Microsoft was in the smartphone game long before the iPhone – it launched Windows Mobile in 2000 for smartphones and pocket PCs. Like Palm, it was on smartphones long before 3G internet, and like Palm, it fast lost market share to the likes of iOS.
Heavily based on PC operatating systems, Windows Mobile featured small, fiddly menus that for years had to be operated by stylus. Unlike modern day smartphones, these phones – which were actually produced right up till 2010 – tried to miniaturise the PC experience. So it’s particularly impressive that when Microsoft canned this dinosaur, its next go was the refreshing and highly unique Windows Phone.
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