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Yes, the Surface phone should be a full PC — and this is how it should be marketed

I don't believe Microsoft will ever release a Surface Phone. I do believe Microsoft will launch a category-defining ultimate mobile device that will play to the company's strengths rather than its proven weakness. Smartphones are Microsoft's Achilles Heel. Thus, Microsoft's ultimate mobile device will not be a phone.

Many critics claim that due to Microsoft's poor mobile ecosystem a Surface-branded ultimate mobile device, even with all the bells and whistles, is doomed to failure. I made a similar argument not long ago.

I appealed to Microsoft to exhibit a show of force in various ecosystem-building areas at BUILD 2017. Microsoft needs to make great, even unorthodox, efforts to woo developers to its ecosystem and ensure the platform's relevance in the future of increasingly mobile personal computing. There are specific areas — UWP, apps, mindshare, partnerships and more — which Microsoft must address if the "Surface phone" is to succeed.

Though Microsoft must develop its ecosystem to ensure long-term success, I believe the company has a measured way back into the mobile space, without going head-to-head with Apple and Google. It's all in how Microsoft markets the ultramobile Surface PC: it's not a phone.

Recognizing strengths and weaknesses

Microsoft's way back into mobile won't be with a dramatic splash. It will have to be a slow, subtle and methodic progression — first dipping the toe, then slowly wading into ever-deeper water.

Microsoft will have to focus on its strengths, forsaking the traditional approach to mobile. That old model failed Microsoft, leading to retrenchment, refocusing on enterprise, and a less-than-one-percent market share with only a handful of OEM partners. Smartphones are not Microsoft's forte.

Its strength is in PCs, as its decades-long dominance proves. The success of the Surface brand is proof of Microsoft's talent for innovation.

Though Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella conceded the smartphone war, he didn't concede the mobile space.

Nadella asserted Microsoft would launch an ultimate mobile device "beyond the curve in mobile." He's aware of Microsoft's weaknesses and strengths — category-defining PCs from the Surface Pro to Surface Studio to HoloLens are the future.

Smartphones are dead: Enter the ultramobile PC

I believe a Windows 10 ultramobile Surface PC with telephony is on the horizon, and that Microsoft can market it to the enterprise and consumers.

Mobile matters

Admittedly, there's been no official validation of an ultramobile Surface PC. I wouldn't expect such — Microsoft didn't pre-announce the Surface or HoloLens, either.

Despite its silence concerning mobile (and past failures) Redmond must bring something that plays toward its strengths to the mobile space.

The smartphone is currently the key to a company's broader ecosystem. Thus, a personal mobile device, not necessarily a smartphone, is a necessary component of Microsoft's UWP and Windows 10 Device family. Microsoft's pocketable mobile option will be a PC, not a phone.

There's demand for Windows laptops and 2-in-1 PCs

Microsoft's strength in PCs isn't founded only on its decades-long legacy as the provider of the dominant PC platform. Recent data that takes into account the company's category-defining strategy with the Surface progresses that legacy into the current era of personal computing and mobility.

Research firm IDC reported on the success of Windows laptops and 2-in-1s, finding that such devices are desired by consumers, and even predicting growth in the market over traditional tablets. Furthermore, JD Powers 2017 US Tablet Satisfaction Study found that customers are more satisfied with the productivity-focused Microsoft Surface than the consumption-focused iPad and Android tablets.

Riding the momentum

Microsoft's ultramobile Surface should, therefore, be marketed as a PC. Consumers want PCs, after all.

How might Microsoft market to the masses? Like the Surface Pro, it will likely have a heavy enterprise focus but with consumer appeal. It'll also be positioned to inspire manufacturing partners to mimic the concept and design.

The only visuals we have of what this potential device might look like are from patents and Microsoft Future Vision videos.

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Did Microsoft give us a glimpse of its Surface phone vision?

This doesn't guarantee anything, but history has set a precedence. Skype Real-time Translation (and other technologies) were foreshadowed in Microsoft's future vision videos. Surface Studio patents were also reflective of what came to market, so too may these folding device patents eventually make it to reality (though, admittedly, they're probably a long way off).

Evolving a concept

Microsoft can advance the HP Lap Dock concept to be a more integrated experience to market the ultramobile Surface.

Redmond can promote what will initially appear to be a powerful, smaller and more portable Surface Book. In reality this "laptop" would be a peripheral which houses a fold-able Window 10 ultramobile cellular PC in the base which powers the peripheral (and wirelessly projects to the detached "digital clipboard") via Continuum.

As a Windows 10 PC users can use Win32 (and Store) apps which are practical in a "laptop" environment. Users could also experience all other Windows 10 features from inking, Windows Mixed-Reality and game streaming.

When the ultramobile PC is ejected from the peripherals base users can unfold it into a larger touch-friendly mini-tablet, run Store apps, connect to other PCs and screens via Continuum and purchase cellular data from the Store.

Finally, via eSIM the ultramobile Surface will be a "phone."

Microsoft's Trojan phone

The rumors of a Surface phone began about five years ago. But before the UWP and Continuum for phone, visualizing what value such a device would have brought to market is difficult. The consistent nature of Windows 10 across devices, CSHELL and the UWP has opened the door to a single device functioning as multiple devices by allowing hardware, OS, and apps to conform seamlessly to a user's context.

There's merit to Microsoft positioning an ultramobile Surface from a purely PC perspective. Consumers want Windows laptops and 2-in-1s after all, not phones. The proliferation of a new PC category into the market that is subtly also a phone allows Microsoft to wade slowly into the mobile space without a "rival-confronting" splash into the smartphone space.

Myerson Windows 10

Myerson Windows 10 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

While this strategy is being executed, Microsoft should aggressively and diligently build its ecosystem. Since the primary focus of this device is not on the needed Store apps of which there is a shortage, this strategy allows for category-defining phone hardware to get into the hands of consumers and businesses without the full impact of the detrimental app-gap effects associated with a purely phone-focused device.

A first step

As with any new device category, this will be a first-generation product that will use available tech. Just as we saw happen with smartphones, as the ultramobile PC category becomes established and expands, the devices will be become more powerful and may for many be able to be that one device that is every device for them — from phone to laptop to desktop to tablet.

Interestingly, Windows Insider Lead, Dona Sarkar, recently referenced how her Surface Book functions as a phone.

See more

If nothing else Microsoft's mobile offensive is about changing the game.

I also wrote:

With 'Surface phone,' will Microsoft learn from its past marketing mistakes?

If Microsoft doesn't kill at BUILD 2017 the Surface phone is dead on arrival

This is what has to happen first in order for a Surface phone to succeed

Is early 2018 too soon for a Surface phone?

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!

263 Comments
  • Thanks for reading folks! Microsoft, can introduce a new ultramobile PC category that utilizes full Windows and CSHELL. By combining intricately with a lap dock like peripheral and marketing it AS a PC MS can subtly infiltrate the mobile space without direct confrontation with rivals, by way of a telephony capable eSIM device. The telephony aspects need not be the primarily promoted features, marketing should lead with the PC, laptop/2-in-1 features that IDC confirms are in demand. So what do yo think - LET'S TALK!!!
  • I'm looking for AR to leapfrog and deprecate smartphones. Right now Microsoft has a leadership position here.
  • Well if they want to succeed with *Surface Phone*, price tag must not be high. Maybe they should release 2 versions, like budget and high end one. If we only get a high end one, what percent of people is gonna buy it? It would be a self leg shot!
  • In consistency with their MO they would probably put out a very high end device "like the surface line suggests" and then rely upon 3rd parties to flood the market with other tiers. In other words, we should expect them to do the same thing as they did with the Surface, and then, as Jason suggests, slowly encroach into "smartphone" territory with their new category of devices, just like Surface slowly encroached into both tablet and laptop territory.
  • @ArtForm and @BataBole, I think @ArtForm is right -- it probably will have a high-end price tag, not initially going for high-volume, but rather reaching the influential and most vocal customers with an aspirational device, leaving significant headroom for profits by the OEMs to come in and make similar products. If MS comes in with aggressive pricing, that would certainly help drive sales, but it makes it unattractive to OEMs, because there's no room for them to sell their device at a profit.
  • Well the high end iPhones and Galaxies are $800-$900 now, maybe more when they are first released. Folks buy those in the millions...10's of millions.
  • I don't think that price is an issue.  The key component for success is the rumored 'FOLDABLE SCREEN'.  If that can be unfolded into a 8" tablet, running W10 apps and web apps would become feasible and convenient.  CShell is obviously another key feature.  I also believe that foldable screen and CShell can make W10M successful.  We don't have to rely solely on the WP apps, the web apps can replace the phone apps for all the frequently demanded services like banking, financial, retails, entertainment, etc.  The app gap issue would become much less painful.  My credit union will never release a WP app, but I can use its superb web app on the unfolded tablet screen - happily.  The same would apply to all other services.  I'm willing to pay higher price ($850?) for such a device.
  • Web on an 8 inch tablet sucks. I just bought an 8 inch Asus and had to use a web site last night. Not good. I want a Windows phone that instantly pairs with a tablet screen and powers it wirelessly. 10 inch is OK.
  • Disagree completely.  I used to have an 8inch ipad and then traded up to a white label 8 inch windows 10 device.  8 inches is perfect for me.   Its simply not for you.  But I'm an Asian.  We love our smaller tablets so its simply not for you.
  • MS has patents for both two-screen and 3-screen foldable displays.  The 3-screen model can be unfolded into a 10 inch tablet display.
  • Why not just buy a laptop with built in 3\4G card? Pairing is for suckers.
  • I'm not certain that the market could stand and $850 phone. Most businesses would rather spend the money on a laptop that has the full Windows experience and a separate phone. Most home users simply won't spend $850 on a phone, period. At that price this would more or less be a US exclusive product as you'd never be able to sell it in Africa, India or most of Asia, and European markets tend to favor lower-to-mid range handsets, and separate laptops\tablets.
  • Yes that's true
  • They also need to release it for ALL markets not only US. For example here in Brazil people were very happy with Windows Phone and it even surpassed iPhone in market share but Microsoft blatantly ignored this and didn't released their new models or the Surface devices. I really hope that they don't keep stuck only in US and leave everyone else aside.
  • "Well if they want to succeed with *Surface Phone*, price tag must not be high. Maybe they should release 2 versions, like budget and high end one. If we only get a high end one, what percent of people is gonna buy it? It would be a self leg shot!" You mean, like iPhones?
  • Looks like apple is about to enter that market in a big way so MS's lead is tenuous at best.
  • Ralexand56: The thing which will prevent some from having dominance is the fact that they have not created a universal os. Android is closer to an affective solution, but as the leading smartphone platform, they may not want to encroach on their own territory.
  • What is Cshell exactly? This technology is being bandied about here in this site like its the solution to the limitations of Windows 10 on mobile devices.  Yet we hardly know anything about it and what it can do.  Its a bit of a unicorn so I hope you understand why a lot of people remain skeptical.
  • Right now each UI is a separate system, I.e. Desktop, Mobile, XBOX etc. CShell replaces that system so that it is all one UI and the device can control what parts of the UI to use and display, I.e. Continuum on Mobile could use the Desktop UI. I don't think it's a unicorn, we know quite well what it is and what it can do. It just means that any device can act as a desktop / mobile / HoloLens etc, doesn't matter what format factor you are using because the device can transform into what you need at the time.
  • I predict the Verge Review comments will include "poor lapability and Pocketability followed by the question....."Who is this for"?????
  • Funny.  Nice one.  I think they are silly when they say the Surface isn't "Lapable" I own the Surface 3 and I was able to write a paper while watching my sons in swimming lessons last year and found it extremely confortable on my lap and even using the kickstand straddle my crossed leg as I typed. It was very enjoyable. 
  • Jason, I love your articles and ability to look beyond traditional consumer viewpoints of what mobile should be. I agree with you, but Microsoft was supposed to have become more nibble and quick bringing things to market, but seems to be the same old slow mythical enterprise only focused company with office, Azure, along with a few hardware items such as surface, surface studio, and SurfaceBook (they've been doing mice/keyboards for years) which isn't enough. As great as continuum could have been, their lack of focus on improving continuum with speed has allowed SamsungDex to come along and rain on their would be parade. Unlike Microsoft going all the way back to Zune, Battery saver, great mobile cameras, continuum, etc, Samsung will market to consumers/business, work with cell companies, etc and Microsoft could end up on the losing side due to their own lack of proper action. Android has become the most used OS in the world ahead of Windows. I support Microsoft, but will not excuse them. I'm waiting for April event before i make my decision to jump ship to the galaxy S8, none Microsoft edition; I've been more than patient with them. Satya has disappointed and made promises he hasn't kept.
  • I wouldn't even wait that long. There's nothing imminent and anything that might be announced at Build would still be many months or years off, or may not even see the light of day at all. Sad but true. Get that S8 and enjoy the now. You can always switch back if Microsoft finally manage to achieve the impossible and become a company that is capable of producing and marketing a phone that people actually want to buy. 
  • Has the S8 been released yet?
  • Let's see the success of the release new category device. Competition is high no one waiting for MS. At end of the day its not about pc in mobile its about how mobile success in its own form factor and personality. Microsoft failed to give that charm It's mobile.
  • Jason, While I always enjoy your future predictions articles, they are very deyailed and hopeful for windows mobile fans, I have never seen any article on what is actually wrong with windows mobile software. Why are only 1% of people liking windows phones, it can not be just lack apps. There have to be more reasons. Fair comparison of ios and android with windows 10 mobile software would be really interesting reading from you. To me it's the UI(still 1% market share) and plain looking(black and while, even toggle buttons are so boring)OS compare to competitors but i would really like to know your thoughts. Please consider this. 
  • I totally agree that the UI needs a serious face lift. Currently it looks like a project from the nineties. 
  • 8.1 was feature rich and beautiful
  • ...and fast,reliable, properly tested.
  • 8.1 was horrible, buggy, and bloated compared to 7.5 and 7.8 They removed too many features that made it unique.
  • That's what NEON is for. What it does for mobile though is anyone's guess, considering we've barely seen anything it does with the desktop...
  • KD: A large part of the issue is unfamiliarity. If you pick up and android phone and an iPhone, the experience (App tiles, visual layout etc) are similar. Windows Mobile is a completely different animal. There was also initially poor optimisation for some of Microsofts own apps (I'm looking at you edge) which made the os annoying to handle. Now though, windows 10 mobile is great to use, just poorly supported at the moment. I think that all three of these factors have contributed to the current state of Windows 10 mobile.
  • Jonny, you are perfectly right on all 3 points. Why to develop drastically different look whn people are familiar with ios or android app look? Why not adopt similar design and jmprove it once you have enough user base? Going half baked drastically different design will bring nothing, never. Now before you says windows 10 has beautiful design let me prove my point. Do you remember sams being a big company before galaxy? Probably not, to me galaxy and android were invented from ios and see where they are now. Nothing is wrong in coping if you add your own flavor to it. 
  • "Nadella asserted Microsoft would launch an ultimate mobile device "beyond the curve in mobile." He also stated that they will build phones in three categories. They didn't deliver on that. I appreciate your articles Jason, however they are based on words that have been uttered in the past and have proven to have no real meaning.
  • I actually reference that retrenchment, and now ultimately a (at least for now) a total dependence on OEMs. I'm in the trenches with all of you. Microsoft has some serious work to do. I outline many concerns in the four articles linked at the end of this article as well as in my four part series Windows Mobile and the enterprise where I condemn the decision to focus Windows Mobile on the enterprise. I also expound on many of the company's failures in "Does Microsoft still are abut Windows phone loyalists." www.windowscentral.com/author/jason-ward Unfortunately some commenters (not you in particular, I'm speaking more generally now) mistake my optimism as a lack of awareness of Microsoft's plight and propensity for failure. To those readers you may have forgotten a host of my work (or never read it). I encourage you to read the pieces I've just identified as well as others like "Is Quantum computing a genie we will wish we kept in the bottle", The long-term effects of Microsoft's low-end push", Are low-end smartphones hurting Microsoft's smartphone brand, Why Apple TV is a threat to Xboxs position in the living room, Smartphones are dead part III: How Microsoft, Apple and Google are preparing for the shift, What if Samsung beats Microsoft to market with an ultimate mobile device, Microsoft How-Old; Could facial recognition turn ugly and more.
  • Everything you write is theoretical and lacking fact.
    Love it to come off, damn I hope your right, but as a jaded long term fan it's just appears to be more of the 'next big thing' that NEVER eventuates.
    So hope your right, please please prove me wrong.
  • Hi n m, I would contest your claim that "everything" I write is theoretical and lacking fact. 🙂 If you follow the flow of the piece, before I present what I feel should be a marketing strategy for a potential ultramobile Surface I lay down the indisputable facts of Microsoft's poor ecosystem, lack of developers and need to address its ecosystem (ideally with something dramatic at BUILD 2017). I also lay the foundation with data supported facts from the IDC and JD Powers 2017 US Tablet Satisfaction Survey which together report the facts regarding the success, positive reception, future potential growth and consumer preference of productivity-focused Windows laptops and 2-in-1s over consumption-focused iPads and Android tablets. Then to further support my coming theory I present the facts of existing patents and future vision videos and the fact that in the past some patents(though not a guarantee) and MS future video tech, like Surface Studio and Skype Real-Time translation (and more) became realities. I then introduce my theory within the context of a real product, HP's lap dock, but offer a progression on that real product. I then base my theory on the established facts of Microsoft's strengths and reality that some patent ideas and future vision videos become real, the idea of a more integrated lapdock experience and the reality that MS MUST😎 have a mobile play. There is speculation which I admit in the piece, but it's not baseless. 😎 Here's another angle, we can say that the dogmatic claims that MS is NOT working on something are equally as speculative, because when it comes down to it, MS has left al of us very little to work with. Just as with HoloLens and Surface, what's next may be equally secretive and if so, the silence the critics claim is proof of nothing coming is actually consistent with a history that "something" is coming. 😎 Speculation therefore is going both ways here in the community based on MS actions or apparent inaction. 😎
  • n m.   It's a WARDITORIAL....it does not need fact.  It's his opinion.   
  • I think I've been reading your articles on and off, for over a year now at least from back when you started - back then perhaps 80% of commenters were in agreement - or at least underdstood your points. Now, I think 80% disagree, or you need to correct their interpretation of what you say, since it aint clear - and thats no surprise because it aint based on anything real. What you write about is not born out by any evidence of what Microsoft is doing or has done these past stagnant 3 years. You are just writing about what they might do, or could do, or just imagine if they did do, to get out of this hole they've dug for themselves. Well, anyone can do that cant they? We all here reading these articles can do that. My kids can do that. You are just making stuff up - making scenarios up, making hardware up, making evolutions and revolutions up. Its just not credible, because nothing backs it up - not now, as indeed not when you started this crusade. So Microsoft are re-trenching still? They are cutting back, re-grouping and coming up with a future that will change the face of mobile devices (which we should avoid calling 'phones' because that would just put the black cloud of Microsoft's failure into the sentence), and which all consumers will want, but dont know it yet - although if you stop and ask Joe in the street (try this tomorrow) he wont know what on earth you are talking about. Who is buying that Jason? No amount of hype about UWP or Win32 on mobile, or Continuum or ARM talk means anything to most consumers, or enterprise managers - I think people that read and write Tech all day forget that. I am a dev, and was a winphone/mobile dev for a while. You know what the promise of UWP meant to me in the end (yes I did develop with it)? Well, because Microsoft managed to move the goalposts for 5 years from Silverlight to UWP, with major Tech/API changes in between, as well as suck the life out of their hardware and butcher their OS, it meant nothing. They lost me ... and I can see they lost almost every dev too, and soon it will indeed be every consumer as well. And most people I know are sick of lackluster Win10 on Desktop, where Microsoft are supposedly strongest. Its that simple. When it looks like a spade and digs earth, what do you call it? Even if they pulled the rabbit out of the hat tomorrow and released something technically brilliant, it would not matter anymore, because the timing has gone and the world has moved on. Besides, we know that wont happen. They've made choices, have had terrible leadership, and are themselves lost. A tangeable case in point: someone there is pushing feature after feature, and has been for years now - and big features too, into Cortana instead of into the OS - where Cortana is available in only 6.6% of available regions, even after, what, 3 years? Thats 84% of users that could have used these features had they been targeted/localised properly, but instead cannot. Those are the actions of an unchallenged crazy person. When I compare Microsoft today with that which released Windows 3 back in around 1990, it is like chalk and cheese. New 'versions' of Windows now, be they 8, 10, AU, CU - are just a bunch of also rans - very boring and utterly underwhelming. Microsoft folk dont even sound excited themselves when presenting the new features. The company needs someone to come along, shout 'clear' and zap them with some voltage to bring them back to life. Or one day my kids will be, like: "Oh Microsoft! Yeah, I remember them." Remember how big DEC were in the 70s? Or Compaq in the 90s? It *is* possible to mess up big time, and Microsoft are doing a grand job. I think your obvious skill as a writer is simply wasted on this subject matter - I cannot understand why you are continuing on it - Microsoft do not deserve you. If you wrote about something that had grounding in reality (I will not say which tech/OS/company that could be) it would be so much more satisying, I am sure, for you and your readers alike. Happy Easter!
  • "The PC that can replace your phone..."
  • Hmmmm. Catchy retro concept.
  • Sorry, but I just don't think there's a need for the device you're describing. Phones pretty much do everything that people want/need them to do. The reason the Surface is successful is because tablets weren't living up to their full potential... so there was a need for a productivity tablet/convertible.  I just don't see the same need in phones. The only way (at this point) that Microsoft can wiggle its way back into mobile is to offer Android apps on its phones. Otherwise, I just think it's DOA.
  • Indeed phones already do what ppl want, if a portable PC is going to beat that it needs to be very powerful, cant expect a underpowered mobile soc to run heavy x86 apps, n well powerful means it will probably cost 2000$
  • Consumers are pretty crappy at telling you what they want/need other than some ephemeral satisfaction that they have gotten the most out of their purchase. I don't think smartphones have ever met a single articulatable "need" from a consumer standpoint. It's not the consumer that drives innovation. It's the people building the technology by conceptualizing new uses for said tools.  
  • You wrote this: "The reason the Surface is successful is because tablets weren't living up to their full potential... so there was a need for a productivity tablet/convertible.  I just don't see the same need in phones." I agree 100%. What I did want from my Windows Phone, which took a long time to come was the ability to print to my printer... or the ability to quickly and wirelessly transfer stuff from my Phone to my home PCs/Tablets without the clumsiness of OneDrive (it was clumsy at the time)... A quick ad-hoc network between all of my windows devices at home (Apple has done this well for years). There are times when I needed to type extensively on the phone, so I would have appreciated a flip cover to protect the screen that could act as a type cover.  Now my type cover idea is slighly flawed becuase I use my phone equally in English and Spanish... so the fact that my type cover / flip cover would be locked into English (more than likely) is a problem... Though I could get away with some type of SpanishCapLocks.exe functionality (check out that little app... it's a real life saver) on an english type cover for accents and ñ , The type cover could have allowed the same type of flow keyboard and text prediction as the onboard keyboard.. Real Dual SIM, Dual Active @ 4G LTE for those of us that need two phone networks took way to long to come to a Windows Phone (and of course my 950XL only does the SIM2 at 2G).. These features I clamored for constantly in the Feedback hub...  For me... these featues would have been things that existing phones were falling short on... WIndows Phone could have been a real alternative.. I can't be the only person who thinks this way??  
  • If it can't make calls, than it will be a niche product. It can still be a great product, just don't expect huge sales numbers.
  • Did you not read the article? It would make calls just fine.
  • Whether they read the article is more irrelevant then the more appropriate question which revolves around comprehension, which I think we'll both agree to it not taking place for whichever reasons.
  • yes I like it. If they had a pocket pc with continuum and their telephone Link cloud phone system with Office 365 license this would be awesome. You could use this as your phone and pc and get rid of the phone company. No more ATT! I'd rather pay Microsoft for over the internet link phone service.
  • Excellent article, Jason especially at this time. I read rumours in other sites about a phone launch this 2017 by Msft, something that wouldn't have Surface branding but mimicks Surface phone to come. How credible is this? To me this seems like a viable plan since the phone would be a model subject, whilst it fills the gap until Surface phone arrives...
  • Consumer response: I don't need an ultra-mobile PC, I already have a smart phone which does all that.
  • How?
  • The vast majority of smart phone users believe their devices to be 'as computers' already. Apple spend millions marketing the giant iPod Pro as a 'computer'. Our definition of a 'real' computer as being something which runs Win32 executables is lost on the majority.
  • Can't think of anyone that thinks that nor any marketing that says so. And you said your self, an iPad pro is marketed as a laptop replacement (totally can't btw, no network drive access, office that sucks and no real applications at all) apple don't market the phones as PCs. Personal Computing yes, actual PC.. No.
  • @andewb65 That superficial belief of many consumers that thier iPhones and iPads are computers is valid. A fuller truth is borne out in the data I included from IDC and the JD Power 2017 US Tablet Survey. Together both those studies(linked above) reveal that consumers are buying and prefer productivity-focused Windows 10 laptops and PCs over consumption-focused iPads and Android tablets. So though those users may not use or even know the technical definitions or the language we use when defining "real" computers, when those users want to be productive and/or create content the data shows they reach for Windows laptops and 2-in-1s. The scenario I put forth as "An evolution of the HP lapdock concept" fits well in this reality.
  • but thats YOUR definiton of computer....not the correct definiton!
  • Please look at my first sentence Steve "That superficial belief of many consumers that thier iPhones and iPads are computers is valid." many things are computers, a calulator, laptop, tablet smartphone, calculator, IoT device maybe even an ABACUS (its just not a digital computer). :-) The point my comment stresses is the productivity strength and position, (and preference of Windows laptops and 2-in-1 computers to the tablet computers offered by Apple and Google(Android) when it comes to productivity and content creation.
  • hmm random people (non tech) are like: hey, can I use FB, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, write emails and search the web on it? Yes, you can. Cool, so basicaly its a PC, right? Yes. Non tech people dont care about x86, 32 or 64bit. All they want to know is this: Does it have xyz app? Can I browse the net/write emails on it? NO? Iam not interested.
  • Sorry Jason,  that was directed at andrewb65
  • Ohhhh...Sorry...lol :-)
  • As commented already here, for a lot of people a smartphone is good enough as a mobile computing device for most of their needs. Not me, not you, but the mass market who are consuming smart phones. They don't need full x86 PC capability. The mass market has been programmed to understand that thinner/lighter is better. A folding tablet which can be used like a phone is still going to be thicker/heavier than anything else they might choose. I can see that there are a lot of people who have both a smartphone and a tablet device. The question is, would they sacrifice thin/light in preference to being able to transform from phone to tablet in one device? And, would it matter to the mass market if this was based on iOS, Android or Windows 10? Probably not.
  • @andrewb65 They have a smartphone that runs into a laptop-like dock and runs full Windows 10, including Windows Mixed reality, Xbox game streaming and inking and when ejected from the dock is a foldable pocketabke device that expands to a minitablet that runs mobile apps and has Continuum?
  • People dont want phones that dock into a lapdock. It was tried with the Atrix and the Transformers and it doesnt have any benefits. You loose simplicity, the device used for calling becomes trapped, upgrading one part requires upgrading the other one. A simple desktop dock is another story. The only way forward with a lapdock is Miracast UIBC over 802.11ad without any hickups. 1 time with lag, disconnects or similar will reduce confidence.
  • Hi user4545 Thats why I posited the demand and success of Windows Laptops and 2-in-1s. Microsoft would lead the marketing of this "composite device" as a "laptop" with all of the benefits and desired features of a Windows 10 2-in-1 laptop. For all intents and purposes that's what it will be. Except... The soul of the machine will an ultramobile mobile PC that exist within the base of the "laptop" and could be ejected as an independent Ultrambile, pocketable (foldable) Windows 10 PC. It will be able to connect to other screens via Conntinuum and use Store apps. The lead for this, if you can picture an onstage presentation on an ad, is the presentation of what looks to be a laptop and only a powerful laptop first. Then, ejested from the base is this ultramobiel PC that can also make phone calls via eSIM. Also please read my piece, Why Microsoft's Continuum may succeed in putting a PC n your pocket where the Motorola's Atrix failed: http://www.windowscentral.com/why-continuum-may-succeed-where-atrix-failed :-) Thanks for the input!
  • As I commented the other day when you suggested this idea on Daniel's article, this idea is impractical.  Pocket PC's are deader (if that's even a word) than Windows Phone.  And I love Windows Phone!  That would be 7.X and 8.X versions.  I don't understand the love affair with Work based phones (and that's what a PC would be).  The regular consumer wants a FUN PHONE!  Something to take photos.  Write text.  Check email.  Play games.  And yes sometimes, do something productive but that's the last thing "MOST" want to do.  Microsoft had a great idea and concept with the Metro design and making their OS super responsive for those steep in social media.  And to top it off they had some of the best camera's in their devices (I know it was mostly Nokia, but with the backing of Microsoft).  Then someone really smart thought this wasn't a selling point.  Let's get rid of everything good about the social media content.  Removing Hubs, Rooms, Groups (that really worked) and not capitalizing on the great work Nokia did with the camera.  And while we're at it lets get rid of the easy to use Pivots.  Let's get rid of the $14.99 a month Music package where you could download and keep 10 songs per month for life.  Music that you actually owned.  But instead of blasting Microsoft for their incompetence most writers went with the flow.  Now we are here.  Which is actually nowhere!  Great!  SMH 
  • Hi whodaboss: Read my pieces "Ode to Windows phone 8" and "Does Microsoft still care about Windows phone loyalists?", I agree that much of what was appealing from Windows Phone 7 to 8 is no longer part of Windows phones, so to that we agree. Now if you reread this piece, you will see that your immediate defense that "ppl don't want work phones " is not valid here, because with my scenario, "work phones" would not be the motivating factor, for the purchase. The target market would not be the phone customer, but the laptop/2-in-1 customer. Microsoft would lead the marketing with the "Surface Book" lap dock, as lightweight, portable Windows 10 laptop that meets the needs of a person in the market for a laptop. Then, the marketing would reveal that it is actually a "composite" device that embodies a pocket able Windows 10 touch screen PC, that not only powered the "Surface Book" lap dock via Continuum but could do the same with other PCs and screens, and when ejected from the base function as a Windows 10 mini tablet/foldable handheld device. Microsoft would not lead with the fact that this PC also has among it's capabilities as full Windows 10 cellular PC, that via eSIM it could also function as a phone, but it would add that as part of the messaging. The marketing position, messaging and target market would be the PC consumers that IDC shows are a market for Microsoft and it's PC OEM partners. The upside to this strategy is that it succeeds in doing, in Trojan Horse fashion, what MS is not doing now. It will get a new category of "phone" hardware in peoples hands who may not even realize it while MS continues to (hopefully doing much more than they are now) build it's ecosystem and win developers. This way MS gets "phones" in peoples hands led by PC demand, not by what we all know attracts consumers now but MS lacks and has no power in - ecosystem demand. Ideally, sooner than later, MS will then be able to optimize on that position it will have achieved if the strategy is successful, by offering a greater mobile ecosystem experience for the device when ejected from the base as more app and developers will be won to the ecosystem. But at least with this strategy, the hardware is already in consumers hands by the time the ecosystem begins seeing positive growth rather than waiting for that growth to seduce consumers to the "phone" hardware which has proven to be a failed model for Microsoft.
  • Thanks Jason I've read "Ode to Windows phone 8".  I've even referenced it in the past.  Great article! "Microsoft will have to focus on its strengths, forsaking the traditional approach to mobile. That old model failed Microsoft, leading to retrenchment..." Microsoft purposely failed.  They had 10 - 15% percent market share in some markets then they decided to be lazy and shutter all advertising and marketing. "Microsoft's ultramobile Surface should, therefore, be marketed as a PC. Consumers want PCs, after all." The concept of 2/1 is great.  As an SP3 owner I love it.  But NO.  I don't believe "regular" Joe wants a PC.  I believe they want something light and functional.  The PC is to suggest the web or work.  Most people want to get away from that.  They want to click on an app an bypass everything else.  And they certainly do not want something that remotely reminds them of work... aka a PC.   "There's merit to Microsoft positioning an ultramobile Surface from a purely PC perspective." But my ascertain will always be regardless what concept is used if the "target market" is not a phone consumer then the idea is unfortunately a bad idea IMHO.  Most people do not have home phones any longer.  They use a cell phone as their primary device.  So no matter how many emails, text, etc.. we can check on our cell "phones" we need to be able to keep in touch with the world in a more tangible way - by voice. "Consumers want Windows laptops and 2-in-1s after all, not phones..." As much as I love my SP3 I would rather have a great phone over that.  Because I already have a laptop, desktop, and several tablets to can do the same thing as my SP3.  I want a great phone from Microsoft because I prefer their overall eco system.  I do not want to use an iPhone or any Android device as a daily driver.  I just don't.  I think the marketing should be a great phone that can also be a PC.  And the PC part should be the hidden gem that they didn't expect.  Rather than the main idea.  If that's the case, sure you'll get some takers but the majority will reject it quickly because the last thing they want to think about is a product that emphasizes work.
  • Who are "people" and when did they elect you to represent them as the universal voice?  People don't always know what they want until it's presented to them.  Bezos **just** talked about how people didn't want Amazon Prime...until it was unveiled. 
  • Are you trying to be a comedian? I remember when amazon only sold books. And they sold them at a very reasonable price. "People" who purchased books only moved with amazon easily when they started to sell other products. Amazon Prime was an easy sell. And at the original pricing it made it easy to buy and keep once you got hooked. Plus the service was spot on once cable pricing started to skyrocket . So, your comment is really sophomoric. Plus they advertise the heck out of it. But forgive me, to your point the "people" have spoken loudly about Prime!!
  • It's a shame that people can't try to articulate their point without attempting to be a superior arse.  I'm just saying what Bezos said...you may have heard of him. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/jeff-bezos-nobody-asked-one-popular-servic...
  • We can't have it both ways.  You can't call someone out for using the term "people" who tried to "articulate their point of view then get spun up when someone else calls you out on your point.  If you think I'm an "arse" as you stated I guess I'm an arse; a superior one at that.  :) A former Microsoft CEO once stated "... no one would use a touch phone..." yes, I'm paraphrasing.  Sometimes some of us use hyperbole to make a point.  That doesn't mean we literally lump ALL people, but some of us use that type of verbiage to hype-up our thoughts with the use of such comments.  As far as Amazon is concerned Bezos is a smart guy.  I gambled and won.  But to me it was just a natural course of action for Amazon.  People don't visit physical stores as they use to.  Amazon Prime came at the right time.  If my comments seemed harsh or superior it's only to show we all have opinions.  They are not always right, but that doesn't mean we're always wrong either.  But yes I get your point.
  • You didn't call me out on any point. You seemed more concerned with getting out your "comedian" and "sophomoric" insults than making a valid point. Strangely, you were defending someone else in such a manner, but managed to make SEVERAL great arguments in your own above posts. Some I agree with, others not so much, but I understand your perspective. My original point to @user4545 was that no one can speak for all "people".  There are definitely use scenarios for docking a phone.  I've done it and I even bought into the NexDock device with all of its issues.  Sure, it's hyperbole, but it's meant to minimize the conversation and to convey that there is no market for such a thing.  I think there is a small market now and I can see it becoming a very mainstream thing.  I hope so, anyway. 
  • Yet you replied with "arse" and "superior arse".  See we all sometime times get caught up in what we consider personal insults.  Fortunately, I don't get bent out of shape with such words.  As long someone is not paying my bills they can state what they want to say...  I find such things things laughable to tell you the truth.  As with my discussion, some people will find the use of a PC phone acceptable.  But I don't think most will. Plus I really don't want to start using virus detection on my phone.  I'll leave that to Android users.  No matter what, I hope Microsoft is successful.  I personally think moving to a PC phone is not the right direction.  But only time will tell if that happens.
  • Yes we need! ultra-mobile PC! ones is out I will replace my Lumia 810!
  • I agree with this. Just don't see a desire out there for the average person to want to use a PC on their phone. Phone, Text, Social Media, an occastional game. If I want to do anything meaningful it won't be on a 6" or less screen and I'm not carrying around a monitor, mouse and keyboard for it. 
  • Try continuum.. No need for extras, just a modern tv.
  • Continuum on my Lumia 950 does not help me that much. It's nice to have and to play around with in conjunction with the Microsoft Miracast adapter. In order to be useful to me Continuum must run on much more powerful hardware.
  • Continuum and W10M is in the same sinking boat sailing the big seas. No update, features what so ever the last year. Creators update on W10M is fully the same as anniversary update except new icons and feedback all over the phone. Same with continuum, I have tried it once on my 950XL
  • My inner picture of W10M (and Continuum) is not that of a sinking boat 
    but more of a boat that discretionly floats around with no specific or obvious destination.  Some day this boat will debark somewhere 
    and nobody will be able to explain how it got there.  .  
  • Fred got it right. For advanced usage we need better HW but a Snap 835 with 4GB ram is not enough for advanced productivity in CAD/editing movies or even playing 3D games... and this wont change.... and in my opinion... we dont need it to change. If I want a phone, I will buy a phone. If i need more power or want to play demanding games I will buy a gaming laptop... not a surface phone  
  • So you are not going to be in their target market. Others likely will.
  • Agreed, writers here spin nice little fantasies, forget abt phone, pick up a 300$ laptop that will still be powerful than any mobile but it is not suitable of the 'advanced' productivity tht u mention, how will suddenly a snap 835 be more powerful than low end laptops, n somehow if indeed surface phone is able to match the performance of a gaming laptop it will be 3 times expensive at least.
  • It doesn't have to be "more powerful" than carrying around a cheap laptop.  If utilized properly, there's a value play here.  One SIM card getting data, with no additional line required.  One license for software like Office.  Thost two things right there can equal a nice set of savings.  There are already apps that run on phones for photo editing and simple video editing.  These kinds of tools will allow someone to attach to someone else's screen to get the work done in a larger environment.  I've used the NexDock with my L950 and left the laptop at home because the laptop doesn't have cellular data.  I'd rather buy a bigger, less portable, more powerful laptop that can handle video editing and not really cart it around.  I could do that with a solution that allows my phone to dock and give me access to a full keyboard to type and more screen to work with.  I don't need it to do CAD or play powerful video games.   There are use scenarios that apply to some people, even if they don't apply to you. 
  • It's useful to me for things that I can do on a phone, but benefit from larger screen real estate and/or the use of a keyboard.
  • its fancy toy with no practical use
  • Disagree. I have used it to get work done.  
  • This has been true for the iPhone as well before it became a thing. Consumers know what they want when they see (and try) it. .
  • My office has a few young new employees (early 20s), and (admittedly anecdotal though this is), I've been shocked to hear that (a) they don't have desktops at home, and (b) they feel that between their phone, ios-based tablet, and consoles, they don't need or want a full desktop experience. As part of the older generation, I always want a desktop experience, even if it's on a 2-in-1. I'm not sure the younger generation feels that way, or really cares about anything that's not an app.
  • What do you do in an "office" without a computer? Obviously they're not very productive individuals if all they have is a phone/iPad/game console.  HoloLens in my opinion will be the next big technology shift that completely bridges the gap between productivity and consumption to the point of necessity. Whether you're designing something or just putting a giant Netflix screen on your wall, SmartGlasses serves everyone's purposes equally. HoloLens has the potential to wipe out the smartphone and the laptop.        
  • You'd be surprised. The company I work or does Fire Protection. Outside using desktops for AutoCAD to design blueprints, damn​near everything else can be handled by apps on iOS/Android. Out of 30 people I'm the only WM user. Got a free Android tablet for ATT just so I could use the apps I need for work.
  • Smartphones have already reached a point where it cannot deliver anything new to the table. Why would anybody want a whole new way to use a phone when there is a proven method that's a Smartphone? Ppl have always wanted a minimalistic approach to ultimate sophistication especially in a pocketable device, that brought the change from button pressing to screen pressing. We give quite a lot of effort into Smartphones, that should get simpler in the long run. Now why wouldn't anyone want a PC that can often act like a phone? Something like that should make our lives uncomplicated, something like that will bring the paradigm shift and personally, I want Msft to be the leader in this game.
  • Hmmm
  • Great article as always Jason.
    I agree with your view and points. Microsofts strengths lie in PC. They would have to be able to create a phone that will play to those strengths and not directly compete with other leading phone brands. With that said, I still have some doubts that not everyone will want this kind of phone/device category (ultra mobile/pc mobile). Perhaps some people want a traditional phone like any other but with top notch features and reasonably priced considering the limitations of Windows Mobile. If they can have two or more categories, maybe they will have more success. Ultra mobile that can run full pc programs and traditional phones that target normal consumers (low to mid range phones), maybe even high end phones. They should target every market and consumer. That's just my opinion.
  • They're will be a "surface phone" by Christmas 2017...
  • Lol, sure💤
  • Lolol. You want to bet your membership to windows central? Or your soul? Lol
  • I fell asleep already,Lol.
  • You still believe things that come out of Satya's mouth? Hope long ago did he promise three devices Microsoft would make if no other OEM's would? I having on by a thread hoping he surprised me, but the Galaxy S8 with SamsungDex is impressive and calling my name! I'm tired of being a MS cheer leader with no prize!
  • It's so impressive that Microsoft is selling the S8 in their stores. I pre-ordered one, from AT&T and it will be the first time I don't carry around a Microsoft based device.  
  • Why did you buy an android device dalydose?  
  • Felt like it. I like new stuff and it will live in tandem with my Lumia 950.  I'm not a stubborn fanboy that hates one thing over another.  I've had a GS5 for a bit now, but it's OLD.  I'm getting to the reduced battery life on my L950 and there's no official replacement (another DUMB thing from MS - make a removeable batter, but don't sell any replacements).   On the GS8: I love the screen.  I love the idea of Bluetooth 5 and want to play with it - I hope speakers and other stuff that support it will be out soon.  There are obviously apps that I'll enjoy using like DirecTV Now with bandwidth that isn't metered by AT&T who never made that app for Windows.  Some of the things I do can be enhanced with features like Facebook Live that aren't on Windows and I never bothered with on the GS5.   I'm also getting the Gear S3 watch that works in tandem with the phone, much like I used to enjoy with the Microsoft Band, but...uh...they left me hanging.  I like new stuff, but my perspective will not change to be a hater of Windows on phones or hyperbolizing that it is "dead" with no hope for the future.  I'm interested in where ALL of this stuff is going.   
  • Cool....You are NOT A fanboy in my definiton.....I have all three as well.  galaxy note, iphone, and 950xl coming for 3d builder
  • Microsoft needs serious and proper marketing lecturing. They should know big market shares don't happen overnight.
  • Their product just isn't ready yet.. If they go full market on Windows mobile at the current state it will be another fail
  • A laptop isn't truly mobile. Battery restraints' see too that. Using one as a mobile, when it's not....well. Won't fit in your pocket either. Ms need to show something soon. Something that matters.
  • You can call it a "phone". You can all it a "PC". But it still needs to run software. The only reason Windows is still successful on PC is because of the vast array of x86 software available. I dont see how that helps on any small form factor, touch oriented device. Being able to also function as a desktop is handy, but it also needs to work as a mobile device and that keeps coming back to touch/mobile apps.
  • @pallentx, I think you're right that that is Microsoft's challenge. It's not insurmountable, because there's a spectrum of users who, depending on personal preference and use case, ranging from those who prefer touch screen apps to those who prefer x86 apps, with a bunch in the middle who like both, depending on what the app is doing (e.g, many prefer the Desktop version of Word and Excel but the app version of games and Facebook). Probably as you shift toward smaller form factors, those preferences shift toward apps, but if these devices include 7" - 8" displays, there's probably a decent size market segment who would appreciate that it can run the entire giant Windows library. Then, with such devices out there, and now that there are easy-to-use tools for developers to do cross platform development, whether with Xamarin, C#, or even React Native, Windows would be likely to become a common third platfrom for app developers. In other words, this device HOPEFULLY (I would agree that it's a challenge) bridges the appeal to developers of a mass market with the appeal to users of a mini-tablet mobile device. From a strategic planning perspective, that's the right way for MS to leverage their strengths. I think Microsoft made a mistake to let their Windows Phone-using fans go and squander that base, but I understand that they didn't view the 3-5% global market share as anything big enough to matter, or to consider losing it squandering anything. I disagree with that, but I understand it, and more important, regardless, based on where MS is now, this is their best strategy. As soon as a significant percentage (doesn't need to be anywhere near all) of Windows users start thinking about getting apps from the Store, and developers see an interest to their apps on the Store, the world will change in terms of app development. We're not there now, but more devices that appeal to existing Windows users that benefit from the Store (e.g., Windows 10 Cloud) all help drive this migration to the Store.
  • Hmmmm ... ok. The "Ultimate Mobile Device" (aka "UMD") is based on a x86 hardware platform, unifies W10, W10M, Ubuntu Linux and Android apps in one very same device. The UX of course is based on CSHELL, and Ubuntu is aboard W10 already anyway. Hmmmm .... ok, let's see what comes down the Microsoft-River next.
  • I realized a couple years ago that what I really wanted was one device that could morph physically to meet the needs of the moment - the "one device that is every device", as you put it, Jason. Pocketable with a readable screen that provides phone functions and updates on relevant information, then the ability to convert to a clamshell form with a larger screen and keyboard when I need it. My concern now is price and an upgrade path from the current Win phone.  For those who can't pay Surface prices for the new ultramobile device, will there be other phone options in the Windows universe?
  • Its all about the clicks now, isn't it?
  • Of course not, If it was about clicks I'd write a shallow "Windows phone is dead article".🤔
  • But still, this article doesn't contain anything you haven't repeated yet ad nauseam in your other articles. What's the point?
  • Hi Tim047v I'd advise that you reread the article because the crux of my position in this piece, is how the device should be marketed as a "laptop" as part of a "Surface Book" Lap Dock like peripheral (the foldable ultramobile PC being inserted in the base and connect via Continuum) is something I have never said before. As a support of the viability of that positioning of the ultramobile Surface being marketed as a "laptop" I refer to data that did not exist until recently; a most recent IDC report that shows the current and projected success of laptops and 2-in-1s and JD Powers 2017 US Tablet Survey that indicates a preference for the Surface over the iPad and android tablets. I also never presented that the base of "Surface Book" Lap-Dock peripheral could potentially be used to wirelessly project, via Continuum, to the detached display of the Lap-dock-like peripheral which would provide that popular 2-in-1 experience. Finally, the ultramobile Surfae would be able to exist independently, in this scenario by being ejected from the base of the peripheral and function as a handheld device and via eSIM a phone. Perhaps in your haste (maybe you're at work) you missed the "Evolving a concept" section around which the rest of the piece was built. The idea here is that users, per the data want laptops. Microsoft can sell them one in this particular scenario, but what the user also gets is a handheld device that is also a phone. While MS focuses on the ecosystem, they can get these category defining mobile devices in users hands, (they may or may not use them to their full extent, having been motivated to buy by the laptop aspect. But they will be in the market, potentially selling as "laptops" while Microsoft is actually disseminating a "Trojan phone" as I point out in the section - Microsoft's Trojan phone When you get a chance, check the piece out again. Tim. There's a who new proposition being presented there. :-)
  • Don't think so. .
  • Pretty much. These deluded articles - which always go against reality and even the opinions expressed by other WC members on Podcasts - are good to get clicks and adsense though. Well...from those who don't use AdBlock that is lol
  • Hi DJCBS I fully acknowledge the reality is that Microsoft has a serious problem. My intro references two articles: If Microsoft doesn't kill at BUILD 2017 the Surface phone is dead on arrival and the This is what has to happen first in order for the Surface phone to succeed (you can follow the links). In those pieces I hole M accountable for addressing multiple area of its ecosystem to draw developers and build the ecosystem. I make a plea to Microsoft to get it together. Check those pieces out that I referenced as I laid the foundation for this piece. Recognizing Strengths and Weaknesses - PCs is Microsoft's strength, smartphones are its weakness. Mobile Matters: This too is a reality. A mobile device is absolutely essential to MS personal computing success, and the UWP. There's demand for Windows laptops and 2-in1 PCs: The IDC and JD Powers 2017 US Tablet Survey reflect this reality. Riding the Momentum: This is where we're forced to speculate based on patents, future vision videos (which gaaruntee nothing as I state in the piece but have reflected real products like The Surface Studio, Skype RealTIme translate and other technologies in the past. Based on patents of a foldable device I suggest the wise course of positioning it within on the established strengths the company has proven (rather than going down the same failed coure of the past). The compnay has to have a mobile play. I'm optimisitic enough and believe that Nadella is wise enough to realize that, so yes I beliee that something that plays to the company's strengths is coming. Evolving a concept: The HP Lap Dock peirpheral which allows the HP Elite to be used as a laptop is reality. Continuum is being evolved to be more PC like with multiplw Windows, pinning apps to a taskbar and more is a reality. Where my speculation (and honestly opinion that NOTHING is coming is equally speculative because like with the Surface and HoloLens there are some things we just don't know) comes in is the progression of that idea where the ultramobile Surface is inserted into the base of a "Surface Book lap dock-like peripheral and powers it via Continuum as a full Windows PC - Laptop. Given the demand for laptops and 2-in-1s it can be marketed based on the qualities for which users buy a laptop, but it will also be an indepenedent Continuum enabled ultrmobile celluar PC that caan make phone calls via eSIM when ejected from the Surface Book lapdock. I presented that scenario as my vision (per the title) of how what we see as a possibile foldable device via paents could be maketed successfully to the masses. Microsofts Trojan phone: This would make for a possible way to get 'phone' hardware in the hands of people, via a device that is not "phone-focused" while MS does the hard work of fixing its ecosystem. A first step: Still speculation here, but this would be a first-gen device that, as all tech, evolves over time. As I shared there are very solid points of the current reality that of MSs challenges and strengths, some hints via suggestive language and patents and then my thoughtful speculation on how MS can take all this and come to market with something that would play to its strengths. Clickbait is simply meant to get a click. Thoughtful contemplation of data presented in an articulate analysis is not clickbait. :-) Finally again, assertions tht MS has nothing in the pipeine are equally as specualtive as my anaylysis that they do have something coming - who knew the HoloLens was in the making? :-)
  • The only way you please DJCBS is to say how great Nokia is and will always be...no matter what. 
  • Honestly,  I was expecting a Killer Nokia android phone to be released but they just released the same old low/mid range phones everyone else has. - a HUGE Meh from them!  Nothing great thats for sure!
  • I propose creating a "W10M" mobile device that runs Android apps via WSL using CSHELL as an overarching UX. Computing power for this to achieve is available in abundance. .
  • Until they have developed a phone that can do what I need to do on my PC, then I'll get rid of my PC and embrace the second coming, however I don't see that being the case any time soon.
  • Microsoft is going to fail again.  They just don't get it.  No one wants to carry a smart phone in one pocket, an an ultra mobile PC in the other pocket.  We want ONE device that does it all.
  • The "no one" and "we" posts from the representative of all?  Interestingly, you have no idea that this is what they have planned, yet you base a snarky "going to fail" comment on it.  Perhaps your last sentence is exactly what they are working on.  
  • Surface studio. Surface book. Surface pro. Surface pro mini. Surface pro pocket. Would totally get one of the last two, apps don't interest me, something that actually work at home and at work in one device does. 950xl comes close but not close enough.
  • Lol.. Sure
  • Mmmh I don't know what's is going on with Microsoft but I think they will come up with two device a smart phone and ultra mobile.. I am sure there is something in the oven.. lol just saying
  • Lets say that MS brings the pocket Pc every MS fanboy wants aka ultra surface PC mobile. It doesnt take long until other manufacturer will bring a greater pocket PC than MS. Look already at DeX by Samsung copying continuum. Why would MS release "a phone" when it is doomed at arrival? MS is in a big failure circle (declining since Ballmers 80% 4-5 years ago) to 37,3% marketshare. They got bigger issues than revealing and supporting the W10M with a phone. They have to turn numbers around first.
  • I find these articles always a bit ingenuous. Sure, Microsoft could come up the ultimate ultra-super-duper device and be the first to deliver a universal platform, and yet are we supposed to believe Apple and Google will just sit there and watch Microsoft eat the portion of their plate and let them overtake the market? Specially when they have the app market and developer manpower on their hand? This isn't 2007 anymore and I seriously doubt Apple and Alphabet CEOs are Ballmers type who disdain the revolutionary products of the competition and then let the boat sail away. A revolution of this magnitude is yet to happen on PC where Microsoft dominates for over 30 years but everyone is expecting it to happen for mobile just because of one device... doesn't work like that. It's the power of inertia.
  • Hi Lusitanium, Im not sure why you see this artile as disingenuous. Nowhere in this piece do I claim or infer that should lead to your concern that: "are we supposed to believe Apple and Google will just sit there and watch Microsoft eat the portion of their plate and let them overtake the market?" What this piece is a presentation of an anaysis of how Microsoft might address the mobile space. In truth I dont even suggest that their renetry would upend or overtake the competition. I simply clearly present what the company may do to remain relevant. Now I will say that I anticipated just this type of comment and initially included a statement that Apple and Goolge do pose a threat to Microsoft even with this strategy and linked an earlier piece that I wrote: Smartphones are dead part III: How Microsoft, Apple and Google are preparing for the shift http://www.windowscentral.com/smartphones-are-dead-part-iii-how-microsoft-apple-and-google-are-preparing-shift Unfortunately that reference and link ended up on "the cutting room floor." LOL :-) But check it out, I am fully cognizant of the threats from the competitiion. You may also want to read: With all the excitement over Windows on ARM don't forget about Googles Andromeda: http://www.windowscentral.com/all-excitement-over-windows-arm-dont-forget-about-googles-andromeda
  • All this only applies if Microsoft can get the damn product released before Samsung does.
  • well they (microsoft) has a few months....I am betting the Note 8 or something will be released very soon by sammy with the folding concept and DeX. 
  • Dona Sarkar was talking about Skype calls in her Surface Book
  • @Vinicius That's fine, because it still reflects the "behaviour" that is apparently a norm for her of using a PC for phone calls. It is the devices enabling a change in human behavior and expectations that is core here. Expanding the idea of "phone functionality" from what we have come to understand as a phone and increasingly accepting both mentally and in our behavior, as technology further enables "phone" functionality via cellular PCs and eSIM, that a PC can be a "phone". I believe MS is aiming for an ultramobile PC where the PC functionailty is thought of as the dominant "identity" and purpose of the device (running full windows and hopefully benefitting from hard work to get Store apps) and the "phone" is perceived as just another app or feature of this broad functioning pocketable PC.
  • Having a smartphone as your single computing device may be enough for most people, but those people often wish they also had a bigger screen or a keyboard and mouse for easier input. So the more fortunate ones with enough funding buy a tablet and laptop as well for those "occasions".
    Once end users start realizing that owning a smartphone, tablet, laptop and maybe a desktop is actually a waste of a lot of money, because you can only use one at the time, I suspect they will eventually see the value of a one-device-does all.
    That's a lot of expensive hardware not optimally used.
    Having one "central unit" that contains RAM, CPU, diskspace etc... and several let's call them "displays" and peripherals of different sizes could save a lot of money.
  • Samsung is now well ahead of Microsoft with a product people will actually buy. When Microsoft finally gets around to building this device, they will be quite late and still have a massive mobile app gap while Samsung has closed some of the desktop app gap. It will be a very tough sell for Microsoft in a year or two. Most consumers don't need legacy Windows apps and professionals aren't going to be interested in a gimped desktop environment. This thing is still going to be competing with the Surface Pro. That is tough competition.
  • I'd buy either and so will most people who aren't just determined to hate whatever comes out from Windows mobile.  I pre-ordered a GS8 to go along with my Lumia 950, so please don't lean on your "fanboy" crutch.  Samsung has most definitely not closed the desktop app or even come close.  They have Office...just like Microsoft.  They have some partners "working on it", but that's never a sure thing as we know from Microsoft.   There are a lot of things happening that can change the course of where we are going with technology.  The next generation of wireless Internet is supposed to be insanely fast and might negate the need or even efficiency of installing apps like we do today.  Developers might be able to develop platform agnostic and then all bets are off.  It's been a long stretch in tech terms and we're due for a paradigm shift.   If it's worth the hype, I'll buy it in one or two or three years even...and I won't be alone.  Since we don't know what is coming, I don't know how you predict that it will compete with the Surface Pro. Perhaps they are working on a way to extend the mobility of Surface Pro so that you have the extra juice when this new thing gets close to it.  Bluetooth 5 with added distance and bandwidth is already here, so again...who knows what they are cooking up behind Panos' Top Secret doors.
  • Thanks for writing but the vision of consumer is different. We decrease usage of pc because of handheld device with small screen and portability. The potential don't need large screens and full pc to do everything in on the go. If the user experience is great and apps UI optimize for small screen then who needs pc? It's not about where Microsoft want to drive users, its about consumers where the want to go and what they used most. Microsoft always failed in mobile eco system cause insiders, consumers,oem partners developers every single node proves that ignorance.
  • Can someone explain what would define an "ultramobile PC"? I mean, is it just the ability to run desktop apps?
  • Still.... Stop talking about vapourware. Please.
  • In all fairness the title says "Surface phone", you weren't forced to read🙂
  • If this works out it would be life-changing, but also industry changing. To make this work practically, these mobile devices would propel mobile storage expectations to 256GB easily, and mobile RAM expectations to 4-8GB minimum. It would be like having a PC stick with you at all times, only with a screen attached, and then the ability to add a bigger screen when needed. It really fulfills the final bits of "the dream" of a ubiqutous PC environment. And with USB-C having the bandwidth to handle monitors, a "mobile PC", a 4-port USB-C hub, and peripherals could be enough for most people. Live day to day on the small screen, plug into the big screen on those occasions when you are working (writing a letter, doing taxes) or watching movies. Truly an inspired vision, if MS can pull it off.
  • @ArtForm (love your avatar by the way -- I was a huge webOS supporter, before HP killed it and I moved to Windows Phone. Saw the Pre at at CES months before release and fell in love with it and switched to Sprint on launch day. On the other hand, that's now 2 mobile OSs that I liked and then failed in the marketplace, maybe I'm bad luck), I agree with you in general, but think one problem with that vision is the cables -- I don't think people are willing to carry cables. There are many applications that don't require cables (e.g., touchdown stations for roaming enterprise users), but for mainstream use, which I believe is the ultimate goal, I think something that's functional without add-ons is important. A phone fits that bill -- we have demonstrated we don't need big screen to enjoy apps on our phones. Also, the patennt filings we've seen with foldable devices could also get there, so it fits in your pocket, but also opens up to have a screen the size of a small laptop.
  • why did the pocket pc died? because it tried to be something it is not. i just hope that microsoft has things figured out or risk another photon.
  • I think the Pocket PC (and Palm Pilot) died because those features ended up on devices that were connected.
  • Full PC with Phone, UWP and Android apps, and an all day long battery. I'd buy that even if it cost $1k maybe more.
  • This article is terrible. How on God's green earth is an ultramobile PC going to challenge the Samsung G8 or the 10 year anniversary iPhone? Are you kidding me? MS only hope is to create a Surface phone set of devices that mimic what Samsung does with there Galaxy devices. The price points need to be approximately: $150, $300, $500 and then whatever you can bilk from people that have too much money.
  • Please reread the article, its not meant to challenge smartphones. I explicitly state that. :-)
  • If it makes calls and fits in your pocket it is competing with smartphones no matter what Microsoft calls it. The Galaxy S8 sounds quite a bit like what Microsoft would call an ultramobile PC anyways. It is competing with smartphones no matter what.
  • My point is it is not a direct positioning against smartphones as woreeoe suggests. If someone buys the device because they find the appeal of the "Surface Book" lap dock - laptop positioning that I suggest in my piece that Microsoft lead with, then the direct marketing positioning is as a laptop or PC. But because what appealed to the buyer, and for which they bought it for is just a shell (given full Windows 10 PC functionality) as it is powered via Continuum by an ultramobile PC that resides in the base of the device(but can be ejected for independent use, then yes, it competes then when with minitablets (as it can be unfolded) and phones (since via e-sim) it can make calls. I make these points in the sections Evolving a concept and Microsoft's Trojan phone. Those points are the premise of the piece where the positioning of the device in the laptop/2-in-1 space appeals to a consumers motivation to buy for the reasons they would buy a PC/laptop or 2-in-1 which IDC shows consumers want. The strategy is that though they bought it for one reason, the benefits that are now, category defining phone hardware slowly begins permeating the market while MS works hard...very hard to get its ecosystem in order. At which a future point, Microsoft will be appeal to appeal to users touting (a hopefully improved ecosystem) with "phone" hardware they will have bought, motivated by the PC based marketing. This way Microsoft is selling phones to consumers who are shopping for and "buying" PCs. Ideally the looooong vision is that as this category matures the incredible will happen and Microsoft's ecosystem will have much greater appeal and people will simply want a Windows ultramobile PC because not only does it appeal for the PC aspects but the mobile apps are there. But if Microsoft an get these pocketable devices in peoples hands via PC/laptop marketing - they will be doing what they aren't doing now - getting the devices into peoples hands. :-)
  • Sounds like it competes directly with the GS8. A smartphone that doubles as a PC. I guess it would at least, if it wasn't a hypothetical device. A folding device like you describe is years away and who knows how long before they are actually viable. Will Microsoft be able to get that technology from LG and have it available as quickly as Samsung will? Samsung is rumored to start selling a foldable Galaxy X in limited quantities by the end of the year, but according to their engineers, it won't really be ready for mainstream adoption until 2019. Microsoft needs something now. Allowing such strong competitors a headstart is a big mistake.
  • Not really. People buy smartphones for one set of reasons and PCs for a different set of reasons. A person looking to buy a PC won't likely forgo that purchase in favor of a GS8 with it's limited "desktop" apps and PC-like functionality compared to a PC. A person seeking to buy a smartphone (for all of the mobile platform benefits that are common to mobile platforms), may not likely be motivated to by the type of composite device I presented. Both of these audiences are looking for two different things - either a true PC or a true smartphone. Now with what I present, the motive is to address a problem that Microsoft has not yet figured out - How to get, category-defining Windows-based "phone" hardware into peoples hand. With my scenario, that audience that wants a laptop/2-in-1, and which the data how are selling and are projected to continue selling well, - they get a smartphone included as part of the package. Microsoft will be getting hardware in the market while they get its ecosystem up to parmdriven by PC demand rather than waiting and hoping for a strong ecosystem to become the motivating factor that gets "phone" hardware into users hands. Users may not even use the eSIM phone capabilites, right away unwilling to give up thier iPhones or Android phones. Or they may, activate the capabilities as a back up phone. But the point is what I'm proposing Microsoft could effectively sell "phones" to people that are not demanding "phones" but PCs. The S8 is a sweet device. I would buy one, and an iPhone 7 and a host of other tech if I had the cash, to add to my preferred tech and daily drivers which are Windows phones. Anyway I agree that MS is chronically too slow thats why I wrote the piece, What if Samsung beats Microsoft to market with an ultimate mobile device?" I have some misgivings about practical application regarding AR as well though MS was first with the holoLens, thats why I wrote Apple may be building augmented reality glasses; Should Microsoft worry? So whatever Microsoft is doing, I'm with everyone else here, that it needed to do it yesterday.
  • Jason - you are thinking about what could be and the naysayers believe that the status quo is really the static quo...they think because Apple and Google are on top now, that this is how it will be.  They will speculate about every hurdle when NONE of us know what they are doing behind their secret doors.  They will tell you that everything is YEARS away.  They will tell you that what buyers don't have now, they won't want.  They say these things because if fits their pre-determined narrative.  When you suggest that the future has potential for something different, you get called "delusional" or a "fanboy".  I'm not sure that it's worth your time fighting with the unreasonables. 
  • Is the Samsung Gear S3 competing with smartphones? It fits in your pocket and makes calls.    Any phone whose intention is to directly "challenge" the iPhone or Galaxy S head on in the consumer market is doomed to failure. Ask every other phone manufacturer. The goal should be to either disrupt or co-opt the industry. Co-opting the industry would be like creating a companion device for iPhone/Galaxy that replaces a lot of their functionality in a much more useful package. Samsung's Tizen OS powered Gear S3 is attempting to co-opt the Android phone makert. Disrupting would be something like a cellular HoloLens that makes smartphones feel archaic and obsolete. Disruption could also be creating a hybrid device category that expands the functionality of the existing one enough to erode consumer satisfaction. See Microsoft Surface/2-in-1 tablets. 
  • Get the apps there and windows phone will perform.  Witht he UWP platform, MS needs to work with developers to get the apps on PC first and then the app problems fixes itself on mobile.  
  • Hi Jason, Nice article as usual. Well thought out and written. I however have to disagree with you. The problem with Microsoft IMO is threefold: 1. Leadership: the leadership failed to recognize the impact and significance of smart phones. Even after buying Nokia they proceeded make unforced errors: they erased a well-established brand name Nokia – longer in tradition than Microsoft and got rid of elements that made the phones special and standout (funky colours, arguably the best camera tech in the industry and HERE maps to mention a few). HERE maps are now owned by Audi, Mercedes Benz and BMW. The failure to get HERE maps showed that management did not know the popularity of the app and in the process killed any chance Windows Automotive might have had against Apple carplay and Android Auto. They also killed a first gen Nokia smart watch (admittedly smart watches did not catch on quickly and were initially rather redundant but as manufactures have produced second and third gen watches that do more and are more useful) and are now buying Casino patents for a smart watch? Once again, an unforced error is forcing Microsoft is playing catch up. Which is also rather dumbs since smart watches and other wearables augment a mobile which Microsoft appears to be killing off. The leadership’s lack of foresight is staggering. If it stays the way it is it will basically frustrate the best of efforts and products. 2. Timing: The best of products miss the mark or are ignored because the timing was wrong. Being too early is just as bad as being too late as Microsoft is busy finding out the hard way. Smart phones still have some time left. The screen is too small to be used as a computer. I might be wrong. Time will tell. The surface 4 pro was the right call at the right time just as Microsoft was being pushed off that sphere as well. It as a well-timed and calculated play. Now all other manufactures are copying Microsoft and if they are not careful they might be displaced. Lenovo and Samsung both have products that could rival the surface pro 4 at better prices. This brings me the final facet. 3. Pricing. Microsoft stuff is on the higher side. If they insist on competing with Apple now they will lose. A Lexus may now costs more than a Mercedes but it took time, exceptional customer service and extremely well engineered products. Apple has Microsoft beat on the customer service and in terms of engineering it is getting there. If Microsoft stays in character they will over price it. It is best to price something right. If not, it’s better to underprice and over engineer than the opposite. That’s my two cents.
  • Well, an update my 950 got earlier this week said it was for "arm based windows phones"... which did seem strange to me...
  • I  must admit I was hopeless when I saw Microsoft marketing the S8. There is a small thing (well, maybe not as small as it could be) you've missed and I think you should have in mind is that Microsoft recently pushed a build for mobile insiders on the fast ring and that it was named "Windows 10 Build .138 for phone based ARM devices". That is the moment when I regained some hope. I hope MS won't disappoint me with RS3 features. 
  • MS's Achilles heel is not willing to take on an up hill fight. There mobile devices were gaining ground outside of the US. They seem to only care about one market. Low end devices will draw devs because of market share. Also, low end android devices have been proven to have malware on them. One attack angle not taken. Sometimes you have to start small.
  • Low end devices do not draw developers. Buyers of low end, cheap devices do not have the money to pay developers for their work. It is simple. Windows phone was not growing. A small percentage of a tiny market selling the cheapest phone possible doesn't satisfy anyone, especially a company the size of Microsoft.
  • How many of these apps cost anything?  The main apps Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. are FREE.  It's just a volume number of users game for the developers. People of all income levels have bank accounta and can use the apps.  People of all income levels shop on Amazon.  I'm not sure why you copy/paste this argument whenever possible as if you speak for the motivations of all developers. 
  • Low user base...no advertising income.  
  • The point being made was the value of lower income customers. The "low" user base is still millions of people and nowhere near "no" advertising income.
  • So you think millions of low income users sounds better to developers than billions of low, mid and high income users? Did I read that right? Who cares about millions when you can just as easily access billions?
  • No. You rarely read without reading INTO it what you want to see.  I was responding to your retort that you THINK all Windows users are low income.  My point was simply that most of these apps are free and no, I don't think developers of free apps care about the income level of users. I never suggested that one trade in the "billions" for the millions.  First of all, no legitimate business turns down the change to add millions to their target market, regardless of the current user base.  Second, visibility is also an issue. In a crowded Store, many, many, MANY apps fail and drift off into oblivion.  In that regard, you can't "easily" reach billions of users.  
  • I guess if you are a dwarf you don't mind living in a house with low ceilings.
  • I guess clever quips aren't always as clever or as on-target as one might think.
  • Fanboys don't get it bleached....might as well try to stop.  Its like cheering for the toronto maple leafs.  
  • In another example of what has been isn't always going to be, the Maple Leafs made the playoffs and the Detroit Red Wings after a 25 (or 26) year run, did not make the playoffs. I'm not sure what your insult criteria is for a "fanboy", but I can assure you that I am not.  I just don't go for the hyperbolic obsession you have with bashing.
  • Its not worth the effort for the millions when the billions are already there! Have been there before windows phone was at it's peak,  and will be there after windows mobile fails...oh wait....right!
  • Like I said.  Just because there are billions of users in an ecosystem doesn't mean that a developer can reach them.  Many more multiples of apps fail than succeed in those Stores. 
  • Do you think developers should target Linux instead of Windows or Mac? It will be easier to get recognized.
  • I think you think you dropped the mic here. Linux is where I first heard about GIMP and OpenOffice. They made names for themselves there and are found on Windows machines, now. So yes, there are scenarios where it makes sense. Fhotoroom started on WinMob and is now also on Android and iOS, for example. They got a lot of pub on sites like this one. An upstart like that on the other two platforms likely would have faded to the background. For established businesses like banks, an app is a lot cheaper to build/maintain than a branch and serves more people. Im sure that's why customer service leader USAA keeps a nice app across platforms.
  • This!
  • The problem is, because Apple and other manufacturers are finding ways to accomodate hardware shortcomings with application capabilities, Microsoft lost out on all of this by ignoring consumers.  It's easier to convince someone that an app might alleviate use issues as they are free and/or inexpensive.  Trying to convince someone that they need another piece of hardware to replace another piece of hardware is extremely difficult. Microsoft has already lost out on almost all possilibites.  They've lost the developer angle, they lost the app angle, they lost the loyalty angle, etc.  The only hand they have left to play is the "ultimate device" hardware angle.  But even if that is released, there is then the hurdle of accomodating desktop applications on a mobile device - this will start everything all over again.  The irony being that generally, people are trying to get AWAY from the work/enterprise/desktop experiece when using a mobile device.  We want efficiency and ease.  They knew and started down this path with W7 and have slowly dug themselves back into their comfort zone...which is bad for all of us. To tell me that continuum is the future is absurd.  Don't tell me I need to buy an expensive phone to "replace my computer" when a USB device can do the same thing. After the thousands of articles, and the millions of words, and the in-depth conversations and diatribe it really is rather simple.  Release a Surface Phone that is highly integrated into Xbox Live.  I know there is an Xbox app but release 1st party applications and games on it.  People would love it.  I know a lot of people hate games, etc. but this would bring developers and bring some brand recognition to their device.  If, after this, they want to act like they want to save the world and turn us all into creators and give everyone on earth access to Windows then do it!  But stop acting like you are trying to fix everything when you are doing nothing for your average consumer.
  • If Microsoft abandons W10M then i am sure surface phone wont be a success. No one wants a company who abandon their customers just because it has small market. I know what will happen, If Microsoft stops support for W10M and then release Surface Phone, all will just wait for a while and Android or Samsung will bring something competitive. It might not be better than Microsoft's version but as usual Android's version will be better choice looking at Microsoft's record about abandoning users. Then Microsoft's version will be all about security which Enterprise will only be intrested.
    Another reason why surface phone wont be a big success will be because of the availability of it. By the time surface phone releases all over the world, someone else would have done something better. In that way, Microsoft has to make their Surface brand like Apple.
  • If nothing else, Jason, I have to admire your continued optimism, even if that stance has forced you into multiple phases of re-entrenchment over the years when the predicted bright signs of positive change have failed to emerge. :)
  • MS needs to play to their strength. They are the only group who isn't seeing tablet sales tank or stagnate. They need a smaller tablet with all the features of a phone but isn't a phone and the feature that made Surface the brand to mimic (hello Samsung and Apple). Figure 6-8 inches, excellent build quality (Vapor Mg casing), Surface Pen compatibility (W10 Creator and forward are about inking), USB-C (allowing wired docking, they already have the peripheral), and C shell. Give it an eSIM and let people use it as a phone. Or just give me the fold out version. I would easily trade in a smartphone and my Surface 3 for a device like this.
  • Finally, a real assessment of what the future we've been anxiously waiting for described in an acceptable manner! Let's review the pieces: Windows Phone/10 mobile: superior OS, but late to market. Windows Phone (past) > Windows 10 Mobile (present) > Windows 10 Cloud (near future) Surface: market defining brand, bringing the next level to pcs.  Apps: MS Office and x32 apps: Productivity apps, how real work gets done Apps: UWP: still evolving (like mobile apps with growing potential (especially with the desktop bridge)) Internet access and E-Sims: Crucial to connectivity, IMHO the most critical component to mobile computing/ vendor neutral cellular access - no more GSM VS CDMA? ARM: low power, instant on, always connected and now able to run (emulate) and recompile desktop apps to run on it instead of Intel. Foldable pc: the new Personal in personal computing, Inking support: highlight pdfs and docs on the go, sketch on the train, annotate powerpoint... Continuuim: Work from a smaller device to a larger work environment Windows 10 "Cloud": Low to no cost entry OS runs natively, upgradable to full 10 (useful for Continuum) Equals Surface PocketBook: A foldable PC that fits in your pocket with always on (ARM, like smart phones), always connected (Bluetooth, wifi) using UWP natively, but full versions when docked making this the ultimate PC. 2 screens, full inking support - think advanced version of Courier with premium build quality (maybe lower for entry level versions), support for MR (maybe, not necessary): Entry level ARM, 32GB eMMC, 2GB-4GB; Business ARM 64-512GB SSD, 4GB-16GB; Overload: ARM, 128-2TB SSD, 8GB-32B - all with phone capabilities since they're ARM and e-SIM cellular capable, USB-type C, wireless chargng and connectivity. AD secure, OS secure, work anywhere!  Imagine: The same 5 - 6 diagonal phone size that fits in your pocket that opens into a 7.5 diagonal dual screen but with a 3:2 aspect ratio that charges quickly, you can draw on with precision, use uwp consumable apps with light editing and get ideas down. When you dock, your work is there and you keep going, on the full version of the software! Coming October 2017? Finally???? Please???  
  • I don't care, coz that device is gonna take too many years to get mainstream.For now I want a smartphone with best in its class camera with a solid design(non-iphoney or androidish).
    Basically just release the older Nokia Lumias with upgraded specs that'll keep the fans more than happy, our own market share(not booming numbers but still significant) and you can peacefully work on your dream device
  • This is to keep the ecosystem alive
  • Yes, an upgraded lumia 1520 would be nice👍
  • Exactly. But they never going to think at ground level.
  • agree fully.
  • MS needs to offer immediately compelling choices and accept that the best form of computing is the one people are familiar and comfortable with.
    There aren't enough of mature differentiating elements to make Microsoft's foldable phone/PC mind-blowing and change user behaviours accordingly IMO.
    3D. MR, AI assistants, etc., are still quite nascent and MS doesn't control content in the areas. Besides, the competition is cutting the edge constantly in these same areas and not allowing MS to take their time.
  • few days ago I read that LG aims to bring foldable oled screens in 5 years. I don't think Microsoft can pull off a good looking foldable screen right now.
  • they weren't able to ad multi window support to continuum adn we expect them to deliver a foldable, good looking, bug free device? :)))
  • Haha:(
  • Yeah... put your surface book to your ears and make a phone call.
  • Exactly! And can you put it in you pocket. That just shows how out of touch they are. My 9 year old desktop is running the lastest Windows Insider build, but they don't make it a Surface...smh
  • Currently, thinking and writing about W10M and Windows Phones 
    appears to be somewhat akin to astrology.  It at times is entertaining to read and to discuss, 
    and somehow it does seem to make good sense, 
    but at the end of the day life does unfold quite differently.  Which does not keep anyone from reading a horoscope :-) :    
  • ^ This!! So true.
  • I would approach the mobile market from 4 different angles. 2 consumer and 2 enterprise.   Product #1: Smart Companion with Cortana integration A consumer smartwatch that folds out into a smartphone. Similar to Samsung Galaxy Gear this smartwatch has cellular connectivity and can work with any Android/iOS smartphone or as it's own Windows smartphone. Design style is similar to the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse. This folding smartwatch also acts as a bluetooth mouse for any PC and charges on a wireless charging mouse pad. It can also function as a universal remote for you Xbox/TV and as a motion controller for HoloLens. What I like about this smartwatch device is that it is equally a stand alone phone and a companion device for all of your computers (Phone, PC, Xbox, HoloLens).  Product #2: Folding Phone with Performance Base A smartphone that replaces your tablet and laptop. This is the folding tablet pictured above running both UWP and Win32 programs. My twist is that similar to the Surface Book it has a Performance Base that you plug the tablet into which transforms the devices into a business ready laptop. Now your phone is your tablet is your laptop.  Product #3: Hololens Mobile ARM-based Hololens with small discrete form factor with cellular connectivity. Design style is similar to sunglasses.   Product #4: Hololens Pro Intel Core m-based Hololens focused on enterprise production and gaming. This device is obviously larger and intended exclusively for indoor usage.      
  • HoloLens Pro could also have a wire that connects to a belt around your waist containing the battery, CPU, GPU. 
  • microsoft had the best mobile os (wp8.1) also the best mobile phone company (nokia)  and yet they made the same mistakes... the whole desktop, mobile, xbox merge was a failure and will always be... a desktop is a desktop and dont need apps even the developers dont bother because none uses them.win32 version of skype is far more usable than the uwp app the same with vlc and many more apps.... who will bother to use them?  most of people are using the web browser.... although the situation maybe was different if windows store had better apps but in any case none using them because of the ecosystem of win 10 wich was redesigned as a desktop OS. its not android or ios. windows phone was desperate for apps.... but after so many os reboot even the few developers flew away. to my poor opinion a mobile device with full windows 10 will be unusable because its not mobile... remember windows RT? it wasnt designed for mobile either.... even if it had native win32 support it wiil still be a failure. you cannot operate it without a mouse and keyboard.... ask your self ,will you manage to run a win32 app of vlc or skype in your phone? not without a mouse... so a mobile os must be different !! that is my opinion. they need to seperate those operating systems. just consider how many pc users still using windows 7!
  • I'm thinking an Xbox Live angle (mentioned by someone else in the comments) in addition to the bridging of smartphone, tablet, and laptop, Gamers will always buy new devices, and many of them are interested in mobile (on-the-move) gaming as represented by Nintendo Switch, retro Gameboy-like handhelds, and I've even heard someone ask for an "Xbox mini" (with exclusive indie and lite exclusive games), Microsoft is good at productivity software, living-room console gaming (Xbox), communications services (Skype), and they have a knack for cool hardware (Surface, Dial, Band, etc). Imagine an "ultra -mobile" (foldable) ARM device that sits below Surface tablets, simultaneously challenging Nintendo Switch for gaming, obliterating the smaller Android and iPad tablets (more productive and better for gaming), and imagine a whole ecosystem of peripherals ("lapdock"; mini-controllers for gaming on the move; mini keyboard; of course pen; etc.) at launch. All that would remain are the Xbox game titles, apps (first- and third-party), marketing blitz, etc. They can also have variants of the device like the "Surface Phone"and the "X-Phone" (higher GPU fur gaming). Like I've said somewhere before "productivity" is a mantra for enterprise. We need another catchphrase for the consumer - a lifestyle thing, that marketing can get behind.
  • A phone like the Note 7 with stylus, dual SIM, expandable storage, wireless charging, Windows 10 with Continuum would be perfect. But let's wait 200years for the ultramobile- surface -phone-pc-foldable-nadella-device.
  • Your articles are getting boring and lacking the meaningful sense and you are being very dilusional recently.  You wrote very very long articles about Wharthonbooks and extensively overrated them and their campaign. Yet, they couldn't reach even to 2% of their target.  I really enjoy the most realistic and logical articles of Daniel Rubino.  Thanks anyway, and please focus more on real issues related to this site. Good luck!
  • Thanks for reading John. Please revist the WB articles where I tell their story, history, plans, goals. I don't believe I stated what they **would** absolutely achieve in ways of success. For quite a while I've shared that succeed or fail, though I want them to succeed, the story is worth being told. So Microsoft's Mobile strategy and potential marketing opportunity are relevant for this site asbis the Story of of a Windows phone OEM. Thanks
  • you still refuse to believe that u played a part in overhyping whartonbrooks, which will be one of the reason they fail, if they do fail. In your article related to MS and WP you still mention them as if they are some significant OEM.
  • I mention them as what they are, a company that has gone through the legitimate and Microsoft prescribed steps to become an OEM partner. As such, when I mention OEM partners I often also mention them. Now if you'd like you can parallel my stories to thier own podcasts found on sound cloud and other publicly available information from which I drew data as well as my interviews, and other communications with Greg to bring information to the community which many may not have been aware of. Granted I am optimistic in my presentation, but I make no absolute guarantees of success.
  • optimistic is different from overhyping.
  • A full series of articles on the WB Life is more than optimistic.  One stating they were "building" an out of date phone would have been fine.  
  • Very wordy rehash. Lots of already discussed tech. C'mon, Jason. Get past the quota. Dig down.
  • An "e SIM" device? Good luck with this in any other country but the US. No other country does e SIM's, it needs to take a regular carrier SIM for world adoption.
  • Wow how far have things progressed when the first surface pro Tablet came out Microsoft got slammed by doubters The Microsoft  proffessionals kept working on it and got things right with the Surface Pro 3 tablet/Laptop Hybrid. Now JD powers says The Microsoft 2 in 1 devices have a higher satisfaction than Apple Ipads or Android tablets. Microsoft is rumored to soon introduce a Standard design non removable screen laptop computer. the big question is what will be it's operating system. full Windows 10 desktop PC OS, or Windows 10 mobile or TADA the light weight Windows 10 cloud operating system in less than a month  we will see which OS it USES
  • I "foldable" phone, tablet, PC, whatever you want to call it is the last thing I want.
    Give me a powerful W10 Surface branded and form factor phone device with the best possible specs right now.
    A single slab device is what I want!
  • Completely disagree with all of this.1st off, show me 1 company that decided to get cute with the naming of their device and actually had success. Doesn't happen. If they market this as a PC, people will just look at it and say "if I wanted a computer I would buy a computer" They will also get the impression that it will be more complicated than a smartphone and that will scare people off. I talk to people about this stuff all the time and they all say the same thing. They don't want to have to worry about Windows PC type stuff on their phone. It needs to be marketed as a phone that can take the place of your tablet. Then show everyone how much more this "phone" can do than any other phone. Secondly, Phones aren't MS's weakness. Marketing, commitment and submissivness to their board and shareholders is their weakness. That and the fact that they have a CEO who isn't interested in the consumer space. They don't need to focus on their strengths, they need to change what their strengths are. Third. Tell Google and Apple that consumers don't want phones. As I said, I know 11 people with WIndows phones, every single 1 of them said they have zero interest in what you are describing. People want phones with apps. That's it. The other issue is the fact that as you said, this is still far away from happening. And that's the biggest problem. By the time they release anything it will be at best 3 years after their last mobile device. I have never seen a company take so long to do everything. Even the whole smartphone thing with everyone saying there wasn't any point in releasing a smartphone until they had their new OS ready. Absolutely absurd. That would be like Ford saying their not going to release any new cars until they can come up with a new type of engine. See how long that works for them.
  • Agree,  ppl needing a PC have a PC, the ones who dont, dont need it, their Iphones and Androids have the apps needed to do basic computing stuff. Why do we dream of X86 applications on mobile, coz we dont have the apps.
  • Very good points there.Why on earth would anyone, business or consumer, spend a fortune on an underpowered pocket pc with ZERO mobile apps when they can get a decent ultrabook with full windows and amidrange android or an iphone with some extra cash? MS and fanboys here once again live in a fantasy world.HP X3 was DOA, continuum in the current form was DOA.
  • At this point, I have almost no confidence that the can execute any strategy in regards to "mobile" anything.
  • http://www.thisisinsider.com/steve-jobs-reading-list-favorite-books-2014...
  • ًto late..unless new management take over
  • If I made a Prediction I think Microsot will sell a small Dual screen Tablet. The question is will it use an ARMS CPU or an Intel CPU. if it uses an Intel CPU then it could just be an upgraded Surface Mini Tablet running Full Windows 10 instead of Windows RT. HOWEVER if this dual screen Tablet uses an ARMS CPU things can get very interesting. It could run the  Windows 10 mobile OS and run Windows 10 on ARMS CPU x86 emulation sotware which will enable this device to run some -FULL DESKTOP PC WIN 32 PROGRAMS- TURNING THIS DUAL SCREEN TABLET INTO A TRUE SMARTPHONE / TABLET HYBRID. This device wont appeal to everyone but enough of them will be bought on a World wide basis to justify having them manufactured and sold by Microsoft   
  • first let MS sell them worldwide :P
  • These long winded pie in the sky posts aren't going to make a difference lol
  • I`ll just leave this here: http://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=PShy84TZ&id=8ACAAA2...
  • Wow thats ugly.
  • I agree it should be a full fledge PC, but with the characteristics of a phone - mobile, with a basis on location, and temporal considerations.
  • WhartonBrooks has plans for a vr headset and 4 other phones. They said they will ask the community to see which device they want to be released first. However, they will all be crowdfunded. They expect more backers for the current phone, "Murphy said that while the Indiegogo campaign is currently only funded to 2% of its target, "there's actually more promotion that we have coming", adding that he expects that number to go up in the coming weeks. He also said they originally planned to have a camera centric phone as a successor to the Lumia 1020 but that didn't happen as planned.
    This is the link to the article -https://www.neowin.net/news/whartonbrooks-shows-off-vr-headset-outlines-...
  • when? 
  • Sorry, but this is not a good article. A new device category with cell phone options in it is ok. Probably education/game based windows 10 device will be there with windows 10 mobile OS and some new UWP apps. That's all. So no need to make phantasies or waiting for mindblowing miracles.
  • Why would anyone want to buy this as a PC? I have a desktop at home already (and if someone didn't have a desktop, they're not likely to want a 1st generation under-powered ultra-mobile PC), and another at work. I have a laptop and a Surface Pro 3. What I don't have in my 950XL are the 100s of thousands of apps I can't get or use on my phone. An Ultra-mobile PC won't give me that either. What MS needs is a (whatever you wanna call it) that is either a MS version of Android or a WM10 phone that can somehow run Android apps. I'd buy it yesterday, but I don't need another PC, no matter how mobile it is.
  • Try to think 5 or 10 years from now when hardware has evolved even more and your setup might need a replacement ;)
  • And no one will buy it. Cut the crap already, users want mobile apps on their pocket size device, not win32 apps on a 6" screen...it's the same fantasy dreaming all over again. Same goes for businesses.
  • I disagree that smartphones are Microsoft's Achilles heel - Microsoft is Microsoft's Achilles heel. They have no one but themselves to blame for the current state of their share of the mobile market. That has got to be one of the biggest marketing blunders in modern tech. I firmly believe their decision to not allow Android apps to run on Windows 10 Mobile put the final nail in the coffin. I would be typing this comment on an HP Elite x3 right now, instead of my Galaxy Note Edge, were some of the apps I need available on Windows 10 Mobile. I also don't want a small screen device that can run PC programs - I want a smartphone with a 5.5-6" screen that has apps. I have a laptop for running PC programs. If the smartphone can connect to a monitor, or even a laptop "shell" (like the Motorola Atrix did - wasn't that the phone?), and run PC programs, then cool (Continuum?)!
  • THIS!!!  App gap is real, letting andriod apps run is a bridge to native implimentations.  Windows could have been the best Android device, this is a far better option than an MS badged Galaxy or full on MS Android.  MS also needs to stop arbitrarily cutting off old phones to updates.  They shouldn't go out of thier way to support old chipsets if it somehow degrades the experience on current or future chipsets, but don't just stop support because a chipset is 3 years old, it hurts the userbase and fans.
  • If you want Android apps then just buy an Android phone. Why buy a Windows phone to run Android apps? What is the point?
  • You mean the super duper secret "HoloPhone"? ;-)
  • Windows 10 Mobile is dead.. can we accept that on these days? Because:
    Windows 10 + Windows 10 Mobile = Windows OS
    Desktops, laptops, tablets, cell phones & hybrids will merged into a single OS
    To be simply called Windows thru Windows On Arm (WOA) via CShell and
    Continuum, care of preliminary Arm supplier Qualcomm..
    Preliminary because once this Ultimate Mobile PC get revealed and launched,
    It will be supported not only by Qualcomm but also by other suppliers like
    AMD & NVidia with their own Arm units..
    It will also be supported by other OEM partners for their own modifications
    Based on their own requirements.. it is their OEM partners who will saturated
    The market for consumers just like today's 2-in-1 ..
    Leave the Microsoft to the enterprise and business sectors..
    Let the OEM partners to the consumer sectors..
  • Let Microsoft Builds it first ...
  • As I prepare to type this response, I did a quick CTRL + F to find 6 instances that thought the way I did about allowing the operation of Android Apps on a Windows 10 PC that happens to be "mobile". It needs an eSIM as mentioned, a real SIM, and an LTE radio that will be part of a Snapdragon chip that powers this. When the device is essentially a phone, allow Android apps to run; when the device is a PC, depreciate these same apps as they will be used less. Since the technologies that comprise CSHELL, Continuum, and UWP are already in place, the technical part of this is possible. May not agree with marketing because Android apps have an element of Google inside of them that MS may not want to promote or even enable.
  • Maybe the other way round could be the solution for the UWP platform... Bring uwp to android and ios. That might bring developers to THE true UNIVERSAL app platform
  • They should do BOTH.  Keep strengthening UWP and bring it to other platforms like iOS, MacOS, Linux, Android, ect.  Allow Android apps to run on Windows unmodified.  Also build a hardware ecosystem to target tv with low cost devices, Alexa competators, In car infotainments systems, Home Automation, etc...  Keep targeting niches, eventually UWP matters not becuase of the depth of any one niche but because the breadth. Then it becomes the natural target for developers vs Java for android or iOS.  One Code base, a million platforms.
  • The crucial part is "connect to other pcs (and screens) via continuum". It is probably very important to show the advantages of continuum without you having to buy new peripherals like screens, mice and keyboards.
  • But for now when I need a phone, I have to get either an Android or iOS device. Old WP (hardware) dead and there is no option to get a new one. Nokia was churning out WP hardware and that allowed people to get a new hardware when they needed one, with the great "RETRENCHMENT" stratagey what's availbale now ? A two year old Lumia 950/950XL which is not available on most retailers or a low end 650.  Dona's Surface Book could make great phone calls that is awesome but my new 2-in-1 Dell Inspiron can't, even my ThinkPad X260 is not able to do it. All this "People want PC" is not for everyone, when I am on PC, I don't use "APPS" for that there is browser. Not everyone wants a PC making phone calls, for me I want a phone which works when I need it to make phone calls, not one which hangs, freezes and requires to hard reset to open a simple twitter or facebook app.  This first gen "Surface Phone" or the B52 BOMBER from Microsoft most probably would be sold as US only coz the WP did so well in the mobile hardware in the US with people flocking the stores to get their hands on WP. It was outside US that the OS was beaten, in coutries from Europe and Asia where it even touched and crossed 10%, those were the areas where WP lost and that's why the new B52 BOMBER from Microrost should sell as US exclusive, once they takeover the sales of refurbished iPhone 6 in the US then only they should focus on other market areas. That would be a good "RETRENCHMENT" way to win back the users.
  • There won't be a surface phone unless Microsoft says so!
  • I dont realy know what to expect. Microsoft have failed in mobile. And I would argue that even UWP apps in general is a failure. And I dont know how Microsoft plans will be in the future? In any case we will probably find out soon in some event about the plans. I suspect Android will be the future strategy Microsoft apps in slightly forked android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 that will be sold in Microsoft stores.
  • It makes sense if it is marketed a pc first, that will be able to make phone calls. That way it sounds like microsoft is advancing the pc rather than coming out with a device that is competing with android or ios. This surface PC which can do telephony will be in a league of its own and not be compared to phones. That way they can after one year release windows light, which is the currently being developed windows 10 mobile
  • Mobile screen sizes are popular at the current 4 ~ 6" sizes as are mini tablets for personal use & entertainment but not for productivity apps. Gaining the ability to double screen sizes, could make it significantly more popular for working stiffs on the go. Current Surface and iPad with LTE aren't flying off selves because of tethering and let’s face it, nobody on this planet shorter than 10 feet tall would make a call with a 8”+ tablet in public. The sole idea of docking phones with USB type-C to larger screens hasn’t really taken off yet either. But folding tablets in half to fit in your pocket could very well be the 2in1 mobile workforce need and personal users want. We know Microsoft already has Windows 10 ARM for Phones and developing different ARM SKU. We also know, ARM devices have built-in cellular capabilities and how hard would it be to simply add the Phone app for those device in the Store? So the million dollar question remains, will Microsoft continue leaving hardware to OEM’s, will they continue producing small runs of its own premium devices and if so, will they add new a device(s) to that category other than the a Chromebook competitor?
  • It will be curious to see what Microsoft comes up with. The Surface line of products has been pretty good so far. So what type of  "game-changing" 6"+ device will Microsoft come up with for us to code for? What problems will it solve, what needs will it fill? They have a lot of ground to buy back from their disastrous foray into the mobile world. The good news is that smart phone/tablet business is pretty mature, stale even, ripe for a shake up. Google and Apple will be polishing up their new and improved, same old this year, so Microsoft does have an opportunity to generate interest in what it is doing.
  • Too many Android & iPhones out there already Too few Windows Store Apps Too many and too varying lots of older Lumias & Windows Phones for MS to re-fit with Win10Mobile... The answer IS to create a new category of device! This is no fanboy concept IMHO!
  • MS is seems to be driving themselves into a niche market. OS has long been underpinning of most computer usage but mobile is changing that. Mobile OS' on phones has outreached PC based OS driven by smartphone sales. Smartphone phone sales have been driven by marketing to consumers not 'enterprise'. Microsoft consistently does a lousy job of marketing to consumers (weak or little advertising). WP 7 was sweet in that it was intuitive, integrated apps, smooth, responsive with ease of use. Had MS done a better job of selling it they would have been able to build upon it.
    I still like my Lumia 950 but the excitement I had when I got my HTC Surround is gone.
    The hubris on MS's part that Windows is everywhere is it's greatest weakness.
    This maybe clichéd but they need to put their money where their mouth is.
  • These articles now seem more like fan concept, nice but far from reality.
  • My question: Why did Satya discontinue the $MMM or $B that was propping up the ~5% marketshare? Let's say, $1 billion /year cost to keep that 4-5% marketshare, using traditional tactics of 4+ lumias released every year to all big cell carriers. That is 100 million users, for a fairly low price of $1 billion. This is a strategic retreat, not a defeat. Microsoft is deflating their mobile marketshare to 0%, seemingly on purpose. Maybe to replace traditional-style smartphones with another product/category? Probably.
  • I have to  agree with this article. I would think that a Mobile PC *** Mobile communication device is the way to go to head off the competition. As said the Mobile phone arena is filled with... Android! I would love a Mobile communicator the likes of  what is shown in Microsoft's patents. 
  • Well we started with the windows pocket pc and the OS had the telephone function added around windows mobile 6.1.  It seems we may be going back to the concept of a Pocket PC.  However many of the user base that remains want affordable options not expensive toys as with Android and IOS.  Of course the Surface Pocket PC will be too expensive for most until it is a few years old but lets make sure it can be emulated in a lower cost form.
  • Its the OS, stupid! MS does not have an OS to rival that of the leaders in any category. Reviews for Windows 10(not talking abou the fanbois) are luke warm at the best. OS10 needs polishing, devs will never come and the past 2 years since its release has shown it. WM10 is sadly a failure, till this day, almost 2 years after its release we are still trying to get bluetooth to work. Again, we understand MS is not a software company but put forward thigns people will anticipate "will work." I have yet to see any apps or even MS's own apps work with Continuim. While on paper it looks like, and we are waiting for those live tiles to actually become functional, Cortana has taken a step back. Things in MS seem to go backwards not progress.
  • Everyone who checks out my phone is extremely impressed by it. Buy then they buy another iPhone when the time comes. People are creatures of habit and that is why it has failed to go anywhere.
  • What do you expect them to say? "That looks kinda lame." Actions speak louder than words.
  • Whatever they develop I hope it's a tiered product that doesn't just cater to people with large incomes.  A model T worked great for Henry Ford.
  • Yes... Microsoft needs to start at the larger devices and work their way down. Windows 10 Mobile up isn't going to cut it. However, the author shrugs off the app issue as if the full Windows isn't going to hit that brick wall coming down in size... again. Microsoft entered the tablet market and it fail. It doesn't fail because of the 8" or 7" hardware. The iPad and Android devices  didn't own that space merely because of hardware. WinTel tablets didn't fail because of lack of LTE, ARM, battery life, etc. They failed because Windows as an OS fails on small devices. Under 10"...  it is too small to run Win32 apps (which have poor touch support on such small screens) and the Windows Store apps were too limited and poor. The Surface worked only because it is a large screen with a keyboard and trackpad. If Microsoft wants to come down in the mobile space... it is going to hit the same brick wall. Whether it makes a Surface Phone (some type of 5"-6" device running Windows and able to make phone calls) or a SurfaceMini (some 7"-8" device able with LTE/phone)... it has the same issue. No Win32 apps run on screens that small with touch and therefore the lack of apps will kill it.    
  • I think I've been reading your articles on and off, for over a year now at least from back when you started - back then perhaps 80% of commenters were in agreement - or at least underdstood your points. Now, I think 80% disagree, or you need to correct their interpretation of what you say, since it aint clear - and thats no surprise because it aint based on anything real. What you write about is not born out by any evidence of what Microsoft is doing or has done these past stagnant 3 years. You are just writing about what they might do, or could do, or just imagine if they did do, to get out of this hole they've dug for themselves. Well, anyone can do that cant they? We all here reading these articles can do that. My kids can do that. You are just making stuff up - making scenarios up, making hardware up, making evolutions and revolutions up. Its just not credible, because nothing backs it up - not now, as indeed not when you started this crusade. So Microsoft are re-trenching still? They are cutting back, re-grouping and coming up with a future that will change the face of mobile devices (which we should avoid calling 'phones' because that would just put the black cloud of Microsoft's failure into the sentence), and which all consumers will want, but dont know it yet - although if you stop and ask Joe in the street (try this tomorrow) he wont know what on earth you are talking about. Who is buying that Jason? No amount of hype about UWP or Win32 on mobile, or Continuum or ARM talk means anything to most consumers, or enterprise managers - I think people that read and write Tech all day forget that. I am a dev, and was a winphone/mobile dev for a while. You know what the promise of UWP meant to me in the end (yes I did develop with it)? Well, because Microsoft managed to move the goalposts for 5 years from Silverlight to UWP, with major Tech/API changes in between, as well as suck the life out of their hardware and butcher their OS, it meant nothing. They lost me ... and I can see they lost almost every dev too, and soon it will indeed be every consumer as well. And most people I know are sick of lackluster Win10 on Desktop, where Microsoft are supposedly strongest. Its that simple. When it looks like a spade and digs earth, what do you call it? Even if they pulled the rabbit out of the hat tomorrow and released something technically brilliant, it would not matter anymore, because the timing has gone and the world has moved on. Besides, we know that wont happen. They've made choices, have had terrible leadership, and are themselves lost. A tangeable case in point: someone there is pushing feature after feature, and has been for years now - and big features too, into Cortana instead of into the OS - where Cortana is available in only 6.6% of available regions, even after, what, 3 years? Thats 84% of users that could have used these features had they been targeted/localised properly, but instead cannot. Those are the actions of an unchallenged crazy person. When I compare Microsoft today with that which released Windows 3 back in around 1990, it is like chalk and cheese. New 'versions' of Windows now, be they 8, 10, AU, CU - are just a bunch of also rans - very boring and utterly underwhelming. Microsoft folk dont even sound excited themselves when presenting the new features. The company needs someone to come along, shout 'clear' and zap them with some voltage to bring them back to life. Or one day my kids will be, like: "Oh Microsoft! Yeah, I remember them." Remember how big DEC were in the 70s? Or Compaq in the 90s? It *is* possible to mess up big time, and Microsoft are doing a grand job. I think your obvious skill as a writer is simply wasted on this subject matter - I cannot understand why you are continuing on it - Microsoft do not deserve you. If you wrote about something that had grounding in reality (I will not say which tech/OS/company that could be) it would be so much more satisying, I am sure, for you and your readers alike. Happy Easter!
  • No no noooo!!! I need a windows phone i just cant live with android more, ive been using it 3weeks now, after i broke all my lumias and can't find in my country other, its been horifying the camera on my old lumia the performance, multi tasking, KEYBOARD, battery life, i miss holding a perfect phone, i mean i downloaded a couple apps that i miss on windows but i used then once!!! This app gap is stupid i need the perfect os back, plz tell me theres a new microsoft phone releasing!!!!
  •   This is interesting.  An article today in MSN News was referencing the number of peaple in each atate that use a cell phone only  and do not have a desktop, laptop, tablet, or 2 in 1 in addition to a cell phone.  The percentage is as low as ~27% in New Jersey to as high as 67% in Idaho.  Most states were up to close to 40 - 50% and rising.  I am sure that the reason for this in monitary, and most folks can not afford more than one device.  With this many people with cell phones only for computing and communication, it is imparative, for Mocrosoft to be viable in the  cell phone market with Windows 10.  Abandoning mobile would be crazy.
  • Hey Guys I really don't undrestand why some people stick with android or iOS , maybe the applications can be a good reason but in hardware and features the Lumia phone are much better and more advanced . Microsoft really need to step up the OS for mobile . I have been using Windows Mobile from the early days and it was ok and sometimes great . After the anniversary update the OS was destroyed and to this date many features such as VPN don't work properly .  I'm in fast ring and the updates microsoft is pushing out every week shows they are looking to have a market share and future in phone market . Also the concept of a Surface Phone and Windows 10 on Arm i believe is was will change the game for microsoft . As a techsavy guy and IT admin , i would love a phone that could run win32 applications . I'm not a fan of that type of folding device , because you are exposing the screen to scratches , but the whole idea is very intresting and beyond of anything Apple or Google can come up with . I really hope microsoft comes out with a new phone this year  and i'm sure if they go with windows 10 on ARM concept , their market share will improve .
  • What hardware and features are better on Lumia?! That is a crazy statement! Microsoft doesn't have the ability to create a folding screen. They will be the last ones with that technology. Samsung and LG will be the ones to create those devices.
  • First, when Iphone 7 came out the CPU was a Quad(4 cores), the Iphone 6 only had a Dual core CPU. The Lumia 950 XL which was released in 2015 around December came with an Octa Core CPU(that is 8 cores my friend and 3G or ram with an 4K HD video technology and a waaay better screen resolution than Iphone 6 and 7. Iphone 7 has 1080 x 1920 pixels and Lumia 950 XL has 1440 x 2560 pixels. Even the pixel density is waay better on the Lumia 950 XL with 515 ppi. Iphone 7 only has 401 ppi. The camera of the Lumia 950 XL is a 20 mp where the Iphone 7 only can muster a punny 12 mp. The Iphone 7(not Iphone 6) wins the front cam batte with 7 mp vs. 5 mp. Hence the Lumia 950 XL has a much better overall hardware specs than Iphone 7 has. Please notice that the Iphone came out later than the Lumia 950 XL so back then the Lumia 950 XL was actually even more high tech and advanced compared to the Iphone 6. Lumia 950 XL also has OneDrive(Iphones has the Iclod) AND sd card options. That SD card thing Iphones sadly don't have. Now regarding features then I must say that Lumia 950 phones with the Windows 10 mobile system is damn flexible in personalisation and its many features makes it a pure dream to use. The features and the hardware specs of the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL are just better than the Iphones. Period.   
  • Some of the hardware specs may be better on the L950, but the iPhone wasn't lacking either. The important part though, no one is going to pick up an iPhone 6 and a Lumia 950 and think the 950 is even in the same league. Cheap phones and toys are made out of plastic. iPhone wins the initial quality impression by a mile. Who even cares about specs in a phone that feels that cheap and has such terrible software? Megapixels don't matter. The 950 and iPhone both have great cameras. Megapixels do not make them great. SD cards suck. They are slow and unreliable. Windows phones are not customizable, certainly not more than iPhone. Arranging icons on the home screen and setting a background, that is it for either platform.
  • come on man get real. You are telling me that a dual core or a quad core CPU can outperform an Octa(8 cores) core CPU. You are also trying to tell me that a lower pixel density and lower screen resolution is better than the product with the higher pixel density and higher screen resolution because of a plastic shell... Then you even try to convince me that 20mp cam is not better than a 12mp cam. That is not realism. That is pure madness.   Much can be said but Microsoft's only failure here is the marketing and constant changing of the win 7, win 8 and win 10 phones. Not the quality of the product. Windows 10 mobiles are very good products and also very light thanks to the plastic shell.  
  • I would take an iPhone with the A8 before anything with the SD810. The SD810 might have been faster for multi-threaded tasks, but it was trash due to heat issues and throttling. Microsoft had to basically water-cool the L950 XL and still overheats! Would you prefer a Core i5 7600k or an AMD FX8320? Core count isn't everything. Megapixels only tell you the resolution of the photo, not the quality. The 20mpx L950 camera is great, but the 12mpx in the Galaxy S7 is better. Just look at the review from this website. Even they agree. The sensor and lense are much more important. I would prefer a high resolution​ panel, but the displays in the iPhone are still really high quality and have not been an issue. They sell just fine. For the average consumer, the Fisher Price materials with high end prices of the L950 are a much bigger issue. An iPhone absolutely destroys the L950 in first hardware impressions. Marketing isn't Microsoft's issue. They pushed WP7 and WP8 really hard and spent tons of money on marketing them. Poor strategy and mediocre products is the real issue with Windows phone. No amount of marketing will make up for a poor product.
  • MS has failed in the mobile market.  While it's very successful in the PC Market,  its a shrinking market, with declining sales, year after year.  MS realized Win32 apps, while necessary today, aren't the future,  so they created Windows 8 and the Windows Store.   UWP is a dumpster fire right now,  solely because MS can't convince developers to create apps for the Windows Store.  No Surface phone or Pocket PC will help that cause.   Although an inexpensive Hololens with a larger FOV may. 
  • Just give me a damn surface tablet about 6 inch or 7 inch it folds with .Exe app support, amazing camera, battery life, and banging PC like hardware and this thing would outsell for years. I could slap things BlueStacks on there for Android apps
    Just a dream though
  • I don't see how making it a tiny pc would help. We'd still have another app gap situation, since there aren't x86 PC versions of every popular app. And just like with Windows Phone 10 and UWP already, developers don't have much reason to make them.  I don't think you'll be impressing very many kids with being able to run real Excel.
  • The phone business is heavily influenced by the telcos of the world.  If they do not approve your phone for use on their network, or simply refuse to put it in their catelogue of available phones then as a manufacturer you are going to lose.  This has historically been a big problem for Microsoft who have had a hard time convincing telcos to support their phones.  So by releasing a very small mobile device that can be distributed via the well established IT channel Microsoft can totally by pass the telco roadblock.  Bring it on.