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What happened to the Lumia 950 XL's rumored pen?

For the last few months, I have been talking up the Lumia 950 XL including the smart cover and Surface-style pen. To be clear, this isn't a rumor. I have images from Microsoft with the Lumia 950 XL, Pen, and Cover, and I know for a fact it was something being planned.

So, what happened and is the pen still coming?

I have it on good sourcing that no. Not for this generation of phones at least.

While Microsoft won't give me specific reasons – mostly because they won't acknowledge it publicly – I have a few ideas as to why it got canned.

  1. Inking in Microsoft Edge for mobile is not ready – I heard a few weeks ago there are a few things in Edge that are not coming as fast as expected. Inking is one (I have also heard browser extensions are pushed back into 2016). The idea here was you can use the Lumia 950 XL pen to draw in the browser like you can with a Surface. If that is not ready for release at least half your pen story is gone (the other half is OneNote, of course)
  2. Not much to do in Windows 10 Mobile – yet – Besides OneNote and Microsoft Edge Windows 10 Mobile is just not set up to be a pen ready OS at this stage. Later on? Sure, but not now.
  3. Confusion with Surface – If Microsoft tossed in a pen with the Lumia 950 XL everyone would have confused it as being a "Surface Phone." Any why not? At least superficially, that phone would appear to be Surface-y. But the Lumia 950 XL is not a Surface phone and that branding is more than just a name. Throwing a pen at something is not a Surface. Microsoft knows this and likely didn't want to sully the brand.

I speculated on the last #AskDanWindows that the messaging here for a pen was just not clear. It seemed like a "toss it in" strategy. But adding in things just for the heck of it is not what Microsoft is doing these days.

Remember, Microsoft canned the Surface Mini at the very last minute for the same reason. And it was very last minute as I heard those devices were on the trucks headed to Microsoft Stores (Read the write-up by Brad Sams for more information). Yeah, it was a small Surface, but what else? Microsoft is doing things with purposes these days, not what is expected. Take a look at the new Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book and you should see that Microsoft is very serious about their Pen.

If Microsoft is going to bring a pen to a phone, they are going to do it right. As far as I know, the planned pen for the Lumia 950 XL was just an accessory and not core to the experience.

Whatever the reason, I think Microsoft did the right thing. Unless they have a story to tell about the Lumia 950 XL and how integral the Pen experience was to it, - like the Surface - there was no real benefit. For now, the dream of a Windows Phone with Surface Pen has to wait.

So the question is, Do you think Microsoft is silly enough to squander their pen efforts and not bring it to mobile? I don't.

For a related discussion, see my earlier article Reading between the lines: What Panos was telegraphing about those new Lumias.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

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

228 Comments
  • Let me put this way,First write the comment, ok lets go for long article Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Doing the same thing here lol
  • Please does no pen means no smartcover too ? looking forward to that smartcover :'(
  • Do you mean something like the cp-623? Or an actual tiny keyboard?
  • Yeah like the cp-623 but with a window which allow me to answer call and to check messages without having to open the case. But that would require the OS to be compatible, to detect whether the case is flip on or off, and to display info through the window. Need this af :( many android phones got this, and i find this very convenient :)  
  • Wouldn't be too hard. Htc uses a magnet on the case that tells the OS if the case is open or closed. From there they could take advantage of the live tiles and use a similar design for the opening at the top. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Remember good old HTC Athena/Advantage running on Windows Mobile! It had that. The case shows portion of the screen when closed, which would let you know if there are any new emails, weather, and any other notifications along with time. You could configure the notifications, if my memory serves correctly. That was the original phablet also.
  • Piggy backing.....
    .....
    Continued.... What happened to the pen?? MS happened to the pen..
    .....
    Tell me,, what exactly is exciting about WM10, and these new devices❔.... The only thing I can think of is Windows10.. But, that's kinda sad because that's Windows10,, and that's not something Lumia is doing on it's own... Windows10 is besides Lumia... The question is what does Lumia have to offer that's exciting to the average consumer??? I guess it's what we always say during one, of many, WP reboots...
    "What's possible with the OS in the future, and the prospect of what W10 can bring to mobile....
    .....
    Where's the pen? In the future
    Where's the apps? In the future
    Where's the features? In the future
    Where's the devices? In the future
    Where's the marketing? In the future
    Where's the availability? In the future
    ...... Guys', I'm not saying anything that hasn't already been said.... The thing is that I remember when we had good news every once in awhile. We had ups to offset the downs... We had downs, but we were confident, because there was so much promise.... My point is not to just bitch, as some of you say, or be negative, rather ask you what's going on hear?... As fans, what should we do? What should we admit here? Where do we go from here? Does anyone have any logical answers as to how we can get the passion back❔
    We don't recommend WP/WM to our friends & family anymore... That's bad!
  • Looking back has Windows phone ever looked more promising than it does right now? Microsoft has undergone a transformation. Did you watch the event and see the passion P had in his eyes. If you don't want the 950 that's fine. Give him the chance to deliver the true Microsoft phone (Surface brand). He has done some amazing things with Surface and is keeping the tech industry on their toes. Don't give up I know it's been said before but it is darkness just before dawn. The phone to take the industry to the next level is coming from Microsoft.
  • Hey, you know, I totally hear you, and depending on which way you look at it MS seems most poised to succeed......
    .......
    It's just what you said about darkness before light..... I feel as though we've done this before.
  • @rodneyej:
    This. Five years of "darkness before the dawn" can feel like eternal darkness...
  • Lol.. Eternal.. Lol
  • I think Panos had something more than passion... unless Passion is the name of a new drug :-P :-D
  • He was pumped :P
  • Gotta agree with you here rodney.  I was just reading an old article the other day about the HTC 4G Radar here at WCentral.  I remember feeling a sense of promise.  It wasn't a highend phone but it was certainly promising.  These days I get no such feelings.  I rather liked it when Microsoft would have us wait and then have one big release with updates.  At least that gave me something to look forward to.
    ------------
    Now we have these insider build stuff with drip, drip, drip here and there with updates.  It takes away any anticipation or excitement I might have had.  It's like so what.  But that's just me.  Maybe when an official release is done they'll show us stuff we didn't anticipate. But at this moment I don't anticipate much.
    -----------
    I read an article today on Yahoo the gist of it was MS is trying to make the Lumia fail. On purpose.  MS main goal is to come out big time with a Surface phone.  Basically they came to that conclusion because of the lack of enthusiam MS had in attempting to get carriers other than AT&T (which was half hearted too) to sell their devices.  I can hear it now... "Wait until the Surface Phone and everything will be different.". SMH
  • Recently I've been saying that MS has intentions to make Lumia fail.....
    ....
    Also, right! Back then we knew WP wasn't shit, but we had hope, and would recommend it to others.... So, we used to recommend it, but now we won't??? Think about what that actually means... Could that mean that WP was better then than it is now?? Possibly.
    We lost a lot of what was promising.. And, now our only hope is to get apps? Back then the metro design alone was enough to make us not give two shits about the most current apps.. Now, what? We hope for Snapchat to come save us... That's not the way we felt before.. We had our own thing with Lumia, and the Metro design language... And, the world was beginning to respect that....
    ......
    I hate to say it, but now WP/WM is just iDroid, with no apps...
    So, why would the average consumer give up their iDroid with apps, for a clone with no apps, when they cam have the real thing with apps????........ Lol. Think about it.
  • @rodneyj
    Please don't remind me of the escape/run away from their beautiful Metro design.  I believe Microsoft specifically hired iPhone and Android designers, code writers to make WP/WM more Apple/Android like.  Someone is pushing their design away from the original look and feel.  And I personally find it shameful.  I currently have a 7.X and 8.X phone and I'll get a 10.X phone.  Just call me stuck in the past but my 7.X phone still conjures up a sense of freshness.  Hopefully, 10.X will bring back those feelings but somehow I'm doubtful.
  • 100% agree. I ditched wp/wm not because of apps. It's because they destroyed everything I loved about it- the seamless integration, the photo and people's hub layout. Now it looks like shit with ovals and circles that came from iOS. Since MS copying iOS, might as well go for the real thing and I did. Plus I get all MS ecosystem, apps, and my favorite of all, family sharing.
  • Looks like you won the battle!
  • I'm in a similar boat. I left Windows phone/mobile for the S6 Edge+, again not for apps but for the hardware design and QUALITY of apps. Sure it's nice having more apps but the surprise was how much better the apps that I had on Windows are on Android. Like you, I have the whole MS ecosystem here, my photos automatically go straight to my OneDrive and get downloaded on my main PC, my calender is synced beautifully into S Planner, the Outlook app with Calender is awesome and Cortana is coming soon (Not that bothered as OK Google and Hey Galaxy work VERY well), I downloaded Here maps with navigation which actually works far better than it did on my Lumia 930 and I have the full suite of Office right here. Funnily enough, the only thing I miss is TubeCast, the YouTube app sucks next to TubeCast. On the other side, the apps I use (WhatsApp, Barclays, ebay, amazon etc) are MILES ahead of the WP apps. I thought I'd miss live tiles but no, I have widgets setup for photos, calender, windows central app, weather and news. I'm sorry but there are better as you can interact with them without going into the app. I can scroll down the news, flip to next month on calender, check the hour by hour weather, see all the headlines for windows central all within the widget which I can resize from 1x1 right up to a full screen size. I haven't lost anything by moving over, infact I've gained better QUALITY apps, more apps and hardware that is simply the most beautiful piece of art ever to be called a phone. The funny thing is, as beautiful as the S6 Edge+, I would NEVER have jumped ship if it wasn't for the full suite of MS apps on Android but as they are all there and better than the ones on WP, why wouldn't I?... Sorry if you don't like that, but it's just my opinon.
  • but other persons except 3% don't like it & MS here wanna give them their funtionality, their tiles
  • Everyone likes to miss that sundawn.  Sure, maybe we preferred the old iterations of Windows Phone.  But clearly 97% of the population did not.  So, if you're Microsoft, do you keep doing what you're doing and make your 3% happy or do you try something different and make your OS a little more similar to the big players.  It's still Windows and I still like the interface best.  But it's silly to think they shouldn't change.  And it's not really copying, it's what people want.
  • I believe (said it before) I believe teh bulk of these UI changes are to accodate devs. We want to write once and compile for all 3 platforms
  • Well if you stay away from the Insider preview like me, then when you finally get the finished product it feels amazing!! And it wasn't Microsoft's fault everyone covered the leaks. If the leaks weren't covered by this website and the many others out there, then this past devices event would've felt more amazing/promising to some people. I too feel like everyone keeps saying "be patient, you'll get your goodies later", but Microsoft did have to build a brand new OS for their vision to become a reality. Sometimes the hardware needs to wait for the software.
  • Definitely a possibility, but let me posit another that's been building in my head (and they're not mutually exclusive -- both could be true). Microsoft is clearly trying to set the bar for devices, but also give room for the OEMs to fill in the gaps and not overly compete with them. At least on the carrier side, perhaps MS is trying to make it easier for OEMs to succeed by avoiding the Verizon/Sprint half of the marketplace. The Lumia brand is so dominant for Windows Phone, perhaps MS concluded that to get OEMs to build devices they would have to create a gap in their distribution. If you combine that with our shared observation that they are only modestly proud of the latest Lumia flagships, with the real deal looking to be the future Surface Phone, that makes it easier to understand this line of thinking. I need (well, 'want badly' may be more accurate) a new phone, I'm on Verizon. I wanted to get the Lumia 950, but it looks (still doesn't seem 100% clear) that I won't have a Lumia option. The best bet looks to be the Acer Jade Primo. I don't know much about it yet, but if that's all I can get on Verizon, I'll probably go that route.
  • The real excitement will be next year when panos Panoy actually starts work with the mobile team. He didn't appear too excited about the new mobile devices as I think they weren't his creation. You can ask question then.
  • Forgive me... (insert laughter here). Lol!  As I mentioned in my last sentence above, I see I didn't have to wait long at all before the... wait unitl the new phone by Panoy is released aka. Surface phone.  Busted Knuckle7 intimated the same thing too about the Surface phone.   
    ------------
    I too hope for a Surface phone.  But should we be waiting this long for something most every one can clamour about?  No matter what, there will most likely will be something for people to be dissapointed about.  It seems that's just how it goes when it comes to Microsoft.  And yes, some of it, is there own doing.
  • So buy the 950. I mean what phone on the market can go toe to toe with the type of innovation that has been put into it. Liquid cooled, iris scanner, wireless charging, gorilla glass 4, 564ppi, super high end camera... $549 not bad. Option 2. Buy something else and if the Surface phone is revealed and it meets your fantasy get it. Option 3 buy an IOS or Android. Give up on Windows and walk away. But your still here on Windows Central so you are still interested in what Microsoft can offer. " Coming soon" you hear that alot yes. But the industry isn't going to stop no matter what tech you decide to put in your pocket. Ultimately the choice is yours to make. Buy what's available, give up or always have hope. In the end its just a phone get over it.
  • You can't come to a tech sight, and tell people to get over an issue about tech... Lol. That's the worst, most irrelevant, and unhelpful argument you could possibly make.. Lol.
    .....
    Of course it's just a stupid damn phone, and I love the Dallas Cowboys, but they always lose.. Regardless, we argue, and joke, over others teams... I mean, if you are suggesting that people don't express their feelings here, then why are you here?.... If everyone were to "get over it" as you suggest, then WC might as well take the sight down... Lol.
  • Your right maybe get over it is a poor choice of words. But it is what it is. We all have choice when it comes to the tech world. And if someone is unhappy with what "brand" they choose go with another. In the end they will likely come back around because they will find flaws in anything they go with and complain about it and move on with something else. It won't stop. Try to find that happy medium and enjoy what life offers.
  • True, true...
  • @Busted I was with you until the "...get over it.".  :)  Initially I wasn't planning on getting any of these phones.  But I think I'm going to update my Lumia 810 with the 950.  I am all about Microsoft and especially Windows Phone, but I don't always agree with all their moves.  And in some ways these phones seem like placeholders for things to come.  And for people like me who have zero interest to move to Android or iOS I will just have to wait a bit longer to see what unfolds.
  • Lol yeah like I said above... Poor choice of words... sorry
  • This conversation thread between you three was very refreshing. So often you see someone disagreeing with anohter's comment on a discussion board and it just gets nasty and disrespectful. It was just great to see someone man up and apologize for something they said that could've hur someone else's feelings. Hats Off!!!  
  • That's how I feel my friend. I've been away since the beginning of this year on android. Was thinking about coming back but opted for the iPhone instead. I've only had it for a couple of weeks but so far so good. I have used apple pay and use the fingerprint sensor to log in to my apps and pay for groceries. Once you try another platform you'll know how far behind Microsoft is in the app dept. And I don't see them catching up anytime soon. For now, I'm on the outside looking in, with my only interest in MS being that Band 2. Until then, I'll wait for the future and enjoy my iPhone Today.
  • That's what a lot of WP fans don't understand... It's a dire situation..
  • At the risk of pissing off many people, let me just say... it's only a phone people. Geezus, get a life will you? Go outside, smell the grass, walk the dog, roll in the dirt... anything but dwell on some asinine electronic gizmo. I swear I'm in an Apple forum.  
  • Lolz! Your in the minority bro.
  • Haven't you been listening????? This is NOW a Apple forum... Lol. That's exactly what we're talking about.. SMDH
  • @rodneyej:
    One further question to consider:
    Where's the future?
  • Yep, and when is MS's future?? Seriously, when?
  • I still proudly push WP,and brag about it. In fact I woke up this morning thinking about it... lol I have an iPhone 6+ in addition to my Lumia 1520 (which I'm typing this on) and after using both,I still prefer WP. The only thing that IOS and Android have to me is apps. That being said,WP and the apps that are available have been enough for me to not have to jump ship. Sure there are some missing,some missing updates,some drop here and there,but I've used WP since the 920 came out leaving my Galaxy S II for it. There are many things to like and still like about WP. Live tiles,glance,Cortana,people and location based reminders,one of best (the best in my opinion) stock keyboards,a fuckin back button!!,the camera,the camera app and more. Yes all those aren't totally exclusive to WP,and some are tied to the Lumias,but the experience isn't the same elsewhere. To be fair I haven't installed the preview yet,which I may do due to the fact that I have another 1520 and 920 and HTC One that I can use as backups,but from what I've seen adnd heard of it so far,I'd probably still like it over Ios and Android. I've toyed around with the newer Android due to my ex having a Galaxy S 6,I played with all 3 side by side. I don't think I need to say which I like best,by now you should get it...lol. If you really take away the apps and take just the raw OSs,you'd find that WP has a lot going for it vs. the competition. Even as old as Android and IOS is,they are still catching up to WP in a lot of ways as well. Don't believe me? IOS not too long added stuff like location based reminders,news from the side swipe search,supposedly better predictive text (which still sucks cow nuts),just to name a few things,same can be said about Android. Yes WP is ahead and behind,just as Android IOS
  • Hello, I find it very surprising the MICROSOFT did not announce pen compatibility for the LUMIA 950 XL. MICROSOFT has been pushing hard its pen technology and OneNote app but still does not offer a pen on its OWN phones. In my opinion, that is a sign of mediocracy in MICROSOFT management. Actually it's quite annoying and, again in my opinion, a lack of respect to their customers. Some of us could die waiting for them to have a complete package working fine. It’s like they are playing with a lot toys but have no idea of how to make them work together. And they do have great toys. Just poor management skills. Maybe they have too much money and do not mind wasting it by being incompetent and inefficient. OneNote works great on the Surface and on any Windows 10 computer but sucks in android devices including Samsung´s Note which is the only phone with a decent pen. So if at least OneNote would work decently on android with a pen, that could be ok while they put some real effort on their phones. But still it’s hard to understand how MICROSOFT could make such a big presentation October 6th, talking about the increment of pen usage and still has the courage to introduce a great tech phone, but with a cheap case, and no pen. Don’t take the cake out of the oven if it’s not ready. Another thing, Office365 and Outlook, what a mess. Different skype contacts, you can do more things with the free version that with the paid version. How hard could it be for the biggest software company in the world to make some sense of their offering. Thanks.     We are willing and eager to devote time and make a great effort in learning new tools that help make our lives more interesting, productive and rewarding. We want to take advantage of the latest technologies that help us improve ourselves and our systems, and hopefully we would later be able to add our part to help and improve the lives and systems of others. Let’s do our best and not be mediocre. You could do better. This comment is meant as a respectful and constructive criticism and I hope it helps you improve your offerings which I do value and appreciate. Mario CRESPI
  • I'm ok with the Pen support being later, also extensions on a phone would be a first, so we can live without it for now
  • The whole article reads as if nothing with Mobil is ready yet... What's your opinion on that?
    ....
    November launch?
  • I agree with you. I no longer recommend WP to anyone. That is terrible especially since ppl in my life know me as the MS guy
  • I will recommend wp when high profile apps show up.
  • Absolutely..... Apps are the sole reason why I can't recommend WP..... What's sad is it's because of only 4 damn apps..
    1. The FB app blows, and they would hate me for that.
    2. The Instagram app blows, and they would hate me for that.
    3. No Snapchat, and they MIGHT hate me for that.
    4. Thier banking app is probably not here (US), and they would definitely hate me for that.
  • I predict Facebook and Instagram to be up to parity in the near future, but it's not as sunny of an outlook for the other two in the near future. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That's exactly what I'm hoping for, and what I'm not hoping for..
  • Since I remember, I'm always waiting for windows phone to get completed. Wp7, I waited.. Wp8, I bought, but waited, Wp8.1, used but waited.. Now insider program, still waiting.. Flagships launched, December? Have to wait.. Not pure Microsoft phones? Have to wait for Surface phone.. No pen? Have to wait.. Surface mini? Lumia 750 850? Stable n competitive wm10?
    Wait. But somehow, after all this, what I like about Microsoft is their 'direction'. I know they rebooted. They had to. Wm10 is still on its way. What I guess, by next summer or so, things will start to look good (stable and fast OS, Intel processor, pen support, new generation of phones in every category), and then keep getting better and better. But not before that. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Another reboot. How long until they reboot again? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • My guess WM10 looks to be it. Appears to have no more limitations as previous iterations. All they need now are the features and apps. Honestly though, I think tiles have become more clumsy and messy, color here color there, transparent at certain corners while another corner retains color. It looks like a messy painting without coherence. I've seen from freelance artists their vision of wp. They look awesome. Maybe the Surface phone wil help balance.
  • Well, we're absolutely frustrated, but I guess we're still here because we all still have some amount of hope that we'll succeed...
  • "We" ? Please speak for yourself.I just returned an Iphone 6s and have gone back to my lumia 635.Yes lumia 635 and it was solely for the usabily issues with IOS as compared to windows phones .My list of complaints are quite long.Other than apps,which by the way i personaly lack none, windows phone is not all gloom as you make it out to be.  
  • Sorry next flagship phone is no Microsoft surface phone. Panay said it'll still be a Microsoft Lumia. Microsoft Surface - Microsoft Tablet
    Microsoft Lumia - Microsoft Phone
    Microsoft Band - speaks for itself
    Microsoft xbox - Microsoft game box
    Microsoft holo lens-Microsoft AR lens Maybe everyone s suggesting Microsoft makes a phone pad/tab (Microsoft surface phone)
  • Sad because I honestly hate that name. Lumia has a plastic cheap connection to and the WC fanboys makes it feel even worse. whereas Surface has this quality branding to it.
  • I think the Surface Pen is too big for a 5.7 inch phone.. MS should release a Surface Phone with a stylus with similar features [ which can be slip into the phone itself - even upside down ;) ]
    It's not necessary that every Surface Phone user rocks a Surface Pro and a Surface Pen ... If I have a Surface Phone and a Dell XPS12.. What if I wish to use a pen/stylus?.. I'm not going to pay to get a surface pen just for a phone.. So, It's gonna be better to have a small stylus which can be used as a surface pen alternative and since it can be slip into the phone itself, it's easy to carry as well..
  • MS sure better hope that every Surface Pro user uses a Surface Phone... And, that's on the real!
  • #BrianWilliams
  • Agreed, I don't know what I'd really do with it right now anyway.  They need better note taking/onedrive integration across the OS like Samsung has implemented in the Galaxy Note.  I'm happy to wait for something that actually serves a purpose and not just a gimmick. 
  • Agreed.
  • Right? Besides, I feel like the pen wouldn't really fit with the polycarbonate stylings of the Lumia series, you couldn't magnetically attach the pen to the phone...lol =p
  • Then the question we should be asking is,, why aren't these apps, and others, not ready for us to be able to use a pen?
  • i agree plus where would you put the pen on the 950 and/or 950xl
  • Slot in the cover. 
  • Samsung figured it out.... Are you admitting that Samsung is more intuitive than MS????
  • The experience is not that... thorough. Most people dropped their stylus usage on their Galaxy Notes after a month or so. The ones who still use it use it only as finger/touch replacement. Looks good from the outside, but completely inessential. In Microsoft terms: It adds nothing to productivity.
  • Well I have a note 3, and I use the pen everyday. And it's not just as a replacement for touch. I like to write my messages and emails down, I use it to take notes during meetings, I use it to make to-do lists and shopping lists, I use it to annotate on screenshots... I know I'm not a typical user, however IMHO having no pen support on a large screen phone makes productivity a lot harder... it limits the capabilities of a device, especially one as high-specced as the note, and more so the 950XL, where it IS being promoted as a productive device. Because of my usage, my primary computing device IS my phone, and that makes me a target client for a continuum enabled windows smartphone. I completely agree with Dan when he talks about the decision to not include the pen due to a lack of features on W10m... so maybe I'm patiently waiting while Msft irons out the loose ends. Hopefully 'coming soon'?? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • In MS terms... Ok.. Yet, Samsung isn't dropping it from the Note5.
    ...........
    Who are you going to believe,, Samsung, who knows how to sell devices, or MS who hasn't yet figured it out??????
    ..........
    Market share brings users, users bring apps, apps bring more users, and so on.. Whatever. You get the idea... Anyways, MS better get off their high horse, do what needs to be done now to get apps, and go back to their "philosophy" when the world gives a rats ass again...
  • I think it might be a problem with ntrig tech working with the screen, and how big the pen can be with the AAAA battery inside
  • Tend to agree. The pen needs to be a bit slimmer, even for the Surface.
  • Any slimmer would be less ergonomic. Thin pens are not comfortable for any extended use.
  • I guess that makes sense, it'll make the Surface Phone have a bigger splash when it does finally land. Still disappointing though, makes me feel like Windows Phone users are constantly in limbo because there's always either a gap or something new coming just around the corner. At least Apple's consistent release schedule means you can rest assured that you're on the latest and greatest for a whole year. :/ (Latest and greatest with-in the ecosystem, that is)
  • iPad "Pro" uh huh
  • Predictability is boring man, c'mon...MS just wants to keep you on your toes and paying attention lol ;p
  • That's all we ever do around here.. Fall for the excuses, no matter what they are..
    .....
    Think about what Daniel actually just said.. There are two main reasons why there won't be a pen.
    1.. Something's not ready
    And, 2.. Something else isn't ready
    My question is how many chances does MS, and WC, get to tell us that things aren't yet ready.. IDK, seems like a bunch of miss management to me.
  • "Fall for the excuses..." That's something I hate so much about the WC fanboys. They'll take anything MS shoves up their Ars! No! You have to say NO! Do you think WM10 would have come to fruitation if the community didn't bitch and complain? I'm thinking Panos Panoy gonna change all that Nokia BS MS bought. We'll know for sure then if MS is really ready. The 950 and 950xl weren't his work. You can tell he want too excited about them, nor was I. But the surface book did get me drooling though.
  • Lol... MS has some awesome new products!! If they didn't show us what they COULD do then it wouldn't be so frustrating the way they handle mobile...... MS are like the kids on the long bus that act like kids on the short bus... We expect more from them, so they get beatings from us when they get home.... And, I'm all about giving a good ass whipping...
    ......
    I guess the kids (Samsung) on the short bus can surprise you from time to time..
  • I just want a good stylus, hate the big bulky ones. It doesn't have to be all fancy just a thin stylus like a DS one
  • You can't have a good pen that is also thin unless it is wacom. MS owns and used ntrig which requires a powered pen. It can't be any thinner
  • Not at all true - it COULD be thinner.  Currently the pen is the size of an AAAA battery.  MS/nTrig could opt to use a smaller custom battery likely rechargeable.  Alternatively, they could use an 1-2 LR44 batteries sideways in a thin pen with a slighly wide pen grip area.
  • Extensions are being pushed back to 2016 :( no ad block until then I guess
  • If true that just sucks.
  • Edit your hosts file, works just fine, and applies to apps too (On the desktop anyways, Mobile is left out :( )
  • That's where I want it; you're right about the pc and I have that locked down as much as possible.
  • On the bright side: I recall reading a little while back that a clever hacker managed to gain system file access on Windows 10 Mobile, so maybe editing hosts files on mobile isn't too far off after all.
  • Pushed back only on Mobile. Not PCs.
  • Really? As far as I was aware Extensions were never even conformed for mobile, so if they're being pushed back then it must be for desktop.
  • It was confirmed. But Daniel could confirm if the delay he mentioned was about PC or Mobile. The inking it's about mobile so I still think he's talking about mobile. Idk.
  • What about the smart cover? You never addressed that. Is it still coming?
  • Less info about that, sorry. Could still happen, I suppose.
  • I carry 2 phones with me everyday so unless the pen inside the phone ala note I really wouldn't carry it but the smart cover would be great, something nice and different. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Hi Daniel. It's there still a chance the surface pen works on the new phone?
  • No it doesn't
  • They're just making stuff up as they go along it seems. I swear there are so many questions still unanswered about the OS, availability, functions of the phones.etc. I don't know how I'm still a fan sometimes. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Isn't this part of the new flexible, responsive Microsoft?  They can implement changes quicker, which means things don't get tied down until closer to the release date?  Or do you want to go back to rigid where any and all changes must take 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, etc. or more to implement?
  • "They're just making stuff up as they go along it seems."
    Remember, these phones went from Nokia to Nokia/Microsoft to Microsoft. Then, at Microsoft, the phone division was folded into all devices under Panay. What happened is the people in charge of design/features changed hands. This last team evidently nixed the idea, which is their prerogative. It seems chaotic to you only because we told you there was a pen in the first place ;) These things happen all the time in design cycles.
  • You've got a good point Daniel. I guess I was really just looking for a Galaxy Note 5 competitor and the pen idea sounded so promising. Especially if they had a universal Sketchbook Pro app that worked with it. I just had so many plans for this functionality with a pen. I just keep getting let down. Not to mention the same old availability issues Microsoft continues to repeat. I just want the Lumia 950/950XL on T-Mobile. I just want things to be finished and ready. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • For me a Samsung Note pen copy would be cool, but not amazing. MS is presenting a universal ecosystem. A Universal stylus would really fit into this picture. One you can use on your desktop, laptop, tablet and phone. A thicker Pro stylus and a simpler and thinner standard stylus.
  • Well, quit giving us secret tips, and getting us all excited...
    ......
    Maybe your leaks are what's holding WP back.. Lol.
  • Exactly.... MS is making excuses while Samsung & Apple, are making things happen....
    ......
    And, that's our brand of choice... That's our team...
  • The show was solely focused on the new surface I think.
  • Does the display have the ability for pen input? If I use my surface pen will it work, or did they remove the ability completely?
  • Inking technology has a special API that has particular input modes and properties. Its not just putting a pointer on the screen, there's a lot to it. I, for one, am glad they will wait to get it right.
  • Surface Pen actually already works with Lumia's (and possibly other capacitive touch devices). You can even pair it via Bluetooth. But you don't get pressure sensitivity or button support.
  • Is it more accurate than a standard capacitive stylus? That would be acceptable for the moment. 
  • Doesn't work with the 950 XL, at least right now. I tested it in the store today with the Surface Book pen. No go. It would connect via Bluetooth but it didn't do anything with OneNote, or anything else... I'm OK with that. Wouldn't carry the pen with me anyway.
  • Didn't care for a pen anyway unless you have the software for it. Save it for the surface phone
  • Agree
  • I dont get inking in Edge, but I really want it for One Note.
  • Inking in Microsoft Edge for mobile is not ready
  • ok, so in the edit that a strikethrough on "Inking in".  Not sure if it's only my PC that hides that.
  • If it was that far planned ahead...shouldn't the tech still be in the digitizer? And if so, shouldn't an existing compatible pen work? It may be far fetched but just because they don't ship doesn't necessarily mean it can't work...right?
  • Would the sp4's pen work on any other device?
  • They have that special PixelSense for Pen and Touch...so not completely. There are features that don't carry back, but going forward will be amazing.... =D
  • SP3
  • It will work with the SP3, just about any modern Sony Vaio (Vaio Tap, Vaio Duo, Vaio Canvas Z, Vaio Flip, etc.) and any other device that uses nTrig device.  The new pen has some special features like the eraser - this likely won't be backwards compatible with non-Surface devices.
  • If they have the same kind of touch sensitivity in the 950/XL, then just use the pen you got now...it worked on my 925 believe it or not. Only as a stylus, like Dan said, the writing isn't even in the OS...it's cool tho lol =p
  • A pen on a phone would be nothing but act as stylus again. Samsung has made stylus for their note series. My dad uses a note 3 but never used that stylus
    which came with it.
  • Good call by Microsoft to skip the pen. If you'd want to include a pen, it should also be possible to store the pen inside the phone case. Nobody is going to carry around a pen in his pockets, it would get lost within a matter of days. With phones as thin as they are at the moment, it would be really difficult to accommodate for internal pen storage space. Besides OneNote, I could not really think of any really useful usage scenario for the pen on a phone.
  • Not going to happen, you either make the phone rather big in terms of thickness or use a skinny stylus.
  • Note 5 isn't bad.
  • Yeah,, Samsung has it figured out......
  • I want it badly for drawing
  • Drawing on a 5,7 inch screen? That's like people saying "I want to write a novel on my phone". Technically it might be possible, practically it's insane. Get a Surface 3 of Surface Pro 4.
  • Guess you have never heard of great inventions starting as a drawing on a bar napkin. Drawing in OneNote on the phone would be a significant plus. It already exists on the Android version of OneNote, BTW,
  • Damnit, I want one of those mini surfaces. I'll give them half the cost of the retail price. Since there not going to release them anyways. Just so I can have my mini tablet already.
  • I know, right? Seems a bit of a waste not to try and sell any once produced. But at least their other surface products are enriching enough that, once purchased, negate a need for a surface mini.
  • Negates nothing for me. I have the surface rt, which I do enjoy to the contrary of other peoples use with it. But I've come to realize for me at least that I want a no compromise smaller tablet. Not a mobile version tablet. And I don't know if I'll ever get it. Because the whole inch size determining factor for what version of windows a tablet gets. Oh I have tears lol.
  • You are going to get a compromise due to the expected cost of a small tablet. OEMs can't put a decent processor and sufficient RAM/storage in and charge what people believe small tablets should cost. Whaaat? $700 for a 7" tablet? Who do they think they are, Apple? So, you have small Windows tablets today, 7" HP stream, 8" Dell Venue, ASUS Note 8 (with even a Wacom stylus), but they are a bit underpowered/spec'd, but fair prices. I dearly wish ASUS would take their Nexus 7 body and build an Asus Note 7 with stylus.
  • Out of curiosity do you know if the Surface pen would work on these devices, and it's just their OWN pen that was canned?  Or was device support canceled altogether?
  • Bummed about extensions in desktop Edge getting pushed back. I would have liked to been able to take ink notes with the bigger screen. Now I'm really leaning towards getting the 950 vs the XL.
  • On Mobile! Not PCs.
  • ❔❔❔❔❔ What
  • I will get a 950 full price tomorrow if it had a pen... I need onenote on my phone and surface pro 3 to work together. Not bothered about edge one bit.
  • Key there is that ink in OneNote doesn't work on the phone. Nothing should be keeping it from doing so, since it does on Android, but if that is the only thing it worked on, i.e. no HandWriting input panel at least, then yea, no point in delivering a pen. (PS, I had handwriting reognition on my PPCs in 2000, why did they forget how to do this. Was it Jobs fault?)
  • I'm more concerned about having a much more touch friendly interface, than having to use a tool to push buttons/scribble text etc...
  • That's understandable, if it's going to be a half-assed attempt then why bother? Sucks extension support has been pushed back to 2016 for mobile.... Oh well, the 950 it is then for me!
  • Apple take there sweet ol time milking their fans in the process bringing the latest and the greatest to market. How long did it take them to bring nfc, Ni SD card, larger than 4" screen size, phablet, now iPad. Pro, get off 8mp rear camera on and on.
    The argument they and their fan gives is that, it has to be just right and ready. Good reasons foe Apple but you see it as negative for msft.
  • All these articles do is make me want to NOT buy a MS handset and wait for the "real deal" next year.
  • Well, then do that.. That's what me, and hundreds of other smart fans are doing... Waiting for something good to come along.
  • And why we must know that ?. Do whatever you want but stop complaining about everything MS is doing. Or at least Just stop posting so many times in the same article. It's kind of boring when I read the wc. If there is a way to block your comments please let me know.
  • I wouldn't have bought it any way.
  • I stole the pen... Sorry.
  • I think it was a great idea to can the pen. It did seem like an after thought. This, along with your article on reading between the lines after Panos Panay's unenthusiastic Lumia presentation has got me bummed. It really seems like there's no place for the Lumia phones (at least not in their current form) in MS's vision.   I have no doubt that the Surface team will make an excellent phone that will take full advantage of the pen and advance continuum in ways the 950s just couldn't. However I also feel that things like polycarb, wireless charging and fancy Carl Zeiss, pureview cameras with RGB flashes are going to be seen as unimportant in the bigger scheme things when MS get to designing the new phones.   It's also very clear that there's this idea that the Surface formula works better. I guess the numbers back that up to. Do why bother? This is all fine for people who only care about getting the best software experience but it sucks for people who actually like the Lumias was they are.   I'm just speculating of course. We'll have to wait and see what happens. . . but let's be honest, 20mp ziess optics, surround recording, colorful plastics, removable batteries and camera humps? That's just NOT what the Surface line is about. Here's to hoping I won't be looking elsewhere to replace my 950XL  this time next year.
  • I'll tell you what happened, it's stupid.  A stylus with a phone is pointless. Why would you want to carry around a phone with a pen that you have to keep track of?  What does it afford you on a phone that your finger can't do?  A tablet, yes I can see that.  But a phone, Palm Pilots went out of style in the early 2000's guys.
  • So I guess that means you haven't used one recently. A dedicated pen is massively better than a cheap  stylus. I borrowed a note 4 for a fortnight and was astounded by how much use it was. I was hopeful of the note 5 but the smaller non - replaceable battery and lack of SD card made it unacceptable. 
  • You must have really pointy fingers.
  • The stylus would have been the deciding factor for me. I use OneNote extensively, and the stylus is one of the core experiences to OneNote. The 950 XL was supposed to, for me, serve as my only Windows device (I use Linux for work, and I like it a lot better than Windows 10 for desktop). Continuum would have let me use Word and, more importantly, PowerPoint in a desktop-like manner while the stylus would have let me ink away in OneNote. If the 950 XL doesn't come with stylus support, then I may just have to find something to replace OneNote; I don't think my L810 will last until Microsoft gets around to releasing a phone with stylus support. I love Microsoft's mobile platforms (I rocked a Kin One way back when), but it looks like it may be time for me to go somewhere that lets me be productive (using Windows for bioinformatics doesn't work too well).
     
  • thumbs up.
  • How can they release phones next month? If nothing is ready?
  • Dude!!!!! That's what I've been saying up ⬆here!!
    Nothing is ready yet.. What's the deal?
  • makes more sense to save it for a real "surface phone" next year, I expect it to resemble a surface tablet in half the size, having intel cpu with continuum on steroids and proper support for pen and multi tasking, I guess Samsung's note series might have a looming threat if something like that becomes a reality
  • Makes more sense to save USBOTG for W10, wait the pen for a Surface Phone, wait..... What's next.
  • What a shame... I am actually developing a Universal Windows app where the pen is the star. It works great on a tablet, was actually very curious on how good it would work on a phone, given the screen size. The inkcanvas is a universal control, so, sooner or later,  a Windows 10 phone will release with a pen.
  • I don't think ms is going to include pen for 950 and 950xl, if ms have plans on that, the two new phone should be a test for it, so that for their future phone or other up coming Lumia to come with the feature, for them to see a reason why you should away upgrade.
  • Why do they release stuff before it's ready?! I feel like they always half ass everything when it comes to windows phone
  • If you bet on your feelings you will always win.
  • Well as long as the screen is sensitive enough for my ThinkPad Pen, I'm perfectly fine with it
  • Update: The phone does have Super-Sensitive Touch!!!!
  • Personally I don't think a phone should have a pen unless it can slip into the phone (without breaking it by trying to put it in backwards! *ZING*)  Seriously though, if a stylus is included with a phone it should have a place to live inside the phone, even if it makes it a little bigger.  // J PS - Oh side note. When I went to my local MS store yesterday to fondle the 950XL and ultimately pre-order one, they let me try the pen from the SP4 and see if it did anything to the XL. Nope, nothing. Worth a try. That being said I think they have new tech in the pen, and not sure if it's even compatible with the SP3. Is it? 
  • Pen support in a "Surface" branded WP makes complete sense. Adding it the Lumia 950 does not. But, they should find a better way of incorporating it. Rather than making it a full size Surface pen that buy separately. Making it compatible with existing pens? For sure that needs to happen. But they need to think similar to the GS Note where it's bundled with the phone, easy to access. And there needs to be a ton of reasons why you want it or need it. Not just to write in One Note or doodle in Edge. Samsung created so many unique ways to utilize their pen within the OS and MS has to do that and more for it to make sense.
  • Lol edge is a trainwrek anyway
  • What I don't really get is how these things get that far into production before being scrapped.
  • SMDH....
  • Did the 1520/1320 come with a pen?
  • The 1520 had 3% OF WP MARKET SHARE!!! That's like .002% smartphone market share..
    ......
    To compare for success is pointless... Although, I am also guilty because I complain about screen size, but you get the point.
  • Is that an actual question? Then no. If you are being cute then neither did 800, 900, 5xxx series, 6xx series, 1020, iPhone, Galaxy anything but Note, any Nexus......Haven't seen pen/stylus since PPC, WM, Palm, Steve Jobs. Do people still write on scrapes of paper the size of Phone screens? Hell yea, everyday.
  • "Why do they release stuff before it's ready?" This whole article addresses their reluctance to do that exact thing. As for serious dissapointment about anything being "pushed back to 2016", we are already in the 4th quarter of 2015. At my age, years fly by. Months are hardly noticable. Windows 10 isn't like any previous version. It literally supports continuous development. You'll go to sleep and wake up to find out you can do something today that you couldn't yesterday. I suspect it will be far less anxiety if I just enjoy the ride. I like surprises too. That Surface Book moment was the way I like to experience progress. Microsoft, today, with this new strategy and culture, is far more appealing. They got me grinning ear to ear.
  • I get the feeling the 950 & XL are based on designs from Nokia, Personally I think MS had to do something but its not what they want. It feels (not that I dont want one like NOW - just need to save) like a stop gap high end phone to keep people happy and the hardware going.. I think next year there will be new design and a new phone.... of couse I could be totally phone
  • I get the feeling you didn't read Dan's article(s) between the lines or as someone else said, on the lines either!
  • What about the cover?
  • So wait, we are coming full circle back to WM2002 and going back to a stylus, but calling it a pen this time? LOL
  • No we are talking about a writing instrument that is remarkably similar to the experience of a pen or pencil on paper. Shame they don't teach that in school anymore. That is significantly different than the experience of using a pointy stick to scrawl on a resistive touch screen. That more resembled the little pul up carbon pads you got in CrackerJacks and wrote on with a toothpick. Watch an artist work on a Surface sometime and tell me this is regressing.
  • At least we are not calling it a pencil.
  • Nothing like half-assing your plans and intentions. Maybe if Microsofto didn't do stupid things like run its operating system's core development into and past the launch date, these kinds of thing wouldn't happen. Don't plan the OS, then announce the release date so far from completion. It's absurd strategy, because you then irritate reviewers and consumers with an incomplete offering. Now, we all know that Microsoft had a plan for these things and removed them, and that's frustrating. I don't think thatthe Microsoft Edge side really holds much water. I mean, did the pre-W10 Surface tablets do much with the pen beyond OneNote? If the issue is that W10M Edge's drawing isn't READY, then they could still release the pen and add the feature for the browser while folks still used the pen for OneNote. What's the point in developing the software if you won't give it hardware to support it? I obviously have no proof of such a thing, but I can't help but wonder if they're doing this on purpose to keep that as a Surface Phone-specific feature. Rather than worrying that Lumia phones will be confused with Surface, they might just want to use this as a differentiator between the high-end and high-high-end. Given that the Lumias already carry the awesome optics and basically every other major feature, SOMETHING beyond a possible magnesium body has to be there, right?
  • Nah I don't miss it. I had the Note and it was awesome with a pen - only I never used (maybe the week). 
  • I don't carry a purse.  I don't want a cover.  I don't want a large pen.   I want a sleek phone that is easy to carry in my pocket.  If it has a small, internal pen, that's a bonus.   Mind you, I own a Surface Pro 3 and (unlike MJ Foley & P Thurrott), I love touch, love the pen, and love OneNote.  But the idea of pocketing an obtrusive cover and heavy SP3 pen is not pleasant.
  • Finally some information about pen support on WP, thank you Daniel!
    Waiting for a note like WP for ages now.
  • For me, the pen was an incentive to go with the 950 XL. Assuming Dan is right, I'll probably spring for the 950 in hopes that something more exciting is around the corner.
  • I guess I may wait for the Surface Phone (if there is such a thing) That was one of the things I wanted, and Im not sure there is enough for me in the XL to make me leave my 1520. I would love an x86 processor and pen. Buying an XL now would mean I couldn't afford a new phone soon if such a phone comes out next year.
  • It clearly makes sense. It's good that Microsoft has started to take our rants about half baked products seriously. A $60 pen accessory would have been useless if it wasn't baked into the OS and web inking on Edge. Although the slow development around mobile counterpart makes me sad, ironically this is what makes me something to look forward too. Imagine if W10m was as good or better as iOS and android(albeit without apps probably), how boring these events would've been just like apple and google.
  • Rants? I thought the WC fanboys take anything MS shove up their ars? Didn't know they wanted bigger and better.
  • Browser extensions pushed back into 2016? Seriously? #FAIL
  • Here's what I think. MS is going to move to the Surface brand and the 950 and 950XL are the beta test for Surface phones next year. Lumia does not need to carry on if the Surface brand has more appeal. In a strict sense MS is copying the Apple model, but with OEMs for the PC, tablet, and laptop. The one thing missing is the phone, but they need a more mature OS, the right features and great timing. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Windows Central says no pen.... Neowin says its coming... Who you going to believe? Neowin says they have a Windows Mobile source that says the PE is still coming.... But personally I agree with Dan's take on it.... To me it seems like Microsoft pulls the "something cool is coming soon" card way too often. I still have faith that one day they might have a worthwhile mobile platform...
  • A pen is an accessory regardless. We have fresh paint don't we? I pen would be useful on there
  • Exactly what I want thinking. The 950 and 950xl are beta tests for the real deal next year, to keep the game going. I think if Panos does not deliver, we'll know for sure then wp/WM is dead.
  • At this point i think we can all agree the surface phone will be coming.. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Mehh! Doesn't matter much! Very less people use stylus like freaks, like there is no thumb for them it's just stylus. So those people will ofcors will buy Galaxy Note who is meant to be used with stylus to give better experience. Plus Windows Phone is not so great at the drawing factor yet! So surface pen can wait!!
  • That's a real shame. I want this, badly. The 5.7" 950XL is just about big enough for me to do digital painting on the move, especially with the 1440p density. I can easily see myself working like that and then exporting files to my computer to work on further. If Adobe was to make a painting edition of their Photoshop WP app, allowing layered .psd export? That would be a dream come true.
  • Where is there smart cover? You didn't say...
  • Agreed, wait till it makes sense, till it makes integral part of the experience, BUT, even not having seen Surface Mini, I know it would be great. A design like Surface 3 (thin and light!), but 8 inches, and I'd be sold. Man, I'd be buying it the next day. HP came close with Stream 8, Lenovo came closer with the luxurious Thinkpad 8, HP again closer with Envy 8, but I was expecting Surface Mini yo be perfect... How I wanted to get some of those that were going to MS stores... Any pictures?
  • "I have it on good sourcing that no." _tooth grind_
  • If there was a pen now, Maybe, just maybe some 3rd party apps would extend support. Which would make it more compelling when the "real" Surface phone comes out. But that's just me.
  • That cover would have been so great to have. But as Everything else, W10mobile is not ready. And while i love the new phones and all, Microsoft havent inspired me any more confidence then W10m will be another WP7. And we will get there on 7.5.
  • What makes you think they'd sully the Lumia brand with a surface above. It will just cause an identity crises. By the way P already says their next flagship will still be Lumia. A new aluminum or magnesium back finish with pen support that doesn't support wireless charging and happens to be called a Microsoft Surface Phone will not get a quarter of iPhone sales. All Microsoft needs do is keep updating it's Lumia brand and create more demand with advertising and marketing while not over supplying to keep the value and get its partners to produce their own windows 10 flagship versions.
  • So that's fine that it doesn't come with a surface pen, but why can't I still use a surface pen on a 950 xl?? I want to use it with Fresh Paint. I'm not so bothered by it not working with Edge or OneNote. But will it work despite not being bundled with one?
  • So there you go. You want it fo Fresh Paint, a guy up higher wants it for OneNote (me too), someone else thinks the Edge markup is the killer use case. A HWR input panel has been around on mobile device before, and tablets now, it would be expected. Really it needs to work for all the expected/anticipated use cases, or it shouldn't be there at all. I was looking forward to the pen support, but if it was going to be only in OneNote, or only in Edge, etc, that would have been more disappointing than none at all. Sadly, if it was planned, but wasn't going to be fully baked, pulling it is the right choice.
  • I agree that not having a specific pen story to tell for the phones yet should mean they're not going out of their way to promote it, however if it was technically possible right now the tech should be in there to make them more future proof if it's going to be a big thing next year. In a way I'm almost glad though, as I wanted to get the 950 but when I found out only the 950XL was rumoured to support the pen I was torn. I want to be able to use the Surface pen on my phone, but I don't want a phablet class device at this point. What worries me is if they consider the pen story for Windows mobile so far away? Are universal apps from Adobe or Autodesk not on the release slate yet? iOS and Android have them and the pen support on Windows makes these apps shine on Windows tablets over Nexus tablets or iPads, would do on phones too. But maybe, as you say, we'll see Surface phone devices next year (some running Intel, some running ARM) that will do pen support while Lumia phones, even flagships, will have a different market story. Would be annoying if they both have different focuses (Lumia = camera, Surface = pen) though, shouldn't have to choose, there should be a flagship that does it all. I'd have hoped they built the technology into the screen anyway (for both phones) so it can be activated via firmware at a later date when the software is ready. Sort of like how they built in an LED notification light into the 735 (but so far it still doesn't do anything even on the latest build of W10m, so I guess not a good precedent after all, lol!).
  • If the surface mini had really been on trucks heading to stores then they'd have (pardon the pun), surfaced by now. Someone would have got hold of one, or found the manual, the boxes or something. They struggled to stop the leaks of stuff that's on campus, nevermind being shipped across the country.
  • I think they are buried in the desert.
  • I would be happy even if the surface pen just writes in one note instead of my finger.  or a fat tipped stylus.  Thats all I want.  I will make the rest of the features work using the program,  just want a thin tipped stylus to work on my phone.
  • Correction: The dream of Windows *phone with Surface Pen
  • The reason I would have upgraded from my 1520 now was so I could use the 950 XL to take handwritten notes, to have an electronic version of those little spiral notebooks in my pocket to jot things down. I absolutely do not care about marking up web pages in Edge, but to handwrite notes in OneNote is NOT a gimmick but a genuine purpose. I am extremely disappointed. This is the number one thing I miss from the Pocket PC/Windows Mobile days. I remember all the things we could do while laughing at the stylus-challenged people on iPhonies.
  • Wait... so the Surface Mini tablets were in trucks on the way to Microsoft stores?? How much money are they throwing in the toilet by calling them all back and canceling the whole thing?? That doesnt seem like a good business plan at all.  
  • I dunno, I think the Lumia brand is dead. Surface branding is more widespread than even Windows Phone /Mobile. If its compatible in design they should bring their next phone into the Surface brand. Its easier recognition for the average consumer. They may not understand what a Lumia Phone or even Windows 10 Mobile is but Surface Phone gives a good immediate concept I think.
  • The Lumia brand is just a bad taste in people's mouths. The Surface brand will at least carry the weight of the phone since the Surface name itself is well established. Wp/WM may not have the apps but at least association to something popular might help WM move forward and Devs may become interested.
  • If there is physical support for a pen, they should enable it later when the OS is ready. It would be the same pen so not a big deal whether it sells well specifically for the 950.
  • I am kind of sad about it, coming from my Note. I didn't expect any fancy features. Just the ability to write in OneNote and maybe handwriting recognition for the rate times I want to use that instead of typing. I love having a pen and I may be shortsighted in saying so but I don't feel like they should obsess over fine tuning the pen experience on such a small device. Surface brand stuff, sure, but a 5.7" Lumia?  I've been following these phones for a while and this is actually the first thing to disappoint me. The prospects of Windows 10 have pulled me back in for the first time since 2012. Hopefully it'll have basic stylus support like most phones.
  • if i try to use a surface pen on onenote running on lumia 950xl, will it work?
  • So... Does that mean I should skip these 950 series to wait for the future surface phone? Which might be end of next year, or even next of next year? After roughly 2 years of waiting already in order to have a stylus for new phone?
  • I guess they're saving it for the real Surface Phone.
  • Pen is definitely not necessary, I have a note 5 and rarely use it. But the smart cover would be nice though. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • WIth the way W10M is currently, I don't know how many people would care for the pen. So i approve of this move.
  • Bloody hell! I now have to go back to dreadful Android/Samsung lag on the Samsung Galaxy Note series. I have been waiting for a long time for a Windows phone with a pen. This is terrible. I can't believe manufacturers, including Apple. They are all letting Samsung have a free reign on this segment and cream all the profits on its own?
  • News! Some people use the pen.
  • I use it a LOT.
  • i'll just wait for the surface phone to be announced. i don't want any of this nokia remnants. previous articles gave me a pretty good reason not to invest on this. question, are these 950/950XL/550 the last in the line before the advent of surface phone?
  • Wasn't looking for a pen with this device. But I will be looking for it with the Surface Phone in 1-1.5years: I BELIEVE THAT!!!
  • The support for the pen on Lumia 950XL and surely also on 950 and I hope on any Windows 10 mobile smartphones will come soon but only when it is ready. Better wait and get a good feature than a half-baked one.
  • Honestly, pen support was what I was planning on making the jump back to WP for.  I want to be able to jot down a note in OneNote.  I want to finally abandon the damn paper notebook I end up carting everywhere with me. Oh well, I guess.  If I stick with my Moto X for another year, that should speed up my SP4/Surface Book timeline :p  
  • Pens are something else to lose.  
  • another missed opportunity.
  • I was hoping to make the jump back over to Windows Mobile / Phone / whatever it's being called these days, if there was going to be a pen. It's not just about whether people will use it or not. It's about employing a distinguishing feature. Back with my HTC Wizard, I loved having a stylus. And now there are so many things pens can do, but that only Samsung seems to have figured out how to employ. Actually, the HTC Flyer was another great that had a pen, and even though it was separate, it still made the tablet unique. These new Microsoft phones are great looking, and will probably work well. But they're still just more of the same, over and over again. Great camera, great screen, good battery, etc. Why, though, would anyone really feel drawn toward them though? There's no draw. Literally. Man, I'm totally disappointed.
  • I used to love having a pen on my Pocket PC. :) I could take notes on a pocket device, it made sense, but only because it worked. It wasn't a gimick, it worked. (For me anyway.) Do I want a pen on my phone? Heck yeah! Do I want one that doesn't work well? Heck no!!! If you're going to do it, do it right. And the rubber ball stylus is NOT a pen! Once you write on a screen with a 'pen', the stylus will never feel right.
  • 2nd thought... here's what MS needs for pens to be relevant, Great Handwriting Recognition. When I think of my pocket PC, I could 'write' anywhere I could key in text, just select the handwriting option. Just like MS wants to have voice recognition anywhere you can key in text. But maybe that's why the phone doesn't have a pen. Pushing buttons with a pen or finger, no difference. Writing instead of keying in text? That's the real deal. I don't always want to voice in my text when I'm in a crowd, but typing in a long text can be murder. So, you want a pen, give it to us when Handwriting Recognition is there.