Microsoft has no plans to build new versions of its Windows 10 Mobile operating system and Windows Phone, a company executive has suggested.

During a Twitter exchange with Microsoft enthusiasts, Windows boss Joe Belfiore said that beyond security updates for devices still in use, the technology giant was not focusing on new software or hardware for the product line.

The mobile operating system first appeared in 2000, but in recent years has been squeezed out of the smartphone market by Apple's iOS and Google's Android.

"Of course we'll continue to support the platform .. bug fixes, security updates, etc. But building new features/hw (sic) aren't the focus," Mr Belfiore wrote on the social media site.

He also said that this slide in market share made it difficult for Microsoft to maintain the support of developers, which has furthered its decline.

"We have tried very hard to incent app devs. Paid money .. wrote apps 4 them .. but volume of users is too low for most companies to invest," he said, adding that he personally had switched from Windows Mobile.

Last month Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates also said that he now used an Android-powered smartphone.
Microsoft has not commented officially on its plans for Windows Phone.

According to figures from Statista for the end of 2016, Microsoft held just 0.3% of the global market share for smartphone sales, compared with more than 81% for Android and 18% for iOS.

The firm was most recently involved in the smartphone business through its Microsoft Lumia line, which was born out of a takeover of Nokia.

The licence rights to Nokia smartphones and tablets have since been sold to Finnish start-up HMD Global, which relaunched the brand earlier this year.

Instead, Microsoft has been focusing on its PC products - most notably its Windows 10 operating system and Surface line of tablets and laptops - which have become increasingly popular among consumers.

Chief executive Satya Nadella has also shifted the firm's focus to its cloud platform and products such as Office 365, a strategy that has proved successful in returning the company to a stable base.