Microsoft Corporation's Worst Product in 2015

Source: IDC.

It used to be easy to pin at least part of the blame for Windows phones failings on Nokia, but things haven't gotten better since the Nokia mobile division purchase. Aside from the writedown, Microsoft cut 7,800 jobs (most related to the Nokia purchase) and has yet to yield anything fruitful from the purchase. The company is essentially in the same position it was years ago, but with the added dilemma of having spent billions to get nowhere.

"Since its acquisition of Nokia in 2014, Microsoft has been revamping the product portfolio with Microsoft branded Lumia devices. But now that Microsoft has decided to take a loss on its Nokia purchase, the scenario for Windows Phone looks bleaker," IDC recently said.

Developing more frustration

To make matters worse, Microsoft has had a difficult time convincing developers to make apps for Windows phones, and it made matters worse this year when it said it would make it easy for developers to port over Android apps to Windows phones, only to change positions a few months later.

Image source: Microsoft.

Microsoft is still allowing developers to port iOS apps, but it's pulling back on making it easy for Android apps to jump to Windows. While this arguably could be a smart move by Microsoft in the long term, the decision to scrap the plans after telling developers they would soon have an easy way to bring over their Android apps likely created yet another reason for smartphone app developers to leave Windows alone.

In a similarly frustrating move, when Microsoft introduced its new Lumia 950 and 950 XL smartphones a few months ago, the company limited the sales to just AT&T 's retail and online stores. This type of exclusivity worked for Apple 's iPhones in the past, but that's because the devices garnered enough customer demand. For Microsoft, the AT&T partnership means fewer people have access to the devices, and it all but ensures they won't be successful.

Formidable opponents abound

Unsurprisingly, Windows phones aren't making Microsoft any money, and when you compare the profits (or lack thereof) to Apple and other smartphone vendors, things look pretty sad.

Image source: Statista .

While Apple's share of worldwide smartphone profits has skyrocketed from 40% in 2010 to 92% this year, Microsoft's has remained under 0% for a few years now. If you're wondering how it has less than 0%, it's because Microsoft is regularly losing money from its phone division.

Judging by unit sales, Windows phones still perform poorly. Apple's iOS is the second most popular smartphone operating system, with Android in the top spot, and Windows taking third. In the third quarter of 2015, Gartner says Apple sold over 46 million smartphones to end users, while Microsoft sold just 5.8 million.

And things may not turn around any time soon. "Despite the announcement of Windows 10, we expect Windows smartphone market share will continue to be a small portion of the overall smartphone OS market as consumers remain attracted by competing ecosystems," Gartner said.

While I think Windows 10 could eventually help spur some sort of turnaround for Windows phones, it's hard to see right now how that will happen. Sure, integrating Windows 10 across PCs, tablets, and phones is the right move, but at this point, it's hard to imagine a world where the masses prefer a Windows smartphone to an iOS or Android device -- and Microsoft only has itself to blame.

The next billion-dollar iSecret

The world's biggest tech company forgot to show you something at its recent event, but a few Wall Street analysts and the Fool didn't miss a beat: There's a small company that's powering their brand-new gadgets and the coming revolution in technology. And we think its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early, in-the-know investors! To be one of them, just click here .

The article Microsoft Corporation's Worst Product in 2015 originally appeared on

Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

Copyright © 1995 - 2015 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story


Other Topics


Latest Markets Videos

    The Motley Fool

    Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.

    Learn More