A break-up note: Dear Microsoft, it's not me, it's definitely you

Dear Microsoft,

It's been a hell of a ride, hasn't it?

In nearly 30 months, we've shared what feels like a lifetime of memories. But I think the time has come now for both of us to say goodbye.

I'm sure you know somewhere deep inside that this was coming. After all and despite every single one of our ups and downs, you know this latest blow was going to be too hard for me to take.

But before we get to all that, let's reflect on all the good times.


They say Helen of Troy had the face that launched 1,000 ships; well, my Lumia 925 had a face that could withstand the blows of 1,000 fists... or boots. In fact, I remember like it was yesterday the time it fell out of my pocket and onto the hard and stone-littered ground in a Skindred moshpit in Pune.

To say I feared for its life was an understatement.

Caught as it was under the heavy and crushing feet of punters (rightly) unable to contain their excitement at watching the Welsh reggae-metallers in action, my Lumia, I feared would not see out the night. But I needn't have worried.

After dusting off the dirt and grime, what I discovered was a perfectly healthy and undamaged smartphone — so far from damaged in fact, that a celebratory selfie seemed like the only thing to do... before running off to recommend Lumias to everyone in sight.

But it was a fair while before my Lumia survived that vigorous stomping that I fell in love with you, Microsoft. I think it all began the first time I saw those lovely tiles on the Windows 8 operating system for smartphones (WP8). Icons were so passé.

Lumia 830 (right) comes with Denim update out-of-the-box

There was just something about those tiles, particularly Live Tiles — flipping over and giving me the information I needed without me having to swipe up or down. Never underestimate the power of first impressions, because it was on the strength of those tiles alone that I was sold.

And over time, it was things like the way only WP8 could present apps that made me fall deeper in love. For example, I'm yet to see a smartphone OS that has a better-looking and more importantly, better-working Skype or Office app.

"But those are all Microsoft products," they told me, "Of course, they'll work best on a Windows device." I paid them no heed. I didn't even mind the absence of official YouTube, Gmail or Instagram apps on WP8 — who needs those, I asked myself. After all, I had my regular stream of new apps, regular updates and most importantly, an OS that seemed nigh-on-uncrashable.

Oh, and before I forget, messing around with the photography apps with which you so generously showered me was a real treat.

And for a while, it was all just magical.

For a while...

But slowly, Microsoft, cracks began to appear in our relationship. You remember that day when you announced that you would not be giving older smartphones the upgrade from WP7 to WP8? Or how about the time you took the decision to sideline phones with 512 MB of RAM when it came to OS upgrades?

I never let that get in the way of my defence of you though. Did I?

No matter how long it took you to give me access to an OS update — although I had promised myself I wouldn't get personal — I stuck by your side. Sure, I had to wait for what seemed like an eternity to finally get that WP8.1 upgrade, but it didn't matter. It was worth it.

Whether it was your near-complete inability to handle multitasking, the awful landscape keyboard — where I could barely see a line of the text I was typing — or the paucity of apps on offer — I only got QuizUp five months after everyone else I knew had tired of it and uninstalled it — I stuck by your side.

What kept me by your side? The dream of a wonderful future together. Just as some people hope a child can save their relationship, I fervently hoped it would be Windows 10 that would save ours. And so I waited.

Months went by, but I continued to wait for that update.

My Lumia began to show signs of fatigue, but I continued to wait for that update.

Android and iOS began to look attractive, but I continued to wait for that update.

Until last week, that is.

Image: Microsoft

When you announced that the number of devices that would receive the Windows 10 update had been pared down, I instinctively had a sinking feeling. But I checked the list nonetheless. Sure enough, my instinct was right.

After that promise of a future together, you brought it all crashing down, and expected me to just go along. I did consider it. I thought you might have a trick or two up your sleeve... some sort of surprise perhaps.

But that was never part of the plan, was it?

This is an end of sorts, in that, we'll be in touch, of course — I'm yet to find a computer operating system that I'd rather use — but we won't be spending nearly as much time together anymore.

Perhaps it's my fault that I expected so much of you.

But then, I was always a sucker for a pretty face.

Yours no more,

A former WP8 aficionado

PS: Good luck with Continuum. Maybe this is the bitterness talking, but I'd really like to see how you get people to ditch their multiple devices in exchange for one Windows device.

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