Microsoft announced Windows 10 S earlier this month as the company’s Windows 10 version specifically aimed at the education market, as it’ll be installed on the Surface Laptop and other devices targeting educators and students alike.
Restricted to apps in the Windows Store, Windows 10 S was considered by many a successor to Windows RT, while others considered it to be a step away from Windows 10 Mobile, a smartphone platform that’s slowly declining.
In an interview with TechRadar, Robert Epstein, UK Product Marketing Director for Windows, explains that Windows 10 S is not by any means a replacement for Windows 10 Mobile, as Microsoft is very committed to smartphones, a thing that several other company executives said on several occasions.
“We’re still committed to the Windows 10 Mobile platform - there are some devices out there today from HP, Acer and a couple of other partners,” Epstein was quoted as saying.
“What I took away from Build personally is how we’re trying to ensure that Windows gives users a great experience across their range of devices. So whilst Windows is likely to be the core PC experience that users have, we’re very aware that many Windows users will have an iPhone or Android phone.”
So then, why the focus on Android and iOS? It’s mostly because Microsoft wants all of its services and apps to be available to users no matter the platform they adopted. This means that even if a Microsoft user gives up on Windows phone for Android or iOS, they should still be able to access OneNote, OneDrive, Outlook, or Office, Epstein explained.
“We want to ensure that they still get a great ability to roam their information and data across all those different devices. So Microsoft has a great range of software that runs on other people’s platforms as well, that helps them interact with that device. The phrase we had on stage was ‘Windows loves all of your devices’,” he said.
In the end, Microsoft is “absolutely committed to Windows 10 Mobile as a platform,” the Microsoft exec continued, though this could very well mean that the company only plans to continue to improve the software side of its mobile push and no longer release new devices.
“We are absolutely committed to Windows 10 Mobile as a platform, but have nothing more to announce at the moment on that. As Satya has publicly stated, there’s no point doing another ‘me too’ platform. We need to be clear on what Windows can bring uniquely into the mobile space,” he said.
The next major step for Windows 10 Mobile is the September release when Windows 10 devices are all getting the Redstone 3 update, also known as Fall Creators Update. In the case of phones, however, this is likely to bring only small improvements as part of the internally codenamed feature2 update focused entirely on bug fixes and performance tweaks.