Microsoft's new rallying cry: Cloud first, Windows second?
Microsoft's new pitch to developers may soon be 'Visual Studio plus Azure,' rather than 'Visual Studio plus Windows.'

"Cloud first, mobile first" has been the new Microsoft's rallying cry for a while now. But at its Build developer conference this year -- and beyond -- Microsoft's message is likely to be more akin to cloud first, Windows second.

In part, the reason for the shift has to do with Microsoft's lackluster performance in the mobile space with Windows.

Windows Phone's market share is hovering around one percent. That position weakens the company's Universal Windows App (UWP) value proposition, since one of the main legs of the UWP stool, Windows 10 Mobile, just isn't all that attractive to many developers. Microsoft officials have maintained that UWP made the idea of turning a Windows 10 app into a Windows 10 Mobile app relatively trivial, but many developers have only half-heartedly embraced that proposition.

Microsoft has tried to compensate by developing mobile apps for iOS and Android. It also bought mobile-tool maven Xamarin earlier this year.

Following the Xamarin purchase, many of us Microsoft watchers predicted that Microsoft's next move might be to shift the company's focus from Universal Windows apps to Universal cross-platform apps. Given Xamarin's core business is all about getting .NET developers write native, mobile iOS, Android and Mac apps, couldn't Microsoft now claim to offer developers a way to write apps that were truly cross-platform, not just cross-Windows-platforms?
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