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Microsoft Assures of Commitment to Windows 10 Mobile

Microsoft intends to support its smartphone platform "for many years," according to a leaked internal e-mail attributed to Terry Myerson, chief of Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group.

The e-mail, which was obtained and excerpted by Windows Central on Tuesday, states, "We are currently in development of our next generation products and I wanted to reconfirm our commitment to Windows 10 Mobile. We believe in this product's value to business customers and it is our intention to support the Windows 10 Mobile platform for many years. We have a device roadmap to support that from Microsoft as well as our OEM partners who will also be selling an expanded lineup of phone devices based on this platform."

Microsoft also intends to support Windows 10 Mobile for ARM-based devices, according to the excerpted portion.

The e-mail, which Windows Central reports was sent to "various Microsoft executives and partners," seems aimed at quieting speculation that Microsoft is waving the white flag on mobile, which has long been a weak spot for the company. Microsoft manufactures the vast majority of Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile devices in the market, but its investments have yielded little in the way of adoption. Microsoft's mobile share has never risen above the single digits, and hit a new low earlier this year at 1 percent.

Last summer, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced plans to scale back the company's smartphone business to focus on just three areas: business users, emerging markets and enthusiasts. Despite retooling its mobile approach, Microsoft reported a 46 percent drop in phone revenue in its third-quarter earnings this month, and said it expects the decline to "deepen" into Q4.

"Sale-through of our Lumia products was weak, and we exited the quarter with relatively high channel inventory," said CFO Amy Hood during the earnings call. To clear that inventory, Microsoft this week announced a limited-time buy-one-get-one-free deal on Windows 10 Mobile handsets.

Myerson's e-mail does confirm that Microsoft is working on new Windows 10 Mobile hardware. Media reports suggest that the new hardware, which could include the long-rumored Surface Phone, will appear in 2017.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editor of Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and AWSInsider.net, and the editorial director of Converge360.

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