Microsoft have effectively given up on Windows Phone. Sure there is token support for it for the time being, that is not enough. It is clear that Microsoft are focusing on the next device in their phone device line- Surface Phone. It is a real shame as Microsoft had a great operating system that was stable and capable even on lower end hardware. Windows Phone is definitely nearing the end of the 10 count but there is still hope, if Microsoft will make the right moves.
The most obvious way to turn Windows Phone around, at least from a developer’s standpoint, would be to open the platform up. To EVERYONE. That means dropping the whole “membership” fee to have apps and games listed in the Windows Phone Store, or whatever they are calling it now. Opening up the operating system, including publishing options, to everyone without charge is a major step in turning Windows Phone around. The problem is, it may be too late.
Had Microsoft done this early on though they might have been sitting in a different position right today. Fans that showed up to support the Windows Phone platform love it, a few diehard fans of Android or iPhone hate it. Can’t please everyone. Nearly universal though is the complaint that there is a serious lack of apps and games. This could have been avoided had Microsoft not been greedy early on. If developers knew they could release their apps for free on a new platform they would have more than likely shown up whether the install base was 100k or 10 million strong.
Look at niche products like the Pico 8 device (covered on RGM). It is free to release games on, program them, edit them, etc. Sure, you can purchase a devkit for $15 or so but it is not required as far as I know. There are a few hundred games released for it already and that thing is not all that old. There are a few hundred more in development.
Microsoft could have really built something awesome with Windows Phone but they screwed it up. Hell, Windows Phone 10 is not even out of beta phase yet for some reason. I do not see anything showing proof that Microsoft is working to fix these problems for Surface Phone and the release of that is quickly approaching.