As the old adage goes, sometimes you get what you pay for. According to a report from the New York Post, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio’s $160 million plan to outfit the city’s police department with Windows Phones was a monumental failure. In a strategic move that can be traced back to 2014, providing the NYPD with advanced smartphones was originally framed as a way to help police officers in the field communicate with each other and access important police databases more efficiently. Unfortunately, the city for some reason decided Windows Phones were the way to go.
Now comes word that all 36,000 Windows Phones that were given to NYPD personnel need to be replaced by iPhones, primarily because the two models used by the NYPD — the Lumia 830 and the Lumia 640XL — run Windows Phone 8.1 and are no longer officially supported by Microsoft. So while the underlying strategy of modernizing the NYPD was sound, the city’s choice of smartphone was anything but.
Although the Windows Phones in question helped the NYPD respond to and handle various incidents more quickly, it goes without saying that using outdated and unsupported mobile devices is untenable.
All in all, it’s an inglorious end to a program that was ushered in with endless waves of optimism.
“We must have 21st century tools to deal with 21st century threats, and this infusion of new resources will arm our officers with the technology and information they need to fight crime and protect the City against terrorism more efficiently and more effectively,” De Blasio said of the Windows Phone initiative just a few years ago.
Alas, the smartphone market these days has long been a two-person race involving Apple’s iPhone and Android.