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The following year, as market share slid, Microsoft acquired Nokia for .2 billion in a last-ditch effort to save Microsoft’s smartphone business with an integrated hardware-software business model like Apple’s.

But it was too late, as were all Windows Phone advances.

At Recode’s Code conference this year, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said he regretted that the company was “too slow in cases to recognize the need for new capability, particularly in hardware.” The i Phone did just that, and revolutionized the smartphone and the world in general.

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That all said, be sure to let us know how you get on, should you try these tools in different regions.

Reports of Microsoft’s smartphone demise have been ... Last week, the company announced it was ending support for Windows Phone 8.1, the latest in a series of moves marking the end of the Windows Phone.

These have also included saying the company was no longer focusing on phones and laying off mobile phone staff last year after its disastrous acquisition of Nokia and general inability to compete with Google Android for handset deals and consumer interest.

The writing was on the wall, with Microsoft’s smartphone platform market share nearing zero — 0.1 percent globally in the first quarter of 2017, according to research firm Gartner.

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