building its own phones for consumers. After dramatically scaling back its Lumia devices last year, Microsoft hammered the final nail in the coffin today with an additional $950 million write off and 1,850 more job losses. Microsoft’s Lumia devices still account for more than 95 percent of all Windows phones sold, but a lack of new devices means sales and Windows Phone market share have declined sharply over the past year. Windows Phone is dead, and phone makers aren’t interested in reviving it. Where did Microsoft go wrong, and what does it do now?
Microsoft’s announcement today puts a lot of its mobile errors into perspective. The software giant wasted “thousands of man hours of innovation” with its ambitious plans for Windows Vista, according to former CEO Steve Ballmer. Vista shipped a few weeks after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs revealed the iPhone to the world back in January 2007 and changed mobile computing forever. In hindsight, Vista was a great example of how Microsoft missed the sea change of mobile.