Microsoft phones: Windows CE to Windows 10

Microsoft has a long history in the smartphone world.
by
Microsoft phones: Windows CE to Windows 10

Microsoft has been making smartphone software for 15 years, only BlackBerry’s software has been around longer. Of course, Microsoft didn’t just roll out a version of Windows for phones and leave it alone - it’s gone through loads of changes over the years. So let’s take a look at how it’s evolved.

2000 - Windows CE

Windows CE

Microsoft started its mobile journey way back in 2000 when it launched Pocket PC 2000. The device ran Windows CE, which came with a mobile version of Microsoft Office and had the same look and feel as Microsoft’s desktop software.

2003 - Windows Mobile 2003

Windows Mobile 2003

In 2003, Microsoft launched its first software with ‘Mobile’ in its name. There was a new look that took Windows Mobile 2003 away from the desktop software, letting it take advantage of the latest technology. It was even open for developers to create games, just like Android or iOS today.

2009 - Windows Mobile 6.5

Windows Mobile 6.5

In 2009, Microsoft hit its low-point with its mobile software. Windows Mobile 6.5 was released as a stopgap between the aging Windows Mobile 6.1 and the unfinished Windows Phone 7. It lacked the features and functionality of its rivals and frustrated the top dogs at Microsoft.

2010 - Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7 was meant to fix the problems that Windows Mobile had, and close the gap on Android and iOS. It launched with a huge range of new smartphones that offered innovative features, like the HTC Surround, which had a slide-out stereo speaker. The plan worked, and Microsoft started making small inroads into the smartphone market.

2011 - Windows Phone 7.5

Windows Phone 7.5

As with any software, Windows Phone 7 had its problems. So a year after its launch, Microsoft released a major update that addressed all those issues and made everything else run more smoothly. Critics loved it and Windows Phone started to peak.

2012 - Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8

With Windows Phone 8, Microsoft wanted manufacturers to be able to make true flagship phones. Earlier versions of the software couldn’t support the best screens and processors, but the new update could. The only problem was, the software itself didn’t move very far forward from the 7.5 update, which meant Windows Phone 8 slipped behind Android and iOS again.

2015 - Windows 10

Windows 10

This year, Microsoft is having a major overhaul of its entire software ecosystem. PCs, tablets and phones are all being updated to Windows 10, a new operating system that works on any screen size. That means apps will be universal and all your Windows gadgets will talk to each other more easily. It should give Microsoft some big advantages over Google and Apple.

Windows has been creating mobile software for longer than either Google or Apple, but it might only be this year, when it launches Windows 10, that it has something that can really compete with the major mobile players.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
Windows 10 will be launched on PCs, tablets and phones soon. Here's the best of the new features in
Do you have an Android-powered smartphone or an iPhone and feel like you’re missing out on Microsoft
To celebrate Microsoft's birthday, we've taken a look at some of the world-changing things the compa

11 January, 2019
From bendy phones to 5G networks, here’s our roundup of the biggest smartphone announcements...
22 November, 2018
Our biggest Black Tag event ever is now heading into Black Friday, where you can...
8 November, 2018
After years of rumours, Samsung has unveiled its first ever mobile phone at a conference...
29 October, 2018
OnePlus has unveiled its latest amazing new phone. Say hello to the OnePlus 6T. It's...
11 October, 2018
Samsung has just unveiled the world's first quad camera phone. It has an incredible...
10 October, 2018
Samsung has been showing off its new Galaxy range at an event in London. Here's a...
9 October, 2018
Google has officially launched its new Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones....
5 October, 2018
Nokia has just unveiled its latest smartphone - the Nokia 7.1. It's a great looking...
21 September, 2018
Bill capping is here to take away those nasty surprises, and in this article, we’ll...
12 September, 2018
The waiting is finally over, and Apple’s latest smartphones – the iPhone XS, iPhone...
3 September, 2018
We’ve always been taught to judge a camera phone by how many megapixels it has. But...
30 August, 2018
Honor has finally launched the Honor Play smartphone in Europe. It's a powerful phone...