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Microsoft testing Windows 10 on mobiles

Microsoft wants to make Windows 10 cross-platform, extending from PCs, laptops and tablets into smartphones and potentially wearables.

A new preview app named 'Phone Insider' will allow "registered Windows Insiders the ability to receive pre-release OS updates on their phone, directly from Microsoft", more specifically previews of a large update to Windows 10.

The app suggests Windows 10 will be available through an upgrade on some Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones, a smart move considering Microsoft did not allow Windows Phone 7 owners to upgrade to Windows Phone 8 in 2013.

Microsoft will work on some small changes to the platform to fit mobile ergonomics better, but overall Microsoft wants the same experience throughout Windows 10, allowing app developers to code one app for the whole platform.

The push for one store makes developers less likely to skip Windows entirely, considering it has an overwhelming amount of users across mobile, tablet and PC (the majority on PC). Having this cross-compatible app store should sway app developers to invest more into a full Windows port and updates.

Latest figures for Windows Phone are less than ideal, dropping from 4.3 to 3 per cent market share in the United States, and 9.8 to 8.7 per cent market share in Europe, only growing in Germany.

The downslide is due to Microsoft's new focus on developing markets, like India, Indonesia, Africa and Latin America. Microsoft has already published a report for app developers, warning them to make apps compatible with low-memory (256MB) devices.

Other mobile providers like Xiaomi, Samsung, Huawei and ZTE are interested in Windows Phone, and all four are rumored to be making devices running the new version of Windows 10 for mobiles.

Having three of the largest Chinese providers, on top of Huawei already developing Windows Phone devices, should boost Microsoft's mobile market share from 0.6 per cent, where it is currently at in China.