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Microsoft job ad could hint at ARM-powered Surface device in the works

Surface logo
Surface logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft has been working on getting Windows 10 to run on ARM processors for some time, with devices from partner manufacturers due out in the coming months. However, a new job listing spotted by German blog WinFuture.de (via The Verge) hints that Microsoft may be working on an ARM-powered Surface device of its own.

According to the listing, Microsoft is looking for someone has experience performing LTE manufactiuring tests on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 chipset, which hasn't yet been announced. What makes the listing interesting for Surface fans, however, is that it says work will be conducted out of Microsoft's building 85, which is one of the buildings used in Surface and hardware development. The ad also calls for an engineer who will be able to travel frequently to China to oversee manufacturing deployment. Microsoft already works with Chinese manufacturer Pegatron on some of its products.

The details in the ad strongly hint that some sort of Qualcomm-based Surface device is in the works, but it's far from a confirmation. It would, however, line up with our recent reporting that Microsoft is cooking up a foldable ARM-powered device, codenamed Andromeda, with a focus on digital inking. Only time will tell whether this all pans out, but this is certainly an enticing development for Microsoft watchers.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

62 Comments
  • Um...didn't we already have it confirmed Microsoft is working Windows on ARM?  Don't we already know that, essentially, their non-gaming hardware line is Surface?  I don't see how any of this is big news.  Personally, I am convinced that if this ends up being a folding device, it won't even do as well as Windows phones did.
  • Windows phones are in the past where it should belong, Windows on a pocketable device is the way to go...
  • What is the difference? Isn't that the argument they made for W10M? "It is just Windows". This time they aren't blowing smoke? I could create the "Even More Ultimate Mobile Device" by duct taping a thumb stick pc to an iPhone.
  • W10M was Msft's competitive effort in the world of raining Smartphones and its development?! Msft tried to bring something new to the table, it always does. We all would agree to disagree to say that it failed to make an impression due to several debatable reasons. Or did it? Not everything goes to waste, Nokia deal was never a waste IMHO. I believe that consecutive development of Windows 10 on PC and W10M helped Msft understand what it takes to deliver the consumers what they need in mobile space, which transformed Personal Computing experience as well (for good). This time around, WoA device will focus on the enterprise with enterprise customers in mind because of the fact that it comes boasting inking capabilities, Hardware advancements that will surpass the tech we see today in tablets and laptops. General consumers would want to have that kind of powerful device up on their sleeve.
  • Well said.. It's as simple as that. Even an idiot could see your point as complete unbiased, non trolling, logic.
  • Why is Satya Nadella's so far away from consumers?, as an example Sony is doing great with PS4 sales and they use that money to build great Xperia Phones, today they have passed to build a great reputation brand as more consumers that have a gaming console, want to have a smartphone as well.On other side, Microsoft has a lot of cash and they bought Linked In instead of invest on mobile hardware
  • Well, for one,, Sony isn't in it with mobile alone like MS was... If Sony tried to use their own mobile OS, and app store, it would've tanked worse than WP....
    .....
    If Samsung does great with Android pretty much any OEM that makes an Android device can ride off that success to some degree.... You're making a slightly incoherent comparison.
  • "they bought Linked In instead of invest on mobile hardware" Only two companies (other than cheap Chinese manufacturers) in the world are making money on mobile hardware - and that's in decline.  Why invest in that?  Don't give up the day job.
  • What was new in W10M? Not a single thing was new or innovative. Same old failed strategy, devices and interface.
  • "I could create the "Even More Ultimate Mobile Device" by duct taping a thumb stick pc to an iPhone." In which case you'd have to pay license fees to Microsoft as they own the FAT structure commonly used on data sticks.  
  • I think if there is a Surface Phone/Mobile/Note it will run on Windows 10S.
  • Why? What does WS have to do with anything?
  • Yes, but Windows Central is running out of ideas and topics to write about
  • So, read something else....
  • Exactly lol
  • 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄 These kids
  • True.  But there have been rumours that Intel might have some legal issues with Windows 10 on ARM as MSFT will have to "emulate" certain Intel intellectual properties to pull it off.  If they're hiring then it might indicate this issue has been resolved and Windows on ARM has the green light.
  • If they are hiring now, it makes me wonder how long will this thing take to get built - if ever.
  • IDC says smartphone shipments will decrease in 2018 and 2019, but phablet shipments will grow, as people wants to carry larger devices up to 7" (bezel-less) So IMO this has to be a phablet with 7" max size not more or it won't have the success it deserves.  
  • I'm thinking you mean 7" while folded?
  • Yes, thanks to new advance in display technology, you can have a 7" diagonal length device with no bezels that occupies the size of the Lumia 1520, which you can put inside your pants pocket, something larger than that looses portability and is just like a small tablet which people don't buy anymore
  • Terrific... Let's wait, and see what MS comes out with.
  • there a ARM64 build version of 16299.98 :)
  • 2017 is already over and no WoA devices on sight.... ROFLMAO. Job well done, Nadella
  • "2017 is already over and no WoA devices on sight.... ROFLMAO." Qualcomm event scheduled for next week. Jeez, I wonder if they'll use it to announce upcoming WoA devices... 😏
  • Yes, they said it would be ready in time for the holiday season in the US. As usual, they missed that mark.
  • "As usual, they missed that mark." Or have they? If they intend to go the Surface Pro LTE strategy with WoA devices - businesses first, consumers later - then does it really matter that they haven't yet been announced?
  • People already started buying for Christmas. The marketing for the market is too late.
  • Yup, we all know that's when enterprise customers make most of their purchases /s
  • Why would businesses want WoA?
  • LTE, efficiency, portability....  Nah, there's absolutely no way businesses would want this.  /s   How about we wait and see if they can deliver before counting it out.
  • If it doesn't run Android apps, it will be DOA...... It's a shame, but MS and Mobile are not working for the vast majority of people. I Love my Surface Pro, and I also loved my Lumia 950, but the lack of app support for mobile was the death of W10M. It's why I now use a Gs8....... I still prefer W10M interface, but Android isn't all that bad, and MS Launcher is better than Samsung's
  • It's not a smartphone...... Have you been in a coma for the past year?
    Or is your mind too closed for new concepts?
  • Exactly, and there will Never be a MS Mobile smartphone with the present failures of UWP. I say the only hope is a PWA push for mobile and Microsoft jumps in the race from it's beginning. Then maybe mobile for Microsoft could return.
  • ITMedCEO.... We have some idiots here that think if you put a phone in a house you're now living in a phone....
    ......
    Seriously. That's how ignorant, and half brained, trolls really are, and there's no hope for them left in the universe. SMDH sad.
  • Nope...not a smart phone....just a 5-6" device that runs windows and has "telephony"  but don't call it a phone.   that will work....sure!  MORONS!
  • Rodneyej, it's really hard not to call it semantics until we see the device. It's hard to imagine a device in this current time, that does the things its supposed to do, and not imagine it as a phone. I would love to be proven wrong, but until I see it, it will forever be a phone in mine and other's minds.
  • You guys are so stuck on "Phone".. Got phone on the damn brain...
    .....
    The word Phone isn't even mentioned in the article one time... Yet trolls talk about how it'll fail with no apps... Like every PC since 1979 has failed because they don't have apps.... Ok. MS is making yet another PC, and for some odd reason this one, out of the Millions made in the past 40 years, is unimaginably odd,,,,,, because it might have the addition of "telephony"... What a bunch of simple minded, panicky, ****** diaper, trolls this site has now. 🙄🙄🙄🙄
  • ""IDK,,, I've only seen a bazillion different kinds of PC'S in my lifetime.. I'm not sure about this one... I'd have to see it first""" 😂😂😂😂😂
    ..............
    "My dads first Mercedes came with a phone in it, so it wasn't a car, it was a phone.. And, that Mercedes had no apps, so it was a failure.. I mean, who's gonna drive a S550 AMG with a twin turbo V12, if they can't play Pokémon Go in it?... That was the worst car ever. Last Mercedes I'll ever buy with a phone in it"🤓🤓🤓🤓
    ...............
    Semantics... You guys trip me out.
  • Space shuttle Endeavor had a phone.. Kinda arguable about it's success... E.T. wanted to phone home, but he didn't have any apps, so that was a failure.. Damn, maybe some of you guys have a point🤔🤔🤔
  • Is a phone booth not a phone booth because it has a phone in it?..isn't it just a phone with no apps?.... Either way,, I would say that phone booths were a HUGE success.... Lol😆😆😆
  • What about Rap music? Total failure..... All those microphones with no apps?.. Guess they were too small.. Get it? "Micro Phone"???🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃
  • In the future everyone's gonna be using some type of new device, and you old guys are still gonna be talking about "smartphones, and apps"...
    ......
    The kids are gonna roll their eyes at y'all so much their faces are gonna look like slot machines....
    "Where's my Smartphone at, Junior??? And, find my dentures, soney boy!! Get off my damn lawn, young punk! I'm calling the police! I got a app for that! Where's my phone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"""" 👴🏽👴🏽👴🏽👴🏽👴🏽👴🏽👴🏽👴🏽👴🏽👴🏽👴🏽👴🏽👴🏽🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄
  • Rodneyej, dude get a life
  • Sad part about it is that I haven't even started drinking yet.🍾🍺🍾🍺🍾🍺🍾
  • Holy.... Crap... Me thinks you need to lay off the powder man! =P I was just stating a reason why you shouldn't call people idiots because they can't imagine a new type of device form factor then what they already use.
  • If I had some coke we'd all be able to imagine a new type of device form factor.........
  • The Surface Pro now has LTE.  Do you think it's a phone?  This will just be a smaller version.
  • while apps are the most important, the OS is not so much, so if it comes with Android or if it comes with Tizen, or with Fire Os, who cares, as soon as you can sideload apk files you are good
  • MS has already told u not to wait for any unicorn, no phones r coming go get urself an android or a iphone
  • Gabriel,  even if you can run MEMU on it.   That would be fine.   What this device will end up being,  is the surface 3 replacement.  A 10" low power tablet device. 
  • Perfect for me
  • This is like saying "Unicorn Exist". No one believes anything Microsoft says..who cares about a job posting when by the time they release a product its been done by all the big players and even no name smaller companies with limited resources while the bohemth Microsoft finishes last? 
  • 💥💤💤💤💤💤💨
  • Speculations indicate that Qualcomm will announce the Snapdragon 845 chip next (?) week.
  • And, Samsung will beat MS to market with the S9 because MS's Surface Scribe won't be ready yet.
  • Rodney, I'm a Microsoft guy, but in not going to pretend they're not slow arty bringing thing to market and when they do its half baked. Thirty also leak their technology enabling other tech companies to implement it on their devices like continuum; Microsoft didn't advertise and stopped really working on it, now Samsung has Dex running Linux, etc. Everything modern cell phones have today WP had way before; curved screen, wireless charging, living images, battery saver, best camera yet they let others capitalize. Cortana was after siri but she was the first AI to have true digital assistant capabilities and what had MS done? Let others capitalize on this as if MS doesn't have a smart soaker 1 which I have and it's pretty good and controls my Philips Hue and other smart home items but no advertising. I want them to succeed, but some of Satya's actions seem as if he doesn't; I hope I'm wrong because I miss W10 with telephony 😉
  • I don't know what to tell you... I do believe Satya has trimmed the fat, and isn't interested in unsuccessful products. That's why I do believe that if MS comes to Market with what I call the "Surface Scribe",, whatever it is it will be appealing, serve the purpose for which it is intended, and do some good good for MS, and those who decide to buy it... Over the past year MS has become more lean, and less redundant. There's more organization, and structure. Overall, Satya is doing more good than harm. W10M is redundant. All we need is W10. MS infact does have a mobile OS in W10, and smaller mobile devices are coming.
  • Surface Scribe
  • Can you please stop repeating this horse sh*t under every post. We got it - you made up a stupid name, but please keep it for yourself as it is insanely retarded and sounds even dumber
  • It has been reported that Microsoft has been testing a handheld mobile device in house using the Andromeda version of Windows 10. it looks like Microsoft is entering the pre preduction phase of this device or another device that shows the Glory of using Windows 10 on arms on a ARMS CPU Tablet ot Laptop. 2018 is the year. I think a Surface Mobile device will apear it will probably be an advanced "Surfcae Mini Tablet that may even have an onboard 4G cell phone to send and recirve voice telephone calls with. as a Windows smart phone USER I hope Microsoft does do this. it wont be smart phone but I will buy this Surface Mobile device 
  • Considering that my WSUS servers are now syncing the "Windows 10-ARMx64 v1709 cumulative update" I would say that a MS W10 on ARM device is imminent.