Microsoft is expected to unveil its latest set of smartphones as it looks to take another swing at forging a winning mobile strategy in a world dominated by Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Key to it is its Windows 10 operating system.
On Tuesday, Microsoft is set to launch two premium handsets at an event in New York along with other devices such as a new wearable and 2-in-1 Surface tablet and the mobile version of Windows 10.
But with the company forecast to hold just 2.6 percent smartphone market share this year, according to IDC, the mass market is shut to Microsoft, analysts said.
"They know they've lost this generation," Ian Fogg, head of mobile at IHS, told CNBC by phone.
"Windows as a mobile operating system is now irrelevant for the smartphone market. The reason Microsoft is still continuing to make hardware is to maintain a toehold in that part of the market."