Microsoft does indeed have their own Windows Phone in the works
(Concept Surface phone by YrOnimuS)
Yesterday we wrote a fairly lengthy article about a new rumor of a Microsoft Windows Phone. The source came via China Times and we were hesitant to believe the claim—after all, no evidence or sources were mentioned.
Still, we pointed out that Microsoft is a large company with a ton of resources. If they wanted to do a phone, they most certainly could pull it off and the Surface Tablets only reinforce the notion that they can do this in secret.
So what has changed? Information has come forward to Windows Phone Central that demonstrates Microsoft does have their own Windows Phone hardware in the works; in fact, we’ve heard it already exists and is in testing. The source(s) are known to us and not anonymous, though for obvious reasons we must keep them off the record.
Details about what it looks like, hardware specifications, launch times, etc. have not been shared with us by the person(s) who have provided the information. The only thing we do know is when compared to current WP8 hardware it’s something unique.
Something awry between Microsoft and Nokia?
Why is Microsoft doing this?
We speculated yesterday on two possible angles for Microsoft doing their own phone.
One was the Google-Nexus route of selling their own hardware, direct to customers with no carrier interference. Sold through Microsoft Store (opens in new tab), the devices could fill in a niche for Microsoft while their OEM partners can have the carriers. This would allow Microsoft to have their own "vision" of Windows Phone and a way to update the devices directly, with no one compromising their vision. In addition, their OEMs will mostly be kept "happy" since unlocked phones are not the crux of their business model.
The other reason we raised was Microsoft maybe wanted a contingency plan—in case the Windows Phone 8 launch doesn’t go well and the currently announced devices don’t catch on. Nokia could be in trouble financially and Microsoft would need another dedicated hardware partner.
A third possibility we've been hearing about for a weeks is tougher to swallow. We have heard rumblings about Nokia focusing too much on the “Lumia” brand as opposed to Windows Phone, which may explain why Microsoft put HTC on a pedestal with the “signature” Windows Phone banter a few weeks ago in New York City.
Interestingly, BGR.com just ran a story where they too are confirming a Microsoft Windows Phone. They note they learned about it weeks ago and our sources appear to be different from theirs (our info came this morning). They do note that it is a “high end” phone but it will not launch with the 1st wave of Windows Phone 8 devices.
Microsoft Studio C
Microsoft on Lockdown
In an interesting and perhaps related story, the reputable site GeekWire is reporting that areas of the Microsoft campus have substantially beefed up security in recent weeks:
GeekWire is rightly claiming this is most likely related to next-gen Xbox console testing, but from our own knowledge Microsoft has some Windows Phone "things" happening in Building C too.
With a Microsoft branded Windows Phone entering into late stages of development, it would make sense that much like the Surface tablets, they would begin to implement tighter security around campus.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.
There is a special announcement coming on the 29th of January. Maybe that has something to do with this? Speculation is both fun and terrible. I won't totally buy into rumors of this device seeing a release until Microsoft say it themselves.
Well, I guess not! Lumia 920 is above all the rest.... Nokia FTW
Clearly Apple have changed the game. Other companies would be wise to emulate them.
Does this give Nokia an out of their contract and allow them to go android or any other OS?
Microsoft needs Nokia, if for nothing else but for Navteq; and no way can Microsoft 'out innovate' Nokia on hardware. Nokia has nothing to be concerned about - Lumia will still be synonomous with WP even after Microsoft releases this device.
and i have the same feeling about the surface PC let alone the surface phone that these products wont launch in countries other than US, Canada n some countries in Europe
And I would argue that it would make no sense for them to sign on exclusively with WP if they knew MS was going to enter the market as well, if this comes to light the first thing that would be hit would be their stock price, then pressure on Elop to be replaced as the perception would be that Nokia could not compete with MS, HTC, Samsung and any other WP OEM. If they knew this and signed on anyway they only have themselves to blame because I cant see this being in any way good news for Nokia as a company.
look at the gnex, if there was no verizon variant you could get on contract, it probably would have sold about as well as the nexus one did.
you also don't see OEM's up in arms with google for making the nexus devices, so this will probably fare the same, aside from the tech blogs screaming about the sky falling because microsoft is making hardware. (not this blog, but you know the ones. :P)
Also, going to Android is no different. Google has its own Nexus brand and there are other manufacturers to contend with. If anything else, Nokia being arguably the most popular Windows phone, is better off staying committed to the WP platform. From the way I see it, there's no back-stabbing being done here.
Regarding your Nexus argument, the Galaxy Nexus clearly says "Samsung" in the back, so that's a bit different than just having a Google Nexus label and nothing else.
microsoft, with the surface tablet and presumably with the surface phone is building a new product in house, so who's brand would you like them to place on the back?
You are just looking for attention.
When HTC and Nokia announced their new WP8 devices, I was so excited to switch from Android. I've been having some doubts recently but was still pretty sure I was going to make the jump. This news definitely kills that idea though. I want to see what Microsoft releases.
Sadly, i want Nokia to come back on their feed and this is not helping even though i'd love a Surface Phone. Damn. Still getting the Lumia 920 though.
I'll be postponing my switch to Windows Phone until I see what Microsoft has up their sleeve. I was going to get a 920 or 8X, but it seems the best course of action now is to wait and see.
But now you're saying you'll wait to see what "unannounced" so called phone MS will release. Which is it? You don't wait for unannounced phones or you're waiting for an unannounced phone MS will release sometime in the future? I'm so confused. :)
You may end up waiting for a phone that isn't as good as the ones on offer today. I wouldn't hold your breath. It may be good but not worth the wait.
Best support? No doubt MS will give Surface Phones top notch support, but Nokia has been supporting their WP phones very well, and who knows, maybe HTC might step up their game as they seem to be taking WP phones seriously now as well.
Great apps? I don't see MS releasing exclusive apps like the OEMs have. People bash Nokia because they get exclusive content, not realizing that if it wasn't for Nokia those companies would probably not have come out with a WP app. Whatever apps MS releases, they release for all WP phones (as it's in their best interest).
Wait and see? Newsflash - there will ALWAYS be a better phone coming out in the near future. If you wait for the Surface Phone, there will be rumours of an even better Nokia/HTC/Samsung/whatever coming in out in a month or two.
I gladly bought my Lumia 710 knowing full well that it would not be upgraded to WP8. I needed a phone at that time and I've never regretted it.
I also want to correct a very sad and misguided way of thinking here. Android updates are not slow, most Android phones that get updated get them in about a year or earlier, which is EXACTLY the same time frame as Apple and Windows or anyone else.
Yes they get them later than Google pumps them out but Google releases a new OS anytime they want usually have more than one update a year. I feel that it is pretty unfair for consumers to expect Android OEMs to judge them to the same standards as Apple. Too many differences that condumers have entitlement issues seem to ignore.
personally i'm getting a 920, if/when the surface phone comes out and if it's something that makes me want to switch from the 920 i'll just sell one and buy the other.
people act like there's no way to change your phone mid contract. craigslist is why i've been able to go through probably 10 [different] phones in the past year.
Also, what you're suggesting Nokia do is exactly what you're getting mad about in this situation. Google has its own brand (Nexus), and there are several other manufacturers of Android phones. How is that different from the situation that's upsetting you here - Microsoft possibly coming out with its own phone along with other manufacturers having their own Windows phones? If anything, Nokia probably has the best chance with the WP platform because they're by far the most popular WP manufacturer.
Besides, the article states that the Microsoft phones will only be sold at their stores and not through carriers. A lot of people typically purchase phones when they're eligible for upgrades and can get phones at a discount through their carrier. So it shouldn't cause any conflict.
The article is speculating, not stating. Let's not jump to conclusions.
And that phone being made by Microsoft is a) unconfirmed and b) only sold in Microsoft stores. That will have little to no impact on Nokia or HTC (I'm not shelling out $500 when I'm already getting better hardware for ~$150) and for all you know, Nokia might be the one actually manufacturing this device.
I love it when everyone starts throwing a tantrum over a rumor and tries to theorize about how multi-billion dollar companies might be 'feeling' like. Ya, good going!
Steve Ballmer: "This just is the Windows Phone 8X and this is the Windows Phone 8S. We think this approach will help us tell our story very crisply and clearly to consumers. You want a Windows Phone, sure, 8X, 8S."
Peter Chou: "So, you clearly heard Steve say if you want Windows Phone, this is Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S." I don't think anyone is throwing a "tantrum" over this news. The majority of the responses I've seen have been full of excitement mixed with a little hesitation.
Nokia was supposed to lead the charge but has nothing but the lackluster 8XX series and the 920, destiñed to be yet another failed carrier exclusive collecting dust in the back of AT&T stores.
HTC was the only company willing to launch a credible high-end handset on every carrier.
The Microsoft phone might have a "vaporMag" body but lack Pureview. Personally I'll take a great camera over anything else.
Nokia, HTC, and Samsung have established distribution channels for their mobile devices, so, in my opinion, they have nothing to be concerned about especially with some of the technical innovations Nokia has implemented in their hardware, and HTC with audio.
I get the feeling that only die hard Microsoft fans will purchase this device.
An American with an off contract HTC hd7
So far the Lumia 920 and all the HTCs (at the very least) are using the most advanced mobile CPU on the market (Krait). The 8X display is outstanding and the camera even has the HTC camera specific CPU for crazy fast shutter speeds. The Lumia 920 has the most advanced display technology on the market and either the best or second best camera (depending on what you think of the 8X camera). It is also the first smartphone that has built in wireless charging.
You are WAY overemphasizing a minor tech (expanadable micro sd). The fact is that both the 920 and the 8X would be "hero" phones on any mobile OS.
Please understand that one size does not fit all.
This is such a ludicrous speculation. Why should Microsoft care at all if Nokia is focusing on the Lumia brand? Should Microsoft care that Samsung is focusing on the ATIV branding (for both phones and Windows 8/RT devices)? If Nokia sells a lot of Lumia handsets, Microsoft gets the royalties, whether Nokia is pushing the Windows Phone brand or not. And it's not as if Nokia can wrest control of the WP ecosystem, like some Android makers can fork their own version. Microsoft still controls the codebase.
"... which may explain why Microsoft put HTC on a pedestal with the “signature” Windows Phone banter a few weeks ago in New York City."
A good explanation for HTC using the Windows Phone branding is HTC is just plain unimaginative with coming up with their own brand. The best they can come up for Android was the "One" brand.
i personally dont think that microsoft can build a phone that has so much quality like a nokia but today enough people are just buying because of scpecs looks good. the smartphone business is a new world where can a tiny issue destroy the complete phone like display problems like one x or antenna issues iphone or dropped a feet and broke.
Nokia should create something new symbian is gone meltemi is gone meego is gone just s40: They need something big because if windows phone fails in the next 2yeas they have no time left to build up a new ecosystem and os.
So kick Elop out hire a new ceo and then call intel and say hey lets build an impressive meego qwerty onlys
That said, how awsome would it be if on October 26th, they pulled an Apple and were all, "Windows Phone Surface: Available for preorder today, shipping to your doorstep on November 9th."
I'd hate to get something now and go into a 2yr agreement only to have my purchase eclipsed by something like this only a few months apart. Sometimes choices suck! lol
For geeks, contrary to what Samusng thinks, the next big thing isn't here, yet.
Having these many options with Windows Phone is great! I just have to go back to the board and figure out what I want to do.
It's also hard to see a former MS exec have that big of a falling out with the "Mother Ship". Or, why wouldn't MS just go ahead and buy Nokia?
Could the unveiling of all of WP8 at that conference really be the stage to showcase what MS envisions with WP8 and their own hardware?
Would stink for Nokia, Samsung, HTC for MS to drop an announcement of a 2nd wave phone right as their phones are launching WP8... but who knows...
Google does it with their Nexus line, why can't MS do it with their Surface line?
Also, I'm a sucker for good phone cameras and wonder if MS could match the Lumia 920 camera (still unproven by the general public at this stage though).
Just a thought ... for some reason, I think the MS-own phones could be good business phones with their clean, no-frill look.
But very interesting ineed. I see lots of choice coming ahead on WP :-) Especially since my contract upgrade is more than a year away! I'm starting to see an advantage in this.
(If these babies are ever available outside of the U.S. ... )
You know what, I miss a kickstand on large-screen phones (thinking of the HTC EVO), it's a very useful feature. If they're going to make a Surface pohone I hope they can engineer an attractive and useful kickstand onto the body.
Other things MS could be working on with the Surface phone:
- Smart covers (there's been some patents going around about this)
- Dual-screen phones
- I always wanted a phone with a detachable Bluetooth headset... I know, it's kind of a pipe dream, but please try it MS! Imagine that: you never lose it or leave it behind because there's a slot for it in the phone (it also charges it). The Bluetrek Metal Evolution is superthin, I'm sure the earpiece can also be engineered to be foldable or small enough for storage.
However, I do think it likely that they already have such a thing in their HQ... it's probably a device that's capable of adapting to whatever new thing other manufacturers dream up as well as those of their own creative teams, so that they can design the code to work best in the OS. Maybe all this speculation is much ado about something they never intend to put on the market?
Whatever they have planned, I'm pretty confident they're on the right track with W8 and WP8. Just hope they don't muck it up.
As long as Nokia remains the premium vendor on WP and doesn't get stabbed in the back by Microsoft, I still think their WP only strategy will pay off big time in the long run though. But it is a risky enough strategy as it is without Microsoft waylaying them.
It doesn't make financial sense and won't attract much market share so there appears little to back up the unlocked service model only.
Also this leak is exactly that and should have been stopped because I can guess three things are going on
1. Some folk are now considering delaying their WP8 purchase until they see the MS offering (BAD!)
2. Nokia won't have known anything about this and makes their precarious position even more fraught (BAD!)
3. The MS WP won't be out until this time next year to give the current OEM's more of the market to help them build momentum for subsequent and additional handsets
Lastly, if it is a Surface phone please please please include a stand just as you do on the Surface.
I just didnt think Microsoft would want to compete against Nokia. It didnt make since with all the innovations Nokia had. I thought it was more likely that Microsoft would buy Nokia.
If, this is true. I eat my words.
Nokia has always had rock solid reception and voice quality. I know it sounds odd, but I use my phone as a phone.
As far as Nokia goes, they are ddefinitelyone of the more innovative tech companies out there. Even with their financial troubles. They seem to be pushing the bboundariesacross all of their platforms, so I ddon'tthink it will be the end of Nokia, if WP fails them. They have more to offer than just phones. But having said that, people are looking for something different and WP and Nokia are providing that. It will take time for sure, though...
I don't blame MSFT for at least exploring making their own phone, if nothing more than get some experience in phone hardware. Everyone is so concerned about Nokia, but if WP8 doesn't pan out, does anyone doubt it will take its Lumia hardware straight to Android. The same with HTC. Wasn't the Verge already saying they wish the 8X had Android?! Apple makes the hardware and software and Google now owns Motorola, so why would MSFT leave themselves to get caught with their pants down? Despite what many people want and some analysts predict, it's not a foregone conclusion that Nokia will become a MSFT property.
And I think it's no more frivolous to want matching hardware (phones and tablets) than brightly colored phones
Even if its only available in MSFT-stores and on windowsphone.com. There is a market for free/unlocked phones in Europe and elsewhere. Around here its generally cheeper to pay upfront for a free phone as opposed to a 2-year contract + cheap phone.
It's understandable since I'm sure you have to protect your source, but the same thing goes for China Times. Both of you are saying "well, we heard from somebody a secret..."
Not that I doubt the veracity of your story about Microsoft producing a phone, but I'd just like to point out the hypocrisy. You can't really criticize China Times about not submitting any actual evidence and then not produce any yourself...
My samsung focus flash is too thin and small... It 's hard to grab while writing in protrait mode
As another poster said, is this what all the silence is about?
I'm wondering who the manufacturing partner will be. I can see either Nokia or Sharp.
One big thing Nokia's got going for it is it's suite of exclusive WP apps. So whle this phone may be first-party, it may not be the 'best' even on the software side.
One thing that would suck, and I mean really suck, is if Microsoft had some exclusive apps of their own (Kin Studio anyone?). But noone would be that stupid? Right?
but in reallity look how long they take to release things, im looking for surface pro, but im still wating and dont know if its gonna be available for xmas, since im in Australia maybe even longer. i got a lumia atm and the phone,support and apps from nokia its been great..
i do think MS is capable of the phone since they already invested on making the tablets (hardware,desings.etc) will be just another step. so surface RT -> Surface pro -> wp surface?
I'm going to wait a bit either way because I'm happy with my HTC Trophy for now and I'm not sure I'll have enough money to buy both tablet and the phone at full retail (I'm on Verizon and plan on keeping my unlimited data, therefore I must pay full price).
Don't worry I got your back. Check the comments.
HP - WEBOS TABS
DELL - ANDROID TABS, UBUNTU LOVE
SAMSUNG - GALAXY TAB, MULTIPLE OS
SAME WITH PHONES:
HTC, SAMSUNG, - HAV ANDROID PHONES
EXCEPT OFCOURSE NOKIA - BUT IT MAY CHANGE GEARS TO ANDROID OR ALTERNATIVES AS SOON AS LUMIA IS NOT AS MUCH A SUCCESS AS ANTICIPATED.
- HTC phones are being marketed and pushed as "Windows Phone" in primary naming/branding of the devices.
- Nokia phones are marketed as "Nokia Lumia" with predominance given to the Lumia name. The "Powered by Windows Phone" indicators are much less noticeable in much of their materials and "Windows" is only mentioned once, way down the page, in the product info at the URL below.
The difference in naming/marketing strategy is significant and intentional. My hunch is that Microsoft is aware of the negative perception that Windows has. So, in order to test the theory, they launch similar phones ( in specs and polycarbonate color ) with different branding to see which one performs better. They can use the information to drive future naming strategies with Windows 8 and WP8+ and potentially a future "Surface Phone" - or perhaps a "Windows Phone 8 - Surface".
However, do I really need to carry around both a Nokia 920 in my pocket and a Surface tablet in my briefcase? Or can I make the two devices integrate with each other and work better while taking up less space on my person? Why do I even need a screen on my phone if I already have a bigger, better screen on my Surface? If I use the Surface screen for Internet activities do I need to pay for a big expensive 4" screen on my phone just to use as a dialpad?
There's a lot of room for innovation. A "Surface Companion" phone would be a no-brainer. Simply tether it to the Surface and voila! However there would be little or no interest in making such a device for OEMs (Nokia, HTC, Samsung, etc). Perhaps this is what Microsoft's doing.
I don't see anything new from Apple (just evolution) nor do I hear of anything new. Google likewise.
But MS seem to be really pushing it at the moment.
Can't wait to see what they come up with next!