Microsoft's Nadella admits: "We don't have good flagship devices"

Microsoft's Nadella admits:
As Microsoft struggles to compete with iOS and Android in the smartphone market, one oft-visited critique is Windows Phone's lack of developer support. Aspiring and established devs look at Apple and Google's platforms as potentially rich sources of revenue, whereas WP -- soon to be Windows 10 Mobile -- is comparative light-years behind. But the other grievance with Microsoft is the distinct shortage of selection at flagship level. Sure, the Lumia range has spawned a handful of hits over the years, but with little consistency, and there's been nothing to shout about for while now. Encouragingly, Redmond CEO Satya Nadella seems fully aware, and has promised that the company will do more to address this situation in future.

Talking about big new handsets for Windows has turned into something of folklore. While Apple and Android fans assess the near-certainty of the respective iPhone 6S and Galaxy Note 5 due for arrival over the next six or so weeks, the rumors of a Lumia 940 / 940 XL duo ready for September's IFA have since been trumped by the notion of a straight jump to a Lumia 950 / 950 XL combo. If true, the 950 and it's larger counterpart mightn't arrive until November, by which time many iPhone and Samsung Galaxy fans will likely have made their decisions. 

Nadella has already asserted that if OEMs wish to baulk at the chance to build smartphones for Windows, then his company is willing to step up to the plate. Having continued to churn out budget devices in lieu of a flagship for over a year now, there's been a lot of fighting talk from both Nadella and devices chief Terry Myerson. But today, Nadella has somewhat leveled with the disgruntled audience and conceded that the smartphone market's flagship tier is one "in which we don't today have good devices". 

It's patently clear that some structure needs to be established ahead of Windows 10 Mobile's launch, and while Nadella may be stating the obvious in this case, it's encouraging to hear blunt truths from the guy best-placed to turn things around. 

What do you think -- can Microsoft turn things around beyond Windows 10 Mobile and push Apple, Samsung et al in the upper echelons?

Let us know via the comments!

source: Neowin



1. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Ben, it's "balk" not "baulk". Nadella's being honest, their best phone right now is the mid-range 640. Don't know why the author felt compelled to bring apps into the conversation since they have nothing to do with the device, rather the OS.

5. Plutonium239

Posts: 1217; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

Their best new device is the 640, however, the 1520 and the 1020 are excellent devices in their own right and are two previous flagship devices.

10. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Nadella's statement was about the current crop not the past. I had a 1520, I know very well how good a device it was.

12. Plutonium239

Posts: 1217; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

The current crop does not include the future devices(the new flagships coming this year), as future is future, not current.

59. oldhamletman

Posts: 72; Member since: Sep 03, 2011

weve got both the 1520 and 1020 in the family and they are both still competitive flagship devices... but I'd like to see updates WP gets a lot of uninformed nasty comments in the press... it's a top flight platform and really shines for business use

61. Plutonium239

Posts: 1217; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

I have had a 1020 for over a year now and I really love it. I would really like a successor to it to unlock the full potential of the camera however because the current processor on the 1020 cannot handle it, nor can the display show the high res pictures. I will probably get the 950 XL and keep my 1020 around as well.

16. AnTuTu

Posts: 1613; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

I think after Gates he is the best CEO of MS. I have high hopes from him :)

24. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Probably to temper Nadella's intended positive outlook with some manufactured negativity. Par for the course, especially if you take one glance at a site like WindowsCentral and see all the very positive MS news for the day. I guess because they won't do it here, let me summarize some positive MS news from today: - MS Edge browser significantly faster than Chrome and Firefox according to AnandTech (reputable independent tech website) - Here Maps purchased by Audi, BMW, and Daimler (MercedesBenz) - XBOX revenue up 27% year over year, solid performance - Solid growth in Surface sales - Surface leader taking over as head of engineering for all MS devices - MS offers exclusive content for Windows Insiders as a thanks for helping

52. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Wow, I've been missing out on a lot of Microsoft news, thanks for sharing...

53. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

No problem, glad somebody read it. I normally would brush if off, but I was actually astounded this time that no articles were made about any of this stuff because some of those are actually important mobile tech news items.

54. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Always good to hear from ya, Penny. Been nice to see your posts popping back up lately!! Hope all is good!

56. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Good to see you still keeping up around here as well snow! I was absent for a while because I just got super busy. Actually started a new job recently, so just trying to balance my time a little more wisely from the get-go.

36. rsiders

Posts: 1959; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

You can't really think the 640 is the best Windows Phone out right now. Despite it's age the Lumia 1520 remains the king of the hill for WP as the only flagship with a microSD slot besides the HTC One for Windows. Even today it is very much a contender with current Android and Apple iPhones in terms of daily use not so much the specs.

37. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Waiting for some fanboy to accuse Nadella of trolling

2. fyahking

Posts: 1146; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

No s**t, I have been waiting for their flagship phone since the year 2007. That's how long it feels to

4. Plutonium239

Posts: 1217; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

He did not say the upcoming flagships were not good, what he said was that current available devices aren't as good as they should be. The upcoming flagships should be really good. Not that it matters a whole lot, Windows Phone(and I assume Windows 10 mobile will run as smoothly) run fast an smooth no matter what device it is on, be it a low end or high end device, unlike android which only runs well on high end devices and even then it lags over time. While I would prefer to wait for the successor to the lumia 1020(which has been rumored to come in 2016), I will most likely buy one of the flagships released this year. I'll probably keep my 1020 around just to take pictures with as the sensor is better than any other phone currently available. The LG G4's sensor only beats it in one area, low light photography, which, if the subject is up close, the xenon flash on my 1020 is better than the flash on the G4, the G4 wins in low light shots without a flash.

6. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

Haha, because you have a horsecr#p OS?

9. Plutonium239

Posts: 1217; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

Really? The Windows Phone OS is far more efficient and secure than android or IOS. Android lags even on flagship tier devices over time and the mid to low range android devices are often abandoned for support and never receive updates for security patches, which is another issue with android altogether. Microsoft does everything it can to keep the phones updated(even providing an easy way to get updates if the carrier won't push them out).

38. jojon

Posts: 433; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

well said

44. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Yet windows still sucks & only a few fanboys are buying windows phones lol

62. Plutonium239

Posts: 1217; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

That would be your opinion. I was not really a big fan of Microsoft until a got a windows phone. I did not really like IOS and Android is just a cheap clone of IOS that is more open to customization. With IOS and Android both not being secure and lagging over time.

7. Dude2014

Posts: 448; Member since: Feb 12, 2014

Yeah... Please release highend smartphone with Snapdragon 808 in November when other OEMs will be probably rocking with newer Socs. I have a Lumia 930 and I know WP doesn't need that much specs. But hey.. When you have paid $600+ for a phone, it's natural that you want the best spec available. Both Microsoft and Previous Nokia really suck at this area. They released Lumia 930 with SD 800 (when other phones were rocking with SD 801) and Lumia 830 (Affordable flagship????? Yeah... Priced at $400 when you could buy HTC One, LG G2,Galaxy S4 or Note 3 at that price) with 720p screen and SD 400. Only Apple can sell overpriced phones with crappy specs in this world. But they are no Apple. Even so Apple is catching up in spec competition now.

11. Plutonium239

Posts: 1217; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

The only reason it occurred this time is due to them wanting to wait for Windows 10 mobile to be ready. And they already committed to using the Snapdragon 810 earlier this year. I am sure that the next flagship(not the two coming this year) will have an appropriate SOC in it. And these new flagships will support Windows 10 Mobile features that older ones do not. Perhaps they will throw in some sort of surprise that makes it worth it. Such as an iris scanner or facial recognition for Windows Hello. Windows 10 Mobile(and having all of its features at your disposal) itself will be worth it, imo. With Windows Phone it has never been about having the best processor available, in case you haven't noticed(because it wasn't necessary to make windows phone os run smooth and fast).

30. My1cent

Posts: 370; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

If MS committed to SD810 then the next device is pretty HOT!

8. Cheezwiz

Posts: 500; Member since: Dec 29, 2014

They've released so many low-end phones, the system is practically synonymous with the "low-end." MS has been totally inept in their production of high-end handsets. They need to be sure that the release date isn't more than a month from the date of announcement.

13. EbonyPericarp

Posts: 67; Member since: May 02, 2015

The entire Windows experience is fast becoming an irrelevance. Windows 10 is at risk of becoming a "new coke" joke and the best advert for Linux to date.

15. Plutonium239

Posts: 1217; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

This is the first Windows version in a long time that many people have been disappointed that they cannot get the os on the previously announced launch date(July 29th). In addition a large percentage of businesses plan to adopt Windows 10 right away, more than previous versions of windows upon release.

27. rishav20193

Posts: 241; Member since: Jul 18, 2015

i really feel....this will be the best wis OS ever. surpassing windows XP !! & taking away the title of "craziest OS of all time" which ryt now belongs to XP bcoz of the success it saw in the market

35. cdgoin

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 28, 2010

The REAL issue is to have the bandwagon affect of all the Win10 news and such the Win10 Phones should launch 7/29 as well.. BUt that would require cohesion by the MS depts.. >.

50. rishav20193

Posts: 241; Member since: Jul 18, 2015

better bring a polished n bug free OS later then a buggy OS early.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.