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The Surface Phone you've always wanted is happening

Lumia 950 and Surface
Lumia 950 and Surface (Image credit: Windows Central)

Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans have revealed that the rumored Intel-powered Windows 10 phone slated for May 2016 has been cancelled. Instead, an all-new flagship phone lead by Panos Panay and the team of engineers that built the Microsoft Surface and Surface Book has been given the green light. Slated for a release in the second half of 2016 this may be the long-wished-for Surface phone. Here is what we know and what we don't.

Earlier in July I noted that sources had told me that Microsoft's super-secret phone project was slated for May 2016. Almost nothing was known about the venture except that the phone was metal, and somehow Intel was involved. At the time, I was led to believe it was a Microsoft project, which never sat well with me (more on that below), but it seems it was yet another Nokia carryover.

Any details about the project, however, are now moot. The latest I hear is that this 'metal' phone has been cancelled.

Although supporters of Windows Phone probably just gasped in horror, this news is more interesting than it seems on its face. There is also flip side to the cancellation: Panos Panay and his Surface team, who are now responsible for all of Microsoft's premium device engineering, are getting their shot at Windows Mobile and making a premium flagship phone.

Surface Phone?

The most obvious question is whether this will be the shoot-to-the-moon Surface phone that has been alleged ever since the first Surface tablet was announced years ago. Unfortunately, details of what exactly this device is remain unknown.

The most I have heard is they are currently exploring different technologies. The engineering team has the ability to fabricate hardware right on Microsoft's campus, so that experimentation should not be a surprise. Indeed, a phone prototype was recently spotted at their facilities leading to more speculation about a 'Surface phone' existing someday.

My guess is they are still exploring design, hardware and features and that is something that likely won't be finalized until mid-2016. Interestingly, I keep hearing it being referred to not as "Surface phone" but just as "Panos's phone".

Intel's involvement

Intel is also involved in this project suggesting some overlap in what was planned with the now-scrapped 'metal phone' that was a Nokia design. Presumably their role is in co-developing a chipset for the phone beyond the normal Qualcomm ones found in modern smartphones today.

Intel's connection to this project is the most tantalizing. Many speculate that this will be a device that runs an x86 chipset or is something much more powerful than current Qualcomm Snapdragons. The ultimate vision some of us have is that such a device could not only run Windows Store apps but classic Win32 apps. A true computer in your pocket.

The problem with that idea is that there are a lot of technical problems to solve. For now, we will have to wait until something more definitive comes out. My hunch is this is one of the technologies they are exploring, but its ability to make the cut to the final product is not guaranteed if the experience is poor.

Timeframe

Multiple sources have put the planned date for this phone as sometime in the second half of 2016. I have heard as early as August but also a more general Q4 2016 suggesting a fall release.

Assuming this phone is lining up with Microsoft's other projects there are two possible scenarios:

August 2016 – This date seems to line up with Windows 10 Redstone aka the next big OS release from Microsoft. The site WinBeta recently claimed Redstone would improve on Continuum. More specifically, Redstone would let apps seamlessly transfer presence from the phone to the PC and even let you make calls from a PC through your phone. Tying that into some new phone hardware could be attention-grabbing.

However, the planned date for Redstone is still a bit of a mystery.

Fall 2016 - Putting the date forward to an October or November release for the 'Panos phone' could line it up for a fall refresh of Microsoft hardware. Nevertheless, it is not yet clear if Surface and Band are on a yearly schedule or an 18-month one. There were 18 months between Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 4, but that almost entirely hinged on Intel Skylake being available for the market.

If Microsoft is on a yearly schedule then another October event for Surface Pro 5, Surface Book 2, Band 3 and the first 'Surface Phone' would also make sense. Plus, it makes the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL a one-year high-end phone, something that is common these days with Apple, HTC, Samsung and others.

Why no Surface Phone until now

For years, many fans of Microsoft have been calling for a Surface Phone to be made. However, it should be noted that as of October 2014 Microsoft was still losing money on the Surface. It was not until January 2015 that Microsoft announced one billion in revenue had been earned from a successful holiday turnaround. This was all after the infamous $900 million write-down from 2013 over the failed Surface RT.

The idea of wedding the bruised Surface brand with the struggling Windows Phone one did not make a lot of business sense before 2015.

However, now that Apple and Google are going forward with their own Surface-like devices and the Microsoft's Surface sales are doing well you could say the time is now right for such a merger.

There is another issue too. When I reported that the original Intel project was a purely a Microsoft endeavor, I had some issues with that claim. Specifically, which department was making it? Research? Surface? Xbox? None of those groups made sense. The one group that did make sense was the Devices group headed by Stephen Elop once the Nokia acquisition went through.

Panos Panay was not yet in charge of the Devices group, ergo not in charge of Windows Phone until late July 2015. This occurred after Stephen Elop and his team were let go presumably due to past failures including the cancelled McLaren smartphone and the ho-hum Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL that were in late development.

The way I see it, there was no way a "Surface phone" could have existed before July 2015. Now that I hear this cancelled Intel project was a Nokia one the bigger picture comes together. Microsoft is evidently sweeping out a lot of the old Nokia designs, people and strategy for something new.

Reading between the lines: What Panos was telegraphing about those new Lumias

I have argued that some of the Microsoft teams, especially the Surface group, are not fond of these new Lumias, and I believe there is still some in-house cleaning going on to bring on a new strategy. That strategy change is an acknowledgement that Windows Phone as an iOS and Android competitor has failed.

Instead, Microsoft may be trying to create a new category to leverage Windows 10. I wrote about this just a month ago, asking if Microsoft wanted to reboot the concept of a phone, and I still think it holds true.

And now for something different

Microsoft's Windows mobile strategy is still in many ways chaotic. Indeed, since 2007, when then-CEO Steven Ballmer laughed off the iPhone, Microsoft never quite found their way in the smartphone market. Constant reboots of the OS design and concept, and partnerships that have come and gone bought time and kept some interest, but in the end it has not worked on the scale Microsoft needs to justify long-term investment.

There are a few ways forward that I see for Microsoft:

(A) Cancel Windows 10 Mobile (B) Continue selling Lumias and trying to compete with iOS, Android (C) Do something very different

I have argued in the past that (A) is just not feasible, not yet. The whole concept of Windows 10 and the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is too dependent on the mobile branch existing. Cancelling it now would be a terrible message to developers and calls into question the entire UWP paradigm (not to mention Satya Nadella and Terry Myerson's leadership).

Going with option (B) is what Microsoft has done up to the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. Although the company stands behind those products, they are not advertising them on TV or pushing hard in retail channels. It should be clear they are pulling back as the only people will buy those phones are already converts and those with some interest in Continuum.

Nadella cancelling many models and reducing their Lumia portfolio is another blow to that route.

Solution (C) can lead to success, but is also the most difficult to achieve. Creating or redefining a product category takes major R&D and a visionary team with the chops to make it a reality.

Can Panos Panay and his group do that for the phone? I have no idea and the odds are against them. Nonetheless, the Surface Book design does inspire confidence.

So this is everything we know about this 'Panos phone' so far:

  • This is a Surface team design
  • Due in second half of 2016
  • Intel is testing something with it
  • It may or may not run x86 apps (TBD)
  • Likely timed with Windows 10 Redstone

Other than that it's a complete mystery. If I had to guess, it is also going to be an expensive phone as Panay is in charge of premium devices and experiences. The Surface Book puts into perspective how far they will go for a laptop and they even raised the Band 2 by $50 to make it higher quality.

Until Microsoft announces this phone, there is not much else that can or should be said. For now, the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL stand as the high-end offering for Windows 10 Mobile, and we expect them to hold that position for several months, if not an entire year. However, like all things in tech there is always something around the next bend, and the Surface Phone could be it.

What's your vision for a Surface Phone? Head into our forums and this thread to post your thoughts and predictions!

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

688 Comments
  • I swear my pants were just on a second ago.
  • Lol. Good one..
  • Thank god i waited, pass on the 950's. 
  • Glad I kept my powder dry and picked up the 640 for cheap
  • Same here.
  • Same, but for the first time since Windows Phone 7 I am truly clamoring for apps. I used to say "who needs a separate app for each thing you want to do on a phone." However, since those days many of the baked-in features of WP have been stripped out and the OS has been more app centric. Coupled with app availability shrinking, not growing I am for the first time thinking about jumping to the loathed iCompetitor. Question is, do i do it, knowing that things are going to get worse before they get better, or are things at the worst point now and already starting to become better?
  • For all the people out there who are thinking of migrating, I'd recommend staying.
    Give windows 10 mobile a chance to prove itself to you and to others.
    If the situation doesn't change in say about an year then it's safe to say bye to windows. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The hardest part about that is us poor Verizon foks.  I want to go to 10, but Verizon isn't going to support the 950. Yes i know I can do the insider program, but i just want it to work, i don't want to have to do extra stuff.  I just wish we wern't exield.  I am considering the jump to AT&T, but I do like everything else about V.  Oh well.. keep watching and waiting is guess..
  • Feeling the same. Who needs all theses apps.... but I lost the fate during the past year. These missing apps from all the big services, it impacts me at home and work. The nail on the coffin for me was wen MS announced the OneDrive space reduction, to a point where it will be impossible to fit anything on there, not even my phone pictures. MS changes direction every seconds and I'm through with it I guess.... Too much incertitude, now I even fear loosing some features or app. It's my last wp.
  • Its been exactly 1 week since i jumped to the   icompetitor.  I do miss windows OS but having a plethora off apps has been refreshing.  I'll be back for the rumoured surface phone, make it an awesome phone surface team!! Youve got a lot of apps to compensate for!
  • Same here, but even a Surface phone wont bring me back if the app and os situation hasnt improved by then
  • VZW better fucking pick this up. I had to skip the 950 but not by my choice.
  • In the same boat.  I think Daniel is thinking too much.  All Microsoft is doing is waiting on Intel to gets its act together and release a suitable smartphone SoC that can power a premium phone.  Thus we wait for Broxton, which I think is going to be a year late and available in mid 2016.  One would assume INtel is close to completeing the design and has some chips fabricated for internal testing/analysis.  But what about memory?  What if Intel is designing a different memory structure for the phone?  3D xpoint with their 3D NAND?  How much power can you save if you "turnoff" the memory block in standbye?  What happens if you can store alot more info that is "instantly" accessible to "pass" you form desktop to phone and back as you walk from car to office and then you sit at your desk to continue conversation through your computer?
  • Expecting a mobile SoC from Intel, please.  Its CISC vs RISC, for every step Intel takes they will be behind 3.  WP and Windows are two different OSes.  Apps reside in same abstraction layer, but maintaining the two is quite different.  Does a mobile OS need all this??? http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/manuals/64-i... People who want Intel on phones are not engineers.  
  • That's just it, Microsoft does not need Verizon to "pick it up" for them to make and sell a Verizon compatible phone. The requirements for Verizon's LTE spectrum is that it must be open to every device.  Now yes, for their CDMA side of the network, the voice side, it does need to pass certification.  However Verizon does not handle certification, they have an independent third party do it.  All Microsoft has to do is get the phone certified and Verizon can't deny it.  They then can sell a Verizon model completely unlocked through their own store.  Now of course not having it in Verizon's stores would cut out the customers who prefer to spread out the cost of the phone over 24 months with the Edge plan, but Microsoft can make it compatible with Verizon if they want to. http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/10/if-the-lumia-950-and-950-xl-wont-work-on-verizon-thats-microsofts-fault/
  • Yeah, well, this is all MISINFORMATION. FYI, the LTE spectrum must also be certified by Verizon as noted on their own website, however, only Verizon can certify the LTE as (also by their own admission on their website) they don't yet have the program ready for a 3rd party to handle that. Verizon has refused to certify the LTE bandwidth for the Lumia 950/950XL so Microsoft turned off the CDMA antennas. It's no secret that there is little love between Verizon and Microsoft, but IMO, Verizon is messing up big time. They currently have a huge contract with the government for enterprise devices on their network, however those devices are Blackberries. Blackberry is switching their devices to Android. Android is an open-source OS, so not secure enough for government use. iOS is not enterprise friendly, so iPhones are off the table. That only leave Windows 10 which is both secure and enterprise friendly. No doubt the government will be switching to Windows 10 devices and if Verizon doesn't have any, they will most likely lose their big government contract to AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint.
  • Verizon can NOT refuse to certify anyone on their LTE.  The moment they try they will get sued because of the rules the FCC attached to the 700MHz C block spectrum.  Remember all the mess about the Nexus 7 and all the complaining about Verizon that was over that?  In the end it was discovered that Google itself requested certification be ended because of a bug it found. Fact is Verizon can test a device because the open access rules do state that they must allow any device that won't harm their network, but they can not refuse to test any device simply because they want to. Agreed there is no love lost between Verizon and Microsoft and that Verizon has mistreated Microsoft in the past.  But the reality is Verizon simply just can not refuse to allow any device, Microsoft or others, from running on their network.  So if Microsoft does not offer one that is Verizon compatible, that is on Microsoft. http://arstechnica.com/uncategorized/2008/05/verizon-we-promise-to-honor-the-block-c-open-access-rules/ https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/27.16    
  • Thats why i dumped VZW went over to AT&T much happier, i think you should do the same. See if AT&T is still offering the money for you to switch and they'll VZW you term fees you'll be happier like me, no more bill fluct AT&T billing is spot on never any fluct at all.
  • I just switched to Verizon from ATT because Verizon gave us a deal ATT couldn't beat. But I'll say this, if ATT could have matched the deal we would've stayed. My family has been with them for 20 years! And the customer service ATT has is unbeatable imo. They are one of the few companies that actually look at your history and if they see you pay on time and/or you've been with the company for a while. Really helpful and the store staff are do much more knowledgeable (at least here in New York). They even know a lot about windows phone. They don't push people away from it. I miss ATT. Posted via the Windows Central App for BlackBerry
  • Well AT&T has the most god awful,customer service I have ever experienced. I have had ATT and now Verizon . Verizon has great customer service. ATT can't begin to compare to Verizon in customer service and the most reliable network. I hate ATT
  • Deciding when to buy a smartphone reminds me of the same struggle many faced in choosing a PCs in the late 90s. Hardware and software alike was evolving at such a pace that people were torn between upgrading now or waiting for something better. There's always a new device around the corner; if you're going to wait for the next big thing you'll be waiting forever.
  • I agree,if I wanted / needed a new phone right now, I'd go for the 950XL - I'm not holding off because of future phones, bur rather that I'm just happy with the 930 still. If you really want... or more importantly need a new phone just buy now. This next phone may not even be available until very late 2016 / early 2017. The 950/XL are for those Windows Phone fans who are sick of their current phone and have been stuck with it for years.
  • + 930
    + SP3
    + W10 Both these devices are pretty awesome on W10 and I can easily wait for next October to think about an SP5 and "Surface Phone". Both devices are of such high quality and the OS just gets better that I am so happy with my choices. Those getting the SP4 and 950 should have the same experience :)
  • We switch phones like what, every ~2yrs? (judging by muself). I doubt there will be Surface Phone out before that. Anounced? Maybe. But out for sale; don't think so. So for me, 950 XL is the best thing out there IMHO. Again, for the next ~2yrs.
  • Put your pants back on, there are kids around! I swear I do not understand Microsoft some times. Why leak this information now when you are still trying to sell 950s? Why would anybody buy these now? Heck, there should be a mass rush to return them and just wait for a phone that will clearly be better.  While I am excited by this news, I will be keeping my 950XL. If history is anything to go by the Surface Phone release date will face a few push backs. It will be v.1 so it will be buggy. It will cost an arm and a leg.  Excited but following the mantra, "a bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush".
  • Exactly. 950XL is a great device. This device will be a 1st Gen product and wont even see it before 2017 so I can't wait that much anymore.
  • I have the 950... I just can't see what any of the complaints are about. The hardware is spectacular. Sure, Hello doesn't work that well on it... though there's some hope since it's beta. But the specs and design are exactly what I wanted. I love the removable back with replaceable battery, SDcard, killer camera, crazy good screen, etc. I wish ms would make colored backs, but this satisfies every major requirement I had. The app situation is still a disaster, and a Surface phone wouldn't change that. W10 still has a few bugs, but it's pretty solid... much more solid than the tech previews led me to believe would be possible. I don't understand why Windows Phone fans seem to be slamming these phones left and right... they're great!
  • Yeah well hopefully the bridge efforts will see some fruit before this phone is even announced. If the app situation doesn't change by next fall, then what's the point anyway? At least the cross-platform apps that are available on all OSs has to be improved by then(ahem, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). One picture at a time -- LG V10
  • The bridge efforts died with Astoria.  iOS developers are better off working from scratch.  The other bridges are uninteresting.
  • iOS developers are better off working from scratch
    What makes you say that?
  • I like my 950 too.  The vocal complainers will complain about EVERYTHING.  When this "Surface phone" does come out, they'll complain that it's too expensive.  There's a certain element around here that can't be pleased.
  • Spectacular hardware? You sure about that? It's a flagship phone made out of plastic, that looks indistinguishable from a $60 Lumia 640. It has the same SoC/performance as $400 Android phones e.g. Nexus 5C, Moto X Pure. You want a QHD AMOLED display? You can buy it at a discount now for $300 or less with the Nexus 6 (was on sale for $200 shortly around Black Friday). Cobble all these antiquated specs together and BOOM you've got the 950.
  • It's funny, the 1520 was made from plastic as well, I never hear people make the same complaints.
  • The 1520 is 2 years old, the standards for flagships have been raised since then, I would hope.
  • I felt like the iPhone 6 plus was like a 1520 to be honest. I feel it's relative on a certain level. Upgrade cycles depend on user, stability of OS, and hardware. That said, Idk if I'll still have my 1520 by the time this comes out.
  • I've compared my 950xl to my buddies 6plus and the 950xl is sleeker and smaller despite having the larger screen of the both (5.7inch vs the 6plus's 5.5inch). The 6plus is one ugly clunky mess, to be honest. My white Lumia 950xl with its polycarbonate and all is looking much better then the iPhone 6plus. And comparing the 950xl to the 640xl? Think again! The screen is so much better, and the 950xl looks so much better and more premium from the back go look both phones up on Bing, you'll see!! or better! Go to your local Microsoft store and compare both side by side! There is a huge differens in look and feel with both phones! 
         
  • [QUOTE] My white Lumia 950xl with its polycarbonate and all is looking much better then the iPhone 6plus.[/QUOTE] Now THAT is a textbook example of seeing exactly what you WANT to see.
  • I love how people cry about metal.....then put a plastic case on it.
  • @seanpr - there are a lot of us that don't use a case at all, or use a slip-case (like I do). That ensures it's protected when not in use, but you can still appreciate the aesthetics when in use.
  • stop with this plastic-nonsense. even super cars prefer plastic body kits. tradeoff of having a metal body for phones are receptions and wireless charging. how can you call it a flagship phone when it hinders you to have a good signal and don't charge wirelessly?
  • This is all a bunch of BS.  The only thing missing is the next generaton Atom chip--Broxton.  That is all.  The new phone will ship as soon as the next gen INtel Atom processor is ready to go which will include an integrated baseband modem.  Goodbye Qualcomm.  But I would be curious about integrated 3D Xpoint memory or 3D NAND memory in the phone. So rethinking the phone has more to do about passing info seemlessly between phone and PC via cloud/wifi/bluetooth.  What happens if you put a 128 gb 3D Xpoint memory cude on die with the SoC?
  • Nope.  ARM > X86.  Less power draw, less heat, smaller, better performance.  Only reason why Intel was popular way back was because less memory consumption due to CISC arch.  Today they are prominent for desktop performance and backwards compatibility, but this is threatened with the existence of WinRT, and the rate at which ARM processors are evolving. You don't want an Intel phone on WP yet.  Will require a lot of coding to OS, big potential for a mess in development.  Can't even target a single platform on time as it is....
  • Totally agree.
  • I agree. Techniclally, I believe Broxton shipped as x3, x5 and x7. But I think it's fair to say that MS is working closely with Intel to get the new gen Atom x7 processor mated up with Intel's latest and greatest LTE modem, the 7360, as a SoC solution. The Surface 3 has the x7 and 7360 built it, I believe, but they're not a single SoC. Instead, the modem is off chip / non integrated. Put them together like Intel has to be planning to do at some point, add a few performance and power tweaks and the new chip should be a winner.
  • It's 2015, ain't nobody paying $600+ for a plastic phone these days, why would they when they can pay the same price and get a premium phone built with premium materials and with a premium design? This is exactly why Windows Phones sales suck, and also exactly why the Surface phone is going to be all metal, because they're learning from their mistakes with plastic flagships. And the specs are antiquated, deal with it, QHD and AMOLED has been around for over a year. SD 808 is found in mid-range $400 phones. SD 810 can be found in $500 phones, that are also made with QHD, AMOLED, and premium materials. The 950 and 950XL were finally released on Nov 2015, the same month the SD 820 was released, making them obsolete on arrival! Why pay $600+ for a flagship phone with yesteryear's specs?
  • "And the specs are antiquated..." That really is just a stupid statement. The specs may not be cutting edge because they've been available for a while but they are still as good as it gets at the moment.  Can you show me the phones sporting an SD820?  I don't think you actually know what "antiquated" means.
  • Yes, polycarbonate has been proven beyond doubt to be superior to metal in every way...
  • The 1520 was beautiful, you really can't compare the two.
  • Higher quality plastic and aesthetics on the 1520.  You are physically composed of the same material as Rosie O'Donnell.  Just think about that.  Let it sink in... Ok, have you drawn any parallels??
  • Yes, the 1520, 1020, 920...they were all polycarbonate plastic. Yet those phones had that peculiar designs that just got attention. The rounded edges made plastic seem premium. And that's why no one complains about the design. Even my android and ios buddies just go wow at this design. Some even considered switching platforms just for the design. This design is the only thing microsoft compromised with the 950s.
  • Agreed, but with a focus on the screen. There's certainly no mistaking the 950's for the 640's; the former look and feel much better. But that flat screen is a serious step back from the beautiful sculpted displays of the Fabula designs!
  • And he's obviously fine with that.  Why do you have a problem with it being that you already have your Android phone?
  • Antequated specs? Sure some lower cost devices can match some parts of the 950 spec but seriously, what devices have newer chips nthan the 808 and 810? More than 3 GB ram? Higher resolution (and seriously, there comes a point when it really doesn't make much difference - i'd have been fine with the 950 being 1080p and onger battery life due to pushing less pixels).  Like i said, some of these specs are also on tother devices, and it does seem clear that the fingerprint readers beat iris scanning in terms of the compromise of security & convenience, and perhaps cameras in general are mostly good enough (though my guess is the 950 / 950XL is better performing in low light than the $400 devices you mentioned). Yes, lumia may be overpriced and certainly, given the market position a lower price could ahve helped that. Yes, a higher end design (even more like the 830 which has removable battery and micro SD might have helped things sell, but i get microsofts intent to spur some 3rd party covers too. But don't give me antequted specs - spec wise the lumia are up there with the best of them on the market today.
  • The SD 820 will be out very soon and it is supposed to be much better than the 810. Camera wise, it will be surprising if the Lumias can compete with MotoX or Nexus. They are rated higher than the iPhone, which it isn't clear if the Lumia 950 is any better. There really isn't anything remarkable about these devices. Not even HDMI out or keyboard support. That has been available on other platforms for years. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Absolutely you can't begin to knock the specs on the 950s. Cameras are outstanding for a start plus everything else you mentioned. And now the price is half what it was at launch (as is expected with all high end devices).
  • You want your flagship to be light weight..removable back cover..replaceable battery..dual SIM..micro SD support..Wireless charging..Lesser than other flagships .. Everything should be achieved with a metal finish phone .. Well done you have been invited for MS's R&D team!!
  • How's the wireless charging, removable battery and expandable storage going on the metal, unibody iphone 6?  Oh yeah...
  • But Apple does the same OS across all devices.....oh yeah
  • If Snapdragon 808 and 810 perform the same as Snapdragon 400, Microsoft can't do anything..
  • Yeah.. You should totally put those together and make a cheaper phone.
  • Antiquated specs... get a grip on yourself, dude. It's got the latest and greatest, no dispute about that. That the design is less than overwhelming is a different mattter.
  • And you still have lagdroid on that nexus plus all the scroogle tie ins, no thanks.
  • I just wish they had put the 950 internals into the 830 or 930 body. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Interesting. My son's 950 doesn't seem to have issues with Hello, unless you mean the fact that you have to hold the phone so close.
  • That's my biggest beef with Hello.  You have to hold it unnaturally close for it to read your iris.
  • I guess. However, in defense of retina biometric technology, it's actually not that bad. I've never known or read about any retina biometrics that did not require you to get very close to the scanner.
  • Retina differs from Iris. Iris biometrics can scan using infrared cameras which is now available on Lumia 950 and 950XL, while retina biometrics still nowhere found in any phones. Well, since it's a camera, if there's smudge in its lens, it will be harder to focus, thus will make Hello less effective.
  • Iris scanning using an infrared cameras is still biometric. The terminology is used for ANY technology that uses a person's individual physical features to identify them, ie, fingerprint, veins, facial, or retina. The only difference is the technology used. Update: I was reading this as I was walking and realized a misread what you were saying. You are correct about the differences between retina and Iris scanning.
  • Think of a movie, some fool always gets up close and personal to the scanner...
  • Actually, it doesn't have to be un naturally close. Once you do the improve iris detection a few times in different lighting it performs very well. Biggest trick.... Look at the red light, not just your screen. I've been able to unlock my 950 in a pitch black room with no problem.
  • I don't know if you are being sarcastic, joking or serious.  "I just can't see what any of the complaints are about..."  well let's see, you listed just a few in your own repsonse.  1. Hello doesn't work that well, 2. It's beta, 3. No colored backs, 4. App situation is STILL a disaster, 5. W10 STILL has a few bugs, 6 Spectacular hardware-- Man,the hardware is the same as my midrange 640.  with the exception of cameras.  I could've added a few more to the list but just wanted to go by your very own list.   
  • Few bugs to put it lightly.......
  • Hardware is same as 640..are you drunk??
  • 1: It works as advertised. Nice if you're wearing gloves.
    2: What, the phone...?
    3: You can get a red one in leather... Pretty sure they'll be popping up everywhere when people get their 3D printers firing...
    4: Would be the same no matter which phone they released.
    5: Same as 4.
    6: No. Just... No.
  • You won the lamest response on the internet contest today... 1 and 2 are the same thing and just what do you expect from something named Beta? Mozo makes really cool backs, but most will get a cover anyways. Apps are just fine, MS isn't pulling 60,000 apps off it's store in one month for malware concerns like Google had to. W10 has a few bugs... ALL software has bugs, you live in a fantasy land. You compare it to the 640?!?! Really?!?! It doesn't support Continuum, have the same processor, camera, screen etc etc etc...
  • This comment is so spot on. As a 928 -> Icon (929) -> 950 user I have been pretty darn happy with the designs. The only comment I have on the 950 it is a fabulous device, but imo the back cover is really a negative. It is really cheap looking and feeling compared to the Icon (929). I get that I can buy the Mozo cases, but still I feel like the phone would be fragile. Both my 928 and Icon were absolute tanks that survived so many drops with barely a scratch. I wonder why they could not have done a design more similar to the 830.
  • I feel the other way around...! :-D I like the sleek, minimalistic back covers, and they felt pretty solid when I handled them. A lot more than my 630 from work certainly! The front is a letdown though, missing the sculpted display as it is. The metal frame on the 830 was a scratch magnet, and like all metal is either too hot or too cold to the touch...
  • There great? The resale value on them has already dropped and It's buggy as hell. It's a nonconsistent UI across basic "apps" and basic tasks are redundant. I have an AT&T 950 and the camera is no better (actually worse) than the latest Android phones. It's sad.
  • I myself wondering if they are truly fans or undercover trolls, the 950 & 950 XL beats all competition, then they complain about design, aww cut that crap
  • My thoughts too. I think the strain of such a prolonged wait has caused some to crack. The rest are just the usual trolls posing as 950 owners and spouting off nonsensical bullshit.
  • They're trolls pretending to own a Windows phone, 950 or some other Wp, of that I have no doubt.
  • I can tell you now there are dozens of the iCabal trolling this place as 'WP/WM' fans, it's a sport for them.
    I even came across this site as a result of listening to a pair of Apple employee's celebrating their baiting on the train.
    Figures. Haters gonna hate.
  • Exactly! Well said, sir.
  • I hate that engadget team. They are visibly against anything Microsoft. Always downplaying MSFT's effort and unnecessarily hyping apple's and android instead. I think I'm gonna delete their stupid app from my device.
  • Deleted it ages ago. Long since ceased to be objective. Not quite as bad as Pocket Lint, but not far off.
  • Then again, the Windows Phone "rejects" (950/950XL) are actually better than the other guys' "flagships". I'm trading my 1520 in for a 950XL.  It should do me until the Surface Phone surfaces.
  • I myself wondering what's all the fuss about ,both 950 & 950 XL are great flagship phones and people know what it's capable of.
  • I don't think so. Because the masses' don't even know the 950/XL exists let alone know or follow new about.
  • actually this is quite the opposite, they are saying "buy 950 since the next phone will take more than a year".
  • This. Besides a year is a long time. Anything can happen...
  • Remember: McLaren....
  • That's exactly what I did. Bought a 950 as soon as I read this article. I said f that, can't wait longer for a better phone. I'll upgrade in a year.
  • Exactly, now I am now relaxed about the upgrade to the 950XL I did. Pity the 1020 stopped charging half a year ago requiring a temp. 640XL that I justified to test if I'd tolerate a biggie. Still I want an even larger full windows desktop phone as soon as it is feasible to build one. Have been since well before the iMate vaporware. And Geodude074, I want it in plastic!! Durable changeable, renewable, doesn't scratch. I want to use and live with my phone, not having to be fondling and overly gentle. This from a gentle office kind of guy that also has a life in the real world
  • Exactly. No way my old 1020 will last until this gets out.
  • Why not? There's always going to be something cool coming in the future. For now, I'll enjoy my new 950.
  • Yeah the 950 is great right now. Windows Hello has worked great for me as well.
  • I agree...will pick up 950 this week.
  • I'm amazed at all the 950 owners after so many complained about its design...
  • Owners are not complaining, it is only Rubino crying for metal.
  • Haha there are mozo covers and others if anything,phone does it all
  • Seems to me the 950s are to tide WP users over, they don't seem to be hanging on to a lot of stock, and have limited their carrier partnerships.  There hasn't been a Flagship in a while, and people tend to upgrade every couple of years, people are due, or past due for an upgrade.  These Flagships are just the thing to tide people over.  Nadella even called these phones for the fans.  My old Flagship phone is about 3 years old now and isn't doing so well, in fact I got a cheap Acer WP to hold me over, figuring I could hold onto it as a emergency back-up device.  Can't wait for my 950 to get here! This new Surface phone seems at best a year away, and maybe more, plus the first iteration of Microsoft Devices in this new system seem to require a major refinement (Surface 1, Band 1), so if you aren't an early adopter, you are now easily 18-24 months out from this device.  About the right time to upgrade again. So, if you want to keep using your already old phone for another year or more instead of getting a 950 now, have at it.  I don't think that is going to hurt Microsoft's plans in the short term, and I'll be happily enjoying my modern flagship phone for the next year+ until this new phone gets the kinks out, about the time I should be ready to upgrade again anyhow.  
  • My Lumia 950 is being delivered tomorrow. Really excited for it! My next upgrade is due Spetmber 2017 so I will hold off for V2.
  • That better phone is 1 year away. I doubt anyone will wait for it that long.
  • Exactly that's what I don't understand too... They released these phones, which in my opinion are not bad at all, and people are buying them. So what, are they trying to make these people, who also happen to be their most die hard fans for fools?
    And I don't understand WC... They release these articles from now and then. To be honest, it's actually not like MS is releasing any news, guys here are producing these articles on their own mind. The last one was some days ago, when 950 started shipping.
  • I also don't see point of releasing rumour milled articles like this when we finally have great flagship product
  • "I swear I do not understand Microsoft some times. Why leak this information now when you are still trying to sell 950s?​" You seem to think that upcoming product info is always leaked on purpose.  Leaks are rarely intentional regardless of what the conspiracy theorist say.  Leaks are usually only seen be a small percentage of customers, they steal thunder from the actual announcement, and they reduce the ability of the company to market the product on their own terms.  There is almost nothing to gain from intentional leaks. 
  • They let a tech reviewer into the same room where a prototype phone was being made. If you don't think they knew what they were doing, I have a bridge for sale you may be interested in.
  • I don't think they leaked anything beyond the obvious. Beyond that this article is mostly speculation. There are no specs here, no real feature confirmation, heck, we don't even know if the next phone will be called 'Surface'.
  • There are people like me whose phone has aged (close to 3 years) and do not want to switch to other platforms. We cannot wait another 12 months for the next flagship. With this announcement, I am actually feeling excited: Knowing in 3 years time, my replacement phone would probably be a Surface Phone 3.
  • Microsoft is clearly saying that there will not be such a thing as a "Surface Phone" for at least a year. That will actually help 950/XL sales, not harm them.
  • There will always be something better next year so I don't think anyone should be returning their 950 or XL just to wait another year or more.
  • Everybody knows the next iphone comes out half a year later and keeps buying them..
  • What you mean why? Its like asking why would anyone buy Iphone 6 when they can get Iphone 7 year later.
  • Microsoft doesn't want the 950's which is why didn't buy one.  Why buy something not even MS wants.  The advertising budget for these phones is not much more than the cost of the phone itself. 
  • Actually many enthusiasts purchase phones on a yearly basis.  Hence why the iPhone, S series and other flaghips sell a new model every year.  This article actually makes a purchase now of a 950 or 950XL seem like a safe, or at least safer, purchase as the rumours of a Surface phone was a spring release.
  • I agree with skipping the first generation. I bought the first generation Dell Venue 11 Pro and it always has had constant bugs. I bought the 950 XL immediately and it has a lot of bugs. Assuming they get things ironed out with the 950 XL I will be skipping the first generation of whatever this is. Or if they don't get teh 950 XL ironed out in my first 30 days, I may have to look elswhere :(
  • Not even sure what that means, but it had me laughing. :D
  • Hahaha
  • Not sure why so many people seem enamored with a metal phone. I like the polycarbonate of my new 950XL. The phone is great. No issues with battery life, great display, GREAT camera. Got my free display dock which is (IMO) a free charger and a cool Microsoft paper weight.
    You want to make me happy? Give me a battery I can use for extended amount of time, remote desktop in continuum mode and (keep improving the) stellar camera and I'll keep throwing money at Microsoft.
  • "Not sure why so many people seem enamored with a metal phone. I like the polycarbonate of my new 950XL. " They really aren't, it's just something new to complain about.  It's been historically proven, that no matter what is presented, people will find flaws and complain about them.  It's the way of the internet.
  • You said it
  • So true.
  • It's just backlash, because of the way Nokia/MS have gotten away from all those metal designs they have always used in most of their previous phones. You know the metal Lumia 800/900/520/530/630/640/720/730/820/930/1320/1520. They could have at least gone metal back cover, like the 925/830, and just put a plastic band around the edges... /s I'm rocking my Thanksgiving 950 XL, and waiting on my FREE Continuum Dock, which, if you even factor in, with the 10% ($65) Education Discount, I got at the MS Store, brought the cost down to around $485. A 16GB iPhone 6s (not 6S Plus) costs what? $650? Factor in I DONT CARE MUCH FOR IOS, or Android OSes, and you have the only compelling reasons for my purchase. Whine all you want about signal-killing, bendy, scratch-prone metal. I'll be here, USING the Future, of W10M, while complainers wait for it. Oh, and Hello works GREAT, even with glasses. All you have to do, is train it from many angles, both without, and with, glasses.o have squinty eyes, so when it doesn't look like it sees me, I briefly flash my eyes, and I get that trademark wink!
  • Forgive me if I am unable to help you find your pants, I need to find mine first. Good leak, well articulated, but guess what, I have be rocking my L950-XL for a little over a week now and by George, I love it, This puts me in good premium phone timetable standing, yearly refresh it will be for both of us (MSFT and I), time of the year wise is good, I can convince myself it my annual Christmas schedule to me. FOlks who have not tried this 950 or 950XL should, it is awesome. I am returning it, I am going to enjoy my entire 1 year on it before upgrading to Panos Phone..
  • Yes.
  • In a nutshell, Nadella gave up on Lumia a while ago and just isn't man enough to tell us.
  • STOP CALLING THE 950/XL HO-HUM!!!!!!!
  • Agreed, gets annoying to see the 950/XL be promoted as a disappointment on Windows Central. I get it, it's not the Surface Phone and it's not the "Panos Phone" but it is still the best phone on the market if you don't care about SnapChat and a few other bullshit apps. I can't wait to get my hands on the 950 XL but since my 950 was stolen and I had to switch to the 640 looks like I won't get mine until July which sucks :(
  • Hello mbrdev, I am sorry to hear your 950 was stolen.  I would be super unhappy if mine was.  I concur with your concern about the 950/950XL being labeled a disappointment.  I am quite happy with my 950.  While I am quite aware that WaaS means that you cannot expect the OS to be "complete" I am also concerned that the immediate impression people get from the current status of an OS like Windows Mobile 10 may trump their understanding (if they do), that the OS may be significantly refined over time.
  • I lol for realsies
  • I am blown with how much of attention this article is getting.
  • Tell me about it.  This ($*% is the reason I might buy the 640.  But I'm not investing too much money into WP hardware.  Services, that is a different issue; if they get the Music app right I might spring for the Music Pass for a change.  I had a feeling that the 950, though I was enthusiastic about it, would not move the needle with the public.  And I was right. 
  • Gus, don't be the American adaptation of the British Gus.
  • Aaaand I'm not buying the 950xl.
  • We probably will be able to buy this by December 2016.
  • Yeah as a fan of Windows not sure I'd be able to get thru 2016 on an older phone, but to each his own. Yearly cycles are a thing now anyway.
  • This and a new-phone-every-year program. Like Apple.
  • I'm still torn on something like that. You're basically renting a phone, indefiitely, trading it out annually. I'd rather buy it out-right, and sell it to recoup part of the cost, than to do some sort of leasing-like program. 
  • It's a lease program, I would never use it. But I hope that Microsoft can get to a place where there is the level of faith that the next phone will be here in one year, and be enough better that I want to commit to buying it a year ahead. If you really think about it, that's what people are saying when they sign up for that Apple program, and I hope the Lumia line can get there.
  • I totally get what you're say.  Me however, I'm fine with paying $200.00 and then trading it up with 1 year if something new comes out.  If nothing comes out, I will pay the other $200.00 and then own it outright, and see what comes out then.
  • As long as they start/keep producing compelling anual refreshes, that'll be the route I take (most likely). Don't get me wrong, I ejoyed my 920 over the last 3 years, but it really does show it's age. I don't think I could have gone another year with sb-par photos (the Amber update introduced a terrible yellow tent that just wont go away), not to mention the lagging performance, and decreasing battery life. When I got my 950XL a few days ago, I was amazed by the screen, battery life, and performance. But the part that really blew me away was how much the camera technology has improved over just 3 years. 
  • Bloody amber update. :)
    http://cdn.trendhunterstatic.com/thumbs/wearable-tent.jpeg
  • This makes my 18 month AT&T Next plan for my new 950 seem like just about perfect timing for the new Panay phone in May 2017.  Its like I knew what I was doing...  
  • We all knew this was coming. I bought a 640 because it was cheaper than replacing the screen on my 1020 and I could hand it off to my little one. But carrying two devices around (simply for the camera) is 1) a nuisance and 2) showed me how long in the tooth my 1020 was. My 950XL is a much better stop gap than the 640 that I believe allows its buyers to possibly skip the 1st gen. Plus there's eBay!!
  • Yep, I wasn't willing to use my 640xl as a hold over due to the camera either.
  • Exactly. I'm not waiting a year for an upgrade to my 2 yr old phone because of a rumor.
  • It's not only the hardware.....its the OS and app eco-system.  Asus already has a phone with the Atom Prossor http://www.androidguys.com/2015/01/05/asus-zenphone-2-4gb-ram/ tell me MS could not work with Asus to lay the foundation while learning...we are still in Beta with 10586 so what's the difference.  Killer looking phone with a crapy OS and no app's is a failure.  I'm still holding on but MS is making it hard to not just put up the white flag.  I have used the MS apps on Andriod and iOS and the differences are clear...they make a better product for the others and this with the release of the "flagship" phone, what are they thinking!!
  • Well they did manufacture the concept phones for wp7
  • Dan, your methodical approach to reviews is stopping some poor phone shop person from earning some Christmas commission. I'm poised to purchase, once I get to the last full stop in your review. And man, I wish UK had some 12 or 18 month contracts. This 24 month cycle is too long.
  • That's exactly why I finally gave in and bought an iPhone 6sPlus.  Technically the 950 is a competent device ...but it's pricey when you factor in the fact that the Windows 10 mobile OS is still rough and too many vital apps are not available for it...and I'm not talking about games or snapchat.  I loved Windows Phone but, at this point, Microsoft's only hope for any size able market share is to reinvent what a cell phone can do.  It's a Herculean task...but I'm rooting for them and will be following the progress of the Surface Phone with great interest.
  • It's sad to say that Verizon Windows smartphone fans who want to stay with verizon have to wait maybe a year for the new "Surface" smartphone and pray that Microsoft and Verizon bury their hatchets and Verizon does carry the "Surface" smartphone. One thing's for sure since Verizon wont carry the MS Lumia 950 if Verizon does not carry the "Surface"flagship smart phone or another MS lumia flagship smartphone then Verizon will loose most of it's current Windows smart phone fans and that includes me
  • The phone can be purchased now. http://forums.windowscentral.com/microsoft-lumia-950-xl/398014-website-p...
  • Nope. And I don't think we will get it by December 2017 either.
  • It will be the best phone for the next 12 months... rumors are rumors.  This is something fast you can buy today.
  • And if history repeats, it will not be out in 2016.
  • Possible 5th quarter 2016?
  • LOL! There's no 5th quarter, dude. If you mean the first quarter of 2017, then, yes. But I like to see more about Surface Phone, and right now I'm looking for 950 coming into my country.
  • You caught me! It was a joke. I have, however,  been watching MS miss self imposed deadlines since the MS-DOS days.
  • Good one... I will be using that... 5thQ... Classic.
  • LOL 5th quarter
  • Fifth trimester of 2016.
  • I wouldn't go by history here any longer in regards to Windows phone/Mobile. I understand what you're saying but over the last 5yrs MS/Nokia/Balmer/Nadella were hammered with obstacles every which way. This changed recently. Now MS have a lot of work ahead of them to clean up and move along with their new strategy... It's not going to be easy but it should be far removed from 'the past'. That is my take on a more positive, optimistic view on the future for Windows Mobile. One can only hope....
  • Considering the 950XL is perpetually stuck in "Email me when available" land, I probably am not either. Well, there's always the unlocked 640XL, I suppose...
  • If you're in North America, you can get it in an MS store right now. Or Amazon US.
  • It is possible to get it bro. http://forums.windowscentral.com/microsoft-lumia-950-xl/398014-website-p...
  • Just get it and wait for Surface Phone 2.  That's what I'll do.
  • Lol... I rather just wait for the SPH1..
  • Donkey, carrot. Guess which one I am.
  • I would too but my 920 won't wait.
  • Lol... It won't last another 10 months???????
  • No. Have had it almost 2 years.  USB port dying, and software issues even after complete wipe.  It's probably because I've dropped it about a dozen times.
  • They don't last forever... It'll probably materialize into dust in about 90 days from now.
  • Buy a Lumia 950/950xl I did, and it was a great choice. If and when the Surface Phone comes it wil also be there when you're 950 gets old (or you're contract is up for renewal) and in the mean time you'll have  a great phone ;-)
  • My dilemma as well!
  • The only problem with my 1520 is the camera button stopped working over a year ago, and there's a small crack near the bottom of the screen.. Not sure how it got cracked,, it was just there one day.. Other than that it is still what I consider the best WP device Money can buy.. Not the most powerful, but the best.
  • Right and iPhone users don't get a new phone every year...c'mon =/
  • Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I read this phone will officially be called the 'Pumped Phone'. Is that true?
  • Thanks lord!! Here's my list...
    1. Redstone (A real consumer ready W10, which will probably happen in a few updates from now, anyways)
    -
    2. 6"/6.2"-6.5"/7" designs (In other words, a phone that can replace my tablet)
    -
    3. Hybrid Surface/Lumia design (The 920, 925, 930, & 1020, were beautiful. I hope the surface team uses a bit of Lumia in the design. If not, I think things could start to get boring with too much surface cloning.))
    -
    4. Intel processor.. ( Heck, give the damn phone an Intel processor, AND a Qualcomm chip. Think about that! A true hybrid smart enough to decide the best resource for specific task. That would be neat, and beneficial)
    -
    5. Color options. (I know it's a Surface product, but whatever; Give us color. And, hopefully some of that color will rub off onto the rest of the Surface line)
    -
    6. Multiple inputs. (Connectivity is a major factor that set the original surface apart from the crowd. A Surface phone should have no less than 2 USBC, and 2 MSDC slots.. Awesome!)
    -
    7. Serious accessories.. ( ""PEN"" Keyboards, docks, music production devices, screens, mice, controllers, speakers, headphones, drives, and the like)
    -
    8. Special Apps (Software to set the SP aside from Lumia devices.. IDK, something needs to stand out here)........
    -
    More
  • Without SnapChat, none of that will sell! :P
  • Well, very true.. It won't sell in huge numbers to the Average consumer... We also know the app gap will still be huge this time next year...
    ....
    Microsoft will just have to "market" to us ten fans, and enterprise, until they figure out how to sell devices......
    ....
    But, Windows 10 desktop might give us some hope... If there's any chance phone will get substantially more popular, and needed, apps it's that developers won't be able to ignore desktop market share.... The whole idea of W10, and universal apps, is something huge that MS did right..
  • I really hope they can make a push into Enterprise mobile.  I have 70k employees where I work and most drool over iPhones.
  • I think if they can be attractive in enterprise other markets will eventually catch on.... MS just needs to finally market a damn smartphone.. Hopefully with Surface on the device MS will care. We know everyone at MS hates Lumia devices.. They don't even use them themselves. But, a Surface phone we can be confident they will be proud of.. They'd probably market the he'll out of that... NFL deals.. Lol
  • Quote: We know everyone at MS hates Lumia devices..They don't even use them themselves. Who's 'we'? You and your inner self? So you think it's Nokia's fault that MS  has no vision? And even on execution they don't fare well. Their software is mediocre even compared to FOSS like Linux. I give them max 5 years before they split the company and try to salvage what's left.
  • So it's not anymore "Microsoft is dead" and "Microsoft is dying"??!!! It's now "Microsoft will split to salvage the company"??!!! LOL!
  • Huh??? What are you talking about?..... Sounds like you're the one who's got a lot of inner self beliefs about what people think... Nokias fault? What?. And, what the hell does Nokia have to do with anything?.... Are you on the right article? Lol. Weird, dude.
  • I dont see what radically different they can offer to enterprise. Specially when they are already brought office suite etc to IOS and Android. True that office on W10 is way ahead of IOS, but soon IOS version may be at par. They cant make a push into enterprise until they are able to win consumers.
  • We'll just have to wait and see.......
  •   What's snap chat?
  • Necessary.... It's necessary, that's what it is...
    .....
    And, it's not literally SC, rather what SC stand for.. SC is symbolic of the thousands of apps that people need and want... If your smartphone doesn't have them, then it will not succeed. Windows ABSOLUTELY needs these apps, or it will fail in 2016, and beyond.... There's no getting around it... That's what SC is.
  •   Never used it ;see no need for it. However, I totally understand it as a representative app.   I am still using a2 year old nexus 5 because when I borrowed a 640 LTE (planning ahead for the 950 release), I couldn't find the apps - or near equivalents - for some of the things I use daily, and certainly not for those I use slightly less often.    Now if the conjectured surface phone could run Android in a virtual machine... .  
  • Lol.. Blustacks!! Exactly. We can only dream.
  • What the hell is this Snapchat that some people seem to can`t live without ?
  • Lol.. Please don't start that....
    ....
    Just know that Windows needs every damn single app that iDroid has.. Every single one. If they got it, we need it, and it better eventually make it's way to the platform.....
    ....... That is all that matters.
  • Exactly, there should come a point where every ad you see on TV ends with, "And try our mobile app available on IOS, Android and Windows".
  • Seriously, years ago I thought we'd be there by now...... Sad, and pathetic..
  • Yep, you know what pissed me off couple weeks ago?  My wife bought me the BB-8 droid for my birthday.  Of course I couldn't use it because there's no windows app.  Had to borrow her iPad.  :O
  • Sadly, there is some truth in that.  It's clear that markets that have taken better to Windows Phone have  had more companies invest in apps for the platform ,  and the oposite is also true.  Ultimately you can have the best plaform in the world, beautiful, performant, but it it doesn't have the apps, that will be the footnote on every review and the reason they will recommend you don't buy. The one(ok, not the only one) market that MS has never been able to figure out is the US, and sadly, that's also home to a highly influential tech press community.  
  • Exactly.. Well said..
    ....
    And, it hits home! We need apps! I need the Vance&Hines FP3 tuner app for my Harley... Now, I'm a longtime (very long) fan of WP. My worst fear is having to admit I need a Android device..... Guess what.. I'm going to go get one now, just for certain apps, like this.. Sure it'll just stay in my bag, but it's necessary.... Now, if that's necessary for me to do,, how could a WP/WM fan not think that apps aren't critical?..... Do they think that the average consumer is as dumb as I am, and is gonna carry two phones?? Not likely, and that's stupid.. So, why should I have to?
  • Play games in xbox360 more info
  • You have tour all over the world so which place you like very beautiful.
    Survive In Bed Book
  • Then there’s 6snap, the unofficial snapchat app for wp
  • Looking from a realistic app gap standpoint, and thinking of what the average consumers expectations are, 6Snap doesn't exist;; no third party apps do........
    ......
    Yes, we know about 6snap. SMDH.. Lol
  • Cool ideas! I'll jump to the Surface phone bandwagon in 2017 since I uograded to a Lumia 950 and my next uograde is due in September 2017!
  • That's even better.. Look forward the the SPH2❕❕❕❕❕❕❕
  • I think it would be a joke to have full windows on a phone.
  • It won't look like full Windows when it's functioning as a phone.
  • I'm not sure you get Continuum. When used as a phone the phone OS is just that. It only becomes a desktop OS when connected to a monitor. The issue today is Continuum can only run Store apps. The paradigm is only half complete and the natural progression is to take it further.
  • Getting win32 apps to run in the store environment needs to happen even if the PC phone never materializes, but a true pc phone would be a game changer. With so many people going away from traditional pc's. This phone would be a contender even to die hard apple and droid fans. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android because I am unfortunately with Sprint
  • I still wouldn't want to run native windows application from my phone.  The OS would balloon in size to handle the phone and desktop let the storage requirements for the desktop apps.  Would i need to carry an external drive for those apps?  Plus managing the desktop OS apps from the phone would be a nightmare being we all know uninstalling software is always a clean process and every file and registry settings for said software are removed properly.  Doing this raises questions: Would the phone and desktop OS be sandboxed?
    Would viruses for the desktop OS be able to get to the phone OS; breaking through the sandbox?
    Would the OS partition the micro-sd for phone vs desktop OS apps? If I want to run desktop apps I'll take my Surface Pro....
  • Thing is, we have no idea how they are going to execute this. Maybe the phone plugs into a Surface to become a computer acting as the display dock on-the-go. There. New computer.
  • Maybe a second x86 processor that only spins up when running an x86 application? The only way I could see them "reinventing" the phone category would be to have x86 support and the x86 support obviously means intel. So far battery life/perfomance per wat for intel powered chips is not remotely close to ARM, so unless they pull out some sort of magicbetween now and next year it's going to have to be something separate from normal phone operation.
  • YOu mean like the Atrix?  Hope not, besides, that's not very extensible -  a bit Surface 3 Dock rather than Surface 4 dock.
  • I wonder if the testing Intel is doing is to find out a way to give the next version of the Surface pro workstation class graphics and processing power? Maybe by using the Surface Phone as a "booster" of sorts.
  • Yeah, like you couldn't use programs that are 2 years old, or older, that use fewer resources! -_-
  • I personally don't believe MS will allow legacy Win32-type applications to run on the phone, but would only allow those that have been updated/developed using the Win32 bridge to be used on the phone. IIRC from keynotes/sessions at Build or Ignite, when using the bridge for Win32 apps, they would be placed in containers that basically have all the files needed to run the app so you wouldn't have dll's scattered all over the drive. Everything would be self-contained and (hopefully) since it would be made available in the Windows Store, it would be free of malicious code and all traces of the app removed when you decide to delete it from your phone just like regular phone apps. As far as drive space, since these phones would hopefully have SDXC like the 950s, you could theoretically have 2TB of storage available for your apps and data in addition to internal storage.
  • You can fit your Surface Pro in your pocket?  SOME of us want this.  But hey, primortal doesn't want it, so let's scrap it.
  • Continuum is just a fancy name for WinRT. :D
  • I bet in the first phase the crazy bastards will do a phone with two CPUs built on two different architectures (ARM and x86, a REAL x86, not Atom) just so you will be able to run REAL Win32 apps when in Continuum. :D This is the bare minimum they HAVE to do to make a big splash.
  • It wouldn't be a joke, think of some of the apps that we don't have now like HBOGo and SiriusXM, we could simply go to the website using the browser and they would work. No app required. 
  • Eh... Flash/HTML5 video eat a ton of CPU cycles handling streaming video which in turns eats up battery life. I don't really see that as a great alternative to native apps.
  • So, you thought remote desktop apps were a joke?....
    .......
    Having full Windows run right on my phone, and being able to actually view it on my device, would be the ultimate evolution of Remote Desktop... That's what I always dreamed of. If the phone has that level of continuum then MS better give us the options to view W10 remotely, and locally...
  • Let's think outside the box, afterall MS is the "mobile first, cloud first" company right? Could Microsoft pull off a performant VDI session hosted in their cloud ("OnePC") and bundle it with every W10M handset along with the killer OnePC universal app and now your PC is part of your phone/ecosystem. Follows you wherever you've got access to W10 devices!!!??!!! I'm sure not feasible, but thought I'd provoke some thoughts.... ;-)
  • I've always thought along those lines....
  • NO.  This would be a return to Origami and we all know what happened there.
  • I'm seeing a fine line between reinvention and toaster fridge...
  • Always thought that, "surface phone" was just a nickname refering to that upcoming Panos phone :D
  • On another note.. We can't say "SP1" for Surface Phone 1,, because that's what's used for Surface Pro..... It'll have to be called the SPH1, or something similar,, around here... Just saying
  • SM1
    Surface mobile
  • Sounds like a carrier... Lol
  • why not PP1?
  • Explain.. Lol
  • PP - Panos Phone?
  • Surface isn't a worldwide brand ...
  • Neither is Lumia... Lol. Nobody in the US, or China knows what it is.
  • Lol what? The world does not consist of US and China only. In countries where Nokia phones were a large presence, Lumia will be there. At least where I live, we get to see Lumias on large ad boards across the nation. Surface? It's already SP4 and none ever arrived here.
  • SPh1! Just saying!
  • it used to mear service pack 1 and Sueface used to be a table top computer names bet repurposed all the time
  • battery life is going to be a huge hurdle for them
  • There are a ton of hurdles including being a gen 1 device (cough, buggy Surface Book, cough). So yeah, this i one of those "it may be awesome on the second or third version" situations. We'll see.
  • Although the tablets running Intel Atom processors seem to cope ok on battery life. Personally, I would guess we'll see an Atom CPU in this phone, which will be fine and give us the continuum experience we're all hoping for. Then of course.... Mobile i3/i5/i7 processors will hopefully follow in the lead upto 2020
  • Exactly.  We already have PCs-on-a-stick, so the hardware isn't really the issue, the software is.
  • Regulatory issues in other countries with running Windows as a full blown OS on a phone... Think about it.
    ....
    Probably an old issue, though
  • Maybe they will test it "inhouse", get some (most?) of the bugs out, push back the release date and surprise us all with a v2 or v3 that has less bugs, more secure and looks/works better than iPhone or Android (like that would be hard to do)?
  • Superb, my 930 still works and is 100% OK. So this means for that I can wait ans get this phone.
  • Agreed, my 920 is still going strong. But if they can't get the app store bigger it won't matter
  • The end of 2016 is too late. Heck, the Lumia 950 & XL are too late.
  • If true, your comment is too late.
  • They said that about the 920, the 1020, and 930/Icon.  It'll be ok.
  • You're saying it was Ok??? Lol. 3% market share?
    ........
    Ummmm. No.
  • Wow man, you continue to say/post so much yet offer nothing. WTF does 3% mean to YOU? What does it represent to YOU? Are you just another flapping head reading and regurjitating what some other misinformed nay-sayers write? Because I'm *assuming* you still use a WP device. And if that's the case, then "3%" means nothing to you because you still have it, and have not replaced it... yet. Get the hell over it... 3% means nothing to you until or unless you decide to go with something else. Fire back, post back, whatever. People like you are and continue to be a bigger problem to WP than "3%".
  • Windows Phone fans are never happy. I saw people complaining that the 950/XL isn't being released with the Snapdragon 820... a part that doesn't even exist yet.
  • That's not necessarily a true statement.  My wife and I were VERY happy with the 920.  When the 1020 came we bought those and have been ever MORE happy with them.  Then Microsoft started its downhill slide.  Nothing that's come out since has been worth it.  We broke down and bought a pair of the 950 devices.  Talk about disappointment.  I had low expectations to begin with, but some people INSISTED the camera was the best.  What a bunch of bull.  So, there has yet to be a real successor to the 1020, as far as we are concerned.  So, yes, some Windows fans have been and COULD have been happy.  But lacklustre devices and Windows 10 have all but turned us off.
  • Me coming from a Lumia 1020 ,I find Lumia 950 pics to be great
  • ^This! Like what reality are we living in?
  • Count it to 2017
  • Agreed.
  • I have to agree. WP is going nowhere fast currently and the hardware choices just narrowed to too-expensive 950 or effectively a downgrade even from a 3 year old phone. I need an 850, and it's not going to happen. And the app gap is doing the rest. So frustrating because I like WP a lot. Meanwhile MS seems to be dreaming about tomorrow and has forgotten to sell today.
  • Lol.. Yep. You're right...
    .....
    Don't speak the reality around here though... That's called trolling by the delusional.
  • I think I hear Android Central and a Moto X calling your name.
  • Why go from bad to worse?  At this point it's gotten so bad that now Windows phones are simply the lesser of three evils.
  • Unfortuanetly it will be too late by that time!
  • Too late for what? People have been "predicting" WP's failure and death since it's inception... in 2010.
  • And don't forget that people have also been intoning their mantra "Microsoft is dead" "Microsoft is dying" since forever.
  • I came
  • Lol
  • ...to the party. I think you left out that part.lol One picture at a time -- LG V10
  • Might be too little too late. The x86 chipset is intresting though.
  • Great article!
  • ahem. I mentioned that Microsoft would be working on an intel phone about 2 years ago. that aside, what remains to be seen is if an intel powered phone can match or exceed a Qualcomm based phone in hardware features/functionality
  • I've been telling everyone that indieimprint revealed this two years ago, but no one believes me!!
  • Would you provide a list of winning lottery tickets for the next two years?  Please?    
  • To be clear, the Universal Windows Platform is what Microsoft is pushing as Windows now, so I don't see that going anywhere.
  • Personally, I hope they don't include an Intel chip or X86. I feel like a crappy phone with a built in crappy PC would just be a crappy experience. Qualcomm's next-gen CPU will be ahead of Intel's mobile efforts, and adding x86 apps to a phone will hurt the experience, kill storage, etc. I hope MS just works on making a phone that's even better. And most importantly, I hope they get 10 stable and fully featured for phones, fast.
  • Personally, I hope they DO include an Intel chip for x86 support.  MS's only chance in mobile is something drastic like this, literally any other strategy will fail.  Would love to be able to travel light, use my phone as a phone 90% of the time, then hook it up to a monitor/TV to do some large-format stuff.  Just because your imagination sucks doesn't mean the rest of us should suffer.
  • Oh, come ON.  Be honest, seriously.  Do you, in your heart of hearts, actually believe a significant number of people will ditch their iPhones or Android phones to get an intel-based Windows phone?  Really?  Even when I was the biggest cheerleader for Windows Phones I would never have been so deluded into thinking that would happen.  I travel frequently and even I would not find it useful to hook my phone up to a tv.  I find it much easier to carry my Surface Pro 3.  I don't have carry any dongles/adapters, either.
  • I'm reading a lot of "I" in your post; other people (including myself) don't give two shits what your limited point of view holds for future offerings.  And neither myself nor MS expect a significant number of people to switch from Android or iPhone at this point, but the smartphone market is huge, and worth being in, especially focusing on enterprise.  If they really can put x86 support in your pocket, and it still works well enough as a phone, it would work better than any other strategy (especially in the enterprise), all I'm saying.  
  • This guy gets it. http://www.afr.com/technology/microsoft-lumia-950-xl-phone-review-the-be...  
  • Exactly!!!!! It is the opposite way .. It is universal apps now... Not win32or whatever apss
  • This, ^^^^^ The UWP is game changing. People have to stop thinking only about the phone. Write an app for the 100 million and counting Win 10 users and get the phone app for almost nothing. Devs will support Win 10 as it allows them to share a lot of the pieces from other OSs and use them in Windows. This is significant.
  • I will probably wait to see what this phone is all about and keep my current 640/iPhone 6 Plus combination for my two lines.  However, it does provide more incentive to get the 950 XL to replace the 640 as I would be able to use it for a year without having to consider upgrading.
  • What guarantee is there that this will also not get cancelled?
  • That's what came to my mind also. The 950 seems like a great replacement for my 1020 except for the zoom not being as powerful. If it evers gets down to a penny on contract sale I will have a tough decision to make. I wish HTC, LG, Sony, and Samsung would bring a WP to market for more choices.
  • x86 chip in a smartphone? This may actually be a game changer. Bring it on Microsoft.
  • Exactly! :)
  • I think "Surface Lumia" makes more sense than calling it "Surface Phone". Just my opinion.
  • Personally, I'd rather see the names diverge. Asha for budget smartphones, Lumia for business, and Surface for premium. I think a lot of people would argue that the Surface name should be geared towards business users, as the Surface devices generally have been more of a business-focused device. But, looking at devices like the Surface Pro and (especially) the Surface Book, I think premium is a much better fit. 
  • Business premium!
  • The simpler the product portfolio the better.. Since Lumia has already been around quite some time, using that base as a continuum of products, ordinary consumers won't be alienated much to the concept. Since "Surface" has been used by Microsoft on products that mean premium quality and putting them together by using the word surface as an adjective would set it above all other lumia lines and would translate to Premium Microsoft Windows Mobile.. Just my idea, I guess.
  • I'd call it... Surface Mobile  
  • Surfone. ^_^
  • Lumia is dead, no need to keep it around. 
  • *Insert thank you gif here*
  • It isn't.. Microsoft just recently launched 950 and 950 XL, didn't they?
  • It will release in 2017 second quarter...my prediction.
  • I predict they will totally have changed direction and come out with some new pancake making device.
  • Trust me, with Surface being a premium brand and releasing a phone under it, it's going to be expensive and unfortunately, people will still complain. *BEING A 1ST GEN DEVICE* (Biggest complain)
    And can't wait that much either. If it's October event (which I am placing my bets on), release date would be in 2017 and I don't even know whether I'll live that much or no.
    Sorry but I am going to enjoy what life has to offer today. Lumia 950XL ain't a joke as well. It's the best MS and Nokia has to offer. Whether the x86 functionality MIGHT COME and what shall it do is yet to be seen and the funny thing is how the experience will be on a 5-6 inch screen.
    E.g. PhotoShop on a 5/6 inch, yeah like that will save the market.
  • Nokia's not involved. Assuming that Photoshop is available, you wouldn't be doing it on the phone. That's what Continuum is all about.
  • What Nokia has to do with it?
    So what's the point then if at the end your going to run on PC?
    You didn't get what I wrote. The people are dreaming for a surface phone mainly because of running x86 programs ON A PHONE, NOT THROUGH CONTINUUM. By your logic, we simply need an app for PhotoShop and even the 950's would be able to run it. But then again, you need to read my comment again :D
  • Yup, it's always advisable to go with the NOW.
  • Exactly. Tomorrow is yet to be seen
  • Surface may be a premium brand, but you also have to remember they have awesome mid-range Surface products too (i.e. Surface 3, which I LOVE and use daily).  Surface is their 'convertible' product category, everything under the Surface brand transforms to fit your life.  I can see this new reinvented category Phone to have the same innovative design.  Should be interesting, and hey it may be expensive, but it works for the Surface brand.  It's one of their most successful brands, so the cost point is obviously a non-issue, especially since you get a LOT more value from the Surface products than you do from the more expensive Apple products.
  • Daniel, waited for this article since it was hinted at before thanksgiving :) Great article, with some thought provoking ideas in there... What if... they shoe horned an Intel processor with a Qualcomm processor set into a combined SOC? Could they use windows 10 mobile apps and the power sipping Qualcomm when on battery and when connected to the display dock and using Continuum (and being powered through that dock also), then use the Intel processor and subsequently also be able to use x86 apps? Interesting - cant wait to find out - but in the mean time i will be using the 950XL in the meantime:)  
  • Windows 10 doesn't require an ARM chip to run regardless of platform. It's not RT.
  • you're missing my point... this would give instant access to x86 apps when needed and all other apps and battery efficiency when not needed.
  • That's an excellent idea. If you look at the actual SOC part it is tiny. I wonder if it could share RAM between CPUs though. Stoarge would be no issue, but I don't know how that would work with RAM. They could use the cooling tech from the 950xl. Having a desktop class CPU only when docked would be way cool.
  • Exactly! :)
  • The x86 chip in my Asus Zenfone 2 has no problem at all with battery life. It is every bit as good as my Qualcomm-based Nexus 4 was. This efficiency myth needs to die.
  • I think you'd have to have some sort of insane liquid cooling mechanism and very expensive heat resistant materials to pull a dual processor SOC off, not to mention the space with the battery, ports and other things. The phone would end up around 6" with all of that where I think 5.7 at this point is PUSHING it.
  • You would basically have to install the OS twice and reboot the phone when switching. ARM and x86 are different instruction sets, each requires a specifically compiled build for the instruction set. Unfortunately your idea wouldn't make a whole lot of sense.
  • My Lumia 930 can now last another year before im thinking about replacing it, i was thinking 950 upgrade in a few months but not now.
  • Wasn't too impressed about 950 anyways. My 920 is still rocking so one more year and then goodbye Lumia and welcome Surface Phone.
  • 920 is the bomb! I'm still using my 3 year old white 920 which people think is a new phone. Its just the OS that's feeling stale nowadays.
  • I couldn't imagine yet another year with the 920... beloved to me though it is.  I bought a LG Flex 2 for $250 bucks since I'm mnot at all impressed with the 950 or windows 10 mobile... absolute steal. 
  • I love my Crimson Caller, RED 920, but it took a backseat to the 1020 and they've both taken a backseat to the 950.  I can't bring myself to sell any of them, though. ha ha.  Well, the 920 won't have much of a market, anyway, with its age.  I hope they don't make the "Surface Phone" TOO expensive.  Well, I guess I better start saving now! :)
  • Just got a 950 xl and now this ones right around the corner...
  • Enjoy that phone man. I'll be buying that soon (once it gets release to my country). You still have no idea what would it be, how it will perform, the camera, how much the continuum experience will be improved, will running PHOTOSHOP on a 5-6 screen be enjoyable, being metal = no sd card and removable battery and most of all, ITS A 1ST GEN DEVICE!
    So no. 950/XL are great devices. Don't be disappointed and besides, this phone might not be released before 2017 given the track record .
    *My opinion*
  • Hahaha well same for me, waiting for my xl on friday but wth its a long way to this one is out..    
  • Exactly. As I said, no need to wait this much and its way late. You won't see the light before 2017 and can't wait that much. Already having a 1520 and after seeing the camera and features of XL, I really want it. This surface phone has yet to prove that it's way better than the former ones.
    And what about the price?? The biggest factor of all.
  • The 950XL is an excellent phone (I've been enjoying mine, as well). This "Panos's Phone" (I almost want that to be the actual name) may end up being delayed, or cancelled. For all we know, it will never leave the lab. Enjoy what you have for now. If this thing does come out, and you decide it's just too awesome not to have, trade in your 950XL, and upgrade. 
  • I just had lunch and now dinner is right around the corner...
  • And after few hours, breakfast shall be released
  • Definitely makes me reconsider buying the Lumia 950. Maybe I shall wait until it is <£400 and purchase then, giving more time for the bugs to be ironed out. Only problem is I have to make my 2 and a half year old Lumia 620 survive another year.
  • Oh my god. Just kidding I'm an atheist lol
  • Holy shit this is fantastic, but it makes me ponder. Should I wait almost an entire year for perhaps the next phone to launch with an iteration of W10M or should I just buy the 950 now and turn around and purchase a Surface phone a year later?
  • Go with the here and now. Always!
  • Combined with a surface book style discrete gpu dock... Would be really interesting.
  • I see little reason to get excited here. MS has done so many things wrong in the mobile market that I have little faith in them. I wonder if this phone will work with Verizon?
  • It will be available for att only, and att service reps will do everything in their power to make sure that the vast majority of consumer don't know of it's existence.... and will instead lead them to iphones.
  • There are some tantalizing hints as to the future right now.  I currently get missed call alerts on my Desktop machine when my Windows 10 phone misses a call.  A future where I can use my phone from my laptop or desktop to make a call in the same house is a distinct possibility and blurs the lines a bit. Another point of interest is that Intel has the same high stakes in changing the game.  They haven't been successful in the mobile market either, though they have come a long way in that area.  The upcoming Willow Trail CPUs are supposed to be a major leap forward on that front, but they can make even more headway by innovating even further. Take a look at the Surface Book.  The power of a tablet is enhanced when docked by being able to use a discrete GPU, freeing up memory in the process since that GPU has its own dedicated video memory.   Why not expand this beyond just GPUs and do the same for CPUs?  A quad core Atom is mated to a desktop or laptop dock with a discrete GPU and another quad core, becoming an eight core CPU with a GPU - and possibly more memory added as well.  The laptop dock is docked to the desktop dock and the power of each is added to the other. Not only can the future be convergent devices, the future can also be modular devices where the CPUs, GPUs, etc are also modular.  But it would take the combined power of Intel and Microsoft to figure out how to make it work. 
  • very interesting idea about having the intel based processors in the dock.... makes my idea of show horning them into the SOC alognside the Qualcomm seem a little dated :) 2016 going to be an interesting time i think.
  • Exactly! :)
  • Intel is now putting cell radios (GSM, LTE, CDMA) in with their chips.  The CPU chassis that is coming with Goldmont allows this to easily be customized, so an OEM can have various components such as cores, radios, CPU cache, and even on-die GPUs all swapped out.   In many ways, the Goldmont architecture is already going to be modular.  How far can it go?  What are the limitations? There are hints that Goldmont will be Intel's major breakthrough to surpass ARM in power and efficiency when it comes to mobile.  It's not been odd for Intel to fall behind a bit only to make up ground and take the lead once more.  I suspect this will happen in mobile.  But Intel really needs to show a major selling point.  And they need Microsoft to sell it.  Win32 apps from the Store, running in desktop mode helps make the argument.  Modular computing adds to it, allowing for a pocket pc to become a power pc through docking.
  • Very interesting development. I'm much happier to hear Panos and the team will be able to start from scratch and stamp their authority on the design. Can't wait to see what they come up with. But what else exactly could they possibly come up with? Let's think!
  • Sounds like a good plan.
  • This makes perfect sense. I always had an issue with the original Surface Phone rumour, why would they release another flagship 6 months after the 950's? Frankly I'm surprised we heard this much, Panay's team has shown they can keep secrets. As such I don't expect to hear much else on this subject till late summer at best (except the inevitable, unsourced rumors and speculation.)
  • This IS the phone we've been waiting for! And hopefully all carriers will want it!!!
  • So I guess I should just go ahead and get the Lumia 950 (non-XL...) since I want the XL but ATT doesn't carry that one and I want to use ATTNext. And I'll just upgrade the 950 when the Surface Phone comes out.
  • Dear lord, Windows Phone fans have to keep waiting for flagship phones. The 950/XL was super late and now this one gets pushed back too.
  • Hallelujah! Windows 10 Mobile is saved! Et cetera et cetera... I just hope that Microsoft does this new phone justice as far as marketing is concerned.
  • The problem is that the last vision of mobile future comes from Apple with iphone thanks to Steve Jobs....can panos be the new Jobs? Even with great achievement like surface (with the pro 3 and 4) and surface book I'm not so confident in a new revolutionary device that can rewrite the rules...
  • And that's why I'm glad I'm waiting. Priv screen goes up
  • I'm glad that I didn't wait and I'll be glad to snatch up the new one, when it is released! :) 950 screen goes WOW
  • My only question/concern about a supposedly x86 SoC based device running Win10 Mobile: would it be able to run legacy (WP7.x, WP8.x) apps, or only the new UWP apps? Especially since several legacy apps include native ARM binaries due to C++ code used when building the app. AFAIK all 3D games are like that, since DirectX cannot be used from C# WP code. So, would it mean a x86 SoC based "Surface Phone" would be a no-go for all pre-UWP games? If yes, but the Surface Phone would offer unique features like running legacy Win32 software in Continuum mode (although only when packaged using Project Centennial I suppose), then count me in -- but I'm afraid most guys would not think like me...
  • Can't wait to see how low the prices drop on the 950 series by January 2016 :)
  • Well that's the 950 heading straight to landfill!
  • My thoughts as well. I have a sneaking suspicion that once the holidays are over, prices for the 950 (XL) will plummet. In fact, I am counting on it, because as it stands right now, both phones are seriously overpriced for the current market conditions. [Edit: Thanks Windows Central app. This was supposed to be a reply to the comment by JohnStrk.]
  • LOL just call it what it really is. It was delayed. 
  • Sweet. My icon contract is up Jan 1 2017.
  • whoa...
  • God dammit Dan, why do you do this. Every time I resolve myself to getting the XL, you drop articles that cause havoc on my decisions. Here I was minding my own business, gleefully looking forward to the insider event tomorrow and possibly grabbing the 950XL aswel but then this article comes along and boom, I here re-thinking things. You know what f*** it, my 1020 won't last another year so 950XL, here I come. Plus unless Ms hits this device out the park or does an unbelievable category changing reveal, I'll wait and see what Panos can do(not that I doubt him and his team given the SB).... Decisions,decisions.....
  • Yes, get the 950XL and don't look back. This way when the Panos phone gets delayed or canceled you won't be bummed out, not to mention who knows if the human race will still exist in 2017. Seize the moment!
  • Sweet juggernaut is coming
  • Just make sure the damn thing works.....so many simple things that were std yrs ago are still not possible with 950(xl)....pictures in email....
  • W10mobile will have a lot of the bugs and new features worked out by the time this comes along. That is another good reason for not developing and releasing now.
  • Interesting Article, carrot/stick marketing haha
  • Things aside what about battery tech? Since it's behind alot any advances so far besides putting more MAH in a mobile devices battery.
  • Hey it's December, where's our stable bug free carrier approved OTA W10 Mobile build with proper firmware release???
  • w10 will be on dec 14
  • Mythical surface phone just got less mythical.
  • I'll stay with my 1520 :) till next fall at least
  • Me too .. Unless I break it..
  • What I'm expecting of Microsoft: a phone with an x86-64 CPU - be it Intel or AMD - capable of the ORIGINAL Windows 10 with only the live-tile part of the start menu (Windows Phone layout, etc.) and, if possible, 6 GBs of RAM. HOW CAN LAPTOPS LIVE WITH ONLY 4GB OF RAM AND INTEGRATED GRAPHICS?!
    Phones can't?!
  • i love my 1520 fks all other phones.... 1520 its even better than 950 looool
  • Apple's with the idea. Microsoft's with how it's actually done.
  • I've looked up and down this article for a link to where I can send my money to pre-pre-pre-order a "Panos phone". If they are indeed finally getting a go at it and finally dumping Nokia's designs, then this thing can really turn around. The Surface Book has me completely supporting them in their efforts. They've shown they can hit and hit hard, even if the SB really just boils down to pretty 2-in-1.    I'm pretty sure my One can last me another year. I'll wait.
  • I think there is an Indiegogo funding site for this phone.
  • Don't worry, it is coming.....one day the features will actually work.....specially in the next update....maybe next month....next year....decade....definitely this century.......maybe
  • Agreed, nicely said and well researched. I do hope that they "do something different" and expanding continuum to incorporate win32 apps will have a grand appeal to enterprise and business users. Let's face it, there will always be a demand for good "work phones" and companies that make them don't care as much about market share as they do care about keeping their clients happy and turning a profit. Enterprise is always profitable! And if they can make a phone that does that and deliver current apps (and be secure with Win Hello) then a lot of people won't "have to" carry 2 phones (I see that sooo much these days, it's ridiculous). I'm happy with my L830, staying with 8.1 for now until the W10M bugs clear up (I used the insider for almost 2 months as my daily driver but eventually reverted back for reliability) the L830 is only 11 months old for me so I can wait a few more months to see what else will come along. Be excellent to each other... and... PARTY ON DUDE!
  • I just came.
  • Yea... wonderful.  More "coming soon" garbage.  Windows mobile 10 was supposed to be the savior... now we're talking about abandoning it. 
  • Soooooo, you'd rather not hear news or what's in the pipeline?  Then just read the 950/XL articles. 
    Um...who's talking about abandoning Windows 10?
  • @rld082982. An operating system / ecosystem is not a cult. Use what works day to day for you.
  • Dan writes in chapters.
  • Naw, Jason's the one that writes books!
  • Jason Ward's pieces are like native advertising for Microsoft.  Daniel Rubino takes a more measured approach.  Either way, the articles makes you think even if some stuff they include are no way, no how.
  • I like how Elop and Nokia are now being thrown under the bus, conveniently forgetting that that was the combination that gave us the groundbreaking 920, 1020 and fan favourites 1520 and 925. Easy to blame them for the craptacular 950 & XL when they're not around....
  • This!!! Nokia single handedly drove innovation and excitement with windows phone while Microsoft dragged their feet with os updates to support newer chipsets, etc. Thank you Mr. Elop and Nokia. I love my Lumia 1520.
  • Except, these actually were Nokia left-overs. I know quite a few people who worked at Nokia in the Phone division. These aren't new designs or ideas. Yea, the guts changed a bit (i.e. different processor), but the look and feel is about what they saw during the early prototyping phase before the aquisition was final.  You usually wont see new ideas until about 2 years after an aquisition. Takes a long time to integrate everything, and determine which ideas are worth keeping, and which should be tossed. If a phone company like Samsung had purchased Nokia, it probably would have been a faster turn around, because Samsung knows mobile hardware inside-out. Google went through the same process when they purchased Motorola.  Yes, Nokia did produce some awesome hardware. But, that doesn't mean they didn't stumble. Look at the 1320, 930/Icon and some of the Budget phones. Not to mention Symbian (too soon?).
  • @TheMoonbeam. Well the Motorola story is not that clear cut.
  • And the best part is they were the one to bring the "metal phone" with this project (which is cancelled).
  • Are you serious? Nokia was a $7 billion writeoff for Microsoft. Corporations don't take multi-billion dollar losses on successful businesses.
  • I'd be perfectly happy with an exciting Lumia 920 successor. Fabula design, unibody glossy polycarbonate, snapdragon 820, and industry leading camera with haac microphones. I hope the Panos phone at least involves the Pureview imaging team. Sad to read about the increasing mothballing of the Nokia D&S team. :(
  • A lot of what has been/is being "cleared out" are either overlap, management, or budget/non-smartphone related. Though I think manufacturing took the brunt of the blow. Not trying to justify it, but it seems like something that needed to happen in order for Microsoft to mvoe forward. Still a shame, though. 
  • I see no benefit about Surface phone except the hardware design. Running W32 app on phone is not for general people,  touch unfriendly.  
  • Could be big for enterprise, which MS is finally targeting after ceding defeat in the consumer market.
  • I guess I'll be keeping my 1520.3 for another 10-12 months
  • By the way - wait a minute!!! - did Microsoft just stuffed Windows RT into the 950?! O.o
  • 2016 year of Linux... I mean Windows.
  • (C) Do something very different  or (B) Continuing selling Lumias and trying to compete with iOS, Android - but with better flagship design!
  • They left the active competition.
  • Wait until MS discloses WM 11 will not run WM10 apps...but don't worry...WM 11 SP1 is coming soon....
  • There is not going to be a windows 11, they already said that
  • Even though they said that, I find it hard to believe.
  • Well so now it begins... The 950/xl just lost sales... Lol
  • Possibly or possibly not. Nothing in reality is what it seems for perception is nothing but a mirage conjured up by your imagination :P. Joking aside, we will know during the next quarter numbers.
  • A win32 app on a phone would turn it into a Hadouken. They have their work cut out for them. Either way whatever they come up with should be great if Panos is leading the charge and I'm content enough with my 950 to hold onto it for more than a year.
  • This is the same with many Google vendors. Also Apple got this kind of rumours about their new MacBook pro 2016, with ID scan and liquid cooler ect.
  • No, it's not the same: Apple will keep 2 OS's, one phone and one Mac. And with the addition of the iPad Pro there are further problems: http://a.msn.com/r/2/BBneqN6?ocid=News Some elements of Chrome are being added to Android. W10 on all devices and Continuum are the opposite of what Apple and Android offer.
  • It's so nice that Panos's Phone is a Surface Phone while Satya's phone is an iPhone Pro.
  • :)
  • When in India??
    And please be around Rs.30000
  • I feel like everyone claiming "too late" is not thinking outside the box. The Surface tablet made its own form factor (tablet that replaced your laptop) and the Surface Book is making its own form factor (the ultimate 2 in 1). So why are you limiting Microsofts design vision to a "phone"? A natural progession of thought using the Surface Team's vision would be some kind of phablet with a crystal clear screen, foldable keyboard, stylus support, and full application support through Continuum. The idea of a phone is getting outdated really quickly. What is the next evolution of the phone as we know it? THAT is what the team is working on, THAT is where Microsoft will start marketing itself at the end of 2016. While Apple is still focused on the iPhone, everyone will be moving past the smartphone as we know it!  I don't think Microsoft is getting rid of Lumia (they pretty much bought Nokia for the "Lumia" name and reputation) as they still need their budget phones... the Surface brand is not at all marketing to the Budget so it wouldn't make sense to call their budget phone a Surface something.  From seeing what Panos' doing wih Surface, I have full confidence in that whatever kind of "phone" they're making it's going to be a wower. Have a great day guys!
  • Thank you. People on this site have no imagination.
  • They aren't thinking at all; They are just on auto-complain mode. 
  • @dalydose Forget the auto pilot, that left a long time ago :P. Given the current trend, I'd say it's on a indefinite vacation at this point lol.
  • Boom-shaka-laka. I'm awaiting.
  • Microsoft out Appled Apple. They quietly released the Band last year to test the waters and the Surface Book and Band 2 refresh were highlights this fall. They managed did the most part to keep the laptop under wraps and bring it to market quickly. I may still pick up the 950. I am one who believes you have no room to bitch about the phones if you don't support the platform.
  • Just give me a Snapdragon 820 powered Lumia 1050 and I'm good. I just can imagine all that old tech enhanced and rewritten for today's technologies. That's the kind of phone that really piques my interest. One picture at a time -- LG V10
  • In the meantime, THIS.^ The phones windows phone fans think they deserve but won't get.
    +Nokia Lumia 730
  • I hope the Surface Phone gets a 41MP camera.
  • Given the rather excessive markups they're doing on their hardware lately, i better start considering selling off a Kidney to afford this :/    
  • So, for people complaining about the high cost, put $15 a week away and you will have over $750 in a year
  • IPhone 7 is on trouble... Tim cook won't like this. His blood pressure will increase...."another deluded product?"
  • By the time the surface phone comes out, it will be iPhone 8
  • Yeah, tell that to 22.8Billion revenue. Even the surface phone won't have 1% of it
  • @HyperKid. That would be because of profit margins. Which is really down to low manufacturing costs. Take that as you will.
  • I know but at the end, who cares about that?
    Sales, revenue and market share speak. With iPhone 7, the charts, profits and sales will be speaking. Not the low manufacturing costs.
  • I haven't even received my pre-ordered 950 XL, and I'm excited about this news. I think the timing is good for me. I will use and get used to W10M along with continuum for 2 years. At which time Surface Phone 2 hits the market. Its a Merry Christmas (everyone) for sure.
  • OMG! OMG! OMG! This news made my day. Here is what I think:
    1) If it doesn't run x86 apps either on/or only on continuum there is no need of either Intel Chipset or a Surface branded phone. ARM based SoCs are way ahead in giving an optimum performance with great battery efficiency and sorry to say Intel's mobile SoCs (soFIA) are not there yet.
    2) Without x86 apps it is gonna face the same old problem of app gap. I hope Microsoft knows that. Or it is gonna be another Surface RT disaster.
    3) This ultimate phone has so much to make up for. Least of all design and hardware. Since it will be a phone first, and a Surface branded one, windows runtime framework and Modern UI/UX for phones on Windows 10 will need to catch up to win32 and its UI/UX in power, aesthetics and polish. It can be done surely. Microsoft has decades of experience in developing software platforms and now that initial groundwork has been laid for same kernel running on every screen and app development model (UWP) adapting to these different screen sizes and computing device types, I hope they can come up with something better in Redstone. The prowess they are known for.
    4) The rumors heating up for a Surface phone seems to give some indications away. And not that the timing is right. But because I believe Microsoft and Intel might have made some headways in solving the problem of developing x86 based SoCs for phones which not only don't compromise on performance of both UWP and Win32 x86 apps but also don't compromise on either design aesthetics and battery efficiencies of mobile phones. And that's what making me excited.
    5) I've still some doubts about fitting a powerful x86 based SoC in a thin and light phone form factor, its power performance and battery efficiency. But that is the cost of innovation. No first innovative product is perfect. But the fact that such a device is closer to reality, the fact that Microsoft is ahead of Apple and Google on this and the fact that the team behind Surface is in charge of this project makes all the difference in the world.
  • Panos was pretty good at distancing himself from the 950 series, at least I held back somewhat because of it. just hope my 1020 can last until the Panos phone comes out. With the things that he has done, I have alot of faith in him. I'll bite the bullet on that 1st gen stuff, won't be the first time and won't be the last time for me (still on Surface RT gen 1 lol)
  • Panos Phone - that sounds very promising. I'm pumped even if I have to wait a whole year.
  • Make sure you stock up well on that helium, stocks are running out pretty sharpish :P. Joking aside it does sound promising.
    They have the ability to pull something off amazing, especially since the teams are no longer confined to individual silos.
  • Panos's phone was all I needed to hear. The guy will make it perfect.
    I am so pumped!
  • Seems that wc can't get enough of blaming Nokia for everything that went wrong with WP devices. 950 and XL aren't that great? Of course not Microsofts fault... Yet you fail to explain why those devices are far from Nokia Lumia quality
  • ^This
  • Life is loooooong. Not sure why everyone says it is short. If it was really short, or percieved to be, why so much angst when asked to wait? Because waiting makes it feeeeel long. lol So what am I saying? It is going to feeeeel like a loooooong time before this phone gets here for anyone who does NOT have a 950XL. :) So go get one! And enjoy it for every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day, for the next YEAR.
  • This furthers my reasoning behind not buying the 950XL. I'm falling all the way back, until this is released. In the meantime, I'll use my Tmobile JUMP program, to try out the other things available, that I don't prefer. Unfortunately, my 1020 over the weekend, has decided that Wifi is a thing of the past. Sigh. Etiher way, GREAT news.
  • After many years on the Windows Mobile/Windows Phone platform, I got tired of my "smartphone" not being a smart phone.  I went from a Samsung Blackjack to a Motorola Q to an HTC Tilt to a Samsung Focus to an HTC Titan to a Lumia 1020, 520, & 635.  I just switched to a Samsung Galaxy S6 Active and now my smartphone is actually a smartphone.  I can run apps now!  I hate the Android OS and would much rather have Windows, but I need to run apps. I'm hoping Windows Phone is still around in a few years and things will have changed.
  • I feel your pain. I did the same circuit as you. Even if Microsoft kicks ass hardware-wise, the apps mostly suck.
  • Like you I recently switched to Android. I loved my Lumia 920, but the crack was getting too big in the middle of the screen and I needed to move on. I'd love a Lumia 950 XL - and I couldn't care less about a Surface Phone - but with no carrier support whatsoever in Canada, Windows Phone is essentially dead north of the 49th. My LG G4 has taken some getting use to it, but at least I have a Starbucks app!
  • Same here, but I went with iPhone6+ last year. Something I can say from using this phone for over a year is that you can tell how important iOS is for Apple. It's just sooo polished. Can't say the same thing about Microsoft (at least the phone division).
  • @Engineers. ios didn't get to where it is over night; let's not forget that inconvenient truth :P.
  • True, but the main reason it is soooo polished now is that they haven't killed their OS 2 times. 
  • I had the pleasure working for Intel on a project in Ireland, at the time there was a major shakedown of the top management due to them completely underestimating the growth of the smartphone and qualcomm. So we have two of the biggest tech players in the world with virtually zero smartphone marketshare. It doesn't take sherlock holmes to work out how Microsoft & Intel could turn the market to their advantage and that simply is x86. I would guess Microsoft will adopt the 12 month hardware update plan and we have just had the 'tock' with the skylake chip so it could be possible on the next 'tick'. Batteries are getting better, intel chips power overheads are falling its only a matter of time.  
  • I think it would be cool to do something Surface Book-ish where it's a x86 phone that when docked in Continuum mode gains more horsepower from the dock via added GPU or CPU, etc.
  • For certain with the GPU i imagine the HD5x(phone)/Nvidia GFX(dock) combo.
  • ...and it still won't work on Verizon.
  • Too late.  This needs to be out now.  And if it isn't on Verizon, then it doesn't work for me anyway. 
  • Yes, they have the phones being conjured up just for you :P. Use what works best for you.
  • Well, here in Canada, they could build a Windows Phone that builds and launches a satellite and it wouldn't matter. If only the lucky few can afford it up front, it's like it doesn't exist. Carrier support, carrier support, carrier support - everything else is secondary.
  • Our carrier's (TELUS, Bell, etc) plans are like 20-30 dollars a month cheaper just by bringing your own phone and not being on contract. I don't know why anyone is still on contract.
  • "Until Microsoft announces this phone, there is not much else that can or should be said."   No, that's not how it is done. There must be 12-18 months of speculation, none of which is commented on by MS, but is clearly based on clandestined strategic 'leaks'. Then what everyone expected must be announced in an over the top event, complete with guest performers who are paid a bundle to act like they are just there supporting the cause, with pre-orders available the next day or two, shipping within a week or two. 
  • Surface Phone: The phone that is also you PC.
  • I'll be waiting for the even better Surface Phone 2 coming out in late 2017.
  • Good luck, you will be perpetually waiting :P. Every year something better will be coming out next year.
  • He was arguing your point, but in a sarcastic manner.
  • I like the expensive factor IF other OEM partners trickle this down. Surface Pro is wonderful on the "surface" (intentional pun), but I just don't need all that oomph or that empty of a wallet. I do see where it has been a lead by example thing and great for the overall offerings consumers see. As hinted in the article, even Apple and Android are now following the Surface Pro lead. If the "Panos Phone" can do that for handsets, let 'em have their way with it and hope they innovate like a boss.
  • What are these fabled x86 Win32 apps that people supposedly want to run on a 5" to 6" device? An Intel-powered mobile device is not going to solve Windows Mobile/Phone's problems. If that were the case, Surface 3s would be outselling iPads.  The app gap has to be addressed. Microsoft may have an Intel-powered phone, but would it have Snapchat, Chase Bank, Starbucks apps? Are UWP apps enough to close the app gap? Not until Windows 7 users shift to Windows 10. Even Microsoft doesn't have a Skype Universal Windows app because it can't run on Windows 7.  There are also other elements that Microsoft needs to fix. For example, how is Microsoft addressing the lack of mobile payments in Windows Phone? An Intel chip won't solve that. No matter how sexy the Surface Phone could be, if its mobile ecosystem is lagging, it won't matter in the end.          
  • It's not running on a 6 inch device. It'll be running on Continuum on a PC sized screen Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I need Chase Bank, Capital One, Google Play Music, Google Maps, Youtube and much more to consider a Windows Phone even if it's Surface hardware.
  • Exactly.
  • Yay to Surface Mobile!
  • Surface phone.... http://daylover1313.deviantart.com/art/Shut-up-and-take-my-money-batman-...  
  • Now THAT would be a phone I will buy. Can't wait to see what they come up with! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Sounds like the end of the Lumia brand which can't come soon enough.  I never liked the nokia phones, i felt they were even behind the samsung Focus s in terms of performance, but admired their ambition.  Just wasnt a good phone and throw in the lack of apps, another problem.    The lumia branding has little value so no need to keep that going.  Hopefully this new phone will be branded properly and hopefully takes advantage of continuum, for it to run some desktop apps (not all) would be a game changer, like some games or even programs, probably not big ones since that would be real ambitious.  If they can get these phones to work on continuum as a full on bridge to PC, woudl be pretty huge. 
  • There's maybe another way forward for Microsoft and that is making Windows 10 Mobile ROMs for Android phones. I think that the Mi 4 ROM is just an experiment to see how difficult it is to put Windows 10 Mobile on such a device. If the whole project is successful I think they can create a ROM for every popular Android phone and basically steal away Android customers. This way, essentially Microsoft is also helping manufacturers making their devices compatible for Windows 10 Mobile, which saves them time and money, and therefore makes it more attractive for manufacturers to release a device with the option to choose for Android or Windows.
  • How would that work? If the apps were there, wouldn't the android users just come over? If the consumer need was there wouldn't the android OEMs just make phones? It's not that difficult as the parts are effectively the same. Spec wise the 95x series is on par with the rest. This creates an extra hurdle. Who is going to unlock their boot loader, voiding warranty, to install an os that they didn't buy the phone for in the first place? Aside from tech enthusiasts?
  • I think manufacturers would definitely consider making Windows phones or a ROM if Microsoft helps them develop them, just like Xiaomi. Right now there isn't much choice in Windows phones, only in the low-end. There even isn't a midrange device anymore. With more choice in devices I think more people would consider switching or choose straight away for Windows. Also more people would stay with Windows phones. With the choice of Windows 10 Mobile I think more people would at least try it and if they don't like it they can always revert back to Android. Not many people need all the apps in the Google Play store and if they find the apps they need in the Windows store and like the OS they may stick with Windows. Even a small bump in Windows 10 Mobile users could make app developers consider making apps for this OS too. Microsoft is already making it easier for developers to make apps (project Islandwood). Now they need to make the choice in phones greater. TL;DR: more choice in phones = more users = more apps = even more phones
  • May be semantics, but a phone that was slated for May 2016 woud, IMO, in no way have been a Nokia carryover. It was a MS phone, designed by the MS phones division (even more so than the 950/XL were). Now Panos in charge, and the phones' design is lead by him. Still a MS phone. Anyway, will be interesting to see what comes out of all this, and when - my guess is Q4 2016 is the very earliest it would, if they are still in such early stage of development and exploring of tech options.
  • They have got to get this thing out as early possible and it has to be called the Surface Phone. Surface is the only successful, high end name the have at the moment. In addition to that, it actually get praise from the same media that usually bashes anything MS does. They need the good press that follows the Surface name. Not to mention they are starting to establish a Surface family of products. "Surface Phone" is a no-brainer. Which means they will screw it up ruin that too.
  • As a long-time WP user, what will I get from a Surface phone that I can't already get from a Lumia phone? A "premium feel", as far as I can tell. It's not all of a sudden going to produce a variety of robust and mainstream apps. Brand "i" coupled with Microsoft services is looking more appealing to me with each passing day.
  • Agree with you here. A surface phone might feel more premium than the 950, but how will the rest compare? Camera, for example? "the rest" is more important for me. I would never prefer a phone for premium feel / look alone.
  • my thoughts too..
  • Thank god for at&t and next, and hopefully they carry the new one. Will be happy to send back the 950 and get this one hooray for carrier exclusives!!!
  • "Hooray for carrier exclusives?" Did that just happen?.... :P
  • What would the point of a x86 phone be exactly? 
  • Totally believable and on par with how they operate. Well written, Daniel.
  • Please give it wireless charging!
  • MSFT marketing working on branding - "iPanos Pro Windows 10 Edition with Bing"
  • Huh?
  • One word...McLaren
  • My 1520 is due for replacement end of feb. Was thinking about a 950xl, but now I'll wait fir the surface phone. The 1520 is still an awesome phone
  • I'm looking forward to how this plays out.
  • I still think Microsoft's strategy is right before our very eyes as of this moment. Keys to their success: 1 - OneDrive, cloud-first. No more storage, just cloud. Run your apps and everything else from the cloud. 2 - Continuum, your device is just the key to the cloud. It lets you bring the cloud with you. Moving ahead, we won't use multiple devices. We'll have our single Microsoft device that will power everything in our lives (again, using the cloud), from TVs to PC screens and smart watches. Even Hololens and cars. 3 - Platform-independence. It'll no longer be about Windows, Android, or iOS. Granted, Windows 10 will be the underlying technology at work to make this happen. But that's not the emphasis. The point is that you have all your content and all your apps, regardless where you originally obtained them, and it's all available from the Cloud, accessed via a device in your pocket (or on you wrist?) and consecutively projected onto a number of screens (or simply as holograms). Now, this is the future, and we're a few years away from this scenario. But I genuinely think it's what Microsoft is preparing for.  
  • I would agree with that when there are no data caps and when pigs fly
  • Already saving for it
  • Intel powered x86 phone,  running Windows 10.  Slide out keyboard with Synaptics Trackpoint for cursor control.  Continuum that runs full version of Windows 10.  USB-C.  8GB RAM,  Some type of ultra fast solid state storage 32GB+,  SD card support,  liquid cooling,  metal housing,  3X2 ratio 2K display,  WirelessAC + Bluetooth 4.0,  Intel Wireless Display,  NFC,  FM Tuner,  Removeable middle battery module that sits between phone and slide out keyboard with varying options of different battery sizes (thicker versus thinner as an option),  Some attention to speaker quality,  Fingerprint sensor,  Front and Rear facing camera,  IR camera for Windows Hello,  UV Sensor,  Dedicated hardware buttons on the edge of the keyboard that act as mouse buttons (like a mini version of the triggers on the Xbox controller),  Adding a start menu and taskbar for Windows 10 Mobile live tile (home) screen,  Multitasking with layered Windows,  A drop in style dock for continuum that actually holds and charges the phone without having to plug any wires in.      
  • If these rumours are correct: Good. Hopefully it'll give them time to get windows mobile sorted and the universal app model up and running with good support.
  • Intel bought basis sometime last year for a a bargain basement price of 100 million, maybe they do have something up their sleeve.
  • Oh, and by the way, why does anybody want a Starbucks app. It is the worst coffee on the planet. Ask your Starbucks"barrista" what grain they are using and where it is from. I haven't found one in uk that can answer it.
  • No! I just got the 950 xl. Please let me enjoy it. I don't want to go into another waiting/salivating mode. MS is not making it easy with this Surface phone leak. ☺
  • Surface phone won't sell if there are no major apps ...
  • Are you in the marketing dept.? Speak for yourself.
  • Agreed sguy , that's sadly a fact
  • Another "just wait until next year...". I gracefully bowed out of windows phone. I'll gladly be back if they get their shit together. Until then, I have family members begging for a new windows phone that will have to go Android because the 950s do not include the Verizon bands.
  • Yea it annoys me that carriers have to get involved at all, I thought they were in the biz of selling "service".. we all know what thought did..
  • I could see them combining some of the Hololens tech with a phone and making that the new category. Holograms on a phone? That's killer.
  • And impossible too , HoloLens is still not even available to devs and won't be till 2016 , so on a phone ? Impossible now and maybe the coming two or three years
  • I feel that summer 2016 will be a coffin date for Windows phone. By then new Samsung and the new designed iPhone will be ready for production if not distribution. The devices are not the problem now, it is NO DEVELOPER BUY IN and I'm not talking about all the lame game windows central are 'always' reporting about. Apple has one, rephrase, 1 phone that destroys the sale of all windows phones combined. Not positive but even BLU android phone sales beat windows. A high spec windows phone can be sold for $100 and the platform still won't make 10% market share!
  • BLU has only sold like 40M units since it was formed, so that's obviously not right. I can't imagine why someone would boldly announce themselves to be wrong.
  • Android and Apple have no place to go other than to up the ante on the camera or a few cosmetic changes? At the end of the day they are just toys that have limits. Windows phone is the beginning of when smartphones become real smartphones with no limitations....
  • Yep, heard it all.
  • Well, but the 950 for now the. Only thing is, I really dislike its design.
  • Intel? Great CPU's, rubbish chipset drivers.
  • Apple, Samsung and huawei do a lot of advertising on tv, radio and media
    Ms can't compete without advertising and strong marketing campaigns
  • Having 'intel inside' I guess considering intels zero market share they will be falling over themselves to assist Microsoft on any advertising campaign...  
  • Don't know why but this doesn't excite me. Happy with current Lumia offerings. Meh.
  • To keep or not to keep my 950XL that is the question....
  • of course keep.... We are hearing talk about the beginning of work or early phase work about a phone which may or may not be out in a year or more verses a phone that you have right NOW. I have a 950 and have ZERO plans on getting rid of it based upon whispers of rumor about a phone in the early stages of development.    
  • OFF TOPIC : Does anybody know how to see a call duration in windows 10 mobile ? Still on 10581
  • Still going to get myself a 950XL to tide me over for the next two years but, hell yeah show me that surface phone love. Now that would be an awesome turning point
  • Phew, so now I can utilize my XL for a full year at least. Glad to know that.
  • Exciting times for W10M. Been a long time since I felt this way. Now I just need to find a single SIM 950 here in the US.
  • If it takes them at least a year to push out this Surface Phone and maybe longer I'm glad I went with the 950xl in the mean time, it really is an excellent smartphone very capable of holding it's own against the iPhone and high end android offerings!
  • And if they eschew Verizon again, what message shall we take from that? How can we take them seriously if they won't bother playing with the biggest carrier? #disgruntledverizoncustomer
  • Who eschewed who?   Don't we already know that Verizon are dicks who can barely support their own Windows Phone offerings?    Why wouldn't MS want a Windows Mobile device on Verizon?   Windows Mobile devices will go to any carrier that would like them once this short interregnum with AT&T is over.
  • This should be the ultimate phone. I want them to throw everything AND the kitchen sink at this...im glad to hear...and I am 'PUMPED'
  • Dan, i wish you were as frustrated as this site's comment system's slow response as you are the 950/XL. Really though what is the 950XL lacking on a phone/hardware perspective? Looks? ROTFLMAO look at the Nexus 6 puke. The Iphone 6plus is awkward. You want metal phones (to cover in otterboxes) that break... ok you just proved you should just use iphone and promote the logo. 950Xl has great form factor, great screen, 2 sim, removable battery, expandable memory, wireless charge, awesome hands-free unlock, etc. For the kiddies the 640 would beat iPhone if it only had snapchat... save parents thousands a year.  You seem burned out of covering windows phone but your comments/frustration are off the charts now. Sinofsky & Panos f'd up the original 2 surface models and win32 seems a pipe-dream (real win32 apps not bridged apps in win10 store). As inept as Balmer/Elop were equal failure is to blame on SOFTWARE and DEV TOOLS supplied that caused the app gap to continue then expand.  
  • Given the lackluster launch of the 950/950 XL, it's not a much of a surprise. To paraphrase REM: "It's the end of Lumia as we know it ..."  (you know the rest)
  • Awesome, as expected for some time now, my new 950xl with hold me over nicely with that yearly refresh as my icon was on its last legs...Awesome!!Awesome!!!!Awesome!!!!
  • That's my plan too
  • 1) Saying that someone is "getting their shot at Windows Mobile" sounds really, really bad. The team behind the Lumias knew what they were doing, in every respect. 2) So if there's ever a MS phone that runs x86 apps, how are they gonna market that? I mean, in contrast with the Continuum idea they are struggling to sell right now. "No, this time, REALLY, you can use your phone as a computer, it wasn't really true before". Also creates another case of Windows RT-like with the non x86 Continuum. This means it would fragment the weak ecosystem even more.
  • My vision: Verizon bands.
  • I have no faith in this until it happens, or we get REAL details on it. We might be seeing a Surface Mini in a 5.5" phone that runs $750+ and has no lease/subsidy option, meaning it is really just aimed at enterprise and deep-pocketed enthusiasts. I'm not throwing that kind of money at a phone, most likely, so I'm just going to expect the worst for now. Last time I got my hopes up, McLaren was cancelled, the 930 never got to AT&T, and I was stranded with my 920 for 18 months longer than I planned. Ideally, we get an Atom-based phone with a Surface-style, Zenphone-like tablet to snap it into, and that works with SP5 accessories (keyboard, stylus). That, paired with Continuum (and x86 software support), would be phenomenal.
  • August would put it in line with my birthday. I can hold out with my m8 for windows phone till then.
  • Surly it can't be as ugly as the 950?
  • This was obviously coming, but it'll be too little too late. The 950s are niche products that MS doesn't even stand behind, and with this announcement, they've just destroyed that niche. By 4Q16, WP marketshare in the US could be 1%.
  • Awesome. Not regretting getting 950XL, I think by the time it comes out and reviews are in for it, I should be able to sell 950XL for the supposedly legendary surface phone.
  • I can imagine an Microsoft selling an empty/case shell with touchscreen and keyboard (a la Atrix and beefed up Microsoft display dock) that the Panay Phone can dock to. This would be a great feature for people who don't have a standalone laptop with a touchscreen. I'd pay an extra for an accessory that would allow my phone to "transform" to a full touch laptop assuming it has the capability of running full desktop/legacy applications. Another idea - I just saw a clip of Halo 5 streaming from Xbox One to the HoloLens. Full phone to PC streaming to the HoloLens would be a cool, unique feature. http://www.amazon.com/AT-Laptop-Dock-Motorola-ATRIX/dp/B004M17D62          
  • Trust me, the hardware is ok with the Lumia. What not sell windows phone is app store. Windows platform really need to get all the apps from IOS (who care about Droid apps) so the focus should be the tools or bridges like Islandwood to port or easy to make apps for developer is more important then try to spend too much money and effort on hardware right now is not the right strategy or direction to take.
  • I have no idea why some people think that x86 automatically means support for Win32 apps? Currently devices with screens less than 8 inches run Windows 10 Mobile, not Windows 10 for PC. W10M is sans desktop. No desktop means no Win32 apps
  • What??? Intel x86 / x64 is a CPU architecture which is what you find in full PCs. ARM is what you find in phones. They have completely different capabilities, and w10 can only run on x86/x64, while w10m can only run on ARM. x86 cpu DOES mean Win32 apps, because they can only run the full w10. It has nothing to do with screen size. If you had a surface phone, it would run W10, not W10M
  • There is no reason why a Surface PHONE with an X86 CPU will run Windows 10.  Windows 10 Mobile is not just restricted to ARM based CPUs.  A device with a screen less than 8 inches will run Windows 10 Mobile, unless Microsoft changes this rule. 
  • x86 does not mean that Win32 is supported. It requires the Win32 libraries, which are not included in W10M. Microsoft would have to add another SKU and add support for Win32. Dechah's skepticism is correct.
  • They don't have the choice anymore. They need to use all their ressources to create something truly revolutionary (A PC in your pocket, with amazing battery life, and that can run the full desktop and win32 apps). They've already done it with the surface, they can do it with the phone. They've missed the first train, now they need to build a new one.
  • The only hope is they are co-designing a new SoC with Intel that can be as good as the Apple Ax. The Intel Atom x3 is never going to cut it for a true flagship.   The only reason I have some hope there is MS is already in the processor design business due to HoloLens(HPU).
  • The 950/XL are not ho-hum! What they need are high quality cross-ecosystem apps! How can you classify these phones with their hardware specs as ho-hum?
  • I'd be very interested in a high-spec phone with a VaporMg chassis. As long as it ran Android.    
  • Why why! Now I got to get the 950XL
  • What really hold me back and not upgrade to 950 is app reason, I'm torn any time i need an app and can not find the apps in store the really kill me.
  • The majority of phones apps are just gui interfaces to get round the said smartphones limitations, the most popular are photographic, there will be a point in time in the not to distant future where you will be given the option from Microsoft 'Do you want to edit your pictures in happysnappyapp or Photoshop pro'? Whilst apple and android will be offering a better version of happysnappy app...
  • I am using the 928 and my contract is up so I'm just gonna wait for the Surface Phone. No rush to upgrade. Serves me fine.
  • My 822 is going on three years old and as long as it keeps ticking I'll stay with it for now. I don't need the latest greatest every year at a premium price.
  • I think the Surface Phone needs to be foldable display that becomes a Surface mini tablet. This and x86 apps support will be truly game changing. I have no problem using my 950 xl until then. Doensn't change a thing. They just need to get on this fast.
  • You've got quite an imagination there! ;)
  • I want the best possible Windows phone and I'm prepared to pay for it. Bring it on...
  • So why buy any of the 950 models? This kind of rumors and speculation can only lead to the death of Windows Mobile even quicker, so thnx Microsoft, Windows Central and the rest of the media for putting the final nail in the coffin. You inspire so much confidence.
    Oh, and if you thought the Lumias was expensive? Just wait and see.
  • Because the next step is a software step and windows 10 universal app will grow and grow, high end software developers are dropping apple in their droves because there is no point in investing their time on something that sumounts to a giant phone.
  • Why not? Why do people buy iPhones every year? Why do people buy new Android phones every year? Why were people complaining that MSFT didn't release flagship phones every year to only now complain that they plan on doing just that? Questions over questions...
  • Best comment on this article award goes to you.
  • I'm enjoying the now, so I'm enjoying my 950 XL which I absolutely love. There will always be something good in the future, so until then...
  • Lol everyone on here can forget about buying it. It will be expensive and none of you can afford expensive according to all the comments
  • First off, Panay never impressed me a bit.  He's part of the Nadella regime, as far as I'm concerned, so he already has 100 strikes against him in my book.  Second, while I love my Surface Pro 3, I doubt seriously a "Surface Phone" will be anything other than far-too-expensive to be worth it.  I don't see the value of Continuum as it is, so adding the ability to run legacy programs because the silly thing has an Intel processor doesn't up the value at all for me.  Really, really liked the Lumia devices and brand, except when Microsoft botched the whole thing by pumping out cheap garbage like competitors pump out Android garbage.  I'd much rather they bring that brand back up to standards.  No matter what, Microsoft is going to remain niche with mobile, and I'm okay with that.  But they are like some child that has the attention span of a flea and can't seem to follow through and keep plugging away at a product line to make it excellent.  Almost all of their successes have been because they stumbled on a good thing rather than cultivated it.  The "Surface Phone" is merely another shiny bobble that some misguided people think is the panacea.
  • Today its the L950's tomorrow the surface phone the following day the surface pro phone. There's always something new bigger and better around the corner and if you play the waiting game youl be stuck in a cycle of always waiting for the next best thing. Live for today and get the L950 because nobody really knows when tomorrow will come.
  • Now I will keep the Nexus 6 for one more year then get this phone. I miss Windows phone so bad. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Interesting view on what's in the pipeline for WP, but without any hard evidence of a NEW DEVICE, isn't this just all wishful thinking? Akin to making Pigs Fly!!!!!
  • Might be a good reason for me to come back over to Windows Phone if this is true and actually lives up to the hype! Knowing Microsoft though atleast one or both of these things could suck.
  • Probably wait 2 years more lol
  • Gimme some o dat
  • Nadella was very much against the Nokia acquisition but was overruled. Killing off the last remaining elements of Lumia is clearly underway. 950xl is a great phone and I look forward to getting mine but I'm also excited to learn MS plans a new ultimate phone for next year, which I'll also buy. Also, it shows that the 950 isn't MSs last phone, which is great. I find it strange that folks act disappointed when they hear MS is going to have a better phone in one year yet would be disappointed or surprised if Apple and Google did not. This is all good news to me. I will enjoy my 950xl for the next year and one of my kids will enjoy it after that.
  • Microsoft has become part of the Slow Movement? Who knows what's happening in Redmond.   Microsoft probably badly has screwed up the much discussed "Surface Phone".
    MS likely have screwed up internal politics engough
    to make sure the alleged Surface Phone would be way to late to the market it should serve. Intel currently has a fantastic technology portfolio parts of which could potentially end up in a mobile SoC. 
    Intel's technology portfolio is second to none as of today.
    So having Intel involved is more than good news. The question remaining is whether Microsoft is badly screwing things up again
    by the way of Microsoft Office Management Blunder
    or whether Panos is strong engough to do make things happen. To "make things happen" in this case will mean committing a huge budget 
    for developing a new advanced, tailor-made Intel SoC
    incorporating several of Intel's bleeding-edge portfolio technolgies in one go. For Microsoft this means taking true risks, authentic entrepreneurial risks.
    Something Microsoft isn't really known for. 
    Microsoft is more known for watering down things until they hardly resemble the original thing.   In case Microsoft allows their competitors to gain a head start utilizing the new Intel technology portfolio 
    the Windows Mobile story will stay what it has been to date:  insignificant. Should Microsoft hesitate too much (again) and does not take a full-hearted plunge into an truely advanced Intel SoC
    but zigzagging around instead until after really all the cows positively did have come home
    Windows Mobile will be toast.
      Those new Panos new-categoriy-gadgets will be in volume production in or around Q4 2016 if not end of Q1 2017
    even if the new "Microsoft Wunderwaffe" may be showcased "back-to-school". To keep Windows Mobile in business til the reindeers come home at XMAS 2016
    the current Lumia 950 flagships practically will have to half in price
    in order for Windows Mobile to entertain an perceptible marketshare.    
  • If Intel is "2nd to none" why haven't they made their own smartphone to trump the iPhone? The fact is the Atom x3 is woefully inferior to the Qualcomm 800 series or Apple's A8/A9 processors. It's at best fine for a mid-range phone.
  • Best news -drop all Nokia nonsense and start afresh!!!
    I still maintain that Nokia has done more damage than good doe MS mobile. Can't wait for Surface phone!
  • Sounds awesome, It's good to know we won't have to wait as long for a new flagship this time round ;)
  • What about the campaign for a "Surface Phone" by February. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/syncphone-uniting-the-pc-and-smartpho...  
  • Every time Microsoft releases a phone, an article comes out with something better in the future. Doesn't help sales now.
  • I am in dream
  • At least we have some unoffical information that MS is working on phones for the future. Blackberry have said if our current Android phone (The Priv) do not sale we will leave the hanset business. Will that push me to buy the Priv? No... This leak will push me to buy the 950 knowing that MS will invest in the OS and produce phones for the future.
  • Around the same time as Nokia re-entering smartphone market. Which one to choose..
  • Surface Phone, Windows Phone, Lumia, whatever... It comes down to apps - and that's what is lacking. Fix the app problem and sales go up. Period. 
  • I want to hear what is Bill Gates take on the future of Windows Mobile. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Microsoft already wrote off the Nokia deal. The entire value of it. Ditching the actual designs, startegy and some of the people would make sense. There are some things the Lumia team got right (like camera tech), they should keep the people behind those features around and mix them in to the Surface team. It will be interesting to see what the Panos phone will be. His team was able to create new ideas that others are copying (the kickstand, the magnetic keyboard connection, etc.) and I'm sure we'll see something like that in that phone
  • Funny how people complain now and are no longer willing to spend money on the 950/950XL after complaining that Microsoft didn't bring a flagship every year. I am glad I bought the 950 and I will also buy the Surface phone at the end of next year. I guess, you just can't please some folks, no matter what you do.
  • I should have Lumia's camera in it.
  • I truly do not know how to feel about this. 
  • I am in dream
  • Im tired for Windows Mobile being underdogs, go for it Panos! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • My upgrade isn't until Nov 2016, so even if this phone is pushed back into 2017, my 1520 will serve me well until the 'Panos Phone' is officially launched.
  • Point A to cancel windows 10 mobile is dumb..... Point A should be development of app reduce the app gap to almost 0%
    ...
  • Point A is dumb... Why to cancel windows 10 mobile.... Point A sold be... Develop apps... Reduce app gap to zero percent...
  • There is an option D) Build a Windows Mobile UI for Android (Maybe even IOS). Most of my customers, t