Skip to main content

Will Microsoft's rumored 'Surface Phone' be a re-imagined Surface Mini?

Panos Panay and Surface Pro 3
Panos Panay and Surface Pro 3 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

But alas, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and former Executive Vice President of Microsoft Devices, Stephen Elop, determined that the diminutive Surface didn't offer enough to differentiate it from the competition. They concluded that it wouldn't be a hit. Consequently, the Mini was bowed out of the day's event.


Surface creator and Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Devices Panos Panay is also the "father" of the ill-fated Mini. He shared after that "small gathering" event that Redmond would continue to work on smaller versions of the successful Surface tablet. I believe that we may finally see the manifestation of that passionate commitment next year. Just not in the form of a tablet.

More than one way to skin a cat

As we see with the latest manifestations of the Surface line, the Surface Pro 4, and Microsoft's ultimate laptop, the Surface Book, any product bearing the Surface name is associated with perseverance, pushing limits and creating categories. Consequently, Microsoft's flagship Surface branding has earned the respect of the industry as being about industry leading products and the company's faith in those products.

The Surface Mini had it launched last Summer, would have been introduced into a space littered with 7"- 8" tablets. From a consumer's perspective, the question would have been, what makes Microsoft's small tablet better than the inexpensive and more popular Android devices consumers were already buying in droves? Or in the case of the iPad Mini what makes Microsoft's solution better than Apple's powerfully branded alternative?

It was likely unsatisfactory answers to questions like these that kept the Surface Mini safely out of the public's eye. Not that it was not a great device. It was a Surface after all.

But as a consumer product, it just didn't redefine a category as one would expect something with the "Surface" name to do.

As an 8" tablet, with USB and MicroSD ports, a Qualcomm processor, 1 GB of RAM and the N-Trig pen, it simply checked a box for Redmond. Mini tablet? Check.

Furthermore, though the Surface Mini's evolution began during a period when small tablets were all the rage, that time, by the end of 2014 had passed. There has been a paradigm shift as smartphones have gotten larger. Small tablets have ceded ground to large screen devices or phablets, as users use their 5" plus smartphones for activity that was previously reserved for 7"- 8" tablets.

Thus, if as Panay asserts, Microsoft is to bring the Mini (or smaller Surface) to market in any form, it will likely be in a form that better fits the current and foreseeable industry trend. That trend, with the proliferation of phablets, is clearly not one that caters to the simple 8" tablet.

Life Lessons

My dad is an artist. Like most sons who love their dads, as a child, I emulated some of the things I saw him do. Thus, I too became an artist. One of the lessons my dad taught me about my artwork was never to throw any of my work away. I learned that if I didn't get the results I wanted after completing a drawing it still had value. Those areas that didn't quite match up to expectations were opportunities from which to learn. By keeping the work, I had a frame of reference as I started again.

Sleepless Nights

In a recent interview with Wired, Panos Panay shared how during sleepless nights when ideas just won't let him rest, his canceled Surface Mini (kept by his bedside) has been his go-to tool for scribing notes using the new Surface Pen. It is his "digital notepad." The article goes on to share that Panay loves the Mini and that he says,

"It was like a Moleskine"…"It was awesome."

The fact that he still uses the device and considers it awesome, despite it being deemed unfit for the market, reveals Panay's commitment to his "baby." Let's not forget, this is the same man that has passionately and meticulously labored over every detail of his projects. He pushed the Surface line past its initial, highly criticized and money-losing short-comings to the industry-praised and profitable Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book.

Panay is clearly a man that does not give up on an idea. As the head of Microsoft's devices, the faith, and relentless commitment he has in his work clearly leads him to value what is good in a project and to learn from what doesn't work.

His record and his bedside Mini prove that he's not the type of man who will throw a good idea away.

In the making

It has been rumored for some time that Microsoft is making a device that fans and journalists have dubbed the "Surface Phone." Our own Daniel Rubino has referenced his sources numerous times in this regard. So it is no surprise that a prototype that could have been the rumored device was seen on site during the Wired interview.

A few machines away, another machine works on a prototype of a new phone. " – Wired

The fact that Panos Panay is leading the charge for the "Surface Phone" project (as I'll call it) is a promising and exciting prospect for many fans.

The man that made the Surface Mini tablet, who thinks it's awesome and still uses it as a reliable note-taking tool is now responsible for designing smartphones, a category of devices many smartphone users use as mini tablets.

Surely the Mini's cancelation due to lack of differentiation was not the result Panos expected. But those areas of the Mini that didn't quite match up to expectations I'm sure Panos has used as learning opportunities.

Note, we've learned two things about Panos as we've watched him redefine what a tablet and a laptop are. He is relentlessly persistent and committed to an idea. And he uses constructive criticism to reshape a product to fit the user's needs while remaining true to the products original vision. He doesn't "cancel" an idea.

As mentioned above the mini tablet space is a shrinking market. It is progressively ceding ground to the growing phablet space. Redmond is clearly aware that creating a device that is simply a mini tablet would be a poor investment. Microsoft, however, is a company that is leading the way in convergence devices and software as seen in the Surface line and Windows 10 platform features like Continuum for PC and phone.

This company is in a better position than any other to optimize on the natural flow of the industry toward that converged mini tablet and smartphone space.

Keeping the baby

There's an old saying that says, "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." It's simply an advisement that when discarding something of little to no value, don't lose what's important.

"This device is the pen and paper killer." – Brad Sams

This was the impression of fellow writer Brad Sams, who had hands-on time with the Surface Mini. Based upon how Panos Panay, the Mini's creator, uses his Mini, it seems that Brad's analysis provides an accurate allusion to what the Mini's potential market positioning would have been.

Its small size complemented by the Surface Pen made it ideal as a digital notepad.

Now as an 8" tablet running the largely criticized Windows 8 in 2014, surrounded by the iPad Mini and Android tablets galore, this "digital notepad" though commendable, would not have been very visible in that highly competitive landscape.

As we approach 2016 however, and the industry naturally flows toward a "single device for multiple scenarios" paradigm and small tablets yield ground to phablets, Microsoft's Windows 10 and Universal Windows Platform with Continuum provide the ideal environment for a re-imagined and differentiated "digital notepad."

In 2014, Microsoft's "digital notepad" would have been the Surface Mini. In 2016, Panos Panay and team will likely present the re-imagined "digital notepad" in the form of the "Surface Phone."

In with the new

As a 5" – 7" phablet, the anticipated Surface Phone will lend itself to comfortable internet surfing, multimedia consumption, and productivity tasks. However, with added telephony capabilities, the Surface Phone, unlike the Mini will always be connected without the need for a separate cellular plan or dependency on Wi-Fi.

Additionally, in potentially retaining the defunct Mini's focus as a "digital notepad" Microsoft can continue the theme of intricate integration of the Surface Pen with Surface devices when applied to the "Surface Phone". It will be interesting to see how Windows 10 evolves and how expected features like interactive Live Tiles are optimized for pen-centric interaction.

Also, as a new category of Surface, Microsoft will be able to position the Surface Phone to fill a gap in their existing Surface line.

Consider. As Microsoft's tablet that can replace your laptop, the Surface is positioned as a productivity tablet. Thus, Microsoft has the large tablet space and the various use case scenarios served by that tablet size covered.

The Surface Book, Redmond's ultimate laptop is first and foremost a powerful laptop. The ability to detach the display and use it as a digital clipboard (and not a tablet per Panay) is designed for specific purposes that doctors, architects, and others may find useful.

The anticipated Surface Phone will fill the currently unaddressed and lowest end of the Surface continuum that was likely the originally intended position for the Surface Mini. The Surface Phone will be the always connected "digital notepad" for everyday scenarios. The student, the salesman, the executive, the administrative assistant, the nurse, the professional and even the regular Joe would find this digital notepad useful.

The differentiator that makes this "Surface" more viable than the Mini, is this always connected device's ability through Windows 10 and Continuum to go from a pocketable pen-centric "digital notepad" to a PC experience in seconds. Additionally, with an anticipated "Intel inside," Continuum from this device is expected to literally put a PC in user's pockets.

With the additional potential to run Win32 apps ported over by way of the app conversion Bridge, Centennial, this device can fill the range from a light-weight "digital notepad" to a powerful PC.


Since users in the current market, are increasingly looking to do more with a single device, the anticipated Surface Phone potentially fills a market position the original Surface Mini and all current small tablets do not address.

The "Surface Phone", if it materializes, will be a phone that, like other phablets replaces a user's tablet. However, with Windows 10 and Continuum, it will also run Universal Windows apps and become a user's PC. These features are in addition to the pen-centric theme of the Surface line and the legacy focus of the Surface Mini as a "digital notepad."

It's not a stretch to imagine that when Microsoft's Corporate Vice President for Devices Panos Panay wakes late at night and grabs his Surface Pen and Surface Mini, that he scribbles ideas into the device regarding how to ensure the strengths of the Mini that he so loves to live on.

Yes, I believe that if Panay has his way, his "Surface Mini" will endure. Indeed, I contend that the "digital notepad" that was canceled in 2014 will likely be reborn as the highly anticipated "Surface Phone" in 2016.

Are you looking forward to a Surface Phone? Sound off in comments!

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

  • As usual thanks for reading. This piece, as all editorials provides room for practical, and fact founded analytical speculation. In watching the direction of Microsoft in providing category defining convergent devices, it is plausible that the company would answer the merging tablet/smartphone space with a device that serves both categories (such as thier "digital notepad" positioning of their version of a mini tablet)and optimally utilizes the UWP and platform features such as Continuum. Time will tell. Until then... Let's Talk!
  • great piece of article! hope they deliver another trend setter
  • Surface Phone, coming soon.... Exclusive to Metro PCS....and AT&T.
  • This I will get!... Lumia 950/XL.. Lol!! I knew I needed to wait..
    Hopefully they also come out with two sizes... 5.5", and 6.5".... 6.5", please!!!....
  • We already had the Xperia Z Ultra some rime ago at 6.4", so it shouldn't surprise at that size
  • Yeah, that was a big ole device.. Made my 1520 look like what my 1520 makes the 950XL look like... If that makes any sense.. Lol...
    There's hope for some larger devices (for us with real man hands))) yet!
  • Huawei even had a 7in "phone" at one point. Lol
  • What would really be ideal would be a 6 in. screen with almost no bezel like the Sharp phone had. That would make it small enough in overall size to be pocketable but still be a phablet with a 6 in. screen.
  • Great article as always, Jason. While the future looks definitely promising, Microsoft has to learn from its past just like how you learnt not to discard your paintings. Sadly much of that hasn't seen much light.
  • As usual, too long.. ;-P Just kidding of course. Maybe. So it's some kind of WC tactic that the author of a story also makes the first comment on his/her own story? :) Anyway, one would indeed hope the Surface Phone, if it comes, does bring more than just a sharp edged magnesium body and enhanced continuum to the table.
  • I think it's Mark that shows the back and front of the phone in videos - it's like their personal touch - so Jason adding the first comment is a personal touch, and it's cool.
  • I love that you reply to your own article first and interact with the readers. This is what sets Windows Central apart from the other sites!
  • I agree. I think that Jason also sets the tone of the conversation by reiterating the high points of the article. This also prevents trolls from sidetracking the comments at the very beginning.
  • Get that surface phone out now! A branding like Lumia Surface should trigger sales like anything and everyone wants a metalled Lumia, so i think that this device will bolster sales like anything!!
  • Not everyone wants a metallic Lumia. I don't. And Lumias aren't metallic.
  • I would want a metallic flagship Samsung phone running Windows services, no GooglePlay services but with all the apps Android has, this could have been a possibility with project Astoria, but now its all dark, I am not sure about the future of Windows Phone platform anymore.
  • So you want google play services & anddroid apps....
    So what you want is an Android phone. Specifically a Samsung one.
  • i thinmk the 930 was the right direction on their phones, the 950 is not.
  • The one nice thing is that the 950 has an interchangable back cover. so when (if) it get some take up, there will be plenty of opportunities (like Mozo) to have covers etc.  
  • Agree.  Also I think Lumia and Surface should be separate lines.  Lumia should be open to more design ideas and try all sorts of different design language like mixing bright colours and materials etc.  Whereas Surface Phone OTOH must fit into the the current Surface line - that means the same grey VapourMag casing (absolutely no aluminium!), boxy design with hard lines, pen integration etc.  By this time next year wireless charging tech over metal should be available too so timing would be good.
  • Lumia branding has little value, they can kill it and not many would care.  If MS is going to make a new device purely a MS device not a carry over from Nokia, it needs to be branded as a Surface device.   
  • This ^ Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yes, agreed. And, if it is a truely a Surface branded phone than I would expect a x86 chip. Not ARM. I can also imagine something out of the box like a flip cover that is also a track pad with shortcut keys. Or a version of the currect Surface kick stand.  Let me just add that the reason (mine at least) for an x86 chip is not for the phone, but to expand continuum functionality. 
  • Great Article Jason,
    I agree with you Schnydz, an x86 chip.
    An optional flipcase which includes a track pad and keyboard inside with a kickstand built into the rear.
    Edge to edge 6''-6.5'' display.
  • The phone that can replace your tablet, that can replace your laptop.™ lol
  • Something like a Surface phone would be great, if it had the hardware to support all of the major carriers, including Sprint. One device that works everywhere.
  • One device to rule them all :)
    Sorry - just had to!
  • It's "one device to rue then all". Right?
  • to be fair I love windows 10 desktop and I love 8.1 mobile I even like windows 10 mobile but after they screwed me and every single windows user over by removing my 30gig of OneDrive storage and replacing it with 5 is a step to far for me and many other loyal windows fans.  Even worse than that they used other people as an excuse to make changes to people that were caped. Really the question should be is microsoft a trustworthy company to handle all your cloud storage needs, I think  safely that's a big no they are not and I think people now understand this.  All those loyal windows phone users will talk about the OneDrive changes, which doesn't just stop at taking your storage away they also just doubled the cost by halfing the amount and at a time where apple had previously doubled storage with no extra cost.  How can microsoft justify this move and the lie used to force it through.  As much as I don't want to loose desktop windows and windows phone microsoft doesn't deserve your business.  They just don't and it pains me to say that but take my 30 gig data after I payed 500 pounds uk to get it and then take it from me is just not good enough.  so i dont think a surface phone will help them, they need to apoloigise give a decent minimun back like buy a phone get your 15gig roll and 5 gig storage.  But windows 8 get 15g, oh wait they did and still they steel it back.
  • Valid point and honest response to their decision. I have Office365 so my storage is 1TB and I'm good with that. I can also authorise an additional 4 users and they each get 1TB storage. I would be annoyed too at the storage reduction as I had 200GB, but my current situation is different. Guess I would have reverted to using an SD Card and use the 5GB for essential data only. Amazon have offers on 128GB and 200GB cards and Black Friday is coming soon. The last option being to purchase online storage.
  • Dead horse. Stop beating to it. Get an SD card.
  • that is not a valid response. if you lose your phone or it is stolen, you lose your sd card. The entire point was about cloud storage, principally camera roll back up. I have had a windows phone from the start. first the lovely lumia 800, and then the excellently snapping lumia 1020. I currently have 40gb of storage with 23 free. I have no bloody idea what i will be left with afterwards. This is genuinely the WORST piece of business practice I have ever heard of. Truly disusting.  I was going to be first in the queue for the 950, but now, i don't think I will be. Terrible terrible betrayal of customers and just plain stoopid in terms of loyal customers staying with the platform when their contracts are up for renewal or it is time for a phone upgrade.
  • So you didnt see all the articals about keeping your OneDrive storage space?
  • Let's say the Surface phone drops tomorrow. Then what? How does that change the app situation? Does it change anything?
  • If it sells and gets a buzz about it (good reviews and covered on tech sites) then the devs will stand up and take notice.. Its one of those chicken and egg situations 
  • Do you think it will actually happen? With the 950/XL, I think many people were anticipating MS to ditch the old ways of carrier exclusives or whatnot, and that it would be available on all major US carriers. Instead, it's available on one, and only the 950. At least unlocked are coming out soon, although they still don't work on CDMA carriers. I'm still not sure who is at fault here. Would the carriers have to beg MS for the phone, or does MS make all the calls? Or did MS maybe think the 950/XL is just a placeholder and doesn't consider it a "serious" enough flagship to bother dealing with multiple carriers?
  • It's more like Microsoft makes the device, then tries to sell said device to the carriers. It is up to the carrier corporate office to say yes we will carry it or no. Verizon has always been negative toward windows phone and sprint has usually carried one at a time. No selection in the stores as well as teaching floor sales reps how to sway someone into a iPhone or Galaxy is more on their mind, probably due to the profit from each phone they move.
  • Don't you realise that CDMA is dying (if not already dead) technology. I can understand why Microsoft didn't include it in the 950's. Smart business decision I say - get Verizon and the few remaining carriers to switch technology (ie change carrier to someone with better, newer technology)
  • Currently released phone should be capable too since the radios in the chipset are supposed to be universal. But most likely ATT asked for exclusivity and they blocked the cdma frequencies
  • @Mihai N. Verizon is actively blocking the new phones and this is not new either.
  • Good stuff Jay. Very intuitive. I think for a marketing perspective Lumia should be fused into the surface line and the term Lumia should apply to the camera and video software. People know Lumia's are the epitome of camera smart phones thus that branding there is defined. Surface Lumia has a nice ring to it.
  • No waay, surface Lumia sounds tacky. Stick with Surface phone.
  • The Lumia Surface
  • Maybe someone can get Panos to incorporate the Microsoft Courier concept.  I really liked that idea!
  • Perhaps, if it is added as an added flip over accessory.
  • I'd love to see a new Surface phone each spring, and new Lumia's each fall.
  • Thanks Jason. This article, just like your former ones, succintly describes the possible vision of MS. However, having this article so close to the launch of 950/XL, may deter some buyers who will now wait for the next big thing thereby hurting the MS Mobile share.
  • @Rishilal Thanks for the support! True some may see the possibilities laid out in this piece as a cause to hold out. While others may see the certainty of what's available to those who are able to get the 950/XL and are committed to go that route. To both camps, (as you reference my other posts) I share this link where you will find a few of my pieces like "The 950 and 950/XL are Microsoft's Colorful IMacs" and "Are the 950 and 950XL Victims if the Surface's Success?" Together among other content I think we provide a breadth of information that allows readers to give really in depth thought regarding not only Microsoft's position in mobile, but also our own position as well as users of their products and services. Thanks for adding to the discussion!
  • We need apps, not surface phones?? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • What are the apps you need? Seriously, theres enough apps as it is.
  • Hope that's sarcasm...
  • Probably not.  There are people who fret over the shape, color, and bezel size.  They are the ones who see their phone as a piece of jewlry, or as a machine, the way I might get a hard on over the specs of a race car.  Then there are the majority of phone users, who throw it on the table when they are done using it and see it as a productivity tool to make their lives easier.  You are the later.   So am I
  • There are also people that uses their phones to make phone calls, send text messages, and do some occassional web browsing.  And therefore they don't really need every app on the planet installed on their phone, just because the other guy does. Not trying to make fun of any particular type of phone user. (so please don't take it as so) From my experience, most of the people that I know that are always complaining about apps, are the people that do everything on their phones, facebook, instagram, snapchat, games, I mean everything.  These people are also the one that you can't have a 10 minute conversation with, without them asking you to repeat yourself (if they even ask at all) because they were too distracted by their phones to put it down long enough to have a conversation. Next time you go to a restaurant, look around and see how many people are sitting at a table together to have lunch or dinner, but no one is talking because everyone is on their phones.  How many times have you had to stop in a parking lot because someone is walking across it like a zombie with their eyes glued to their phone to the point that they don't realize that they are in an unsafe environment. Sorry, didn't mean to rant.  Just notice that this type of behavior is becoming mainstream and it's kind of scary.  People are becoming too dependent on their phones for the wrong reasons.  Again, just my opinion, no direct offense meant to anyone in particular.
  • Sure you are right about that.  My mother would fall into that category for a Win Phone and in fact has a 5xx.  Snapchat is not on her radar :)   My next door neighbor (in his 70s) wanted a smartphone and I helped him get an 830.  He loves it and is now "online" with his grandkids Skyping and texting, etc.   But sorry, they don't make up the majority.  And to make it worse, the trend is not in that direction.  As the world goes more and more online, this phone in our pocket becomes more and more about being connected to the services you use.   Thats just the cold hard reality
  • I agree, they future is definitely headed that way.  My biggest fear is that we are becoming Zombies because of these things.  Just call me Old School I
  • to be fair their isnt that many people left that use a phone for just a phone, they just donet, only people i know in my life that use a phone as a phone is my mothers boyfriend hes 76 and uses the phone to make calles only.  he doesnt even text.  My mother uses a 830 lumia she uses facebook, ebuyer, paypal, the web, whats app skype the camera and shes also known to make the ocasional video cover and shes 64 so there really isnt many people i know that use their phone as just a phone.
  • Preach it!! Lol I agree with everything except...that the app situation is important. I say the lack of a robust arsenal of apps is deterrent for many. A Decreased variety of apps decreases your market share. Nevertheless, IF an awesome surface phone came out with Intel inside and the ability to run win32 apps, we might yet still have hope.
  • Intel CoreM Inside is needed in Surface Phone. Posted via the Lenovo K900
  • @uxo22. Well said
  • I am with him. I think apps are way overrated. Research shows that most people only use a core of 4-5 apps. That's it. I cannot think of a single app that I need that Windows Phone doesn't have. Even the apps that I do use (like Twitter, OneDrive, and Facebook) are perfectly fine in a mobile Web browser instead. The only apps I really 'need' are Xbox games (check), Skype (check), Office (check), and Cortana (check). What am I missing out on? I gave up Android 2.5 years ago and cannot think of a single thing I miss (particularly it's atrocious performance).
  • Exactly. there's the core apps and then there's the "trendy" fad apps which come and go and which kids with iPhones make big for a while and then discard. I have no interest in them. I can live without using Periscope, and definitely without Snapchat (god!). Everyone can. It's just that they come up with new things to sell you and make you think you need them.
  • not only games some realy important app are missing... my bank has iOS and Android support, no WP, big TV companies have iOS and Android support, 0 for WP etc.. Its not just about gaming and come and go stuff. BTW: if I have a phone I want to install any kind of application - good or bad, it doesnt matter. I paid for a "Smart phone" I want to use as a "smart phone" not just a brick with 10% support from 3rd. developers
  • My bank's app is not on windows phone either, but I can access it using my phones browser, and also fine that I have more options available to me by using the browser.  Additionally, I don't use my bank's website so much that I need a dedicated app for it.  It doesn't really bother me. Just because some apps are missing from your phone doesn't disqualify it as a smartphone.
  • Precisely, the lack of banking apps, apps from local companies, credit unions, schools, churches, even trendy apps, etc...these micro apps that contribute to the macro market are what customize and make ur experience feel unique to ur needs. I understand people try to justify why they're satisfied. I'm a windows fan as well and ill tell you, lack of the "right" apps is a problem for everyone I've spoken to. I'm willing to put up with the deficiency; the average consumer, not so much.
  • Exactly. I have a Epson wireless printer/scanner that has apps for Android and iOS but not for windows phone. Also my Verbatim media share wireless media streamer, it again has apps for Android and iOS. Hopefully windows 10 and continuum will resolve some of these problems, the printer issue at least. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The smartest thing Apple ever did was convince people that you needed an app for everything ("There's an app for that"). People bought into it and now everyone thinks it's true. Personally, I have no desire to download and keep track of 87 different apps for everything I need to do. I'm already annoyed as hell that Facebook spun off Messenger into it's own app, as if I want to use two apps where one previously sufficed.
  • Apple didn't convince anyone it was the jailbreakers who started it
  • You're telling me it was "jailbreakers" who ran the multi-million-dollar "There's an app for that" advertising campaign, not Apple? I don't think so.
  • I think he's referring to when iPhone was first released, heavily locked down, with only Apple apps available. The jailbreakers opened up the possibilities, Apple took their lead and turned into the app-focused powerhouse it is today.
  • People following this logic are what's hurting tho OS.
    you're scared of something you obviously don't understand and feel you can easily pass off as just "snap chat" as some did before instagram came to windows phone.
    As many mention local businesses around the US that build apps (outside Seattle) mainly only ever offer android and iOS.
    Just because you feel you don't need "more apps" or use many doesn't mean others feel differently.
    There is no denying windows phone store/apps need more devs
    I bought a friend a selfie stick at target, (no mention of OS's it works on) packaging, wont work on 1520,640 or 920 works fine on android and iOS my friends had on them.
    Not an app exactly but another example of how so many people don't even know about or care about windows phone users
  • No, I'm not "scared". What I think, and with which you are welcome to disagree with, is that Windows Phone doesn't need to follow and mimic IOS to succeed as Android does. Would it be better if all those apps were available for WP? Sure. But that alone wouldn't necessarily make people switch over to WP, think about that. I believe that Windows can carve its own niche and get strong by developing its own identity.  
  • Unfortunately it's not only the trendy and "kid" apps that are disappearing.  if it were I would agree with you.  But serious banking apps, real estate apps, sports apps, and things real "adults" want to use, are disappearing.  I bank at Bank Of America.  They abandoned WP this summer.  That is a real lose for a real adult.  It can't keep going like this
  • I have seem this with my Niece and her many iPhone fiends. The are constantly trying the next new fad - talking pictures - distorted pictures etc etc - and she said they use them for a bit, get bored and then move on to a new one. They do make a lot of calls and text but they want these apps for fun. Not all of us need these apps, but it seems this is a trend with the younger generations.
  • Nevertheless, windows phone not being there for those trends hurt the brand psychology and that generation of potential new consumers. For those of us who don't need trendy that's fine. However, we are also losing apps. If there's just one app missing or with outdated software that's one potential customer you have lost. The whole world aren't enthusiasts like us.
  • no banking apps and no payment system like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay is what is needed urgently on Windows Phone, also what about ANT+ support for home automation, and also don't forget about companion hardware for a smartphone (like tomograph for the iPhone) wearable tech, use apps to control drones, start your car, etc.  Windows Phone decision to drop Astoria project is going to put on hold all this development, no wonder why this platform only has 1.7% of marketshare, it needs apps ASAP.
  • I think I read somewhere that those pay apps aren't used much in practice.
  • well my friend pays alot of things on his iphone in the uk so im guessing its even more wide spread in the use.  He uses his phone to pay alot too.  your  probably like me and thats a windows user thats why you think it isnt used in practice.  Its used alot in apple and im told android too.
  • m icrosofts onedrive changes and the way they effect every single windows user, most of whitch are the loyal band that are left has hurt microsoft way more than apple pay or apps or any future surface phone can buffer, they just destroyed trust in less than a day.
  • onedrive comment
  • i use 27-30 daily and have 267 installed and i consider myself a light user lol i really do.
  • If you are used to using 4-5 apps, and 2-3 of them aren't available on WP, it means you will not be satisfied with the WP-experience. Apps matter, and everyone has their own set that matters to them. With more apps in the store it is more likely a user finds the ones they want.
  • Exactly!
  • Agree, I already lose too much time with Tumblr, Windows Central, Asphalt 8, Minion Rush on an Android tablet my sister won but does not use, Twitter only recently once every 2-3 days and browsing.
  • @Coip. Most are natural hoarders, be it physical or digital. They think they need them but in reality they don't. The world went on fine without phones and apps. Those who can't see that are unfortunately too caught up in the moment.
  • @techfreak1, the world went on fine too without cars, electricity, fire.... And throughout history there were people like you screaming "we don't need it, we are doing just fine". 
  • Perhaps, but I need at least 30-40 "flagship" apps or I will not consider Windows Phone.
  • Lol. Lack of apps is the #1 problem for Windows phone/Mobile. And continuim might be a good idea on paper but it will not help the situation.
  • Right, those won't solve the problem. But universal apps will. Piggy backing off the popularity of Windows PCs will though. The same way Apple piggy backs sales of MacBooks off of the iPhone (no other PC will can use iMessages). I got my first PowerBook in 2003. Nothing would run it. But Apple just kept making a better product and people came around.
  • Universal apps will help the situation only if the iOS-bridge works well enough (and enough developers hear about it and get interested about it).
  • I was skeptical of Continuum as well but look how people think now that any new smartphone is worthless without a fingerprint sensor. And along with Windows Hello they can attract new customers to the platform. Same with the concept of universal apps. W10 number will grow more steady than mobile and the devs won't have an excuse for not making universal apps for W10.
  • Snapchat, Hangouts, Tinder, OkCupid, Twitch, Periscope, Spotify, Hue...  All apps on my android homescreen right now that aren't available on Windows Phone. They are silly social goof off apps, but it's the apps people in their 20's use.  Windows Phone can't raelly compete with the same market without stuff like that in my opinion. 
  • Quality may be different and some may not be official but Spotify, tinder and twitch all have apps in the store and serve their purpose pretty well imo.
  • Thanks for actually responding with something constructive. People always slam Windows for not having enough apps, but no one ever mentions the ones they are mising.  
  • i have spotify, ive had spotify for a while on my lumia 930. the rest i agree we need on windows phonre to suceed well we dont really need hangouts theres many things i use with my 20,s friends and alot of them dont use hangouts.
  • yeah, there are no apps for getting laid in Windows.
  • However, having both a phone 6s+ and a 1520,  I don't find the issue to be a huge app gap as much as a huge APP DIFFERENCE.   Quality in function and features are not the same on WP as it is on iOS. App difference is equal to, or exceeds, the App-Gap issue.  I personally don’t care who makes it as long as it functions the same but the apps on my 1520 aren't as good as the ones on my 6S+, and I'm missing the banking/social/video apps that others have.
  • This is absolutely correct.  Just got a 6s+ too.  I've been with WP since the beginning.  Before if you count WM.  T-Mobile Wing --> HTC Touch Pro II -->  HD7 --> Lumia 810 --> HTC M8 for Windows.  The apps on ios are superior, BY FAR! There are so many little annoyances with iOS, but the qualty of apps + no app gap outway my desire for Windows Phone.  I hope the new developer tools to bring ios apps to WP are a success.  I would love to return to WP
  • They cant even implement a simple gesture like swipe from the left to open hamburger menu. There is a reason its on android and ios just because it works and is very convenient. Same goes for safarie swiping from left  brings back a page. i dont use ios but that small feature was very usefull.
  • I don't about you but I hate gestures. When I see a touch screen, I want all actions to be displayed as targets to poke at. With the exception of scrolling. I dont like swiping, j-hooks, pull down menus, shakes, 2-4 finger gestures. Heck, I like windows 10 tablet mode. The advantage of target based navigation is discoverability and scalability. Targets just translate better to different screen sizes and contexts compared to iOS or BB10. Its also easier to make things work with a mouse or stylus. Theres also less of a learning curve.
  • But you can have both. That's the problem with the implementation of the hamburger menu in wm. If they would just let you access the menu with a swipe from the left, it would solve the one handed use problem, and you would still have the button you like.
  • which is why swiping in email clients is all the rage now,  its so much more difficult than having something to poke. Didn't the Poke in FB fail?  i bet if it was a 'swipe = pat on the back' would have been successfull  :)    
  • I would like GREAT apps!!!! I have an android device and the banking and store apps suck and when you look at "All of these great available apps" in the store, they are getting 2 or 3 out of 5 star reviews...same with my wife's iphone.
  • Well as both a WP8.1/10 and Note 4 user, I can vouch that the QUALITY of the SAME APPS is NOT THE SAME on the two platforms. The Android apps for Facebook and DirecTV, for example, are far superior than their WP counterparts. Then there is also the problem of so many "smart" devices and other popular apps not being supported in WP. This was supposed to be addressed with that Android-porting program, but that's been cancelled due to many reasons. If the iOS porting goes well, then that could jumpstart sales of WP, but Verizon would need to get onboard. If they don't, any future WP, regardless of name and features, will be doomed to fail.
  • WHy do people always say this?  There are tons of apps that WP doesnt have that many people need.  Just step out of your shoes and realize it, just because you dont use "xxx" doesnt mean others dont...I can name one app that will prevent many people from getting a windows phoen which is snapchat.  Even the instragram is still in beta for two years with no vid support.  Then the bank apps are being discontinued and many other as well (MINT) WP has a big app issue, anybody that can't accept that are delusional.  Why do you think MS is trying to have all these platforms to port over apps from other OS's?
  • most young people use snapchat, and google apps so yeh those alone present a huge issue for windows phone.  I think windows phones are the best phones going i really do but spend 1 hour in the app store looking at games, youll see the issues in there, gaming wise its a huge gap still.  App gap for normal apps is like bank apps, snapchat, google apps, tinder all the apps you get when you buy those products that say iphone and android compatible and thats growing biger every month, as a lover os windows phone there is a huge app gap, up until now i have still rather gone without those apps and used windows phones.  After microsoft screwed me over with onedrive changes and they will be taking 25gig off me and leaving me 5 gig i no longer feel i want to put up with a phone thats this good but lacks the app compatability of the competition, Sadly it may be the best product but when i cant cast my netflix over to my miricast samsung tv, i cant play flick nfl or any other nfl game cause the windows store simply doesnt have one, my bank santander doesnt have a app on windows phone, I cant even pay by phone for my cinema tickets or to by a macdonalds, put that together with a crapy 5gig storage so ill have to remove most of the music i put on the onedrive then im not really left with much choice but to change.  And it only took me one year t and the onedrive issue to realise that. IOf microsoft want to push forward on the mobile business and the onedrive business then they just took a giant leap backwards and well i hope peopl;e wake up to what they just did cause its not right.
  • MS was smart to get rid of freeloaders like you. Maybe stop spamming and go directly to Android Central.
  • Yeah. I stopped pirating windows and started paying for Office 365 cause I didn't want to feel like a second class citizen on windows platform. It really doesn't feel like you're getting the full experiece unless you're paying for it.
  • onedrive comment
  • It's simply denial...they're trying to find a reason to hang on longer or the just don't live on the "cutting edge of tech"
  • Bank of America and chase are 2 apps i need
  • Have you called local chase and talked with branch manager?
    Mrs people that do help get it out there.
    I even went in before app got shut down and showed mine how easy it worked.
  • I have, they don't least I don't see one yet so perhaps they don't lol
  • Let's see. My daughter had a lumia 900 and like it. When it was time to upgrade, she chose the iphone bacause her friends use snapchat and several other apps. Obviously, her friends will never use a windows phone without that app either. Cable and satelite providers don't make an app for WP. So, I can't program the DVR from my phone. There are almost no bank apps. I can access those from the browser, but you can't deposit checks from the browser. American Express has an app, but it is a web wrapper. I couldn't care less about games, but there are many social and business apps missing. I will get a lumia 950xl this time. If the situation doesn't improve when I get my next phone, I will abandon WP as well, even though I do love the OS.  
  • According to most advertisements for new apps, there isn't even a Windows Phone store.
  • True....
  • "there's enough apps as it is""... Are you sick?..It's not about app count..
  • It's not that I personally need any app. But yes, talking about wm ecosystem, then it surely need apps to compete with the rivals. It's a loop, apps n popularity. But I think what MS can do on its end is just make a good platform and advertise. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Why are there always unrelated comments in every article?
  • Because some people think huge corporations can only do one thing at a time, and they're pissed when it's not THEIR one thing.
  • at least microsoft gave every windows user something special this year.  A more expensive onedrive and a removal of their opresent onedrive storage so who says a big corporation cant do more than one thing at one time?
  • onedrive comment.
  • Like the one you just posted??
  • It's a tangent..a VERY important one at that. As much as I love my windows phone I cannot function at my techie best due to the lack of apps.
  • Only app I care for is Snapchat. Bring that. Either way I'm sticking to Windows Phone.
  • its not coming you know.
  • Thank you! The surface brand won't do anything for the problems people have with windows phone. Are people forgetting the fall in market share????
  • I think it's Fall in a lot of places right now,  how could we forget it?
  • of course the mythical surface phone can do a lot. If the hardware is really good, it will get people buying them. If the really influential people get them, i.e. your boss, the queen bee at school or at work, miley cyrus buys them, then others may just follow suit. Then the apps will come. By then, we'd have a lot of really nice universal apps. I'm also sure developers are starting to take notice.I use a windows 10 laptop, whenever I need new software, I go to the store first now, instead of softonic or googling a .exe. I now use irc explorer and torrex pro for example.
  • "We" (whoever *we* is) need Surface Phones, not pointless tears.
  • a surface phone is not gona save microsoft when they screw users over by removing their storage to onedrive and lieing.
  • onedrive comment.
  • Why not both?
  • I think the problem is the mindset of the public. Apps were more important when cell signal and data speeds were unreliable and/or poor; going to a website would oftentimes take far too long. Companies/developers could/would save man-hours and money if they made their websites more phone friendly with the same experiences as their respective apps. There would be no more (or less of a) need to develop apps for multiple OS's.
  • Its not the publics mindset its microsoft fk ups on marketing.  They won audiences back and even turned heads on iphone and android friends of mine when they showed of the surface book, but less that 2-3 weeks later they double the cost of one drive, remove the 100g and 200g storage options and take away 15-30 gig of every single windows users onedrive storage and they blame it on people for useing a uncaped unlimited service in a unlimited way.  Now all my friends talk about and including this windows 10 fanboy is how bad, untrustworth, unreliable, disloyal microsoft is to their users.  My iphone friend told me how apple doubled his icloud storage without chargeing any extra, i mean come on thats proper customer service there.).  Thats their whole problem there, that and reseting windows phone 7 and leaving them dry, trying to enforce a always online xbox one or you cant even watch your own dvds or share games lol, put thoise together and you can see clearly why windows is loosing this battle, you might all think its apps bu and at this stage it certainly isnt helping but its just the way microsoft was run under baller seems to still be there with this company, doesnt look like there are any real changes.  I dont understand why preople dont see than, and i think windows phones and live tiles are great.
  • We get it your annoyed at loosing your OneDrive space - PLEASE SHUT UP ABOUT IT! You do not have to reply to every.. single.. post.. about the same thing. We all know its happend, we read the site. You dont need to keep on about it.
  • onedrive comment
  • Will that be the 50,000 farting apps?
  • We need a better developer support first. He's write. Hardware innovation can be welcomed every year.
  • MS can't write millions of quality apps by themselves. The best they can do is make the OS and hardware attractive enough that customers and developers get on board. Don't like the situation? Code some apps.
  • Surface phone would be a hit. Could possibly compete against iPhone.
  • Hahaha hahahaha ... Oh, you're serious?
  • Hahaha hahahaha ... Yes, he is.
  • Ha ha ha....he really is...
  • Ballmer said the same thing back when the iPhone was released.
  • Cook said the Surface Book was a pile of s***. What is your point?
  • NOPE! He most certainly DID NOT say that the Surface was a "Pile Of Sh*t" . . . You can't just make stuff up.
  • Calm down. He insinuated that. If you are going to be so literal, this is going to be hard for you. He tried his best to make that implication without sounding unprofessional. Is that better?
  • Saying "It's diluted" is a completely different thing to saying "it's a pile of sh*t". You are reaching and blowing his remarks way out of proportion. If he'd said it was "rubbish" or "useless" perhaps we could reintepret it that way but as it stands "POS" is your own assertion not Mr Cooks. Cheers.
  • It's the public interoperation and assertion.
  • It would overshadow the iPhone.
  • maybe in size... 
  • Ahahahah boy you are deluded... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Go to android central DJ.
  • deluded indeed
  • No Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • He loves trolling lmao
  • predictable
  • Did you read the article? Surface Phone would compete against Galaxy Notes. I have a Note 8 because it was best device for it's size when released. Just ask Samsung to put Win10 on a Galaxy Note 4 and Tada, Surface Phone.
  • Can you imagine win10 on a Galaxy Note 4?
  • As I'm typing this from my note 4, yes, I can imagine it, and its a VERY intriguing proposition.
  • lol if youd have sold 30-40 million surface phones last year youd sell about 30 million this year soz but theres no way a surface phone would compete with iphone or androdi, no way in hell at this stage, and after the onedrive issue its even less likely.  Not a day goes past i dont talk to someone thats canceled their onedrive account or is going too not one day.  And they do this just before the 950 comes out.  At least when you see the 950 sell youll get a true indication of how much onedrive changes has angered loyal windows moblie fans, its gona be a large number too.
  • still goin' on about onedrive? Back up your photos already.
  • It certainly would be a wise move to implement the "Mini" factor of a Surface into a mobile device. This way the functionality greatly improves and isn't simply sized down, offering zero differentiation. I really do hope for the Surface Phone. I would hold off on moving onto the 950 and wait patiently of such a device exists.
  • The mastermind speaks!!!!
  • If a Surface Phone actually surfaces, MS better not fuck up its launch like with the latest Lumias.
  • This -^ x's 1,000,000........the fact that the Lumia Flagships aren't available on the Nations largest provider is a joke in of itself. You can say all you want about exclusives, etc.......Verizon didn't want it, and so, we the consumers don't get it........ill gladly switch to ATT.....i am not going to hold my breath, Surface phone will be announced at Build in April at the earliest, and probably won't be on sale till next November.
  • If it shows up.. hopefully MS has improved their own app quality for WP to equal the attention and function that iOS gets.
  • microsoft dont care about windows phones, they dont even care about their onedrive business anymore, last couple of weeks showed they dont even care about their loyal windows phone users either.  At least with apple they double your cloud storage and dont charge you, thats great customer suport there, in comparison microsoft is taking away windows users free storage, in many cases like me ill be loosing 25gig of my 5gig that i got when i spent 500 pounds on my lumia 930 and actually paid for windows 8.  so yeh microsoft really dont care about their customers at this stage and well its clear they can change the rules when they feel like it.  Definatly not something a trustworthy company would do.
  • Apple gives you 5GB free, which is what OneDrive is moving to in 2017. If your girlfriend gives you an extra handy from time to time, appreciate it and don't complain because then you will get no handy. Edit-I mean candy, don't I?
  • lol..dude..this cracked me up
  • another onedrive comment
  • Figured you were a fanboy based on the negativity and microsoft bashing.
  • Oh of course they'll mess up the launch.   Why would it be different.  Microsoft has basically no carrier relationships.
  • I dont thinkt hey failed, they made a decision to not support it.  It is a carry over from nokia, i wouldn't put much investment in this phone either.  It would of been a huge mistake and a huge financial mistake if they went all out.  They tried that with the 920, didn't work. 
  • oh believe me, it wont be limited by "phone" standards
  • Why not both?
  • Damn it Jason, I almost read this with a tear streaming down my cheek. I'm on the bandwagon as usual, so I'm sitting here waiting!
  • you might be disappointed when the mythical surface phone does come out, its part plastic, has gopping fan vents, brick sized bezel and doesn't have holograms coming out. Maybe you shouldn't hold your breath.
  • 1) Who pee'd in your cornflakes? 2) Microsoft's liquid cooling system may just be what the processor needs. Remember, it won't be an i Series chip in there. Most likely (probably) an Atom chip in there. 3) Why would I expect holograms? 
  • I'm just letting you know that maybe you shouldn't be waiting for a "mythical" phone.  Sure, I hope that it will be as amazing and magical as all the other surface products, but what if it isn't?  I went on about holograms because surface is known for bucking trends, so yes, I kinda expect to see something thats never been tried before.    
  • It doesn't matter if they do or don't, because I'll buy whatever they offer me. This isn't Apple and Microsoft never claims to work on magic. I expect Windows on a phone.
  • Im fine with this. What I am not fine with, is them not telling us what is up and what the difference between this and the 950 line will be. There are a lot of us that understand that there is always something greater coming, but it shouldn't be four months later. It should all be launched each year together so you can make a subjective choice. Just dont like this spread out launch and release that we may see.
  • We need apps, not surface phones
  • We do need devices to choose from in order to improve the market share, right? The major chunk of the wp share is eaten by that old outdated L635 which kinda sucks and nobody wants that...
  • How do you get apps without selling phones?
  • Are you deliberately trying to start a chicken and egg debate?
  • we need eggs, not chickens.
  • If it is real, they need to drop the Lumia brand or move it to low end and Focus on pushing the Surface name as the premier brand on all things mobile. Change the band to surface band too! Lol
  • Agreed!
  • if microsoft want a surface phone to suceed they need to sell microsoft to some new not known or known trust worthy company that has no links to any of its present board members and then they might have a chance, but onedrive changes just destroyed what good rep they got from the surface book. Amazing that there are people that stupid in the world working in these top companies and obviously still are.
  • one drive comment.
  • I believe it would bring Microsoft to the forefront seriously competing in the smartphone marketing war. Then follow with the XBox phone you cover the business aspect as well as the gamer. Even though they may be the same or similar resources it would be beneficial monetarily for Microsoft to package them separate. I can dream...
  • I think it should have an Intel SoC and running full Windows 10, with a Windows 10 Mobile skin when in phone mode. And it should come bundled with a miracast dongle of some sort so that you can use the phone as a full Windows 10 PC on a bigger screen. 
  • I am not sure about apps, I have an iPad, a surface and a 930. There is not one app from the iPad that I personally miss on either of my win 10 devices. I do however love having a range of connected win 10 devices that just work. I would definitely be in the market for a surface phone that can replace my iPad, the ability to connect using continuum will only add to it's functionality. Microsoft have proven their ability to innovate and differentiate with their later surface models. I hope they give us all a real alternative to ios and android phones.
  • It would have to be a phablet. "Introducing the Surface Mini. The tablet that can replace your phone."
  • the whole article makes sense, and i hope it's true.  having said that, surface right now isn't connected to a phone carrier.  it's not a phone, so anybody can buy one.  with the surface phone, it NEEDS to be available to everyone.  it NEEDS to be available on every carrier.  Verizon, Sprint, any carrier overseas, etc.  just my 2 cents
  • Honestly as an on the go person, I'd love to see what Panay is cooking up. The engineering prowess will no doubt be at work in the device. Something that doesn't compromise, but is 100% capable of keeping me productive away from office and desk, but fits perfectly in the office space when I get back.
  • Blah blah blah.... why don't they focus on polishing windows mobile 10 and get those 950's out?  They can't even seem to handle that.
  • Windows 10 Mobile is fine...I use it, and the 950's are out TOMORROW. They seem to be handling that just fine Troll.
  • did you not see the article this morning about how the 950s are now listed as "coming soon" on microsoft's website?   
  • only last week they took away every windows users onedrive storage and leaving 5g, how is that good and handleing it well for the 950, they have lost a ton of sales from those changes alone. All this talk about the surface phone is gona scare off the 950 buyers too so ever this topic is haveing a negative effect on 950 sales tomorrow.
  • one drive comment
  • How many times you gonna say this? You sound like a crybaby. Man up, freeloader!
  • You really don't get it. It's not about being a freeloader. It's about a deliberate decision to bait and switch people in hopes of driving 365 growth. What good will and positive image they had developed was gone in a few words. Anyone who was looking at getting a new windows phone now has to say do I really want to trust M$ again. Many now will say no. Now a surface phone will be interesting. A device designed like the sp4 and sb. With great internals, that's a win right there. Will it succeed? I'm not sure, Microsoft has not done themselves any favors with the 950 or XL. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Don't you get tired of hearing yourself say exactly the same thing in every post? Seriously... Waw
  • Don't you get tired of replying with the same comment to every one of my comments?  
  • I already have a 950 in my hands and the OS is very stable with my usage so far.
  • I want a surface phone but I also want a small form factor surface tablet. :(
  • Absolutely!  What I'm desperately hoping for is - just as a couple of the quotes imply - something to completely replace the moleskine I carry around to meetings/etc. (and also the assorted scraps of paper lyting around the house!) It's so nearly in our grasp: SP4's pen/screen tech (or even the next iteration of it), Windows Hello camera &/or fingerprint login, capable processor in fanless design with good battery life, LTE support - all these are available right now.  I just want them all in an ~8" screen form factor (going down to phablet size would make the writing surface a bit too small for sustained note taking rather than just jotting a quick thought). All it needs is for someone to make it - pretty please, Microsoft...?
  • Windows Phone has less than 2% marketshare. Maybe a Surface phone would help save it, but kt would need to bring some game-changing technology, a phenomenal marketing campaign, and strategic partners, like carriers to make this a winner. When Motorola introduced the original Droid, it was Verizon's marketing and placement that made it a winner. They need te same punch behind them to move the needle.
  • Some of you guys still don't get it. That was the market share of sold phones in one quarter!!
  • Umm.. Yeah we get that. What don't you get, that we don't get?
  • One quarter marketshare is not the same as overall marketshare, and varies by country. It's 10% in many places - ok, still not 'great' but it's not 2%
  • Panos is great engg. Most optimistic n confident about his work as we can see..
    Jus wt n watch.
  • I'm more interested in a good camera on my phone so it may not be better than the 950 for me.
  • It has no place in the market without apps. Real, high quality "universal apps" that match premium iOS apps. Not sheer quantity of apps but quality of apps which will ultimately drive quantity. Sketching into Onenote (a cludge of an application on desktop and windows 10/8/mobile) won't cut it.
  • Exactly. A mobile device needs quality Mobile apps first and foremost. The vast majority of users will never plug their phone into a monitor to use desktop apps, at least not in the next few years. Windows mobile needs apps now, more then ever. The writing is on the wall folks. Clear and simple. A surface phone without quality Mobile apps will not reverse the poor market share trend
  • I feel like you're not being anywhere near visionary enough. You seem to think Nadella is trying to compete with Apple and Android. He's not. He and Panos are trying to disrupt the market with a new smartphone 2.0. Something that is more valuable and does more than just an iPhone and just a screen of app tiles. Microsoft is committed to Windows 10, and the universality that that entails. As the world is essentially forced onto Windows 10, simply by attrition, if nothing else, and the pervasiveness of Microsoft Apps on Android and Apple, Microsoft is positioning itself as the go to software maker. It's also positioning itself as a maker of killer hardware. I predict in the next two years that Microsoft makes significant strides into enterprise as well as consumer electronics. iPhones will still be huge. They'll still be loved. But Microsoft products will be loved too. And I think a Surface Phone may become the new go to device in enterprises and business. Sure it won't be huge, but that's not the point. The point is creating a sure foundation for mobile to start climbing from. Right now, trying to compete with apps there is no foothold. Apps won't save WP. Repositioning and appealing to Microsoft fans will.
  • Smartphone 3.0 you mean. Symbian phones since 2002 along with the old windows mobile make up smartphone 1.0.
  • Yeah right. Nadella is going to disrupt the $100 billion iPhone business with the app-LESS phone.
  • Wish it would be the best hardware released till dates.. With looks Of Lumia 730 or 830. Power of Lumia 950. Best of windows world. Screen beating all leading flagships. High brightness mode, sun light readability, clearback display, touch sensitivity, Dolby audio comprising or anything else that was best in Nokia Lumia days. A power punch handset.. Destroying all at least standing with all leading android flagships. (why no apple flagship? Lumia 950 already destroys Iphone 6s)
  • Microsoft are certainly headed in the right direction. I've even had friends mistake their latest surface ads for Apple's! Shows that they are now out innovating the masters of reinvention, and bringing evolution with it!
  • Thees are the reasons I am not going for the 950XL. I am going to wait and see what (if anything) comes out of the Surface Phone rumors.   Unfortunately it seems that when it comes to Windows Mobile we are always in wait mode.
  • You would be perpetually waiting. That's what contributes to kill a platform. If you have the means why not get the 950 or xl.
  • Same here as paliotti said. Whenever I read Jason's article, I get new hopes on Windows Mobile. I would definitely love to see a Surface Phone next year. By the way, I am about to start learning to be a Windows Mobile/PC app developer. Wish me good luck.. :-)
  • What tools are you using to learn? I'd like to learn how to make universal windows apps, but not sure what the best approach is. BTW, I know nothing about coding/developing... Tips welcome!
  • I am a beginner as well. I found some worthy tutorials in Microsoft Virtual Academy. I believe that if you know C# you can develop apps easily for Windows Mobile. Visual Studio has support for other languages too (which I am not very clear about)
  • Ok, yeah I have seen that Microsoft has some good resources. I've also been tipped about, and Python as a first language to learn, so I am currently using their course on Python. Apparently it gives you a very good basic understanding, and from my short experience the course is really easy and good :)
  • Did you really need to write this article right now?
    I also read articles today in other sites, that the so called Surface Phone had shown up a benchmarking site...
    And to think that the first 950's had reached the consumers hands just yesterday...
    Good job in killing it's already modest hype
  • I'll take a 8-9" surface mini phone/tablet for work... It be nice if I could transfer calls to my 950xl when needed or when I wanted...
  • I've been anticipating a device like the Surface phone for quite some time. I'm currently holding off on getting a 950XL.
  • Let's hope they get the apps soon. If not they won't be a chance for the surface phone to come. For all the people saying they have all the apps get real. I play draft kings no app I have sling tv at home no app there are many more apps that people use daily that we have no access to.
  • Great article, Jason. Please, more...
  • These articles are amazing keep up the work wc
  • At this point, I see that Microsoft is setting up the framework for something big.  The Lumia 950 series just proves that they can get Continuum to work.  Its a loss leader of sorts (it gets the ideas out to the public and gets developers an actual working handset in their hands).  What I believe they're going to do is converge the laptop with a phone. I believe they are going to give this phone an x86 processor (read Intel Atom series), 4 GB of RAM, and at least 64 GB of storage (with multiple options like the surface series before it).  The efficiency of power for modern Atom processors is pretty amazing, but I'd be willing to bet that they will have to make x86 mode for docked phones only, so that a user doesn't burn their battery running a full app on a small device. So, in short, here's what I'm saying: Surface Phone
    x86 liquid cooled Processor (2 modes of operation, low powered ARM for mobile processing, high powered x86 for docked processing)
    4 GB RAM (or more)
    64 GB storage (or more)
    5.5 inch display on the thinnest phone body yet
    USB type-C for docking purposes (ability to output (2) 4K display or (4) 1080p displays with keyboard and mouse)
    Touch cover technology 2.0 (think built in backlighting that can display texts, phone calls, e-mails with a keyboard for responding without opening phone and turning on screen)
    45 MP back camera
    8 MP Wide angle front camera Microsoft, you've been comissioned... Make it so. (and a little kickback in the way of early testing of this device would be fine with me).  
  • I love everything but the thinnest part. Put a HUGE battery in the sucker you just mentioned and take my bank account!
  • Friends and I were discussing this lastnight. I wonder if it's possible to put an x86 processor in the dock? With Intel graphics, at least on their Core series, that would also perform 3D as well as one would need for a phone. (Though if they want to be a device that truly is for everyone, I suppose one could go overboard with an i7 and nvidia discrete graphics in the dock too... Maybe two different docks, sort of like Surface Book?) That'd be kinda neat. :) Not sure how well W10M would hand off from built-in ARM to in-dock x86 though. Lots of different options though. I've been thinking this for awhile though. Much like Windows RT went buh-bye because x86 became low-power enough for full-blown Windows to work, I think we'll see this with Windows Phone at some point too, so long as they stick along long enough. I believe Intel partnered with an Android handset manufacturer this summer to start work on an x86 Android handset, if memory serves.
  • Currently only AMD has successfully combined x86 and ARM in a single SoC. Intel hasn't shown much, if any, interest in producing ARM chips.
  • I would buy a Surface Phone if it was made in the same magnesium as SB and SP just because it'd be awesome, even if I didn't use it much. 
  • Surface = the tablet that can replace your laptop Surface Book = the laptop that can replace your desktop Surface Phone = the phone that can replace your tablet
  • I'm must saying, I would love to see a surface+ZuneHD combination 5" phone : )
  • why I'm skipping the 950 XL.
  • Me too and that's why I'm not overly worried about the sales of the 950 / 950xl.  I just hope w10 mobile lasts long enough to see the Surface Phone to market.
  • Why not skip this mythical Surface Phone for the next Surface Phone?
  • It better be offered on all carriers...
  • Great article, also agree that a lot of expectations have been rumored around a Surface Phone. Only problem is that these expectations will definitely hurt 950/950XL sales, further sinking developers trust in the platform (hope this does not happen)
  • >Jason Ward Nice article...well researched, referenced and written. While I await the prospect of a 'Surface Phone' with baited breath, it is tempered by the restraints of Verizons cellular shackles. Still hope floats. One thing struck me about the depth of Panay's committment to excellence and his passion for carrying an idea to fruitition. That this is a man who walks the tightrope divide between perfection and vaporware, seemingly in everything he does. In the ever diminishing timeframe to get a product to market, the pressure to produce must be an incredibly overwhelming elephant in the room. To be able to balance that elephant along with a relatively miniscule Surface Phone is a high wire act worth watching. Too bad it's all done in secret. But thank you Jason for helping to reveal a few of those moments in the transition of the Surface Book from idea to reality. Let's hope the Surface Phone also survives the timeline constraints as well. It's all about timing isn't it?
  • I love the concept and direction which a Surface Phone could take the platform. I would not like a mini surface but possibly a phablet and smaller size phone could work.
  • Where did that phrase come from, "more than one way to skin a cat"?
  • Same place as gunpowder?
  • Just as I was getting over the one drive situation and thinking of getting me and my woman a 950. Think we will wait till summer to see what's going to happen. Thanks for the article! Maybe we should all hold off and wait for the surface phone?!?
  • Not only Panos Panay want his Surface mini dream come true but we also want surface phone to come, together it will come out to be a Surface Phablet. Yes it will happen.
  • So do I grab a 950 or "wait and see" what's next?
  • I'm personally waiting after reading. I have a lumia 640xl with wm10 and various android phones to keep me waiting patiently.
  • I want to wait too but my 920 is on it's last legs.  Software issues galore and USB port dying.
  • If you can afford it go with one of the 950 series for sure. Or buy one of the 640 series. The 640xl is very nice and cheap.
  • If you're always waiting for the next thing, you'll never have the current thing. I'm happy with my 950 so far.
  • True.  I don't think I'll have much choice soon anyway.
  • MSFT needs "something" and they need it sooner rather than later - a game changer. Why?  Just read they slipped again and now have just 1.7% of the market. Last year at this time they had about 3%.  They're (still) goin' in the wrong direction.
  • Would be funny if was officially called the new "Surface Phablet"
  • phablet is such an ugly word.
  • I strongly feel microsoft should not release surface phone. Surface brand has so much recognition and phone will just spoil it. I have seen people waiting for surface pro 4. It's really not the harfware which will drive the windows phone, its the software. Personally i believe win 10 mobile is not much exciting than win8.1. I feel microsoft spent these many years just to modify UI with black and gray colors and few new apps like skype message and video which are terrible.  
  • I think they should go for it. MS needs to make hardware that would inspire oems to build good phones.
  • I just want a Surface Pro 4 shrunk down to 8 inches with 8-12 hrs battery life. I currently have an 8 inch Acer W4 as my main tablet and it is pretty awesome but I'm ready for an 8 inch tablet with 1080P + screen, 4GB ram and a 128GB HD. People just simply do not realize how usefull an 8 inch windows Tablet is.  
  • ...but 8" are top small for a Tablet and too big for a Phone...
    Maybe a foldable Device with multiple screens?
  • I have an 8 inch Win 8.1 Tablet right now as I speak and it is not to small for a tablet. Works fine and is very useful. Any bigger and it is hard to hold with one hand and take notes on and not nearly as portable as 10 inch Win tablets, any smaller and it's hard to read and navitage on. 8 inches is a perfect size for a useable small Windows tablet.
  • Surface Pro 2 is small form factor.
  • I really think this could best work like a mix of Surface and ASUS Zenphone. They could have something like a Surface 3-sized tablet shell (10") that is paired with a 5-5.5" phone. In fact, that could kill the Surface 4 and be what the Atrix and Zenphone couldn't.
  • I see the angle of this being more of a new device than just a "Surface phone" as most fans of the idea seem to think of it. That is, just a smartphone with a metal body and an intel x86 processor. That wouldn't add a lot to the MS hardware portfolio. But this potential concept introduced in the article sounds more interesting, if not necessarily revolutionary. My only thing with this is that it wouldn't be pocketable and that I don't see myself using the pen a lot, but the latter could change depending on use and scenarios, and basically, support. Again, being able to Continuum-it (which frankly would just amount to plugging it to regular hardware) would add plenty to it. But already planning to own a Surface Pro 4 and a Lumia 950 XL, what does it offer me?
  • I don't think digital notepad in a phablet form factor is what defines surface phone. Sure it will have a Surface Pen, all Surface branded devices come with a Surface Pen, but its focus will be on replacing your PC. And not just with UWP apps but full Win32 applications in the continuum mode. That proposition has what made Surface successful is Surface Pro 3 and later. And now Surface Phone will bring the same promise to the phablet form factor. It will be interesting to see what Microsoft will bring as an optional keyboard accessory. Personally I'd like an optional attachable keyboard accessory similar to Blackberry Priv's keyboard. Then there is the question of Intel chipset to be used. The most realistic expectation is that it will use Intel Atom X/Z lineup or based on it. Personally I would like it to be something along the lines of Intel Core M if Intel can pull it off. But if Microsoft really wants to redefine category in this space, they will have to go to custom design. The work they have done with dGPU in base of Surface Book is incredible. I didn't even knew it was possible. The Surface Phone will have to be as revolutionary, if not better. It will need to have the power efficiency of high end Qualcomm chipsets and Power of at least Intel Core M chips. But having to rely on Intel to make Core M based SoC that is power efficient is an equivalent of day dreaming. Core M isn't even power efficient in Pro 4 as compared to I5 based Pro 4 which baffles me. Intel needs to get its act together. Anyway, what Microsoft needs to do is to license ARMv8 and design a custom SoC with dual core A72 for high end ARM, A35 for low power ARM and custom designed X86 dual cores based on Core M for that desktop PC and Win32 applications delivery in continuum mode. Can the execution be as seamless and slick as detaching the clipboard on Surface Book and just like it switches from dGPU to Intel HD graphics in tablet mode, Surface phone will need to switch from ARM to X86 from phone/phablet to continuum mode. The guiding principles are simple. ARM needs to be cool, powerful yet battery efficient to give 1.5- 2days of use while x86 will need to give desktop grade performance for at least 3-5hrs in continuum mode without connected to power supply. Let's see if Microsoft and Panos can pull it off with Surface Phone.
  • The reason surface mini didn't launch was because the Office folk didn't have the Office Touch apps ready for Windows. The team making then for Ipad was ready and the team fire Windows wasn't. That would have been a huge marketing failure
  • I think the Surface Phone will take off quite well, just because of the novelty factor and the Surface brand. Think about it.. iPhones, Galaxies and even Lumias have all been around since quite some time, and every phone is just a slightly different manifestation of their respective design ideologies. Going by the reputation of the Surface team, the Surface phone would bring an entirely new phone paradigm to the table which, imo, would create tremendous hype and expectation. That alone could get the Surface phone to a great start!
  • Microsoft need go phase out Lumia. Make them as low end phones and make surface as the high end.
  • Centennial ​ is not an app conversion bridge.  It is a Win32 installer wrapper and virtualizer for x86 systems.  If you watch videos about the technology that is clear.  It will not bring x86 apps to ARM.  It wraps x86 apps to be Store distributed/sold/managed.  That's not a bad thing as it brings focus to the Store for all apps.  But it's not a conversion bridge.  It could be useful to x86 phones/tablets though.
  • Surface Tone: The Tablet That Can Replace Your Phone
  • No thanks. A slimy, fragile, magnesium alloy phone with none of the pedantic focus on imaging innovations we see in the Lumias doesn't interest me at all but I'm sure a lot of people will love it. I also have faith the Panos and his team will deliver a good product. Wouldn't mind an integrated Surface Pen & larger 6 inch screen on the 960XL though.
  • I maybe one of the only ones that don't like this surface phone rumors that keep popping out. Don't get me wrong I want and would love to get a surface phone but if everyone has this approach the new flagship phone will flop. If this happens w10 will be look as a failure and less company's will develop phones for w10 and developer will again look at windows platforms as a dying ship and not even bother to make anything for us. I hope am wrong every wrong cuz I love the windows platform.
  • Can't follow your reasoning. What does "but if everyone has this approach the new flagship phone will flop" mean?
  • What am saying is that all this surface phone rumors will hurt the 950 and 950xl sales. A surface phone if ready will not come out till the end of 2016 at the earliest. We need to get excited with what is out now so w10 platform can start to grow.
  • But the thing is... Microsoft does not care that much about 950 sales. I'm not saying it in some bad way like some people whining here, im saying as these new phones just being here,like we've said many times before,for the fans, instead of having no new hardware for them.
    The Surface Phone overshadowing these phones is not a problem because these phones are not here to be blockbusters. But just "something instead of nothing".
  • They should forget calling it a phone. Make it a small 5.7" surface PC that can allow you to make phone calls. Just avoid the whole windows phone thing altogether. I mean, we already have the messaging and phone apps for our desktops and surface tablets. I feel that Microsoft is up to something. They are going to change the market by disrupting the whole "I need a phone" idea. Mark my words fellow Microsoft fanboys/girls!
  • We'll see ^^
  • I'd definitely call it the Surface Mobile. Surface Surface Pro Surface Book Surface Mobile No sense in calling it a phone anymore if they really want to move beyond that and all that it does.  Unless marketing becomes an issue and people that just can't understand that it is a phone too, even though it isn't in the name. LOL.
  • With the right advertisements and subtle guiding/pushing; microsoft could really get people to use skype messaging/calling on their desktops and tablets. It would be real interesting to see if they can bypass phones altogether. Surface mobile or even something like the "Surface M" (Which could be mobile or mini) would do the trick. Tell people that it's a pc/tablet that replaces your phone. With continuum and the growing windows 10 store; Microsoft could really pull people out of that terrible Android/Apple market.
  • If they differentiate from Lumia in some way I'd be all for it. A surface phone would need to coexist with Lumia and not just being a Lumia with Intel insides. Otherwise it's likely surface would overshadow Lumia
  • Please make this happen...
  • I reckon that Panay is working hard, and insisting on improving one Idea, step by step. Look at Surface 1 up to Surface 4. They have not thrown the first Sufrface while developing the second, but built on it's strengths, step by step. A phone based on that philosophy would be great! Uh, and.....maybe, just maybe, this philosophy could eventually been followed by the software department of Microsoft? The Media Player - Zune - XBox Music - Groove path definitely is not what I would call "keep the good things and improve on the not so good things"....rather the other way around. Maybe Panos Panay could give some internal classes?
  • Another fine article by Jason. Enjoyed it and learned a lot of insight.
  • Great article Jason.  I really enjoy reading your articles and especially your desire to get people thinking and "talking".   
  • I love the idea of the Surface Phone and wanted to have it in the future, but I hope it wont spoil the success of the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL that is at the moment still "coming Soon." Let the Lumias with Windows 10 proved themselves before we discussed about something that is still in our imagination.
  • the Surface smart phones with a 6 inch screen with surface pin use capability is something a lot of business people could  and students could use. I have always felt that Microsoft made a mistake in not making a 8 inch Dell venu pro type tablet costing 250 to 350 USA Dollars because the cheapest Surface tablet is 499. USA dollars. microsoft needs a Microsoft brand cheaper tablet than the Surface 3 Atom tablet. an  8 inch Surface Mini  2 by 3 screen tablet with Surface Pin would be a very useful device for Students, Businees and science folks and technicians, Waitresses could use it to take orders. Microsoft made one hell of a mistake not to have an 8 inch Surface Mini. Folks I think the main reason the Surface Mini was killed was NEW MS CEO Nadella decided to KILL WINDOWS RT. the surface Mini ran Windows RT. If it was an atom CPU powered tablet it could have run full Windows 8.1 and would have probably went to maket but MS CEO Nadella killed Windows RT. it was I guess one of his first major actions as a Microsoft CEO.Notice later the Atom CPU Surface 3 soon came out  running full windows 8.1.  it's a more usefull device than an RT OS tablet
  • IDK about you guys but when i go to meetings or take notes or make sketches i usually dont grab a full sized sheet of paper, i get a post it note (the big ones that are about phone size) or i us a small notepad about 7" tablet size. I wish they had done the surface mini, much more compelling to my uses. Surface mini with continuum (as it functions in phone) would be cool instead of carrying a laptop around, maybe with a little fold up keyboard sleeve sort of thing.
  • F YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Built in stylus!
  • I still really want an 8" Surface with a pen. :(
  • I am patiently waiting for the surface phone.
  • Surface is about convergence and the primary way they've always done that is with the form factor.  This article makes me think that a Surface phone would have an attractive, functional, and thoroughly different form factor that combines a phone and small tablet.  It can't just be a big phone. I see a regular 5" phone folding out into an 8"-9" mini tablet.  Nice, comfy phone in your pocket... folds out into a more functional 8" tablet for note-taking at the meeting. Play up the joint where the screens come together as part of the design.   A true all-in-one.  Phone...8" tablet...Continuum for a full size PC   
  • I just think that would be little bit confusing. just like people are confused about "Nokia Lumia to Microsoft Lumia" and now if they again change it "Microsoft Lumia to Surface phone" ofcourse Sufrace Phone sounds cooler as not many understand word "Lumia" which means snow in the plural in finnish. But well who I am to judge. Let's see if they make surface phone and maybe it will be big hit. I don't really care about name of phone.
  • I can't see this as having very wide appeal. I expect my phone to be somewhat portable and fit in my pocket when need be.
  • Brilliant article and agree one hundred percent.
  • If Microsoft wants a flagship device as a Hybrid between a Tablet and a Cell Phone.......Why not a Surface Phone with 6.5-7" HD Screen.....a powerful processor.......128gb ram......Sliding Qwerty Keyboard......USB-C......etc.........They don't need to make a Surface Mini to compete with the others in the market.......Make a Surface Phone with those specs and they will change the market to a whole new direction........
  • All specs you listed are ok, but anything above 6" would be overkill as a phone for most people in my opinion
    The 1520 is already too big for many people
  • Simply making a big phone is not good enough to be a Surface.  Has to be some kind of hybrid as I mentioned above...
  • I enjoy reading your articles Jason. Well researched and just enough speculation to generate discussion and debate. I always look forward to them. Thank you
  • Indeed, yes, will be very interesting! Just don't make it too big. May VZW support this device when it appears
  • A surface phone in the works would explain the state side lack of care for the 950 & 950XL. 
  • So, Lumia1520, 1,5 year lifespan, Lumia950XL, 0.5 year lifespan..Surface phone? Think i'll cancel my order for the 950.
  • 950/xl = 1 year
    Surface phone,or whatever it's called, will not come out before this time next year
  • I just think it's stupid too call it surface phone, it's like saying macbook phone or chromebook phone 
  • It's more like calling it Mac Phone, or Chrome Phone
    I personally like the name, but a name like Lumia X or Lumia Pro can work too, as long as we get rid of the numbers
  • Hope they don't make it too big as most of the phones these days are...
  • My concern is will the "Surface Phone" just be another Nokia Lumia 1020 device where it's this amazing, crazy technology that fans and enthusiasts have clamored for bolted down to another exclusive deal with AT&T? We pretty much knew that this amazing camera phone was coming to Windows Phone and we as fans, as believers, were absolutely excited about it. What good are your best products if ,in a limited number of consumers, your buyers have to choose between spending a reasonable amount of money on versus getting something else for a low monthly payment? Many of people who own the best phones didn't buy them unlocked. Say what evils you want about carriers but it's the way to go for a huge majority of people. I was equally delighted and annoyed every time Microsoft/Nokia flaunted their muscle and camera prowess in the Lumia 1020 realizing I'd have to wait until much later to get one(I did eventually buy one off eBay for a cool $300). But I just think it's not the best way to sell something people really want when you're not the only great product available and there is no monopoly in the space. People, I myself, will move on when conditions are not beneficial to their situation.
    One picture at a time -- LG V10
  • Agreed, but it should be called Surface Mobile. It's more in keeping with Windows Mobile and the device would be closer to a tablet hardware-wise so this is a "mobile surface". It's not just a phone. And it loses baggage associated with Windows Phone.
  • I agree the surface phone sounds awesome and always has, but if I get the chance I'll get the 950 first, why? Because it's the first of it's kind, the device I envisioned when I got my first Windows mobile (c-500 I think).
    Laptop, camera, multi media phone device and it's here. You think I'll wait for second generation, not if I can help it.
  • i think surface phone can be a success even if launched at high price tag, as long as it does what its purpose is and has top notch specs, i guess since x3 is intel's atom processor that can be used on phones but its a low range processor, so microsoft and intel should collaborate together and make a new powerful chip right from the scratch that can run all legacy apps as well as regular windows phone type softwares/apps(like apple's a series chips, they can upgrade it with new more powerful versions with each iterations of the surface phone in future), or else they can modify x5 or x7 for phones
  • Well I would love a surface phone makes me not want to by the Lumia 950xl and just wait as can't afford both. But would be cool if they could make a foldable screen 5 inch devise that opens in to a10 inch and use a pen but the when open no crease or bezel .
  • why would they say that about the Surface Mini? i'd buy that withouth giving a second thought! elop is a dick.
  • I would buy the CRAP out of this
  • Well another good article from Jason, but I really don't see this Surface phone' doing anything for Windows mobile, as long as the bridges to convert apps from iOS etc. are not working. Yes, I do agree 'Surface phone ' will be a costly clipboard, but Microsoft really needs developers interest if they are serious about anything.
  • As always, excellent & well written article Jason.
    I'm not sure about a Surface-branded phone... It could backfire & dilute the Surface brand as whole, lots of people associate Surface with Windows, Desktop & its ability to run legacy or powerful programs. People might expect the same from a Surface "phone" just like they did with poor RT. I say, keep the Lumia branding & keep on enhancing the OS & add more productivity features to the larger phones ... Similar to the Samsung note line.
  • I am looking forward to a Surface Phone that run Android apps.
  • Great article! Hope they'll release a Surface Phone as described here, but not too soon. I don't want my 950XL to be an waste of purchase that fast. Get released in a year/one and a half maybe.
  • Based on the idea of being a digital moleskin, I would expect the Surface Phone to have a screen size similar to the Xperia Z Ultra. 6.4 in sounds about right for a notepad. I hope to see it with design elements from the Surface like the perimeter venting or at least a non functional emulation of it. The perimeter vents are a unique and characterful design element from the Surface tablets that if inherited by the Surface Phone, could give the Android makers a new design star to copy other than the iPhone. Oh, and of course, Magnesium. Unibody magnesium on a phone would be awesome and make the iPhone's aerospace grade aluminum look cheap in comparison.
  • I think that Lumia should definitely stay on as their medium to low end brand . The Surface brand is supposed to exude high end and quality. It is supposed to say ' look at what we've done ' and be available to the lucky few . This gives the pull of exclusivity ( one of the main reasons many people in my country go for an iPhone ) . When they think it's an exclusive device , they want it more . Difference will be that the Surface phone will have strong points that will differentiate it from everyone else . Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Really interesting correlation, Jason! While the line between the two products may or may not be quite so direct, I certainly share in your hope that this "Surface Phone" idea will fill that "Surface Mini shaped hole in Panos' heart", as well as the "Surface Mini shaped hole in the Microsoft Christmas Catalog." It goes without saying, based on past comments (articles?) that I've written on your previous articles that of course I'm super excited about an Intel based "Surface Phone" that could run a full Win10 desktop experience in Continuum! Super excited! But I'll go even one step further on this one: The Lumia 950XL was an "I'll buy it -IF-" proposition. And of course, that IF was simply "If it would work on Verizon". Sadly, the answer, at least for now, is no. So my purchase decision, at least for now, is likewise no. While the current Snapdragon powered iteration of Continuum is really cool, and a very promising, exciting, and optimistic start, it alone, without the phone part to go along with it is just not enough to justify shelling out $650 for an otherwise useless new way to play Angry Birds. However, things would be different if we were talking about a straight-up, full-blown Windows 10 desktop experience. Very different! -BECAUSE- I am in the market for both a high end Windows 10 gaming PC to put in the livingroom's "main rig", as well as for a far more modest (and cheaper) Windows 10 PC to keep up in the office to share desk space with my Mac and my JiDe Remix mini ("the world's first TRUE Android PC" - a title that I truly believe it deserves, even though it's still buggy and not very powerful)..... .....this hypothetical "Surface Phone" with a dock would fit the bill perfectly. And for probably not much more money than what I'd spend for the box I'd otherwise buy. -AND- even if the big meanie doodoo heads at big red NEVER let me use it as a phone, it's still a super portable PC on wifi that I could move from room to room, or take with me across town when I visit my parents, or to the "Continuum kiosks" that I envision eventually popping up in malls or coffee houses or wherever". And, of course, being physically a phone, with a phone form-factor, and all the juicy phone internals, this device would come automatically equipped with the eternal spring of hope ever held out of actually "becoming a phone for me too" should Verizon ever "get their topmosts out of their bottommosts", or alternately, should a GSM carrier come along that would still leave us "happy in Des Moines" with our cel service that I could talk the Mrs into switching to. So, whereas the 950XL was an "I'll buy it -IF-" proposition, contingent on Verizon, this theoretical "Surface Phone" would be an "I'll buy it -REGARDLESS-" proposition. If this phone makes THAT good of a computer, then it fits that need well enough that the rest almost doesn't matter anymore. Put another way: I'll no longer need the phone to be a phone in order to want the phone. To purloin and repurpose a hallmark phrase from a late 80's film set in far more rural quadrants of my own state, "If they build it, I will come." :-) Cheers!
  • great article hope for surface phone in mid 2016
  • What a useless article. It doesn't matter what hardware they pump out if the APPS aren't there!
  • Can't wait for this device. Been waiting for one device to replace my windows phone and small tablet for note taking. Will definitely buy!! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The only omission in this article is Win32.   With Win32 and Continuum this would dominate.   Plug into the dock and run Quickbooks.  Plug into the dock and play League of Legends.   Plug into the dock and run full Photoshop.      With a pen awkwardly run Win32 apps if you really absolutely positively must.  Or, with a little bit of developer TLC recompile with touch support.  Don't have the dock?  No problem, the phone turns into a trackpad and connect your monitor through a USB-C to Displayport/HDMI cable or display through Miracast. 
  • Hopefully the Surface Phone will become a transcending transformative device that packages the true power of the PC in a pocketable format.  A device that can be modularly (contextually) transformed for the users context.  Yes, yes I know the tired comparisons to Motorola Atrix blah blah.  Motorola did not have Windows 10 and Continuum to leverage with the Atrix.  Consider a device core and OS/Ecosystem Core that begins as the premier handset of the generation.  An Intel based, semi rugged, beautiful best of class smartphone plus device core.  A device that could be leveraged for modular extensibility and capable of 8" - 14" tablet multitasking that can be extended into a Continuum Clamshell Book Laptop format as well as a dual display fully multitasking desktop format.  This singular device core that can be leveraged for contextual optimization via Continuum and Windows ecosystem UWP. Imagine a sales representative that can interact at a trade show via unobtrusive minimal handset interaction but can continue to elaborate by contextually extending a large tablet display for demonstrative purposes.  A core extended tablet that can be leveraged further and extended via clamshell for a more comprehensive productivity multitasking environment, by adding the additional power and capabilities of the clamshell Book type base.  The same core can then be leveraged once again after tradeshow to become the corporate interactive desktop by extending a Continuum feature set including a dual monitor desktop environment. This type of Continuum Converged environment must leverage the unified Windows 10 core and Universal Windows Platform Content to be effective.  Microsoft must relentlessly obtain UWP content for any and all service provider offerings.  If a service or app or mobile solution exists it must exist in UWP as a content provider for the Microsoft fully mobilized ecosystem.  Obviously Windows 10 and UWP will work across less transformative devices (Windows 10 Mobile on Phones) and transition will happen over time, but the core content must be obtained for the betterment of the entire ecosystem experience.     
  • To truly carry a pc in your pocket would be awesome, apps are nice to have but a full blown pc is even better.  I could see businesses migrating to these devices in the near future, it may not work for engineers and developers as their primary pc, but it would for a lot of other users.
  • Surface book has a horrible low contrast keyboard and no fingerprint reader (when there was plenty of space to put one in).  It has no high gamut colorspace as artists demand.  And the cpu should have included a small quad core given how much battery they had to work with.  And the price...  Well a Lexus/Mercedes was the intent so I get it, but wow.  And then the 950xl came out on gsm only and while that was thought to be temporary, it isn't.  I'm not holding my breath about being wowed by a surface phone.  We'll see.    
  • Looking forward to the Surface Phone, I've been using my Surface Pro 3 for quite some time now and it's an amazing device and conforms to exactly how I want to use it. When I'm on the go, it's a tablet, when I'm at home I can dock it and use it as a laptop driving my 32" external monitor. Microsoft is truly innovating again and the Windows 10 platform is perfectly suited for the universal device configuration that we are seeing it on today. Apple is no longer innovative and is stuck with trying to trick people into thinking they are. Retina display is a perfect example, the display on the iPhone 7 plus is still running at 1080x1920 and has 401 pixels per inch. All the latest Android devices are running 1440x2560 and over 500 pixels per inch. I assume that the Surface phone will at minimum have "Retina Display" specs or better. While I am an Android phone user now, I would gladly welcome a Surface phone into my world. Great article and congrats to Panay for his dedication and commitment to the Surface line.
  • If MS made a mini (and a maxi) surface in sizes A5 and A3 I would own them both, I would also keep my desktop/cintiq or if improved upon I would have the Surface studio or the Dell canvas. I agree a mini for jotting and on the run would be my goto tool while out and about. It would exactly be the item on the nightstand for scribbling notes in the night or out at the mall, in the lift, restaurant, you name it. I think this small meeting had the wrong people present, maybe the timing wasn't right, and that's why they've brought out this lame laptop, so that developers will feel compelled to push apps over to 10S , which will open the door for the mini to succeed.
    I would also need a proper sketch pad that would go in the bag and used for any real work out of the office- the regular surface is too small and I find my current 13 incher way too small and underpowered, so bring on an A3 ( or thereabouts) surface- much like the wacom mobile studio pro 16.... that has enough size and power for real work but I'd rather a big surface with kickstand and improved pen.
    SO even though I hate the surface laptop , I hope it succeeds as the thin end of the wedge for app developers and then the Surface mini / phone. Just hurry up about it MS, my current phone and tablet combos are getting old and barely function, I need the surface solution....SOON :)
  • If MS made a mini (and a maxi) surface in sizes A5 and A3 I would own them both, I would also keep my desktop/cintiq or if improved upon I would have the Surface studio or the Dell canvas. I agree a mini for jotting and on the run would be my goto tool while out and about. It would exactly be the item on the nightstand for scribbling notes in the night or out at the mall, in the lift, restaurant, you name it. I think this small meeting had the wrong people present, maybe the timing wasn't right, and that's why they've brought out this lame laptop, so that developers will feel compelled to push apps over to 10S , which will open the door for the mini to succeed.
    I would also need a proper sketch pad that would go in the bag and used for any real work out of the office- the regular surface is too small and I find my current 13 incher way too small and underpowered, so bring on an A3 ( or thereabouts) surface- much like the wacom mobile studio pro 16.... that has enough size and power for real work but I'd rather a big surface with kickstand and improved pen.
    SO even though I hate the surface laptop , I hope it succeeds as the thin end of the wedge for app developers and then the Surface mini / phone. Just hurry up about it MS, my current phone and tablet combos are getting old and barely function, I need the surface solution....SOON :)