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.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.
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!
It's just what you said about darkness before light..... I feel as though we've done this before.
This. Five years of "darkness before the dawn" can feel like eternal darkness...
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
One further question to consider:
Where's the future?
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.
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
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)
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..
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...
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.
I guess the kids (Samsung) on the short bus can surprise you from time to time..
Maybe your leaks are what's holding WP back.. Lol.
And, that's our brand of choice... That's our team...
which came with it.
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.
Nothing is ready yet.. What's the deal?
To compare for success is pointless... Although, I am also guilty because I complain about screen size, but you get the point.
Waiting for a note like WP for ages now.