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Microsoft abandons its Windows 10 Mobile

  • Microsoft is no longer developing new hardware of features for Windows 10 Mobile
  • Executive Joe Belfiore said the firm had found it hard to incentivize app developers
  • Windows Mobile has a tiny market share compared with Android and iOS
Microsoft executive Joe Belfiore presents at the Build developers conference in San Francisco in 2014.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Microsoft executive Joe Belfiore presents at the Build developers conference in San Francisco in 2014.

Microsoft is no longer developing new hardware or features for Windows 10 Mobile, the smartphone version of its flagship operating system, effectively killing off its presence in the handset market.

In a series of Tweets, Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Windows, said the U.S. technology giant will continue to release bug fixes and security updates, but not any new hardware.

Belfiore said Microsoft has tried "very hard" to incentivize app developers, even by paying them, but admitted the volume of users on Windows 10 Mobile is too low.

Microsoft has struggled in the mobile market over the past few years. It acquired Nokia's mobile business in 2013, a move that has since been seen as a failure. In 2015, it took a $7.6 billion write-down on its Nokia business and axed thousands of jobs.

Google's Android operating system and Apple's iOS dominate the smartphone market. Windows Mobile had a 0.3 percent global market share at the end of 2016, according to Gartner.

Belfiore admitted that he no longer users a Windows phone. Microsoft founder Bill Gates recently said that he had switched to Android.

Microsoft's recent strategy in the mobile space has focused around bringing its software products to Android and iOS. It recently brought its Edge web browser to iOS and Belfiore said an Android version is in the works.

The firm is, of course, not completely out of hardware. It makes the Surface range of PCs, tablets, and laptops, and the XBox games console.