Speaking in a new interview, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella commented on Microsoft's current position in the phone business, hinting that the company may be working on the "ultimate mobile device." Specifically, Nadella tells the Australian Financial Review (via OnMSFT) that Microsoft is no longer looking to do "me-too" products, instead focusing on where the company can differentiate itself.
From the Australian Financial Review:
"We will continue to be in the phone market not as defined by today's market leaders, but by what it is that we can uniquely do in what is the most ultimate mobile device," he said.
"Therefore [with Nokia assets], we stopped doing things that were me-too and started doing things, even if they are today very sub-scale, to be very focused on a specific set of customers who need a specific set of capabilities that are differentiated and that we can do a good job of."
Of course, Nadella's comments are likely to spark further speculation on a potential Surface Phone, which has been rumored for ages. However, Nadella notes in the interview that Microsoft won't approach a new device category without bringing something new to the table:
"We don't want to be driven by just envy of what others have, the question is, what can we bring? That's where I look at any device form factor or any technology, even AI," he said.
If one thing should be clear by now, it's that Microsoft isn't planning to come to market with anything resembling current Windows 10 Mobile hardware. Rather, as we've noted before, Microsoft is waiting on some kind of "paradigm shift" in the mobile market. What that might resemble is up in the air, but it's clear that Microsoft is looking to make an impression with something that disrupts the status quo — much like previous entries in the Surface line have done:
"I mean, take even Surface. Three years ago, the two-in-one as a form factor was questioned. Does anybody need one? And now guess what, even our competition has decided that it's not a refrigerator and a toaster but it's actually a two-in-one."