It is now widely acknowledged by everyone except Microsoft that we are in the winding down stage of Windows 10 Mobile, but many readers have considered that the OS will remain supported for many years, despite Microsoft’s PC–centred plans for a successor, due to the needs of enterprise users like HP with the Elite X3.
Now a new report by German site DrWindows.de suggests the bulwark may no longer be in place, as even HP has started looking elsewhere.
They report that HP remains committed to their “3 -in 1” approach to enterprise mobility, and continued to work with Windows Mobile, but now also “experiments … also very intensively with Android.”
The news should of course not be surprising, and given Microsoft’s very good support for Android would not necessarily place HP Elite users at a disadvantage. Android already features Continuum-like features on many phones, Microsoft has numerous apps available on Android and can manage Android devices without issue, and HP’s remote desktop software would run as well on Android as on Windows 10 Mobile.
Of course, Microsoft’s Andromeda plans may seem to address HP’s needs more directly, but I suspect delivery would be more timely and reliable going the Android route and would make the devices better smartphones (due to more phone software being available) than any Microsoft solution.
Without enterprise mobility customers like HP, one wonders if there is really any point in another attempt at trying to squeeze Windows once more into a mobile form factor, given that the mobile app issue will never really go away.
We propose a better solution would be to release their own distribution of Android (with the Google Play store) that place their own services as much as possible front and centre, and offer a virtualized Windows environment when connected to a big screen.
Let’s not call it capitulation, let’s call it Embrace and Extend.