Microsoft working on a "breakthrough" smartphone, strongly hints that it's the Surface Phone

By midian182 ยท 20 replies
Dec 29, 2015
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  1. Microsoft’s past performance in the smartphone market hasn’t been particularly impressive. Windows phones made up only 2.6 percent of the worldwide smartphone OS market in the second quarter of 2015, a decline from 3.4 percent in 2013. But now, the Redmond company has confirmed that is working on something that may turn its smartphone fortunes around.

    Speaking during an episode of This Week in Tech’s Windows Weekly podcast, Microsoft executive vice president and chief marketing officer Chris Capossela revealed that the company is working on a “breakthrough” new smartphone – and it’s not a going to be another Lumia.

    While Capossela didn't specifically say the new device will be the long-rumored Surface Phone, he did strongly hint at it. “With Surface we had a bunch of early misfires, but that notion of a tablet that could replace your laptop. That notion of saying, Hey, Apple wants to sell you an iPad and they want to sell you a Mac, we think there’s one device that exploits the seam between those two devices. We need some sort of spiritual equivalent on the phone side that doesn’t just feel like a phone for people who love Windows.”

    Compared to today’s smartphones, the Surface Phone is expected to be much more like a PC. Microsoft will likely ditch the traditionally-used Qualcomm chips for Intel architecture and use a software setup more commonly found in home computers. It’s also rumored that Microsoft will be giving the Surface Phone the ability to run full Windows software, not just apps from the Windows Store market, creating a true PC/smartphone hybrid device.

    A Surface Phone would likely utilize Windows 10 Mobile’s Continuum feature that can turn a smartphone into a PC by allowing it to attach to a monitor, mouse and keyboard in order to create a desktop-like experience.

    We may have to wait a while before we see the Surface Phone, although some reports say it could be here as early as the second half of 2016. Speaking about the mystery device, Capossela said "I think we have to do more breakthrough work" to make Apple fans "pause before they buy their 17th iPhone.”

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  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,334   +1,981

    Sadly, Microsoft so over prices their products that it simply won't catch up with the Apple products. If they ever figured out the concept of volume sales they could be king of the electronic world again ... but it's been soooooo long ......
  3. Matrikz

    Matrikz TS Rookie

    Microsoft over prices their products? Have you seen the price of Apple products at all since 1985?
    OgnDulk, Reehahs, spectrenad and 5 others like this.
  4. Teko03

    Teko03 TS Evangelist Posts: 415   +186

    If they can release an Intel Atom based phone, and push the continuum concept to run x86 applications when continuum is enabled --- Microsoft will then be the big player.
  5. UltraModernGuy

    UltraModernGuy TS Member Posts: 24   +14

    It would be great to see a true phone sized hybrid device like the Surface which could run x86 programs alongside continuum, making it a truly portable computer type thing. I like Windows phone as an os much more than osx/droid, but the app gap is real. Perhaps something like this, which would make the device stand out in it's own category, is exactly what they need to do convert some of the iOS base.
  6. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I always strongly suspected the newly released Windows phones were nothing more than just stopgap devices because there's nothing compelling about them at all and wouldn't do much for M$'s market share.
    Continuum aside, although it's not a feature everyone would find useful, they're very innocuous, forgettable devices and don't bring much to the tournament. Also blowing $$ on a hub to take advantage of Continuum is bs so lets hope their new gadgets can gain them a bit of traction.
    I'm not sure going with Intel procs is a brainwave because up til now Intel hasn't shown too much interest in the mobile market but maybe thats all about to change. I dunno.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,256   +454

    Sounds promising... would be great to have the capability of a desktop computer in the palm of your hand and hopefully we can use desktop mode even on a 5" screen when we want to.. If I could replace my general use PC with a phone, that can dock and connect to my monitor, keyboard, and mouse then we have a winner. Now of course I will still have a gaming PC, and that will probably never change.
  8. GregonMaui

    GregonMaui TS Member Posts: 29

    Yes quality for quality apple prices, especially total cost of ownership, are far cheaper than typical Windows based products. Attempting to compare a low-end windows machine to an apple device has never been fair, not the same quality on quality.

    And the article said, Microsoft, not windows OEM. Microsofts overpriced products are 1) windows, 2) Office, 3) a few hardware devices
  9. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,334   +1,981

    Wasn't doing a comparison, in case you didn't notice .... :)
  10. Will it have as many apps as android and ios ? usefull and useless, doesnt matter. wp still lack apps and will never make a breakthrough with that.
  11. G0DofPaiN

    G0DofPaiN TS Booster Posts: 58   +35

    Do you even know what x86 is?you can install every thing that goes through your head, there are billions of programs for desktops that you can use and soon you will be able to install any android app. I would purchase this phone and the next upgrades any time over android phones or iphones.
  12. emmzo

    emmzo TS Booster Posts: 142   +37

    I have Windows on my desktop, that`s just too much for me already... besides, having a phone that replaces your computer? Does it have an nVidia 980gtx? Oh, no, it`s just some low tech crap that barely runs office. Get real, they`ll never make a genuine x86 phone/tablet as they`ll never make an ARM desktop.
  13. Jeff Schmidt

    Jeff Schmidt TS Enthusiast Posts: 64   +22

    If Intel can get them an SOC that doesn't melt your hands off when running and has good x86 performance. And has a better gpu than what they currently put in the asus zenfone. And Microsoft doesn't do an exclusive boneheaded agreement with a carrier *cough* at&t *cough*.

    Running x86 on a phone would work good. As long as they create a new scaler for the screen/programs. But MS track record with hardware has been pretty bad. Either they create good stuff and it doesn't get any support. Or they create garbage and market the hell out of it.
  14. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,568   +714

    Considering the Surface Pro 4 is the best tablet out there - yes, it's better than an iPad - and the Surface Book is a pretty darn good hybrid tablet/laptop (needs to fix a few flaws, which hopefully will be addressed next generation), I see no reason to believe that MS can't make a good smartphone...

    I wouldn't buy this one - but the gen 2 or gen 3 one will probably be pretty damn compelling - and I've only had iPhones since the 3g...
  15. I still have a **** load of apps for my phone, that I cant get on my desktop. try to move away from win7 and see how little apps windows has and how much it costs against android and ios. happy hunting
  16. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 302   +97

    Lets hoe they will make good phone with open enough software and not the junk WP was so far.
  17. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    Do you? If their stelar phones use Qualcomm there is no x86 available for your argument. As far as I know, they aren't planning models with Intel Inside -pun intended :p

    With my Zenfone 2 set to arrive today and yet to see by myself, but I've seen several models that run hotter while running the same app than the Zf 2 due to their Qualcomm chip. I had an Xperia Z2 and that thing nearly cracked its cristal cover, that's why I'm intending to try an alternative, since the Qualcomm 410 I'm using @1.2 GHz still runs hot in my pocket apparently when it's downloading mails or something.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  18. KamonKur

    KamonKur TS Rookie

    I am not sure this strategy will work. People are very pleased with the way IOS and Android work on a phone. Apple created the design and it has been copied by others and, in come cases, greatly improved. Trying to introduce a completely different way of functioning on a phone is not going to be acceptable to most people. Microsoft really needs to mimic Apple in this instance. Sorry, but you see how Widows 8 worked out. Microsoft had to go back to the features most loved in Win 7. Yes, the Surface is innovative and a compellingly good design. But, phones are not like computers. Windows 10 needs three modes: computer, tablet, and phone.
  19. android could work just as well as ios, if they decided to take away the freedom for the ppl and lock their system like ios. android is a little more unstable, bc its open and free for ppl to do more or less what ever they want. and then its also the brand modded version of android, that have a lot to say. for ios its just 1 brand and the same os.
  20. joe1946

    joe1946 TS Rookie

    I replaced my 6.44" Sony Xperia Z Ultra with the 5.7" 64GB Samsung Edge Plus and I like it much better since it fits all of my pockets. A large Windows phone that could be a PC when hooked up to a monitor sounds interesting but I really don't need that since I have two Windows 10 PCs, 6 core Mac Pro and MacBook Air. I use all of the Google apps on my Edge Plus and Windows phones don't work well with Google apps.
  21. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Guru Posts: 404   +84

    As far as x86 is concerned, I am using a quad Atom, aka the Intel Stick, for Win10. I cannot recommend it.

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