The Microsoft Windows Phone has almost vanished from the market, and even loyal users are now ditching the device in favor of iPhones. The latest to do so is the New York Police Department, which is no longer satisfied with the Microsoft Windows Phone as it is outdated, claims the New York Post.
Why not the Microsoft Windows Phone?
The shift to the Windows Phone was part of the NYPD’s $160 million modernization initiative. The department started handing out the phones in April 2015. However, this was clearly not sufficient enough to keep the Windows Phone alive. Microsoft and BlackBerry sustained the greatest hit from the growing popularity of Android and iOS devices. The market shares of both brands has been reduced to almost negligible.
Microsoft even claimed a huge tax gain of $1.8 billion in the last quarter related to the unwinding of its smartphone business. It served as a strong indicator that Microsoft’s smartphone business is dead and has a negligible presence in the market.
On Monday, the New York Post said the obsolete Microsoft Windows Phone will be replaced by the iPhone by the year’s end. About 36,000 police officers in New York City are using smartphones powered by the Microsoft Windows Phone operating system. The OS was discontinued in 2015, and this is why the department decided to switch to Apple’s iPhones.
“You read that right. Life and death situations rely on outdated phones running Microsoft’s Windows Phone software,” read an October report from CNET titled “This is NYPD’s official crime-fighting phone.”
In late 2016, the NYPD was reportedly considering upgrading its smartphones to Windows 10 Mobile, which is the latest Windows OS for smartphones, but it seems that it didn’t work out because the department is making the switch to the iPhone, notes Business Insider.
Why did NYPD choose Windows Phones in the first place?
According to the Post, the NYPD’s initial selection of the Windows Phone may have been inspired by the NYPD Deputy Commissioner, who believed that a Windows Phone would work better with the other Microsoft software that the department is using for video surveillance.
“Nobody purchases 36,000 phones based on the judgment of one person,” a source told the Post. “I don’t care if you’re Jesus f-?-king Christ, you get a panel of experts.”
The Nokia Lumia 830 and Lumia 640 XL are the Windows models currently being used by the NYPD, and they have been customized to fit the department’s requirements. For instance, they came pre-installed with case management apps and could receive assignments as well. Further, the Windows Phones given to the officers came pre-loaded with apps that are useful in reporting crimes quickly and scanning police databases.
Additionally, for the first time, the officers had phone numbers that they could circulate among the members of the communities they served for quick solutions and actions on any issues.
While the NYPD has not yet specified the iPhone model that it will switch to, the department is reportedly planning to make the switch after the release of the iPhone 8. As of now, there have been no comments from Microsoft or the NYPD on the matter.