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Microsoft is struggling to make its mobile division work
Microsoft continues to have trouble with its mobile efforts, Windows 10 Mobile.
The mobile operating system has struggled against the popularity of Apple's iOS and Google's Android OS.
Microsoft is not in the habit of revealing how many Windows 10 Mobile devices it ships each year, but its latest earnings call does show the Redmond technology firm's hand a little.
And things are not going well.
Within its overall positive earnings report, Microsoft revealed that a revenue group entitled "More Personal Computing" dropped some five per cent year over year.
The dip in revenue from this particular category was "driven primarily by lower phone revenue", the company states.
Panos Panay unveils the Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL in New York City
Microsoft's earning report reveals that revenue from phone has dropped a staggering 81 per cent year-on-year.
That equates to a drop in revenue of some $880 million.
The plunge in revenue isn't overly surprising. After all, Microsoft has seen a steady decline in market share over the last year.
The operating system dropped from a 1.2 per cent market share at the end of 2015, to a new low of 0.3 per cent by the end of Microsoft's third financial quarter in 2016.
Microsoft-owned developer studio Mojang even decided to stop developing for the Windows Phone version of Minecraft Pocket Edition because there were not enough players to justify the development costs.
Citing a number of unnamed sources, Windows Central claims that the Windows 10 Mobile version of the game gets so little playtime from those who have the app installed on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 devices that it is no longer financially viable to spend time updating it.
Microsoft has ported its world record breaking Word Flow keyboard, pictured on Windows Phone, to iOS
Even though it will no longer be updated, the Windows 10 Mobile version of Minecraft Pocket Edition will remain in the Windows Phone app marketplace, the site claims.
The fact that Microsoft's own developer studio has decided to no longer update its Windows 10 Mobile app is not a great indication of things to come.
Microsoft has also sold-out its smartphone business, which previously used the Nokia brand, to Foxconn.
The Redmond company has increasingly started to move its focus to rival mobile platforms.
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It released an enormously-successful, touch-optimised version of Microsoft Office on iOS ahead of its own smartphone platform, and has also retooled the record-breaking keyboard from Windows Phone for the Apple App Store, too.
Whether Microsoft can begin to turn around its dwindling market share with the long-rumoured Surface Phone remains to be seen.
The Intel-powered smartphone is expected to ship alongside the next blockbuster update to Windows 10 Mobile, dubbed Redstone 3.
Surface Phone is believed to be a flagship smartphone with an industrial design similar to the Surface Book and Pro 4 tablet.
Like the Surface Book laptop and Surface Pro 4 tablet before it, the Surface smartphone is expected to ship with flagship materials and a premium price tag to match.
Microsoft is rumoured to be developing a flagship Surface Phone device
Surface Vice President Panos Panay and his team are believed to be looking into building an all-metal case for the smartphone, which will run Windows 10 Mobile.
Industry sources claim Intel is heavily involved in the smartphone project.
The hugely successful chipmaker could help the Surface smartphone bridge the gap between a smartphone and a productive mobile device.
Microsoft has previously hinted at these ambitions with its recent Lumia 950 series which, thanks to a recent Windows 10 upgrade, can be plugged into any external display and run full-screen desktop apps.