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Why I’m Dumping my Windows Phone

Posted by Mike Howells on August 28, 2016

I’m an avid Windows Mobile user going back to the Windows Mobile 6.0 days with my Motorola Q9m. I loved that phone; one of the most reliable phones I have ever used. I then found myself upgrading along the way to the HTC 8X, but reliability issues forced me to abandon it. When the Nokia Lumia Icon came to market, I jumped all over it. That was two years ago…

The Icon came with Windows Phone 8, then eventually an upgrade to 8.1. Fortunately, the Icon made the upgrade list for Windows 10 Mobile. The upgrade to W10 mobile went flawlessly. Two bugs on the Icon were fixed for me including a speaker, which didn’t work unless I was on speakerphone and my right-channel audio didn’t work while taking videos. All fixed with the upgrade to W10 mobile. I was elated. To this date, the 20 MP front-facing camera is by far the best camera I’ve ever had. I’ve filmed all of my nephew’s cross-country and track & field events including endless dog photos. So, why would I abandon it?

The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, forcing my decision to abandon Windows Phone, was my company’s decision to move to o365 (Office 365). In the way we are implementing Office 365, we are requiring a feature called Modern Authentication. With Modern Authentication, you are required to authenticate to Microsoft using something other than a password, such as an authenticator app or a mobile SMS text message. Unfortunately, Microsoft isn’t interested in developing Modern Authentication into the Windows Phone ecosystem within an acceptable time period. The Office 365 blog post (linked above) says “Coming Soon,” but that was 9 months ago. I’ve given up all hope…

About a week ago, when my company migrated my account to o365, my native Skype for Business, native Outlook client and native Calendaring apps all ceased to function. Sure, the web version of Outlook can give me some access, but it’s not the same. I want the native client.

So, my hand is being forced. Microsoft has made it clear that they are developing apps for iOS and Android to appease the larger market share. My particular phone on my particular platform represents a niche within a niche within a niche. iOS and Android combined for a record 99% of smartphone sales last quarter. Windows Phone has an incredibly small 0.6% market share of the smartphone market. Within that 0.6% share, Windows 10 Mobile represents only 14% of Windows Mobile usage. My Nokia Lumia Icon (929) doesn’t even crack the top 5 Windows Phone handsets! This is the new world order under Satya Nadella’s leadership. Is it a bad thing? Perhaps not. Time will tell.

As of this writing, my upgrade date is approaching in 44 days. Sadly, my Icon retailing for $459.00 back in the day, now garners a measly $25.00 trade-in value.


I will likely join the rest of the collective and purchase a newly minted iPhone 7 Plus, which should be available sometime next month. I will have all the niceties of all the apps that I need for work including apps that I’ve never been able to experience with the Windows Mobile platform.

That being said, however, all hope is not lost. There is talk, albeit rumor, that a Microsoft Surface Phone is in development. Some say it may be released in the spring of 2017. If so, that just may be enough to pull me back in. Time will tell…

Update: On November 14, 2016 I received my black iPhone 7 Plus. This phone is far superior to any phone I have ever owned including any Windows Phones. If Microsoft is to compete in this arena, they are going to need to hit a grand slam.

Update: On November 24, 2020 I received my silver iPhone 12 Pro Max. 


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