Joe Belfiore

Why Microsoft needs the iPhone to accomplish its mobile goals

Microsoft is shifting its mobile strategy.
Microsoft is shifting its mobile strategy.

It wasn’t that long ago when Windows Phone was an important topic at Microsoft’s Build developer conference.

But you’d be hard-pressed to tell from watching this year’s keynotes. Like last year’s event, no one in the parade of Microsoft executives who took the stage made any mention of Windows Phone.

Except for that one moment.

Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president in Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group, was demoing a new OneDrive feature from the upcoming Fall Creators Update on a Windows Phone. As soon as he said the words “Windows Phone,” someone in the audience let out an inexplicably enthusiastic “Woot!”

“Thank you,” he said, before continuing the demo. He didn’t mention Windows Phone again. Later, a slide appeared. “Windows PCs ❤️ All Your Devices,” it proclaimed. The first smartphone on the slide? An iPhone.

That almost perfectly encapsulates Microsoft’s mobile strategy right now. And, yes, despite the…