Microsoft execs say Windows 10 Mobile 'is significantly feature complete', hints at Surface Phone

With Windows 10 now beginning its global rollout, what about Windows 10 Mobile? The man in charge of that work, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, stated in an interview that most of the big work for the OS is already done, but that doesn't mean the team is being lazy.

Talking to The Verge, Belfiore says:

"The phone is significantly feature complete, but we'll continue to polish and tweak and iterate the things that still need to work," explains Belfiore. "We'll put features in right up near the end. But in general, the broad feature set is set."

Belfiore also says that Microsoft will have at least one, and "maybe two" premium Windows 10 Mobile smartphones released in 2015. In a separate chat with Microsoft's Windows and Devices head Terry Myerson, he seemed to hint that the company could offer a phone with the Surface branding, which is something that we have also heard could happen as well:

"We are going to focus on a few great devices and the most notable being that premium consumer category," explains Myerson, adding, "The direction we will head is the premium-branded lineup." I push him on whether that's a similar approach to Surface, and he claims "the goal is to have one Microsoft device family that plays this role in the Windows ecosystem."

Source: The Verge

292 Comments
  • Seems... Nice
  • "We've had a couple of, sort of, practice runs with phone and PC," Belfiore says, before pivoting to the presumably brighter future with Windows 10, "We now have all the devices lined up. I don't expect to see the platform change again, in the same way it has before."   This was one of the most interesting things said IMHO. ; ) Of course, nothing new, but reinforces that what we all know: - only when W10M coding is "complete" we will have dat Phone!!!
  • The 10166 build has been working good so far..on my "Daily driver". Yes, a lil lag here and there but that's what's expected off a preview build...now with win 10 on my desktop...im not gonna roll back to win 8.1 lol
  • Its hard to roll back at this point.  8.1 would look so incredibly old by comparison.
  • +1 mate, +1 :D
  • +One M8!
  • OnePlus One...M8
  • Yup, but a preview build is no match for a wp8.1 on a 6 hr drive. Things need to "just" work lol.
  • Did TechFreak1 say this?  Not sure I would even entertain driving for 20 minutes let alone 6 hours when a charger is less than 5 inches away cap't.. No wonder Windows phones can't get traction. People doing all kinds of unreasonable stuff then blaming Microsoft. lol.  Just messing with you Techfreak.
  • I used the recent fast ring build on my 920. Some parts were good. But when I returned to 8.1, I was a happier bunny.
  • 10166 has a few issues.  Almost daily there is something that requires a soft reset.  Usually SMS stops working, either send or receive, or the touch screen stops responding.  But the fact that I still won't roll back speaks volumes to how much better it feels than WP8.1.
  • Well, I won't roll back either but damn, If it weren't for my iPhone working as my main driver-backup, I would have thrown my Lumia 925 in the river charles already! The Start screen going to "..loading.." status for 15mins to hours and unable to use the phone apart from receiving calls is extremely excruciating. I was better off on the previous build IMO!
  • On my 830 it's a massive bug fest, I am afraid. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • What? Feature complete? Bullshit. I don't see any ground breaking features in 10 that sets it apart from Android or the other OS with which it is trying to compete. At least they give us some transparency it aero effects at the action centre. And at other places.
  • Yeah, and still no "swipe right" feature from the start screen that I was hoping for!
  • Just turn your phone upside down.  hehe.
  • That will come with the new hardware my friend.  
  • But it's just about on par with the competition
  • "just about" is not on par.  At this point, it should be on par not "just about" close to.  Aside from the third party app situation, there is no feature from other platforms should be missing here.  That means still playing catch up. 
  • Microsoft doesn't need to add every feature from competing OSes.  There's no reason for the sole reason for Windows Phone to exist is just to constantly be bolting on Android and iOS garbage in a Frankenstein manner.  And there's also features Android and iOS do not have that the other has.  For instance, you can't use a mouse with iOS, you can't use NFC with iOS, and you can't sideload apps on iOS, and all of those things are true of Android and Windows Phone. If I wanted Android or iOS, I would have Android or iOS.
  • Joe clearly stated that features will be added near the end
  • Continuum on the new devices.
  • Much of Windows 10 mobile is catching up to the others and I'm a bit naive with regard to the progress of other mobile O/S's in the past couple years but can you pair a bluetooth mouse/keyboard? Maybe not very usable on the phone today, but sets things up for more "ground breaking" in the future. USB devices - printing from my phone can you do that with the others? Motion data. Press/hold start button to reach the top of the screen with one hand (buddy using 6" Android can't do this and drooled when I showed him the feature). Live tiles? App store shared wth Windows 10. General look/feel/settings shared with Windows 10. But transparency/aero effects in the Action Center you'll consider 'ground breaking'? I don't get it...
  • The iPhone Plush has a one handed mode,and Android supposedly has the capability to do SOME of what you mentioned. However add all that plus new features of W10M (some you mentioned),and I would personally consider it "groundbreaking". Because neither of the competition has all of these features and capabilities. With W10M,you'll have all of them,plus more to come. 6
  • Galaxy note 4. All of that. Usb otg is a god send. Indeed - the note 4 with lollipop is the most like windows mobile 6.5 on an xda IIi. Brilliant. Hopefully when w10 mobile gets feature complete it's like that. Because everything you described it does. Hence why it's so popular as an Enterprise device.
  • Also no "default apps" option. bah. thats BS
  • This is the biggest thing missing from windows phone.
  • I can't believe they are now suddenly saying w10 mobile is almost finished. What? Its still missing so much stuff! Guess I will keep wp 8.1. There is a huge noticeable difference they put in effort between pc and mobile.
  • Here's the thing.  Internally (or the next insider's build) will have a lot more I'm guessing as far as features go.  The internal builds might be nearly feature complete, but we haven't seen those yet.  I would like to know which build they're saying is the "nearly feature complete" one.
  • Nice dream. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Most of what Joe is likely refering to is the visual and base set of code being used. They still need to tweak things (people reporting SMS issues for example), but they were only a few build numbers behind the main Windows 10 release (which if you noticed, had the same quality of experience jump on both with 10166). Windows 10 started to finally be worthy of daily use with the 10158 build, then 10159 was just as good, but 10166 was fantastic overall. Now that they can free more people & resources up to work on Windows Mobile, we should start seeing more frequent builds starting next week I believe.
  • So...your idea of groundbreaking features are transparency and aero?  Seriously?  How about the same app running on phone, tablet, Xbox and desktop?  I guess I missed where iOS and Android have that...
  • You have the latest build?
  • My god, keep the tacky transparencies away. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The build you have is nowhere near what they have on their end.  Just so you know.  
  • Please god let it have CDMA.
  • Why? Isn't Verizon the only one with that tech?  They already said they are parting ways with Verizon as a carrier going forward, I believe.
  • That may mean that they will no longer sell phones through Verizon, but sell unlocked CDMA phones on their website.  At least that's my hope.
  • Verizon has a white list of phones. You cant just make an unlocked CDMA phone and use it on Verizon. You need also need a CDMA key on the phone and the only place you get it is from Verizon.
  • There wasn't anyofficial word of that being a hard fact from Microsoft,it is only an assumption from media sources at this point. o
  • Microsoft needs to be on Verizon if they want Windows phones to succeed.
  • verizon does not like Microsoft plus they are always late to update windows phones
  • And yet it was Verizon that launched the LG Lancet and the Lumia 735 in the past few months. That's in addition to still carrying the only phone you could really consider a Windows flagship at this time, the M8. I keep hearing how much Verizon hates Windows Phone, while Sprint FINALLY just added the Lumia 635 a few months back, T-Mobile only offers the 640 (after discontinuing the M8). With the exception of AT&T (who will pretty much carry anything), and the Icon fiasco aside, Verizon has been more than kind to Windows Phone.
  • Verizon was the first to deliver Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 in the US, and one of the first to deliver Update 2 as well, if not the first.
  • Greetings from China - over here in Asia where the people, markets and money are.  What, may I ask is a Verizon and why would it be important?  Is it like a Google?  We used have one of those but one day they just vanished up their own PR.  Life is much sweeter without things like this to bother you.
  • Sprint does as well here in the US.
  • Sprint never played ball with WP in the first place.  I think they've had the least amount of WP phones out of all four carriers.
  • CDMA?! *chokes with laughter* 
  • CDMA is Satan, so quite surprsing that you are praying to God for it :)  Nobody uses it around the World except Verizon in USA which has bad relationship with Microsoft and the money is better spent on all the GSM netwroks across the Whole World. Microsoft has rightfully terminated their relationship with Verizon.
  • Verizon should switch to the technology everyone else in the world uses. Their weird network is a pain for everyone.
  • And still no default apps, i wanna cry
  • I know right.geez
  • Hope they use x86 processor ;)
  • Just imagine, a Surface phone with an Intel Atom x7 processor, 4GB of RAM. When plugged into a monitor or dock, would turn into a full PC with desktop apps. That would be a true iPhone/Android destroyer. Who wouldn't buy that?
  • well its tempting ... at that point price will play a big role. you don't wann phone to be $1000
  • Would be $599 contract free like the Surface 3 or $199 with a 2 year contract.
  • I would buy that for buku dollars for sure.
  • The millions of people who believe an iPad can replace their laptop and desktop.
  • x7 is for tablets not mobile
  • Most people. That is a nice feature in theory but most people have more powerful PC or laptops that are more convenient to use than docking your phone each time. Not to mention apparently needs a $100 accessory on top of a premium priced phone. Don't get me wrong, it's a great feature but I doubt it will be much of a game changer. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Surface phone would be great. Also a Surface ultrabook.
  • Yeah, but the bummer part is if rumors are true about a surface phone not coming out until Q2 of next year, that means I have to hold onto my Lumia 920 that much longer, and I've already had it since it first came out! I'm ready to upgrade!
  • ...so upgrade. If you always wait until "the best new thing" is out, you'll be waiting forever
  • This ^
  • Yup, by the time it comes out we'll be hearing about some awesome new HTC.
  • that was worth a good laugh....
  • Actually, the L920 is amazing phone. The only WP that was available in the US that could compare is the L1520. But if you were on ATT you couldn't use it because it didn't have the same features (memory, wireless charging) as the L920. So you are stuck with the L920 hoping for an upgraded version of the L920. Even the L930 lacks all the features of the L920. So waiting isn't as bad an option as keeping all the features you have become used to. The L640 has the same specs as the L920, but we want an upgrade...not a repeat.
  • My Lumia 1520 is the 32GB model (limited edition thorugh AT&T... purchased used on Ebay). Wonderful phone.  Wireless charging?  Not a big deal to plug the phone in every other day.
  • Sorry but the L1020 more than conferred with the L920. The camera alone makes it.
  • "Belfiore also says that Microsoft will have at least one, and "maybe two" premium Windows 10 Mobile smartphones released in 2015"
  • Yeah, I was puzzled by that. Does he mean Talkman and Cityman? Are they both considered premium?
  • Yes and the worrying thing is that at least publicly they are not committed to releasing both yet Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • you can upgrade to 640 to enjoy windows 10 ( thats if 920 wont be upgraded to w10 which I stand to be corrected). its an affordable phone with great guts and it wont disapoint you while you wait for the surface phone.
  • I doubt we'll see anything in stores until December 2015.
  • Cityman and Talkman will be for Xmas 2015. Everything else will be 2016. Expect a Surface Phone (Intel) by june. This seems to be the roadmap  
  • Well, at least one of them as per Belfiore. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That's why MS will be seeing their phones direct
  • what build is he talking about?
  • Well, get the preview builds to consistanly update phone correctly and you'll have something. For me there has always been some weird-ness with appps that hang installation in the store or missing glance. Would love a build that didn't act like a hot mess.
  • Now, that W10 is "complete" we should start seeing those builds coming in much more frequently... W10M really does have a ton of features compared to any version of WP.
  • And it's missing a ton of features too, including People app which is gutted. 
  • Don't forget the beauty of what used to be the Photos hub which is now just photos. No integration with Facebook and Twitter. No metro themed navigation. No flair. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • We'll have to wait and see what they do with that one... It does suck quite hard.
  • Oh man, I miss that! Do somebody make a feedback about this? This is needed to comeback.
  • The problem is MS said (at least) two times that the mobile w10 is almost done. As if only thing they will do from now is bug fixing and refinement.
  • They were talking about features, app updating will of course continue. They've already showed a concept of the Photos app having a pivot on Windows Phone.
  • I think the Surface Phone will come next year when Intel finishes Broxton
  • That would be excelent, do you have any news on Broxton prices? I think Cherry Trail could also be great for middle range Windows 10 Mobile  devices. (Price range between $300 and $450). I wish ASUS or Lenovo could start to build Intel based Windows Phone smartphones for Q1 2016 with Intel 64bit CPU and 4GB of RAM for less than $400 in retail price. That would be really good competition for Android midrange (Snapdragon 600).
  • Will have to see when MS decides to support those SoCs, expect the first "Intel inside" devices to use x3
  • Cityman/talkam are the surface phones.
  • They have ARM processors. There are other rumors going around that phones with intel processors are in the works and those would be surface phones. I doubt Cityman/Talkman are going to have the surface name.
  • @Heavens_Angel26, that's my assumption too, but he might be referring to Talkman and Cityman. I hope it's what you said, because with Continuum, that would mean that a phone is a full PC, just plug it into the dock for full screen, mouse, and keyboard control. I also think it could be confusing to attach the Surface branding to something that doesn't run full Windows, now that they've ended Windows RT.
  • @irsyadhhs +1
  • A full PC would require a full desktop-environment. From my experience with 32GB tablets, 64GB of storage is the minimum required (and a phone needs to have the phone environment as well).
  • Oh i think lumia is all about ARM-powered while surface goes with intel.
  • Exactly, just as ASUS has Android phones with Intel CPU + 4GB of RAM doesn't mean Windows 10 Mobile shouldn't.
  • If the Surface Phone has an Intel CPU, then that might possibly mean the phone can run Windows desktop apps while in Continuum Mode, making it a true desktop replacement which would be incredible.
  • All i have to say to the surface phone "You the One"
  • Maybe We just need to wait 5months for windows 10 mobile Lol!
  • That would count as a 2015 release ;)
  • There was a "hint" there but it was very vague. So I'll just keep my fingers crossed. C'mon Surface phone!
  • I dunno. I like the Lumia name and we all know what it stands for. Is it just the name "Surface," the features, or the continuity across the device line that gets you excited? What if all the features that we think would be in a Surface Phone was in a Lumia? Like I said I dunno...maybe a Surface Phone brand would be nice. But then it would have to be more designed like a Surface. If so I don't think that would hold very well in the hand, much like an Icon or 930. Their corners are pretty sharp much like a SP3.
  • Exactly. WC render of 950 already looks worryingly bland and boxy. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Where is the hint to Surface Phone? I don't get it
  • "One device family" or something like that.
    It's basically a mountain out of a mole hill.
  • SurfaceLens, SurfaceBox... :)
  • On my phone, I just dont want to ever see "resuming" again and ill be set. side note- was the code on the shirt in the picture ever cracked?
  • Yeah very quickly if I remember but can't remember what it said lol Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The last one I remember is "Why no Windows 9? Because 7 ate 9".
  • ok thanks!
  • We hear you. Does Microsoft hear you?
  • It's a windows phone feature, I am use to it now.
  • Wow!.. Just can't wait for the builds to start back coming.
  • Same here. Like you said in an earlier post here since windows 10 is now available to the public we should see more mobile builds soon.
  • Yep.
  • So we've to wait for releasing City&Talk-man phones?
    After this Windows 10 mobile would be releasing on other Lumias.
  • Noo.. Where's USB OTG, split screen for phablets?
  • "Significantly feature complete". Doesn't mean it is feature complete.
  • Not sure about this but I believe it is coming along with USB Type-C on 950?
  • Correct.
  • Yeah those features are highly desired features but still no word about those. Based from situation on Windows 10, I have to even hold myself believing to "significantly feature complete" statement. Does anybody do send feedbacks about this?
  • So is there anything particularly compelling about Win 10 on phones at the moment? From what Ive seen, if its practically feature complete it doesnt look more than a few new apps and a more conventional UI, nothing really there that grabs the attention.
  • "We'll put features in right up near the end."
  • And beyond. Wouldn't be surprised to see a significant update by end of the year. Not called 10.1, but still may add some features.
  • I hope that it wont be as bit buggy on release. We don't want unstable mobile OS, its dangerous to get issues.
  • Continuum and other features that require the new devices.
  • Agreed. There is soms minor improvements here and there, but overall I still prefer 8.1. The calender is three steps back in 10 from what is in 8.1. Something I use daily for my job. And from the remarks in the forum I understand more good stuff has disappeared. They still have some work to do.
  • 'One Microsoft device family' is the key phrase I take from that. Sounds like Surface to me. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Having the surface phone would be hot but honestly if the specs aren't there then don't bother
  • If the specs for the Lumia 950/XL are good, then I would think that something even more premium would be fine.....
    ........
    Nevertheless, they shouldn't bother if they aren't going to market it properly.
  • Probably won't matter what Microsoft put out at this point. Folks will find something in the design, chipset, weight, boot speed or something they won't be happy with. Because even if it made of melted krugerrands, it won't be less carats than what Apple used so its a fail.  Of course I'm just having fun saying all this but you get the point.
  • They really do need to seize the opportunity to smash it. Remember, this is an iphone S year, which has to be better than launching against the iPhone 7.
  • Lumia 950 in comparison to a phone that might never even become reality and that I know absolutely zero facts about and might not even suit my needs.........I'll go on a whim, SURFACE PHONE FTW!
  • I'm sure Microsoft is not stupid enough to take away the features that were already present in WP8.1. I'm hoping that this is just how the development works and that they will come back before release. If this is true and we add some of the new features, then it is true that it is significantly feature complete.
    But there are still little things and some customization/UI/UX stuff that needs to be changed to appeal to the diversity of consumers and there liking. I don't know how else can they fight against android and iOS.
  • I'm with you. I'm really hoping that things like unified inbox, contact history and calendar weekly view that are in 8.1 are things they're adding back in the last minutes.
  • There is a weekly view in outlook calendar on WM10, it only works in landscape mode though :/
  • Erm...well based from Windows 10 for desktops/tablets, they do take away some features with unreasonable excuses. Promising to bring it back don't guarantee unless there is a official timeframe when it will implemented. This actually worries me. Windows 10 Mobile should be really 'complete' at launch, compared to desktop/tablet counterpart.
  • Holy crap it's really happening....
  • if the surface phone comes out next year, ill be a happy camper, as that is when i upgrade from my 1520 :D
  • I dont know if i can wait that long. My 1520 got messed up when i was installing a replacement screen, im not spending the 100-200 bucks to have a technician try and fix it. I currently have a blu win HD lte which is not that great of a device. I like the cityman, but if a surface phone is on the horizon than i have 0 reason to buy the cityman over that. Hopefully microsoft gives us more details soon so I can make my decision.
  • Surface phone is not on the horizon, these are just rumours and making a moutain out of molehill kind of interperatation, even 950XL and 950 will come by year end and not soon, so upgrade when you need and not keep waiting for 10-12 months in expectation of wild rumours.
  • Surface phone will eventually Land that I know, but c'mon the OS has to be flawless first, with what we have as build its still far from finish, MS brave up let people see to make the switch
  • Flawless is an impossibility in software.
  • I'll believe you once users can upgrade from WP8.1 or update from one TP build to another without being forced to hard reset and still not have the start screen crash constantly. With that said, Surface Phone now please yes thank you here's my money!
  • Throws money, credit cards, the now empty wallet at the screen. I'm loving how just as lots of media was writing WP off it is looking like it's best days are in fact ahead of it.
  • Here's hoping they can get the next iteration of Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview out today, tomorrow or Friday. Seeing as the first wave of Windows 10 PC slurps 40 Terabit per second, I'm assuming Microsoft will continously analyse their server traffic and wait out a Mobile release until the peaks are coming down.
  • Good point.
  • So that's a big yes. A "Surface" phone is coming.
  • Microsoft is confused! Why spend billions on a dead horse to now want to use the surface brand for a phone to further confuse people? Microsoft Surface phone. Microsoft Lumia phone. Totally idiotic. You can as well make Surface Office, Surface Console... *spit at this folly*!
  • Surface will equal high end and Lumia will be low end how is that confusing?
  • Omg, you read that stupid CNET article about Windows Phone. I don't get you people with WP is dead or who even uses WP. Do you even follow the news besides CNET or what. In Russia WP is the second most popular OS, and in UK It's gaining a lot of attention, like everywhere in Europe. I don't care about the market share. It works for me and for a lot of people. I had enough with you WP haters. Don't critise something you haven't used yet. I don't critisize iOS because I don't own any Apple product. And the stupid WP haters mostly come from US, which is no suprise for me.
  • What's confusing? Whetever MS does doesn't make any sense.
  • They should really Share a new build than
  • I don't know how many times I've been blasted on here and called stupid for saying there should be a unified branding. The windowscentral renders of the 950 models look a bit Surface like.
  • If Microsoft can add the "most used app" list when you swipe from right, I'll be set. Not just the recently added app.
  • Why not just pin the most used apps on your start screen?
  • Surface Phone you say? TAKE MY MONEY!!
  • Surface Lumia ?? Or Lumia and surface phones..
  • Surfing Lumia Nian Cat T-Rex
  • So this mean that Mobile wont have any new feature that stands above the competition. Continnium doe not counts, simple because will be a nich feature.
  • Exactly. No more features.
  • How about being more stable and lightweight than Android. That sounds like a great feature to me. Also I'm not sure how you consider Continuum a niche feature. It may be slower to adopt due to the fact that it needs new hardware, but just the fact that it will be geared toward both busniess, and users who can't afford to have both a PC and a smartphone, kind of removes it from the definition of niche.