It’s no secret that Microsoft has been trying to
distance itself from its failing smartphone business. Last
quarter, the nicest thing Microsoft could say about Windows
phones was that winding down the
business made the company eligible for a big tax break.
“Microsoft, as all companies do, decided on a change in strategy
and so they are less focused on what they thought they would be
focused on today,” an HP exec told the Register.
The Elite x3, first released in February 2016, had a nifty
concept: The phone could dock with a PC monitor or a laptop
shell, with the interface changing accordingly depending on how
you were using it. It slotted right in with Microsoft’s vision
for “Continuum,” a Windows 10 Mobile feature that lets you plug a
phone into a monitor and use it like a PC.
It was supposed to be the first in a line of Elite-branded
gadgetry from HP, focusing on “road warriors” who didn’t
necessarily want to carry around a bunch of gadgets. Instead, HP
will discontinue support for the phone in 2019, even as
many expect Microsoft to pull support for Windows 10 Mobile
sooner rather than later.
Microsoft itself hasn’t released a Windows 10 Mobile phone since
late 2015’s Lumia 950. And while rumors persist that Microsoft is
working on a so-called “Surface Phone,” giving the company
one last shot at challenging the iPhone and Android smartphone
almost certain not to see it before 2018 at the earliest.
In his recent book, “Hit Refresh,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
hints that the company won’t get back into the smartphone game
until the company has something else to offer. Until and if
that “something else” materializes, Microsoft is officially out
of the game. Meanwhile,
Samsung is picking up the torch of Continuum with a
dock that lets you use a Galaxy phone like a
Here’s HP’s full comment, via a spokesperson:
“Many customers are finding value in HP’s 3-in-1 device, the HP
Elite x3. It enables mobile workers, including first responders,
field services, and others to have a smartphone that can provide
a tablet and PC-like experience – the one device for them. We
will continue to fully support HP Elite x3 customers and partners
through 2019. We will continue to evaluate our plans with Windows
Mobile as Microsoft shares additional roadmap details. Sales of
the HP Elite x3 continue and will be limited to inventories in
country. HP remains committed to investing in mobility solutions
and have some exciting offerings coming in 2018.”
Get the latest Microsoft stock price here.