Microsoft should follow this recipe for 'Surface Phone' success

Microsoft has spent the last two years alienating its phone fan base and developer community on mobile, leaving a tiny handful of third-party hardware OEMs to keep Windows 10 Mobile on life support, while popular services like Flipboard and Spotify abandon the platform. Anyone following Microsoft's moves in this space would be forgiven for assuming the company had zero aspirations of getting back into the phone game.

Writer's impression: Windows chief Terry Myerson contemplates Microsoft's phone strategy.

Writer's impression: Windows chief Terry Myerson contemplates Microsoft's phone strategy.

But, still, there are genuine reasons to believe Microsoft wants to stay in the game, and that the company is just pouring its energy into something truly different.

In this article, we assume the Surface Phone is a real thing that will be released. Join us for a healthy dose of speculation as to how Microsoft could leverage the bits and pieces of Windows 10 to create something that finds its way into people's pockets despite the adversity of the task ahead.

True productivity on mobile

With the Surface Laptop, Studio, Pro, and Book, you could argue that Redmond was playing on its home turf, PCs, while leveraging its knowledge and consumer confidence in the business, education, and prosumer markets. When it comes to phones and mobile devices, confidence in Microsoft couldn't possibly be lower.

That's why the Surface Phone has to aggressively not be a "phone," but something different, maybe even something that you'll want to carry around alongside an iPhone or Android device. To that end, the Surface Phone has to settle niche use cases that iPhone and Android devices don't achieve very well.

BlackBerry KEYone: Finding productivity on mobile.

BlackBerry KEYone: Finding productivity on mobile.

Using a BlackBerry KEYone phone with a full QWERTY keyboard, I have found myself doing something I'd never attempt on touch-screen keyboards on Windows 10 Mobile, Android, or iOS: word processing full articles.

The Surface Phone can afford to provide for a wide variety of prosumer niche use cases without gunning for the Snapchat crowd.

Word for phones is great on all platforms, but software keyboards just suck for anything long form, especially when you're a touch typist. I'm not suggesting Microsoft should make a BlackBerry phone, but full keyboards could be a way of promoting the Surface "Phone" as something more akin to a laptop or 2-in-1, for people who want to get work done on the go.

Microsoft has piles of patents that could lead to this sort of device. Multi-screen configurations, kickstands, the Surface Connector, and type covers could help the Surface Phone take on a 2-in-1 form factor.

Our Senior Editor Zac Bowden has shown how CShell versions of Windows 10 can [conform to different screen sizes and different orientations. Windows 10 Mobile has very poor landscape support, which would be required for this sort of play; with CShell it would "just work."

From the folding phone patents.

From the folding phone patents.

Any sort of Surface Phone would probably be on the larger side of things, aimed at the same consumers the Samsung Galaxy Note targets.

Windows 10 on ARM chipsets opens up a lot of possibility for mobile productivity.

It could be that the Surface Phone pushes the boundaries of what "phablet" truly means, as it attempts to shrug off accusations of being a "phone." Bigger devices mean more I/O ports, more screen real estate for multiple windows (something else CShell will help support), and inking while retaining legacy phone features such as cellular and calls (likely via a bundled hands-free headset, like the HP Elite x3).

Windows 10 on ARM chipsets opens up a lot of possibility for mobile productivity. Microsoft has already demonstrated Photoshop and full Office running on ARM, and if you're throwing in inking, a Surface Phone could be the pocket sketchpad of an artist's dreams.

That's the thing about the Surface Phone and Windows 10 for ARM or Shell, it can afford to provide for a wide variety of prosumer niche use cases without gunning for the "hip and cool" Snapchat crowd, which is where Lumia utterly failed.

Surface Phone as an Xbox handheld?

If my recent travel to IFA 2017 is any indication, gaming has become increasingly critical to Microsoft's growth aspirations. In every single keynote I went to, a significant portion, if not half or more, revolved around gaming PCs and peripherals. Windows Mixed Reality head mounted displays (HMDs) are designed for gaming, and Microsoft was by no means shy to flaunt its partnership with Steam – PC's biggest gaming distribution platform – for Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

It's the Steam partnership that is particularly interesting to me, given the icy comments from Steam maker Valve's CEO, Gabe Newell, about the very notion of Microsoft running its own app stores on Windows.

Valve and Microsoft are working together, and it seems to be out of pure necessity to help Windows grow.

Perhaps Valve realized that the growth of Windows is also the growth of Valve and that the future of core gaming itself might rest in the cooperation of these two companies. Neither has a foothold in mobile.

It cannot be a coincidence that Steam is not only working with Microsoft on VR but also to bring cross-network capabilities to Steam and the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) on the Windows 10 Store. Valve and Microsoft are working together, and it seems to be out of pure necessity to help Windows grow. I wouldn't be surprised if we see Steam itself become installable from the Windows 10 Store in the near future, and that would certainly be ideal for a family of devices running Windows 10 on ARM.

Light Steam gaming on ARM devices could be a thing with the Andromeda OS.

Light Steam gaming on ARM devices could be a thing with the Andromeda OS.

As Microsoft barrels ahead with the 4K, six-teraflops (TF) Xbox One X, Nintendo launched a tablet of all things, powered by previous-gen graphics and relatively weak hardware. It sold 1.5 million units in just a few months.

Envision a Surface Phone on the train, folded in tent mode, an Xbox controller connected, running full Steam.

Part of that is the quality of its library, catering to a fanbase it has nurtured for decades, but also because Nintendo went for something different, designed to be a companion to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, rather than attack them.

Microsoft's re-emergence in mobile must follow a similar path. Perhaps a powerful tablet phone 2-in-1 that has the ability to run real games, not Candy Crush, could give the Surface Phone and similar OEM partner devices another feather in their caps of varied niche use cases.

Envision a Surface Phone on the train, folded in tent mode, an Xbox controller connected, running full Steam, capable of playing classic or even well-optimized current-gen games. Perhaps even some sort of Xbox controller attachment could replace a second screen, if the Surface Phone followed some of the "Microsoft Courier"-like patents we've seen.

Light Steam gaming in your pocket is already possible with devices like the GPD Win.

Light Steam gaming in your pocket is already possible with devices like the GPD Win.

I was able to run Overwatch on the GPD Win six-inch gaming clamshell with Intel integrated graphics and enjoy games that were extremely popular in the Xbox 360 era. As Snapdragon chipsets get even more powerful and cooling technology gets further miniaturized, it stands to reason that more and more Steam games could become compatible with devices that use Windows 10 on ARM.

The fact that Microsoft demonstrated World of Tanks Blitz running on Windows 10 on ARM when it debuted the OS should not be seen as a coincidence. I'm not suggesting running Steam on a phone is going to be a use case every PC and Xbox gamer rushes towards, but it would be another niche the Surface Phone or similar OEM devices could fill. Microsoft knows gaming is one of the only ways Windows still appeals to a wide consumer audience, and as we've already seen with Mixed Reality, leveraging that is a no-brainer for any new device category.

The Mixed Reality angle

If we're assuming the Surface Phone is a larger phone or tablet device with higher-end hardware, it could end up being powerful enough for more advanced Mixed Reality features, providing the missing link in Microsoft's wider MR play.

While Microsoft flirts with HMDs and bides its time with a consumer version of HoloLens, Apple and Google both plow ahead with their own brands of augmented reality (AR), ARKit and ARCore. People have their cell phones with them all day, every day, which will lead to wider adoption of iOS and Android AR solutions versus Microsoft's menagerie of headsets.

Even if the Kinect-spawned Windows Mixed Reality spatial awareness cameras are far more powerful than AR powered by a smartphone, the biggest AR apps today are on mobile, including Pokémon Go and Snapchat's lame face filters.

Minecraft for Windows Mixed Reality is on the way.

Minecraft for Windows Mixed Reality is on the way.

Perhaps the Surface Phone could have more powerful spatial awareness, complete with a separate AI coprocessor, as teased for the next version of HoloLens. This would give it a clear advantage over iPhone and Android solutions.

Putting a window to Mixed Reality in your pocket is far easier than carrying around an HMD.

One user could be wearing a HoloLens, while another could use a Windows Mixed Reality phone as a literal window into the virtual world, collaborating on a project, sending new holograms into the Mixed Reality world or tweaking existing ones.

HoloLens has seen the most growth in businesses thus far, where different companies use 3D models to replace physical ones, training staff on how to repair complex and expensive machines without having to actually provide physical samples. Adding tablets into the mix with similar features will open up wider opportunities for on-the-go collaborative Mixed Reality experiences.

Putting a window to Mixed Reality in your pocket is far easier than carrying around an HMD in scenarios where it might be inappropriate.

Microsoft must be in mobile

Microsoft's retrenchment in mobile has been a legendary sore point for the company.

The burning of Microsoft's bridges with developers, the negative PR as large entities pull out of huge phone contracts, and the near-memetic status of "Windows Phones" that has become synonymous with utter failure will not make any Surface Phone push an easy one.

For Microsoft's customers, it's mobile devices that make up the center of their digital lives.

For Microsoft's customers, it's mobile devices that make up the center of their digital lives.

Microsoft has to be in mobile. It is the focal point of all consumer IoT devices, where Microsoft has failed. It is the focal point of connected A.I. assistants like Cortana, where Microsoft also failed. And it's the center of AR, where Microsoft could also fail.

Not being in mobile will cost Microsoft and its OEM hardware partners the future of computing.

Microsoft places the Azure cloud platform at the center of its "Intelligent Edge" diagram, revealing how inwardly the company thinks. For every Microsoft customers, a mobile phone is a central aspect, connecting them to their hobbies, work agendas, social lives, and beyond. This isn't going to change for a long time.

Not being in mobile, even in a small way, will cost Microsoft and its OEM partners the future of computing, and I'd hate to think Redmond is arrogant and ignorant enough to think that it can be a platform holder in this space without having a device you carry around with you everywhere. That's not a laptop and it's not a headset. Having those features native to the OS is always going to be more powerful than putting them on the iOS and Android app stores.

Nobody outside Microsoft knows whether its folding-phone patent will ever turn into a product, or whether we'll ever see "Surface" as a brand attached to a pocket PC. But if so, it could be a truly pivotal device, spawning a new category of OEM PCs — and a world of new opportunities.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Those stubborn people, they listen to no one. They don't even learn from anything that had happened...kai!!!
  • I know, it's so frustrating. Microsoft is getting killed by Nadella's casual arrogance. The article leads them to some options they could take, but probably won't (especially if Nadella views it as someone else's idea). Simple steps:
    1. Buy Valve (cost shouldn't matter) and make it part of the Windows Store, integrate with Mixed Reality and Xbox
    2. Go to Qualcomm and tell them you need a SnapDragon chip that can Continuum basic Steam Games (perhaps with external video card port).
    3. Build and sell a great Windows based phone (with optional video enhanced portable dock) that can play Steam games and connect to Mixed Reality headsets.
  • 4. use LOGIC name!
  • Kinda tired of the arrogance of Nadella shtick. You don't have a clue how to run MS. Plus as should be obvious a CEO is there to make the company profitable. And yes I too share the frustration with MS being not great at consumer facing products.
  • And discontinue support after 12 months.
  • Don't forget a complete rebranding first.
  • The moment Microsoft buys Valve you should say goodbye to it. They are very good at buying promising things and turning them over to mediocre management and lack of leadership to make them go away. Remember that platform that was synonymous with video calls? It continues to decline in competition with other messaging platforms, and such a huge brand is being replaced by WhatsApp and FaceTime and Telegram messenger (where I live). Skype is now clunky, slow with flaky performance in calls. So no. Microsoft shouldn't buy Valve. They should just partner with them.
  • No, god forbid MS ever buying Valve. Look what happened to Skype. I don't want any of that happening to Steam, thank you very much. Partner with them? Yes. Buy them out? Hell no.
  • Would Valve even be willing to sell?
  • Not a snowball's chance in hell
  • The problem with Windows Phone has never been the hardware. The reason for me, that has used Windows Phones since 2011, that is now using an OnePlus 5, was not because it was something wrong with Windows Phone or my latest device Lumia 950XL. The problem is that more and more local apps that we use in Norway is disapearing. (And I think this is happen all over the world.) So how will your sulution fix the app-gap?
  • Abel46,  It won't.  Thats just the fangenderless crybabies here.   They see apps as a bad thing.  I can see their point.  since,  they have to use crappy web wrappers instead of fully developed useful apps.  Meanwhile apple and google have any app you would need fully developed and NOT A WEBWRAPPER,  already available.  To the crybabies here there is no app gap since they think "edge" on their w10m devices is the same as a fully developed app.  IT'S NOT.  NOT EVEN CLOSE.   They will down vote me for the truth all the time...but you canot hide the fact it IS THE TRUTH!  I used to be the person with the 1020 saying apple is junk,  android is junk....but then...after nadella steered w10m right into the iceberg with the lies about it...i bought my wife and I 2 iphones to replace out now defunct 1020s.  and besides the camera,  they have been WAY WAY better than windows 10 mobile at EVERYTHING.
  • You're Nigerian? Kai😂😂😂
  • Nope!! Ghanaian 😉
  • Why not leapfrog everyone?  Where are those those transparent touch screens we were seeing demoed back in 2013?  Make the new Surface device a transparent handheld that can mount to a headset for hololens style mixed reality. Produce cases that give it a dark background to appear line a normal phablet, heck, one that's also a keyboard cover for the widest range of experience.
  • It'd still have no apps. Leveraging PC use cases helps them bridge the gap towards any paradigm shift, while maintaining the Surface identity of doing something different. The tech you describe is non existent, meanwhile, Apple bridges that gap with thousands of AR apps on iPhone, working towards whatever comes next.
  • It can only be successful if it is targeting at appealing to the huge W10 user base, at least initially.  It has to be a 'productivity first' pocket device with a foldable screen, so you can use it at anywhere, anytime and always connected.  Continuum can play a supporting role if an external monitor is available.  If it supports phone features, pen/ink, MR and gaming like Nintendo Switch with an adapter, it would broaden its appeal to consumers. W10 on ARM will have great potentials in the coming years.  The ARM processor tech will improve tremendously in the next five years.  The 7nm process chip will arrive in 2018, 5nm processor chip in 2020 and 3nm chip in 2022 according to TSMC's production schedule.  Snapdragon chips will be markedably improved in performance and battery life.  The 5G network should be arriving in 2019-2020 timeframe.  The environment will become increasingly favorable for the mobile WoA devices, if MS indeed plans to build them.
  • Nicely done, or written. Unfortunately I found myself wondering again and again if these articles are ever read by some decision maker from Microsoft.
  • Thanks. No idea of they do, particularly when it comes to phones. I'm not convinced they'll ever come back to pocket devices.
  • Love it...Jez pretty well comes out and says MS is done with pocket/phones.   and gets 3 up votes...I say the same thing and get fan(generless) downvoted...I speak the truth.  Under NADELLA,  MS will not be pursuing phones/Paradigm shifting pocketable things called 'PHONES',  pocket PCs with telephony called 'PHONES'....
  • It's not always about what you say but how you say it.
  • I say it exactly the same way...There will be no surface phone.....
  • You don't know that....Nobody knows until MS announcement otherwise....
  • So you expect them to announce that they're not releasing something? Does any company ever do that? When MS cancels product lines they don't even announce that (RT, Band, W10M, etc)
  • bub78...fangurls oooooopppppssss I mean fan(genderless),  will think of every excuse they can for microsoft.  
  • You also said this nearly a year ago. I saved it just to prove you don't have a clue: "Steve Adams enjoy the 3 months of useage before Microsoft sh*tcans mobile and your device becomes a paperweight."
    10-11-16   Since many of us are still using our devices and they are still getting updates, you were clearly wrong
  • Lol.. Ignore the pathetic trolls.. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
  • WOW editguy  ******* stalker much?  And I was right....the windows 10 mobile devices are nothing more than featurephone paperweights now.!
  • It's because you're so happy with yourself, think you know everything, insult everyone, and are generally rude.
  • I do know everything...I called the shitcanning of windows 10 mobile LONG AGO...and guess what the 0.1% market share confirms what I have said.   They killed it off!  simple.  NOT MY FAULT....NOT WHAT I WANTED....BUT IS WHAT HAPPEND.   the fanbabies here can try to spin it any way they want...but its the TRUTH!  No development from MS for its own platform,  in "maintenance" mode,  just like RT is...which is KILLED OFF!  Please OPEN YOUR EYES.
  • Jez gets upvotes because he reports and gives opinions. He's respected because he's a supporter and wants something amazing to come next.
    You get downvotes because you are a speculative and negative dick.
    Just sayin...
  • What type of mobile device are you using, Devan?
    I'm still using this super boring Lumia 950, and it's in perfect condition, but man... Snoozeville. It does work seamlessly with the Windows ecosystem, and the MS apps are top notch. Surprisingly, Fitbit is still around, and it works with the new FB Ionic.. It's working fine for now, and it's kinda interesting carrying something that nobody has. As useful as this device still is (even without most apps) it seems like a waste on MS's part to do "nothing" with it... Windows Mobile is STILL a highly functional smartphone OS. I'm seriously using it for work, and school, loading manuals, books, and documents, just as I do on my Surface, and laptop... If MS doesn't have something else for the pocket at least in development, they're nutz, which we already think, but that would totally confirm their stupidity. Lol
  • Im not a NEGATIVE DICK,  I am a realist.  who watched microsoft swindle the mobile traction they had into a steaming pile of **** that it is now.  I jumped ship when they bought linkedIN instead of putting effort into the mobile platform....Saw the ship hit the iceberg the stern has just gone under.   And btw,  don't get me wrong  I WANT SOMETHING AMAZING....I love my windows 10 desktop and notebook devices.   I just don't think under Nadella's leadship,  MS will put out anything amazing in mobile...Let see whos right...2 years down the road lets see if MS relased anything in consumer devices for mobile or AR....if DR CLOUDS ALOT is still running the show im putting good money on NO!!  who cares what device hes using rodney...I have and use a 950xl.   does not mean it's good!
  • I envision a 700 to 800 dollars PC , a portable PC with that lenovo yoga hinge, 8 inch oled display and keyboard portion replaced by E ink display, put some good haptics and pressure sensitivity on that seconday display it could match up a general laptop keyboard. What more double that display as a virtual game controller, e book reader, a low power homehub display. A notebook, a gaming device, cortana speaker, e book reader and lot more.
  • "That's why the Surface Phone has to aggressively not be a "phone," but something different, maybe even something that you'll want to carry around alongside an iPhone or Android device" Nice article but you lost me with the above statement.  I don't want to own an iPhone muchless an Android phone.  I want a phone either build by Microsoft or an OEM that uses a Microsoft OS.  Maybe when I was younger I'd would have like to see an xBox device that played games and be used as a phone.  But I just don't have time to play too many games these days.  Heck just give me a great looking phone.  Is that too much to ask for from Microsoft?
  • Precisely my point.  I want to, by default, carry ONE device that can function as I need.  IF I need something bigger, possibly more powerful, that's why I can easily bring along my SP3.
  • You can do that now. There are hundreds of Android and iPhones to choose from. Microsoft even sells the best one available today. They made the decision easy.
  • Yawn
  • I already have that device whodaboss...its called my dell 2 in1.  
  • @Steve Adams I love my SP3, but I don't want to use that as a phone.  LOL!  Now if Microsoft wants to make a 4.5 - 5.5 inch Surface Phone then I'm there!  Not something I have to tether with me with an iPhone or Android phone.  Then why bother.
  • @whodaboss...sorry I misunderstood what you tried to say...I thought you were saying you were ok with a deivce that had to tether with iphone/android.   my appologies!  And a big hell no on the sp3 as a phone...its bad enough holding up the nexus 6, 1520 etc to your ear...looking like you are talking into a hard cover novel!
  • @Steve no problem.  I really don't know who in their right mind would want a Microsoft device only to have it tethered to an iPhone or Android device.  That's not only taking a step backwards that would be 100% capitulation by Microsoft.
  • I can agree....I see a future where windows computers will work togther with android,  and a lesser extent iphone ....They are done with mobile.  
  • Mr Jez, the problem now is a lot of people don't trust Microsoft's moves in mobile
  • Yep, which is the main reason I think this is all bs. Microsoft surely knows nobody will trust them if they try and give mobile another try, which makes me think they have no intentions of trying tbh. Frankly, if I was a dev, I wouldn't trust them with WMR either. Microsoft gives up, Apple doesn't.
  • They'll wait for Google to be broken apart by EU. Start theri own app store for Android. Then they'll buy Xiaomi which has a special deal about IP with MS. And is invested in phones, tablets, Smart home apliences, IoT,...
  • Just like they broke Microsoft apart?
  • So are you saying xiaomi has a "deal" with MS?   if so,  Just bring the MiMIX to the table with windows mobile on well as a few other of their devices,  and start pushing it...dammit MS!
  • 100% WRONG.  As soon as you said "something that you'll want to carry along side" a phone.  NO NO NO!  We don't want, nor do we need, ANOTHER device to lug around.  I already bring my SP3 most places with me.  It's MUCH more useful as a form factor than any size phone when I need something more like a PC.  My Lumia is perfect as a smartphone and can do most of the PC-type work in a pinch if I don't have my SP3 handy.  WHATEVER new piece of hardware they come up with, if it's LIKE a phone, but can't replace the need for an iPhone or Android phone, then it will fail.  It's a device in search of a niche. I am convinced at this point that Microsoft's mobile strategy is simply to grow their apps and services on Android and iPhone and to h.e.l.l. with the rest of us.
  • I'm not sure I fully understood your comment, could you use more caps lock?
  • I have zero faith till the cloud lizard is sh*t-canned.
  • Marketing is only effective if you have a great product that is easily marketed. Just the app gap means any mobile product Microsoft releases will be inferior to the competition. The Windows name will make marketing tough too. Who wants blue screens and viruses on their mobile device? (I know this isn't reality, but people have been taught over decades that Windows has viruses and blue screens) There is nothing Microsoft can do now except develop a technology as revolutionary as the iPhone in 2007. Any "me too" product will fail.
  • (I know this isn't reality, but people have been taught over decades that Windows has viruses and blue screens)
    Actually this is exactly the reality.
  • And this is what I've saying since the thought of a hand held PC as a phone.  PCs get viruses!  I don't care who comes along and say different.  The "regular" Joe out there knows or think PCs are infection virus magnets.  Who wants to have a device that they have to constantly virus scan?  Or worry about getting ransom ware on their phones?  Just hire Nokia back and put them to work on an Xbox Phone!  :)
  • Android has that problem also now.
  • Does it? There is certainly the potential for that to happen to Android, but right now that isn't common perception. You have to try to get malware, usually by sideloading it. It is fairly secure for the same reason W10S is secure. A random email or website isn't going to destroy your device.
  • Hmm i wouldn't be so sure. I've seen malware on android devices serving up constant ads/porn websites and the like. Had to factory reset in the end. How it got on there I'm not sure but google have issues with dodgy apps in the store that are not checked. I don't think the user knows how to sideload. Whether its possible to get infected by visiting dodgy websites in the manner that has plagued windows users i don't know.
  • I saw that same thing a few years ago. There are some dodgy apps in the store but you have to go out and actively install them. It you do that, you probably aren't going to blame anyone but yourself. It isn't like Windows where going to a website or opening an email will do it. The potential is certainly there, especially with all the old Android phones in the wild, but right now it isn't a big issue.
  • Yawn. I'm exhausted reading your copy/paste
  • Take your own advice there dose....quit copy and pasting ....YAWN.  fanpanzies
  • The article is talking about a potential future product.. What are you asking? Your question should be answered by using common sense. Go back, and read the article.
  • You are right.  starbucks market the unicorn successfully...Microsoft can do the same.   buy a unicorn and maybe we will make one!
  • All this can't be done until core of Microsoft focuses on general customer! Custmore focused advertisement, custmore focused deals and everything else!     But Microsoft will and always remain an enterprise focused!  Though your strategy of bringing steam and mixed reality is the best they can do to intice any custmore or devs! Plus they sholud also sell the surface device as they sell Xbox console. No profit margin on device sell will make a premium device affordable, public will like it and devs will be the one how will make profit on selling games and software;") 
  • Focusing on customers means focusing on product. For at least the last decade Microsoft's products have been mediocre at best. They were really complacent in the aughts. They have done better the past couple years, but it is a bit late now. They will really need to massively increase the quality of their consumer products if they want to keep customers around.
  • Very, very few people will care one way or the other.
  • Why?
  • Because the vast majority of people are happy with their iOS or Android devices, they have no incentive to switch to an entirely different platform. I know you're somewhat disconnected from reality, but most people couldn't care less about Microsoft & their mobile plans.
  • bub78 is 100% right. The iPhone was initially created, because people were unhappy and forced to use ****** tech at the time. Then it brought that ease to people. Now this is not the case. Everyone is happy with their devices and have no reason to switch other than curiousity of "hmm whats that?", that is not a compelling reason at all for something to be as groundbreaking as iPhone, gamechanger and to sell well
  • Lookup the word "niche" repeated over and over in the article.
  • Look up the wotds "who cares?" while you're at it.
  • Ummmm, look up the word "Wotds", and if you find it, I will give you $50..... While you're at it😆
  • Look up the word will se a picture of windows 10 mobile devices.  It's over Johnny!
  • Snapchat's lame face filters... 😄😄😄😄😄😄
  • I have many many apps on my phone that I use daily...and snapchat is not one of them...another play fangirl oppppppssss FAN(Genderless) playbook,  bring up snapchat and pokemon GO when someone mentions lack of apps on the windows mobile platform....point proven once again rodney!
  • The other famous fangenderless play from their ever repetitive playbook regarding how windows 10 moible is still alive is when people mention apps...and they go,  "never used it so its meaningless" .....If you never use apps,  then why own a smartphone (windows 10 mobile is not very smart)....but seriously save a bunch of money and buy a motorola startac.  Apps are essential to being mobile.  FULL WINDOWS will do NOTHING for mobile.   NOTHING.  
  • I don't know how can they achieve all these things with a new device after so many years. The market is trying to achieve something new with each iteration of phones. If MS was trying to launch a bezel-less thing in 2018, then it'll be old. If MS was trying to do AR, it'll be history. Same with foldable device. Others are leaping ahead, and MS is standing on the starting line, planning of a jump to beat all. They can't. Simple. Also, I personally think they're having hard time with the new OS. Hopefully they're not making a half-baked OS (again), or they'll plan of something else (again), for 2022. And how MS has abandoned developers for UWP, and slowed down the development of their apps, I don't know what the hell are they thinking.
  • All the rumours point to everything I was dreading. Too big. A glorified computer in my pocket. Something to carry ALONG with my iPhone (which I don't have)!! Are you sh***ing me?! I was looking for a phone with internet and Instagram and a bus app and a great camera. Not a lot. But not an arsing computer either. I hate Android and I hate iPhone. I like the little squares of the Windows Phone UI. I've been with them since 7.8. I'll give them another year. But if they come up with some sodding computer for me to do all my non-existent typing on, I'm gone. Not that I think they care at this stage, the arrogant f*cks!
  • Unfortunately that dream is long over. Maaaaaybe if they can bring out what this article describes, they can later have a chance in coming back to the mobile phone market. But knowing Microsoft that's a very, very long shot. Even the Surface device described here is a long shot.
  • When first Zune player came on the market I sad I wish this was a phone!
  • I agree, Zune HD was incredible hardware design. Internal politics and lack foresight on the top level blocked the obvious next step - Zune Phone!
  • Sadly none of this excites me. That just means this device will probably not be for me. And if any of these new use cases take off, trust that Apple and Google will be hot to follow with their massive mobile user base.
  • Or by the time Microsoft will release this device, Apple and Google will have already working models with all apps you could imagine...
  • Yep, forgot to mention that Apple and Google will already have the mobile app developers too.
  • "Not being in mobile, even in a small way, will cost Microsoft and its OEM partners the future of computing, and I'd hate to think Redmond is arrogant and ignorant enough to think that it can be a platform holder in this space without having a device you carry around with you everywhere. That's not a laptop and it's not a headset. Having those features native to the OS is always going to be more powerful than putting them on the iOS and Android app stores." This is one of the most honost paragraphs I've read in a long time. Well said! If Microsoft abandons the mobile/phone space they will force themselves to become irrelevent.
  • Cheers, hopefully Microsoft is aware of this stuff
  • Better Surface Phone article than most recent ones but these all fail to recognize one area... Microsoft has zero "quality solutions" for mobile/tablet that isn't far worse on mobile/tablet than PC . Sure office on Phone (ios/android)  is great but far worse than desktop. And the table experience is probably worse than phone. Substite just about any Microsoft experience and the tablet/phablet experience is medoicre. Even Win32 apps on tablet the Windows (now mobile) keyboard doesn't automatically popup and "just work". So many little issues that need to be corrected, it seems Microsoft has somewhat learned this but gaming on a surface phone really won't have much demand given the price.   Simply putting their win10 apps like photos on iOS and Android to allow onedrive cloud photo fixes & AI to "just work" would be much better than jerking around with a surface phone noone wants or needs. Or having the WP dialer app sync'd as well to start owning the mobile experience with a microsoft login.
  • I'd love to have a keyboard again!
  • Got my BB Keyone yesterday, MS has a real opportunity if they bring their A game to grab market share with a device AND software with the features people want.  This could also be their last chance saloon as people are fed up with their BS.
  • Great article. Gaming and Mixed Reality will make or break Windows mobile / surface phone etc. I can't understand why Ms hasn't already done this by mow but they surely need to get gaming on the go and xbox integration for this to even have a chance of being successful.
  • And how are people going to buy this? In the US all significant volumes of phones and mobile devices that feature cellular connectivity are introduced and sold to the general public through the carriers. I think it's been proven that the people that work in those do not consider any mobile or consumer product from MS worth their consideration. And that's where it all ends. The idea that MS can will their way back in has no basis in the reality of what the MS brand means to normal consumers, and especially the carrier networks and their retail channels. And when it comes to win32 apps, there aren't more than 2 or 3 most people care about. And the functions of those are easily replaced by apps. And the App Gap isn't really about developers, but about what value the platform has to the services that are looking for users. In that value proposition MS has lost. Really I think the market has shown the truth - there's only room for two main consumer platforms when it comes to every day computing, and unfortunately MS is now not one of them. And Nadella knows this. Hence the moves they have made to become a back end server platform for those services.
  • My Windows Phone is already a phone I carry alongside an iPhone (+:
  • why bother...having two phones in your pocket?  don't understand.  
  • Another thing to do, even if it's from the people writing the articles, is to not call it Surface Phone at all. Call it Surface Mobile or something, otherwise people will still think of it as a phone and treat it the same way they did the other MS phones.
    As for the landscape mode you talked about, even android doesn't use it on the smartphones
  • This issue is bigger than semantics. Microsoft needs more than a better name at this point.
  • Remember Microsoft Origami from more than 10 years ago ...that's a geat name for a foldable tablet...but they'll stick with Surface branding I think... 
  • Thats what it is.   a phone.   NOTHING  MORE!
  • In many parts of the world ...people call a phone - "mobile"...short for mobile phone I guess :) 
  • How many more years of surface phone speculation are there left? I like your writing Jez, but I don't think they'll be releasing a device anytime soon.
  • You may be right.
  • Nothing is certain till MS official announcement...
  • I don't think that's how that works...
  • Yes,"surface phone" most likely never...but "surface mobile" most likely as soon as Windows on ARM is ready... surface mobile - foldable tablet that you can carry around in your pocket...of course with cellular connectivity  
  • Sounds like cool tech but that is all it is. I've asked Jason Ward to comment on this and now I'll ask you Jez, what is the business case for this new category of device? AR may take off but look at 3D TV.  Kind of the forefront of AR-ish stuff and that hasn't gone anywhere.  Are there 10s of millions or more folks who are clamoring for an AR device?  Is AR the selling point of this device that will make people give up their phones and carry this new mytical unicorn device? Lots of chatter of how AR's real appeal is with the Enterprise.  Much or most of the Enterprise uses a BYOD policy.  Is the Enterprise ready to take on phone & data contracts with the carriers?  Is this something that folks in the IT world are clamoring to gain control over? Look, this new device may be great but if it isn't magical I really don't think it has a chance.  People are carrying around either just a phone or a phone and a laptop/2-in-1 and doing fine.  The consumer will NEVER go for an additional device.  The Enterprise may not want to absorb the cost of buying another device and then supporting the infrastructure that brings with it. Very cool tech!  No arguement there but someone at WC please write an article on what will make the consumer (no way this happens if the Massively Screwed-up dys-Functional Team is the leader here) or Enterprise change their way and go for this new device.
  • Like I noted, having Win32 apps (possibly, via ARM), and full-sized keyboards through folding configurations would make this more productive than any phone, kinda like iPad Pro I guess. If it works, that is. Total speculation on my part.
  • I like your candid speculation, unlike another writer here who continues to write 'war and peace sized novels' stating what he sees as fact. Truth is, no one knows what's going to happen with MS in the mobile space, not even them I would suggest. Your writing is a refreshing change.
  • e
  • When I saw the headline I felt sure this was going to be another Jason Ward article!
  • Perhaps they've been the same person the entire time!
  • Nah, this one wasn't bubbly like Jason's. It tries to take an objective look and recognizes it is just specuating on something Microsoft wpild have to do not is probably doing. You know, this is not something ridiculous like Microsoft is killing WM to open the way for Surface Phone!
  • Haha, yes, me too!
  • so basically piggy back on the success of Surface and Xbox.  Genius.  Lets do this
  • Mr. Corden you just pulled a Mr. Ward. I couldn't leave you out of the mix or Jason would take it personally. Great article as are his. Just too much speculation and not enough facts when we're all hurting for more..
  • Hey Purian stop picking on me I'm sensitive!😄J/K...I've been an elementart school teacher, I'm a minister and I write for one of the most passionate communities on the internet....Thick Skin is Required! Lol 😃
  • Hey Jason, watch out! seems like you got Corden competition!
  • Jason... We'll all just have to wait to see what the future holds..
    There's two points of view about a "Surface Phone". 1 reasonable, and 1 childish.
    The pathetic haters say they know for sure a "Surface Phone" ISN'T coming.
    All the adult minded people here agree that
    1: one might be in the works, and debute.
    2: one might be in the works, and get canceled, or may already be canceled.
    3: A "Surface Phone" MAY have never been in the works, and is not coming.
    4: None of us know for sure, it's all just speculation, at this point, and we all will have to just sit back, and wait.
    ..... I personally agree with the later 4 "facts"...... This site has become a place where lonely trolls seek to find emotional solitude. I hope that a device is coming to marketing because that will definitely shut some of the ignorant goofy @$$ kids around here up. Unfortunately, only some, but progress is progress.🤓🤓🤓🤓
  • A Surface Phone won't shut anyone up. It will do the opposite. Either it will be great and people will talk more about it or it will suck and people will talk more about it.
  • SO if it it does not come out, will YOU shut up about it Rodney?
  • If there were more facts available then they would write about it. These type of articles are supposed to be opinions and speculation, but there's nothing inherently wrong or bad about that.
  • The reason haters reply negatively about WP is because they have fear that a Surface Device is coming.... They know that full Windows, on a pocketable device, makes iDroid look like toys, and their childhood disables them to deal with that in a mature manor..... It's really quiet pathetic.
  • The reason haters reply about WP articles is they are sick of seeing Microsoft release terrible, pointless products. We want to see them innovative with something that isn't just a wet dream from 2006. Full Windows on a phone is pointless. Why deal with an inferior phone experience just so you can carry around a mediocre desktop experience? You really think people will buy into that? They already tried it with Continuum and the Elite X3. It was a flop.
  • Yawn
  • *sigh*
  • Disagreeing with your ridiculous comments doesn't make someone hateful or a troll. It is possible to believe that Microsoft won't be releasing the mythical surface phone. I don't understand how one's opinion on a company's plans consists of trolling, but whatever. Your rantings seem to keep you entertained. Basically Microsoft lost a format war, just like betamax, laserdisc, HD DVD, etc. Certainly possible that something will eventually come along to disrupt the current status quo, is it a folding windows PC? I'd say probably not, that doesn't seem like a compelling enough advance against the hardware that's already out there.
  • Albeit very useful toys
  • ha ha ha...rodney funniest comment I read all day....I "FEAR" a surface phone?  you got to be kidding me....That is the most pathetic comment i think I have seen here....I dont "FEAR" anything.  if it comes,  and its aweomse,  and has support I will buy one...if not I wont....I am not OH NOES,  a microsoft phone was just released and it might be better than my iphone.  YOU ARE PATHETIC rodney....ha ha ha....FANBOY!  opppppppssssss   FAN(genderless)...would not want to get a bunch of uncolored panties in a bunch here...******* childish 
  • See, Jason Ward, this is how you write adequate inspirational article/essay.
  • Now, if only someone would show you how to write an adequate inspirational article/comment.
  • I think this article hits on a lot of great points. The kicker is pretty much in including all of them. Take the Lumia 1020. It had an awesome camera. But that's all it had. Everyone I talked to at the time said it was a cool feature and they wish they had it on their phone. But it wasn't enough to pull them from their phone. Inking, x86 emulation (at least when running Continuum), gaming. All of that needs to come together. Bringing Steam into the equation would be huge because then people would already have a bunch of games for the device. When you bring all of these things together, that's when the game changes. Then it's not just one single killer feature enticing people, it's a whole wave of killer features that can't be done on other devices. All of this is why I haven't given up on Windows mobile yet. What's being proposed here is a massive undertaking. Windows on ARM isn't available on laptops yet. CShell probably still has a ways to go and might change between now and release. Then there's the question of how to handle these two things coming together on a mobile device. On top of that, to build such a device today is probably rather pricey and MS wants to wait for component costs to come down. We'll see what happens though.Until we have an annoucement, it's all speculation.  
  • All those things are available on other devices today. It isn't a game changer. It can't compete against a phone/Surface combo.
  • In order to be not a phone, you shouldn't be able to hold it to you ear. It should have an in-ear Cortana.
  • Or comes with its bluetooth wireless earphones
  • 🤔🤔🤔🤔.. Wait. That's actually a good idea. Hummm. Let me think about that.
  • It will still be a phone..just one thats to big to be mobile...
  • The indian boss need to react quick. People don't care about how hard it's difficult to create something. They just want it and I want this !!!
    I want this "Anywhere Pc, Anytime PC" device, i want that "Surface Phone", I want a powerful OS running on a smartphone/phablet form factor. They are a ton of possibilities, a tons of OEMs that could came with ideas and more. But when I'm seeing "Not before Q3 2018", I'm giving up. Looks like Binocular indian doesn't know he was so late.
  • Well said and framed Jez. I've been saying this for awhile now too albeit my language has been erhm somewhat salty and for good reason. It's because I want a viable third ecosystem that is not Apple or Google. Sailfish unfortunately will take years and does not have the necessary capital as well a entrenched install base suchas the Desktop market. Both the mobile and windows store rely on each other, leveraging desktop has to be ONE aspect not THE aspect that entire pathways are centred around.
      Microsoft may be focusing on what comes next but Smartphones are here to stay and will remain the defacto communication focal point for a good few decades. As battery tech is not there yet to allow a smartwatch to completely replace your smartphone, furthermore a smartphone has enough screen real estate to be not intrusive and be informative at the same time. Plus watching a full movie whilst craning your neck over a small smartwatch screen is well... not going to be a pleasent experience. HMD's also have similiar flaw and an additional one... what happens if it rains and not to mention wearing AR let alone VR HMD's out in the streets is a big no no. Therefore smartphones are the only viable option.
  • Remember when Microsoft had tablet PCs? Remember when Microsoft had Live Tiles on a mobile device? Remember when Microsoft had a 41mp camera phone? Remember when Microsoft had their phone transform into a PC, although limited when docked? Remember when Microsoft brought touch to PCs? I use Microsoft products every day and for me they're what I call a 9 yards company. They go 9 yards on the first play (American Football reference) and then fail to get across the goal every time. How can a company screw up and fail to build on so many good innovations? How can the biggest software company in the world, be so slow at connecting the dots? Whatever Surface Phone is or isn't, one thing is for sure, Microsoft is going to go 9 yards and then fumble the ball.
  • rwalrond, it's called Nadella and his obsession to reinvent the company, to layoff experienced staff and raise the middle finger to everyone. Yeah, it's weird how a behemot like MS could FAIL in such manner and lose all credibility...well, it can happen and it did.
  • I really enjoyed this article Jez!!  It would be amazing if MS built a device around these ideas.  I am hoping they aren't as stupid as they have been acting the past few years. Even Daniel R. mentioned in an article a while back that MS really needs to come out and be completely transparent with fans/developers about the future of Windows on Mobile.  Right now the media is creating this black 'cloud' over MS's mobile future and it is causing people to back out/lose faith.  This is not good for them at all.  I hope they have a good reason for being so quiet the past two years.
  • As long as MS comes with something good I doubt if what the media says today will matter. Windows on Phone has already hit rock bottom, so none of this matters. Doesn't matter what the media says, what trolls say here. None of it matters. Doesn't even matter what us fans say. As far as retrenchment goes, this is most likely exactly where MS wants it's mobile mindshare at.
    While all these iDroid trolls are panicking, and jumping on anything positive anyone has to say about WM, it's all just a stupid waste of time. These articles really are only relevant to those who have hope for a future mobile device running Windows. Anyone else is just lacking a life, and needs to move on. I couldn't see myself on an iDroid site trying to convince iDroid fans that they are wrong about their platform, wasting my time commenting. Lol😂😂😂 That's stupid. If you're not a fan, what do you care? Really, anyone who doesn't care, but cares about not caring about something they claim to not care about, is mental. Either way, they only thing to do is hope MS has a plan A, no B, no, C, no, D, no E, no F, No G. Yes, a plan G.🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄
  • "We" have been Windows fans for 20 years now. Should we just shut up now and take whatever crap Microsoft gives us just because? Maybe we just want to see Microsoft succeed. Maybe we have been speaking against Windows phones because it was obvious from the very beginning that they had no chance at all. It was obvious from the very beginning that they were massively inferior to Android. Us true Windows fans aren't interested in a lockdown, copy cat, Applesque platform. If we wanted that, we would be using Apple platforms. Apple does Apple best. Google out windowed Windows while Microsoft didn't out apple Apple. True Windows fans only had one option.
  • Well, then be mature about it, or move on. Don't take it out on other Windows fans who still have hope. STOP TRYING TO FORCE YOUR OPINIONS ON OTHERS, and leave those alone who don't care to engage with you. What good are you doing? Why do you continue with trying to get my attention when I have already heard your opinion, and I openly tell you that I don't care to hear it anymore. I'm not asking you to not be here, or don't voice your opinion, I'm just asking you to ignore me. I'm never gonna agree with your negativity, and I will never see things the way you do, and I don't hope I ever will. Just stop. Once someone tells you they are done you should be mature enough to leave them alone.... If you can't do that then you've got serious issues here, and even more sadly in your personal life (which has become sadly apparent). I'm the biggest WP fan in history, but even I can say "get a grip, man. It's just a got damn phone".... Geezus, man!
    If you don't agree with me I don't, and will never give two rats ass, so quit trying! Just stop. There's plenty others you can try and convince, and reply to. It's not gonna happen, and I don't care what you think about me, my thoughts, or ****, even your existence.. You're just obsessing over me, and others here, and it's pathetic. What man won't leave another man alone? Prove that you have some brains, and stop. I'm not Microsoft, ok? If you're THAT damn upset, then take it up with them, or someone who gives a damn about what you have to say. But, you're wasting your time with me. Grow up, and leave people alone when they say so... Everyone knows that if you don't you're the one with bigger issues, and it's just sad.... I'm not Microsoft, dude!
    MOVE ON. Following (stalking) someone's post is psychotic, especially after they tell you they aren't interested..... Be done with it. I'm not your friend, I don't care for you at all, and I never will. I don't care if YOU are right, or wrong.. Don't be that guy, that crazy weirdo, who stalks other guys, because that's what you're acting like, and it's sad. I'm sure, in your lifetime, this isn't the first time you've heard this, most likely from females, and it's sad on your part. But, I do not have any sympathy for people like you. Hey, not everyone in life is gonna want to have to have anything to do with you. My advice is for you to seek help from others on how to sort out your emotions. Life is too damn short for the way you act... There, Ok. I've given you more time in this world than you ever could possibly deserve. Be gone. Bye for good. ****. LEAVE ME, AND OTHERS ALONE!
  • rodney what you and other fans have is not hope, is delusion. MS proved so many times the crap company they are these days, while you still dream of a fantasy world where they will actually care about users and devs. Well, wake up, they don't and won't as long as Nutella is in charge. A fan should know how to slap the company right in the balls when needed, not only to eat any crap it feeds them.
  • Even if I was delusional, which I'm not, what in the world would posses you to explain to me my delusion? IOW, how in the world could you care about the mental state of someone you don't even know? "Hey, let me tell you what your problem is".... Like, why should I care what you think about me?. Lol. The way you're whining sounds like peoples "dreams" are ruining your day... Pretty typical troll mentally, and it really just sounds weak on your part.
    No, I'm not sure about the other guys, but I'm not nieve to MS's shortcomings one bit. Hoping MS finally gets it right, and thinking that they are gonna finally get things right, are two different things.. Now, go sit down, and think about what you're saying. 🙄🙄🙄
  • @bleached
    It's just YOU dude. Very few people have any opinion on "locked down" versions of things. Windows Phone was one of the best designs Microsoft ever produced, just like Zune. Microsoft made something not as closed off as Apple's products, not as open as the unmanageable jungle that is Android. They hit the mark design-wise, except being Microsoft they were just too slow with entering the market and updating their product. This "we" you talk about isn't many people. I've seen many fans of Live Tiles here, but I've only seen you constantly objecting to WP. So get that delusion out of your head. You know, your whole argument has a flawed basis and that is "lack of customization" for OEMs. I once told you the OEMs made WPs. The reason they left was lack of apps and therefore lack of customer interest in WP. As I said, so many people are using identical iPhones (with the exception of their background image!) and Apple is the most profitable company in phones. Lack  of customization doesn't account for why WP didn't suceed. Come back when you have an answer for this. It's just your own very very personal preference for customization and so called "choice" that skews all your views towards WP. Recognize this.
  • I get it. Microsoft did everything right. Windows phones were perfect. The design was perfect. They sold none. Apple wasn't trying to convince OEMs to use iOS. They revolutionized the smartphone with the iPhone and had a great device. Their strategy is different, we were their customer directly. They sell direct. Microsoft sells to HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola, etc. Why do you think Balmer said they should have made first party hardware sooner?
  • " I once told you the OEMs made WPs. The reason they left was lack of apps and therefore lack of customer interest in WP." For the thousandth time: OEMs were never the problem. If customers bought WPs, OEMs would have continued making WPs. They left WP gradually, and that's not why they gradually realized they can't customize enough. They realized there is no interest in WP compared to Android because WP can't penetrate the already established ecosystem. How is it that you conveniently forget the fact that for a long time after Android got support for 2 core chips and higher resolution displays, WP lacked behind because Microsoft was always trailing Google in hardware support? Isn't that the bigger issue when it comes to OEMs? They eagerly wanted to use the best and newest hardware to compete with Apple and Microsoft was just too lazy to push hard enough and bring feature parity with Androud? You think Samsung could have succeeded in the spec wars with WP?! They kept giving out more PPIs year after year and WP didn't update fast enough because of Microsoft's mismanagement, and supporting more andvanced CPUs and displays is something Microsoft could make a priority like Google did, but they didn't. As I said, it was Micrsoft's fault, but not where you keep pointing out. Microsoft was just SLOW and didn't really care about mobile. Those stupid idiots. Microsoft should have had 1st party hardware sooner for the same reason they should have made Surface sooner if they didn't have a monopoly with Windows. On Windows, OEMs were already invested and yet Microsoft decided to show them how it's done. Has nothing to do with customization you keep repeating. And I never said Microsoft did everything right. I said the design was right, the timing and support were catastrophic. If they had done everything right they would have had a big chunk of the market by now. The point is, the cause of their failure isn't what I think is your personal taste in a phone: Android level customization.
  • When i had my 1020,  running denim,  it was the BEST mobile experience I have had...EVER.   The only thing lacking was apps!  If they pushed to get the first party apps that iphone or andorid has,  it woul be still on my desk,  in my pocket with me every day.  When they decided to scrap bringing windows 10 to the 1020,  was the day I decided to scrap windows 10 mobile.  There was no good reason to do this since,  the device was just as fast with 10 as it was with 8 ( my wife had 8 and I had 10 and compared them side by side).  This showed me lack of interest in supporting their users,  after stating ALL DENIM devices would get offical 10m upgrades.  I got my iphone 6s,  while not as awesome as my 1020 was as a device,  the entire system as a whole is one hundred times better than windows 8 or 10 on my 1020....Why?  Because APPS!  The 1020 hardware was and still is the best hardware I have ever held.  Too bad nadella Dropped the ball off the CN Tower when it comes to mobile.  
  • So, AgentTheGreat, if bleached is the "only one" hating stuff at Microshit, tell me, how come WP/Winmo got the outstanding 0.1% (or was it 0.3%??) marketshare? Because the "others" cared? Live tiles or not, the marketshare got where it is and that tells one thing: FAILURE!
  • You don't want Microsoft to succeed. You've been on record saying that you literally can't/won't be pleased with anything they do. In remember suggesting a hypotherical phone that could be controlled with your mind and cured cancer while you use it. You said they either be enough. You're just on Mission: Bleached Bashing
  • Holy ****....your dumb.   I USE MICROSOFT on My computers.  I want them to succeed idiot.  I have been ON RECORD MANY TIMES stating how much I LOVE 10 on my computers.  I WANT UWP apps for EVERY APP I have on my iphone.....HOWEVER,  unlike the fangirls ooooppppppsssss ( fangenderless) crybabies here...I am planted in REALITY.  I see that MS has bailed on mobile and are now supporting android and ios.  If you cannot see that your even more dumb than I originally thought.   Or,  blinded by fanboyism.
  • Wow... Did Jez and Jason Ward do a switcheroo on us?
  • This article was inspired by my trip to IFA 2017, where Microsoft was pushing the whole Mixed Reality thing with OEMs. Imagine if all the OEMs line-up and announce a range of compelling cellular pocket PCs running W10 ARM some day, instead of headsets.
  • I still use a Windows smartphone because I like them more than an Iphone or Android smart phone. recently  MS CEO Nadella has said they will make a phone that does not look like anything out there now. OK Microsoft if that is true Please bring it out NOW because if you bring it out  TOO late! no one will care it exists. Microsoft will catch hell getting developers to make Apps for the Surface smart phone so from the jump street it must be able to run all the UWP, Centennial and regular apps the Windows 10 PC store or it will almost useless device when it somes to the market place. I will keep using my Windows smart phhone till it comes  to the Market Place I hope that it's worth my weight
  • Windows Phone is still the best Mobile OS there is... The trolls go crazy when people talk about what they want, and like. 😂😂😂... Their lives must really suck that bad.. Can't wait for a Surface Phone.
  • Don't hold your breath there will be waiting a long time!
  • Surface Phone will be released when Half Life 3 is released.
  • Surface phone is actually a playable character in HL3
  • HL3 will actually be playable on Surface phone
  • I'll be happy with a touch pro 3(win10 of course), next year's specs, actual support, and advertising then I wont ask for anything else for awhile
  • My windows 7.8 phone already has a keyboard. I don't need any changes from them, because it still works.
  • 😂😂😂😂😂... It still works?
  • The issue is still the apps. Forget the number of apps and just look at the experience. I recenlty picked up a cheap Samsung tablet as I needed access to an app that wasn't available for WP (of course). Since then I've started to compare apps I use on WP to the android version. In every single case the android app was better. Maybe the WP app hadn't been updated in a year or two but the android just this month. Maybe the android app had additional features or features that actually worked.   I compared banking apps that I use such as local credit unionm BoA, etc. Some football related apps such as Seahawks and NFL Mobile, and Amazon and Ebay.   After doing this it makes me think bout ditching WP for an android phone. If the android UX/UI was better I would do it in a heart beat.
  • Windows Desktop doesn't have apps... Windows is still the most used OS in enterprise... Remember, MS hasn't officially said a thing yet. MS never said a Surface Mobile device was aimed at Snapchaters; they didn't say anything... I would definitely be getting one of these devices because I'm buying it for productivity, and creativity.. not every mobile app in the world. I am not alone in that need. There is a market, but MS must actually market this device heavily to the correct customer. Not gonna be 19 year old Jill who's looking to keep up with her college buddies.... It's just not, at least not for years after it was released, and only if it caught on with that crowd. But, it is possible, because that's exactly what happened to BB, and history has a history of repeating itself in mysterious ways.. So, never allow yourself to have a closed mind like these trolls. Anything is possible.
  • There obviously isn't a market for it or the 950s would have sold like hotcakes..and windows 10 mobile will be at better than 0.1 percent of market share....OPEN YOUR FANBOY oooopppppssss I mean FAN (GENDERLESS) eyes.
  • Negative Nellie always appears. Go haunt the Crapple pages.
  • Nah,  I enjoy my windows 10 computer so I like seeing whats up in windows land...even more so with the dilusion that winmo fangenderless has here.  Oh  and Jim,  was my comment not correct?  where is the MASSIVE and GROWING market share of windows mobile???????   Right.....thought so.   I am not NEGATIVE....I AM A REALIST!
  • The only thing a Surface Phone needs is to run either Windows 10 or 10S and run it with flagship specs. I would love nothing more than to carry a surface phone around that I could plug into any monitor with a mini display port and Bluetooth keyboard /mouse for a full blown desktop experience. Lugging around my laptop with wifi, trying to transfer files from one device to another, and dealing with picking away at a mini keyboard or touch screen is getting old. Sure my smartphone is mostly always convenient in a pinch, but getting real work done and playing real games requires a solid Windows machine.
    The Surface phone should include a display port adapter, two USB type C ports, along with all the usual bells and whistles of a flagship at the cost of a midrange smartphone. It should not run windows mobile, not mobile apps, or a mobile OS.
    If I need an app Windows doesn't have, I can get an android emulator.
  • Yes. This is exactly what fans are "dreaming" about.. It would be so nice if it actually came to fruition.
  • So a bluetooth keyboard, a bluetooth mouse, a giant desktop monitor, probably a dock, a bunch of cables...that makes you be productive on a bus just as a laptop does? Recognize the parts you are omitting when comparing to a laptop.
  • So Dustinman,  you want a desktop computer. 
  • Microsoft must be in mobile -> I totally agree Even if I understand that they can benefit from a comeback with a new category of devices, I think they should have never left, even if they didn't meet the expected market share. Market share wasn't that bad in many countries, and kept mobile UWP apps alive, making that small phone market share into a small additional market share in VR and AI. Even with phones (without big inovations) released every year, a new category of device like the one you're expecting would be inovative and have the same chance to reach its public... maybe even more thanks to the apps that would be available immediately.
  • Exactly. Well said. I agree with all three of your points. Thanks.
  • There's two devices that I think Microsoft could make that might be successful.  1. A smartphone with pen/stylus support. Yes, I'm aware that Microsoft has been beaten to the mobile space by Apple and Google. However, been those two and the multitude of phones that come with iOS and Android, there is only one that has official stylus support - the Note. Sales of the Note 8 are reportedly the highest for any Note, so clearly there is a niche market for a larger phone with stylus support. I think a phablet with inking support could be a good way to get back into the market. The inclusion of Windows Hello would be great, too. (yes, I also realise that similar devices have been alluded to in MS materials. Kinda staggering that they canned them) 2. This is not strictly mobile, and I don't know if it even possible. A Surface Book with an ARM processor in the screen part, and Intel/AMD CPU and nVidia/AMD GPU in the base. When the screen is attached to the base, the more powerful CPU/GPU combination is used, so that users have a powerful laptop. When they want a tablet with great battery life, they simply disconnect the screen from the base and off they go. The ARM processor would provide LTE connectivity to both. The transition from laptop to tablet mode should be seamless. Theoretically, the ARM processor should allow a thinner and lighter screen portion to be built, with longer battery life.  Essentially, it would be a machine that would provide the best of both a tablet and laptop.
  • Given Microsoft's big push in to ios and Android support, the emphasis on cloud, and the potential power of Windows on ARM, the one thing they need to do is (re) implement the virtual Android layer. Windows is no longer the center of Microsoft, there's no reason not to do this and every reason to.
  • I thought they ran into some patent or copyright issues or something with that & that's why it was pulled. This was back on early builds of W10M that could sideload Android apps, right?
  • I think what he's saying is USE ANDROID,  and make it look and act like windows 10 mobile.  Not install a launcher,  but you buy it from MS like that.  That way you get the feel of WM,  but with the app, wearable and accessory catalog of android.  WIN WIN.  You will only loose a few die hard ****** that would "never" use android....but you would gain ALOT of users to compensate for the few whiners!
  • The only way windows phone will make it.  Send everyone in the US a free phone. To use the phone, you have to email at least 3 different app makers per day  to unlock the phone for 20 hours. The email is a petition for a Windows phone app. out of 325 million people in the U.S. 200 million will throw the phone in the garbage. So out of the 125 million left, each doing 3 emails per day, Maybe, just Maybe, app makers would make apps for windows.  until something crazy happens, like that totally ridiculous scenario above^^^, window phone will never have apps, and windows phone will NEVER make it until it HAS apps.  Another Totally ridiculous scenario would be for MS to offer a partnership with Apple, maybe offer Apple FREE full office suite on ALL Macs, iPads, and iPhones. in exchange, let MS phones use iOS app store. MS just shuts down their app store completely. Windows would have to ship with iTunes as part of the native OS. and MS would be required to also add Apple Music app on the WP OS.  They could also look for some way to make a deal with google/Android, but I am not sure MS has anything to offer them.  Or MS could just make a windows phone skin/launcher on top of Android OS (like touch wiz on a samsung phone) it would really just be an android phone skinned to look like Windows phone. but it would have all android apps at least.  no apps. no phone. end of story 
  • all of us here know that WP OS is the best phone OS ever made. but the downfall of WP has Always been the App gap. and the fact that MS used to mix all those apps from china/japan etc right in with the US apps.  I don't want to look at apps that aren't in english... neither did anyone else.  WP apps were always complete garbage when compared to iOS / Android apps and MS didn't care. 
  • I think Microsoft blew it when they didn't push forward during the period  when Windows  Phone base was growing. I mean Windows Phone didn't need to be as profitable as iOS or Droid but sometime being a 3rd place alternative is profitable too. Look at the gaming console market there is Nintendo, Playstation, and Xbox.  I think with the release of the phone based AR apps, Microsoft's phone ambitions are finished. 
  • exactly.  If they did'nt shitcan everything I would still be using it.   
  • Apps were important 10 years ago, but meaningless today - almost all apps are just install wrappers fro web applications, anyway.  With a killer web apps environment (and toos to build non-trivial apps easily and quickly, which is right up MS' alley), who needs apps?
  • Sorry DubDbulin,  apps on WINDOWS MOBILE are just web wrappers...try IOS or Android apps and they are fully developed app.  So...please...try again!
  • @DubDublin You are totally unaware of anything mobile related. Or simply a fanboy. If you think almost all apps on IOS and Android are web wrappers like those on win crap 10, then take another look, maybe actually use an iphone or an android for some time. With fans like you no wonder Microshit is where it is.
  • Some good points in the article, however I personally don't agree you have to be in the mobile device business to be successful in mobile. I don't hear people writing that Facebook needs to get into the HW business to secure future success. I love Windows, and still use my 950xl everyday, but it's apps that make the mobile experience. Making Microsoft apps great on iOS and Android helps drive consumers to Windows on PCs and Xbox for gaming.
  • Why JEZ bro u are spending ur time for this means for W10M. You also know that Microsoft is not so much of serious about that. They are just playing with the die hard fans and those customers who are forced to use the devices.
    Microsoft tell in past "cloud first, mobile first" where it is???
    Due to Mr. Panas the whole mobile line up goes worst in this Nadella sir give him a full support. Dona Sarkar is fail in developing windows insider program for mobile last many months still is on feature 2. Giant company like this fail in developing mobile then how can we except from others. Due to this ecosystem is literally fail. I am teacher in grade 11th & 12th, majority of my students MAC & Iphone, this are there first priority.
    If you dnt provide the full ecosystem then who cares about such useless company. Customers goes there where they get the benefits, they will dnt wait for ur such ARM devices or C shell OS which will be release in 2020 or never be. In my childhood i heard every where the name of Microsoft, but now its going reverse.What was the condition of Apple in past on that path right now Microsoft is going on. Due to there some brainless employees. They can spend time for developing apps & cortana for ANDROID & IOS. But they cant do for W10M. Future of microsoft is whatever but i am worry about present. As we had invested money in such a costly devices and had keep faith more than 2 years then also we cant get a desire result then it HURTS. 2017 reached its last quater and still no any single news regarding W10M hardware or any solid update for next year.
  • I think once Apple and Google roll out their phone based AR apps then any Microsoft phone iteration is DOA. No matter what Microsoft's mythical Surface phone can do, if it doesn't have the AR apps let alone apps in general then you won't even be able to give them away. Once again, Microsoft's head was in the cloud and not supporting the Windows Phone when it was growing is coming back to bite them in the butt. The release of the Apple and Google AR phone apps is going to drive a stake right through any hopes of a Windows Phone/Surface Phone comeback. 
  • Great points. Some additions: 1. No Carrier calling w/ Skype. Dump AT&T, Verizon, CT, Vodaphone. Wifi calling with a roaming/white-space/satelite backup. 2. 4G in a 6-inch micro-PC. I want to run Photoshop and Visual Studio on a phone, and call, and video conference, and surf the the same time. I can on my PC, my tablet, why not my phone? 3. Office/Home phone "base" with cell detachment. Base is speakerphone, shows voicemail (read and re-record message.) Landlines still have a few advantages that cell phones can't address...anti-mobility still is a need.
  • Whatever MS brings up next on Mobile, it should also stress on the advertising through TV, web etc. The lack of advertising also adds to reducing the chance for success.
  • Exactly. In countries where some partners did a lot of advertising, they got a market share of 20% (Italy, Romania), where some partners did markeing 10% (Germany, France ...).
  • "Mobile" these days does not mean a 'phone' for devices smaller than most, but not all, tablets, note books and PCs.  I returned to Windows Mobile, from Android, earlier this year.  My Lumia 950XL is more and more my, it is used as a phone for no more than about 5% of the time.  Heavy computing is still via my Surface Book or Pro 3 The mystical Microsoft device should be called the Surface Courier or similar, anything but Surface Phone.
  • As much as I enjoyed the article I can't see Microsoft getting any space in the mobile market share except through their enterprise customers. Problem is, aside for Xbox, Microsoft is currently very far from the mindshare of consumers. Even if you take consumers who have windows machines, they are more attached to mobile and Internet based services, such as Netflix, Spotify, Apple Music, Gmail, Dropbox, Amazon Prime Video, etc, than Microsoft's. Considering the number of Xbox live users pales compared to the competition, Microsoft best bet have to come outside the consumer market.
  • Why did I read this?
  • Microsoft has proven that they are only committed to making half assed late attempts at products and services and then abruptly abandoning them. The xbox and surface are the only products they stuck with and were not initially very succesful. Whats the moral of the story? Make a good product from the get go and stick it out until its succesful. Windows 10 mobile could have been great but they killed it with outdated hardware and a passive attitude. My guess is that whatever microsoft releases will be too late and too little. Of course i still hold out some hope but ive been burned too many times to really believe any different.
  • I disagree.  Microsoft plays a waiting game.  While the original Xbox was a "meh", it sold well, and when they made the 360 they got kudos and sold very well, and same story for One.  Microsoft were looking 10-20 years in the future with Xbox.  This was part of their "Windows Everywhere" strategy, before it even was a strategy.   Microsoft has been developing Windows for over 30 years, and look how far it has come those years.  Sure, it's had a few hits and misses over the years, but 30 years later, it runs on 90% of computers?  What about Microsoft Office?  That's been going around for 20-30 years.  The Surface range of computers have been a success, although it took 3 generations to get it right. Their Surface Studio has been an unexpected hit.  I'm sure similar things were said about Apple and the original iPhone (they were).  Now, 10 years later, the iPhone has been Apple's saviour.  Without the iPhone, Apple would just still be a niche computer manufacturer.  And failure is how you learn to succeed in business.  If you don't fail, you've done something wrong. 
  • I'm confused: Microsoft WANTS us to carry an iphone or an android to compliment their phablet? I get back to the two rivers heading to the same place scenario. Why wouldn't they want us to carry a Windows Phone AND the Windows powered new device? But as cool as it was described here, it won't do it all, and I thought that was the goal....waiting.....
  • If it doesn't have the apps I want, why would I switch to the next Windows Platform?
  • Will be interesting to see MS's next take on mobility. I will follow from the sidelines, and keep my wallet away from them though.
  • simple solution , Make cheap phones, with software support from Microsoft itself. As they gain popularity developers will come back . Also we need full windows on all of these devices. Some may say that's use but that helps in building the hype. Continuum is nonsense, we need native windows support. Also screen sizes should large and pens should be supported as that is the best feature of windows Devices.
  • So, you want larger mobile devices with full Windows, pen support, and decent performance, but you're expecting for it to be cheep?... Sure, easy task. 😂😂😂
  • I would expect both. High-End devices for Top-Managers and Enthusasts, Mid-Range for the mass, and low-end you can give e.g. your parents.
  • nothing will change! Microshit lost confidence from both users and devs
  • With the increasing partnership with Samsung, I think that WIndows mobile can regain a popularity surge if Microsoft can get Samsung to port Windows 10 mobile on Galaxy Note 8 or 9. 
  • Microsoft should bring desktop to the surface phone. This will help people use their phones as a laptop as well getting full Windows 10 experience of mobile + desktop on their surface phones  This will mean many people giving up on android & i phones and switching back to windows