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New York Police Department Dumps Windows Phones for iPhones

Well, that’s not exactly accurate, but it certainly was a catchy headline, wasn’t it?

We’re actually talking about the New York City Police Department, and the NYPD isn’t giving up on all of its Windows applications. Many of them were custom-developed for the department’s beefed-up surveillance program. But the New York City PD has decided to abandon Windows phones and switch to iPhones. That comes just a few years after the NYPD equipped all of its 36,000 officers with Nokia Lumia smartphones running Windows 8.1, along with special police department apps.
Nokia Lumia
The decision to move to Apple was made for the same reason so many people regularly get uncontrollably angry at Microsoft – lack of support. The company has declared “end of life” for all Windows 8.1 phones.


Why Choose Windows Phones In The First Place?

The NYPD says it went with the Nokia smartphones because it had already invested a ton of money on custom Windows software, which supposedly wouldn’t work with iOS or Android phones without huge, additional development costs. It was a losing bet, of course, as Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia and subsequent marketing push for its phone platform fell flat. The company has lost more than $7 billion dollars on the venture. By the time the NYPD started getting Windows 8.1 smartphones into the hands of its officers, Microsoft’s phones accounted for less than 1% of the market.
ios
It’s been reported that the decision to go with Windows phones was made almost entirely by deputy IT commissioner Jessica Tisch, who insisted at the time that smartphones given to the force had to integrate with the department’s Windows-based surveillance software. In what seems to be an effort to put the best face on things, Tisch claims the NYPD learned last year that Apple phones would be just fine, after all – thanks to “improvements” in the iOS platform. However, word that the department was moving to iPhones didn’t come out until after support for Windows 8.1 phones was discontinued last month.


The Future of NYPD Phones

The three-year lifespan of NYPD Windows phones wasn’t a complete failure, according to Tisch. She claims that response times for 911 calls have declined by 8% thanks to the use of the Windows smartphones. Of course, that wasn’t necessarily because they were Windows phones; equipping officers with any type of phone would naturally make them more efficient. And since Microsoft provided the Nokia phones for free as part of a joint program with the police department, the bad decision wasn’t as costly as it could have been.
nypd smartphones
All images credits: https://www.cnet.com/

Apple will also supply the phones for no charge, but what’s not yet known is what type of iPhones will be assigned to officers. Chances are good, though, that the “free” smartphones won’t be the new and very expensive iPhone 8s or Xs. The only thing Tisch will say is that the new phones will be deployed starting this fall.

Some industry observers are describing this development as the last nail in the coffin for Windows phones. Those observers are ignoring the fact that Miscrosoft’s latest venture into the smartphone market was already dead; it’s way too late to call 911.
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