Probably the last big OS to fall was Windows. We look back to the PocketPC days and Windows Mobile. Back then, the UI tried to imitate the mouse and keyboard-driven desktop Windows and let’s just say that it wasn’t great.
Yes, we know that Windows Mobile and Windows Phone don’t have much in common under the hood – or over it. To be fair, “Windows Phone” is barely a thing, Microsoft rebooted it three times, which seriously hurt adoption rates as older devices were left unable to update.
So this is a sort of eulogy for Windows on phones. If Qualcomm has its way, there will be some Snapdragon-powered laptops, but Microsoft doesn’t seem keen to wade into the phone business yet again.
Was Windows Phone always doomed to fail? At one point there seemed to be genuine consumer interest in Lumia phones. To make sure we aren't imagining things, let’s look at some cold, hard numbers to find out.
Here's the number of new Windows devices launched each year. We’re including both Windows Mobile and Windows Phone as there was a time when heavily skinned versions of Mobile ruled the land (aka, “The Golden Years of HTC”).
Users quickly warmed up to the new platform, but it seems that there wasn't much loyalty on both sides. Windows Phone 8 was announced in 2012 and it quickly became clear that Windows Phone 7 users will need to buy new devices. You can see in the chart how well that news was received - from 2013 it was all downhill.