Microsoft's Mobile Roller Coaster Ride: 9 Contributing Factors

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Microsoft has never excelled in smartphones, but its mobile strategy has taken a turn for the worse. What went wrong, what will come next, and are there signs of hope? Here's a closer look.

As the mobile space heats up with major tech players staking their claim in the lucrative market, it's time to ask: Why is Microsoft still struggling to be a serious contender? 

Industry watchers have been pondering this for a while. Redmond has struggled in the mobile space for years, and smartphone sales continue to decline as its other products and services generate profit.

During its most recent earnings call, Microsoft executives noted a slowdown in PC and smartphone sales hurt overall financial results for the third quarter of its 2016 fiscal year. This past quarter generated $21.78 billion, a year-over-year decline of 6%.

[Microsoft, Google have agreed to drop lawsuits against one another.]

Its third-quarter earnings are the sign of a trend Microsoft can't seem to reverse. During its first fiscal quarter of 2016, the company sold 2.3 million Windows Mobile devices, a massive plunge from the 4.5 million it sold during the fourth quarter of 2015 and 73% decline year-over-year.

Microsoft has reached a point at which its stronger products and services may not be able to overcome the losses it suffers from poor smartphone and PC sales. As its earnings reflect poorer results, IT watchers are increasingly curious to know if, or when, it's going to throw in the towel with mobile.

Here, we take a closer look at the signs Windows Phone is failing. What went wrong, where is the company going, and is there any chance things will improve?

What are your thoughts on the future of Microsoft's mobile business? Are you a current, former or future owner of a Windows Phone? We welcome your thoughts in the comments.

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