More proof, as if it were needed, that Microsoft’s ambivalent messages about Windows Mobile are dragging the platform to a slow, drawn out and very painful death. This time it is PayPal, who will be killing its Windows Phone app, with no news of a Windows 10 replacement in the offing.
Paypal directs its customers to the mobile website, which is actually a pretty good alternative, however this isn’t how it will be seen by potential customers. To them it’s just more evidence that Windows Mobile isn’t a valid option when compared to Android or iOS.
You can hardly blame PayPal though, with Lumia sales collapsing and Windows share of the mobile market completely dependent on Lumia (conservatively 95% of all Windows Mobile sales) they would be putting development effort into an app that virtually nobody will ever use.
Windows Mobile has got itself into a vicious circle. There’s a well publicised app gap, which prevents customers from adopting the platform, which discourages developers from creating new apps or maintaining existing ones, which reinforces the app gap and round we go again.
Things were starting to look up for a while, sales were up and market share – particularly in Europe and Latin America – was beginning to start getting serious.
That’s when Satya Nadella dropped the bomb on Windows Phone and things have been downhill since there. Microsoft created a self fulfilling prophecy. Now it’s planning for a future where third party OEMs carry the weight of developing new Windows Mobile hardware. That’s going to be a difficult sell as customers melt away.
At a time when Windows 10 Mobile is close to as good as the Windows platform has ever been, I’m more pessimistic than ever about its short term future, never mind what will happen in the long term.