Even though Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile are part of the same "One" product strategy, the two feel like two separate projects at Microsoft.
There are many commonalities and a similar core, but while Windows 10 has evolved tremendously since the technical preview build that arrived in January, the development of its mobile counterpart has progressed at a glacial pace.
Windows 10 almost looks ready for its July 29 launch, but Windows 10 Mobile is far, far from being ready for prime time.
That is because the teams working on the upcoming operating system have devoted more of their attention to the PC version, leaving Windows 10 Mobile in the background. Microsoft is wise to play the PC card, as that is a market which it singlehandedly dominates, but not treating smartphones equally could be another mistake it is making on the mobile front. This is about to change.
Microsoft will continue to treat Windows 10 for PCs as a priority, as it has done so from the get-go by launching more builds, and at a faster pace, for PCs compared to smartphones, until early or mid-July, according to Microsoft Devices communications director Greg Sullivan.
After Windows 10 is ready for prime time, the teams working on the operating system will shift focus from the PC version to Windows 10 Mobile. In practice, this should mean more preview builds for Insiders rocking Windows Phones, released in a rapid cadence. Improvement through many, relatively small iterations seems to be the way Microsoft is making Windows 10 ready for launch, and this is something I expect to be repeated with Windows 10 Mobile as well.
The problem that I see with this approach is that it leaves Windows 10 Mobile looking like a second-class citizen in Microsoft's eyes, which is not something that makes the company appear committed to its mobile endeavors. The fact that the name Windows 10 Mobile was only recently chosen - it was previously known as Windows 10 for phones - further backs up this point.
Sure, Microsoft says that it wants to succeed, but its actions lead us to think otherwise. There is some doubt in there about how far Windows can grow in the mobile market, otherwise we wouldn't be kept in the dark regarding Windows 10 Mobile's launch date.
Microsoft is not saying when Windows 10 Mobile will finally launch because, I strongly believe, it has no clear idea when it will finish development. It could happen as early as this quarter, but given how polished the current build is I would not bet on it.
Photo Credit: Derrick Wlodarz