Home / News / Mobile Phone News / Microsoft's Surface Phone just got confirmed again – this time by Satya Nadella

Microsoft's Surface Phone just got confirmed again – this time by Satya Nadella

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Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave a revealing interview in which he confirmed the company was working on delivering the "ultimate moble device" – the clearest indication yet that a Surface Phone is indeed on its way.

Somewhat lost amidst all the Black Friday noise this week, the Microsoft boss spoke to the Australian Financial Review and admitted that the firm had "missed the mobile boom."

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However, he added that there was still room in the heavily saturated mobile market for Microsoft, provided it could deliver a unique proposition.

"We will continue to be in the phone market, not as defined by today's market leaders, but by what it is that we can uniquely do in what is the most ultimate mobile device," Nadella said.

Rumours of a Surface Phone that would sit alongside devices like the Surface Book and the recently unveiled Surface Studio have been doing the rounds for a while now.

Such a device would presumably run Microsoft's Windows 10 Mobile OS, with further speculation suggesting it could be offered in three variants and sport a BlackBerry-esque keyboard flip case.

The Surface Phone has been previously linked with a Q1 or Q2 2017 release, though given the Surface Studio wasn't revealed until autumn this year, that could prove to be off the mark.

Related: Best Black Friday deals UK

WATCH: Microsoft Surface Studio first look

Would you contemplate buying a Surface Phone? Let us know in the comments below.

Pierre Dybman

November 24, 2016, 8:35 am

No

Hamish Campbell

November 24, 2016, 9:20 am

Surface line - all in one desktop, super slim laptop, smart phone....all expensive.....hold on, that Nadella guy is bald and wears casual clothes!! They just need to develop a bloated SurfaceTunes application and they will be right where they want to be.

Kirk

November 24, 2016, 11:07 am

Will buy one but look forward to when all 2D screens are made obsolete with something like the HoloLens.

Tom

November 24, 2016, 12:04 pm

Hopefully they've realized that just the surface name isnt enough for a surface phone to succeed, they desperately need a feature that Android/iOS phones don't have that makes them appealing, be it a low price with top end specs or a new feature perhaps like the 3D scanner camera or a folding screen?

It would really be great if they could expand on some of the features it has as well, plugging in to a screen and running as a desktop was a great idea, perhaps expand it by using Atom mobile chips and letting people use x86 programs in desktop mode? Allow access and installation of Google play apps so people who switch from Android dont have to buy again?

Christian

November 24, 2016, 2:15 pm

Unfortunately, if it doesn't run Android it's dead in the water. So I'm not holding my breathe on this one. I'm sure hardware-wise it'll be fantastic, but that won't be enough...

Digerydoo

December 2, 2016, 9:27 am

I'd consider it. Quit the iPhone fo a Lumia 1520: Love it, like Win10. Love expandable memory, terrific camera, screen. Marking time waiting for a Surface Phone with Win10. The 940 is good but not quite there: No expandable memory, encryption safest phone on the market by some accounts) but wants better biometrics.

There isn't a huge shortage of apps, but there are a few that count. That shortage could be rectified by Microsoft on short order, if they're serious. Easiest way would be to write the missing apps themselves: MSFT is a massive software developer, produces excellent quality software, and has more money in the bank than anyone but Apple. Alternative 2 would be to offer a bounty - a kind of X-Prize program to independent developers. The really critical sw apps needed would be for "crucial" services (AirBnB, better Uber app, etc.), & apps to pair with Smartphone peripherals: smartwatches, health monitors, smart tags like Tile, credit card payment devices, home security cameras, etc. Yes, til now phone companies made the devices & left sw to device & sw developers, but there doesn't appear to be any reason that can't be reversed. It is how Apple launched the Mac.

Furthermore, MSFT could offer reward money as an incentive for really cool new innovations in software, like wifi or Bluetooth links to 3rd party dashcams or watch cameras to auto-upload recordings to the web. There are lots of people who would find a measure of protection in knowing unplanned interactions with authorities could be streamed to a remote, safe site that can't easily be confiscated.

MSFT could effectively outsource their app problem at low cost. They could even take a portfolio investment position in dozens - hundreds - of small developers, seeding development in return for a small royalty on sales. Up-front cost to Msft could be kept low, perhaps primarily in the firm of free development software (zero cost to Msft), free access to .net libraries (ditto), free training (all video, zero scalable cost), free tech support (pretty low cost)... Throw in small cash bonuses paid in installments - progress payments against delivery milestones - and ongoing development costs to Msft could be minimal. An X-prize for major winners motivates many at minimal cost, MSFT recoups those costs through its royalty on winners' sales, or simply through the mark-up they get already when the sw is sold through the Windows Store.

Two big requirements: Get off their asses & think outside the box - which they've already demonstrated they can do, releasing Office, OneNote, etc. free on everyone else's platforms. Second, they have to make it clear to everyone they're committed to the phone platform, which Nadella has admitted they must (or risk losing hegemony on the desktop, where Windows is their lynchpin). Oh, & Msft has to get its act together on this quickly. I know we aren't privy to the vast amount of work that it takes to bring a phone to market, but perception counts, and you're burning your fan base. Over time, that becomes a significant threat to your market share & your Brand, on every platform.

None of the options suggested take a lot of time. You're motivating others, small nimble firms & independent developers, not turning the massive ship that is Msft. Get out of your own way. Bet on the market and variations on a crowd-sourcing model. Create a new, revitalized development market for Windows. If you can't do it for the Phone (internal politics? Pride?) do it to protect the Win10 platform everywhere. Sans that, & Win desktop is dead long-term. Smell the coffee.

And if they really want to kick-start the market fast, offer an x86 virtual box to run classic apps, which will be possible on the new Snapdragon cpu. And that will drive sales of peripherals too, especially a Surface 3D Bluetooth headset to provide screen space for everything from classic massive spreadsheets to their latest Surface Design drawings. And, for the rest of us, a monitor we can actually adsorb books, documents and newspapers through. Online newspapers won't sell til we can stop trying to read broadsheets through a 6-15" tiny window. A heads-up strap-on monitor - or one that clips to my glasses, would be the killer app for Surface Designer, a Surface Phone, and the entire online periodicals market.

I can't believe Msft doesn't see this. I'd be willing to bet Apple does, & this will be Tim Cook's Next Big Thing.

Surface Phone. Crowd-sourced apps market with X-Prize carrot. X86-box mode, like the old DOS-box. Heads-up clip-on Surface Monitor virtual display. This can fly!

MSFT learned to finally write quality software. Impressive. They learned to think outside the box & release it on competitors' operating systems. Gutsy. Now can we get there first for once, & show commitment to the brand?

Please.

Serpentbane

December 5, 2016, 10:43 pm

If it runs Android it will not be able to do the things unique for the Windows 10 OS. The OS is great, we just need devs to belive in developing aps for it. As of today, 90% of the reason Windows phone/mobile died was the lack of SnapChat. Hopefully SC is replaced by something new by the end of 2017...

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