When it comes to parsing Microsoft’s public statements, most company watchers know you have to read between the lines to get at what Microsoft is saying without really saying it. The Verge’s Tom Warren just spotted one such statement that implies Microsoft is killing the Lumia lines of phones.
The recent suggestion that the Lumia era was truly over appeared in Microsoft’s press release announcing the sale of its feature phone business—which was acquired from Nokia in 2013—to a Foxconn subsidiary.
Here’s what Microsoft said:
“Microsoft will continue to develop Windows 10 Mobile and support Lumia phones such as the Lumia 650, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, and phones from OEM partners like Acer, Alcatel, HP, Trinity and VAIO.”
“Continue to develop Windows 10 Mobile and support Lumia phones.” Not continue to develop and support both the mobile OS and Lumia handsets. One item is called out as under active development (Windows 10 Mobile) while the other (Lumia handsets) only gets a mention of support. In other words, Windows 10 Mobile updates will be available for Lumia handsets capable of running them, but don’t count on seeing any new Lumias.
At least that’s the implication. Microsoft has yet to officially announce the end of the Lumia line; however, critics have expected as much since earlier in 2016.
The impact on you at home: Even if the Lumia brand has reached the end of its sad, tortured existence with the Lumia 650—which was rumored at the time to be the last Lumia—it doesn’t necessarily mean Microsoft won’t create another Windows phone. Rumors, and desperate hope from Windows phone fans, are still holding on to the dream of a Surface phone. If we do see that phone, however, it may not happen this year. In late March, during the Build developer conference in San Francisco, Microsoft’s Windows chief Terry Myerson told The Verge that phone hardware was not a priority for the company in 2016.
Here’s to 2017, then?