Microsoft announced that only a measly 13 Windows Phones will get the new Windows 10 Creators Update. The list of Windows Phone on that list mostly represents the latest hardware running Windows within the mobile space.
For a company that is trying to be a world market leader in the mobile space. Launching a new mobile operating system and availing it to a very limited number of devices, sure seems like the right way to NOT become a world market leader. Unless of course, Microsoft has given up the fight to capture the mobile market, given the tight grip Google has on it with its Android mobile OS.
When you look at the PC space, where Microsoft is undeniably the world market leader, you notice virtually all PCs that have any version of the Windows 10 OS are eligible for Creators Update. So why did Microsoft not do so to all, if not some, of the mobile hardware running any flavor of Windows 10 mobile?
This decision seems like what the former Microsoft CEO Steve Baller would not do and is a new strategic thinking by the current CEO Satya Nadella. Baller was hell bent on tying everything into an exclusive Microsoft-only operating system. His primary target was to make a single operating system that would dominate the mobile space, but unfortunately for Baller and Microsoft at large, it would be Android not Windows to dominate that landscape.
Nadella’s approach was to steer Microsoft away from a hardware-first-company to a cloud service-first-company. Where any device, regardless of its maker or the operating system it runs heavily depends on Microsoft’s cloud-based apps and services. That means Microsoft’s products would be open to access to all devices via the cloud and would run on top of any operating system, albeit not natively.
When it comes to the mobile landscape, Microsoft is increasingly seen hell bent on making its services easily integrated over the cloud across Android and iOS mobile platforms. The same can be said when you look at the integration over cloud of its desktop apps on the MacOS. Although Ballmer’s move to establish a Windows exclusive mobile landscape failed, the company has moved on to establish itself in the cloud computing space to all devices regardless of the OS they run.