Will Microsoft Cancel Its ‘Confirmed’ Surface Phone? – Forbes
HP has suggested that Microsoft has halted development of the mobile variant of Windows 10 and as such has stopped work on its X3 range of Windows 10 Mobile powered devices.
Speaking to The Register, HP’s EMEA boss Nick Lazaridis “confirmed there will be no further development work on the mobile OS [from Microsoft].” In reply to The Register, a Microsoft spokesperson has said “We will continue to develop Windows 10 Mobile and support Lumia phones such as the Lumia 650, Lumia 950, and Lumia 950 XL, as well as devices from our OEM partners”
Curiously, HP’s decision hasn’t left Microsoft high and dry in terms of new Windows 10 Mobile hardware. British based manufacturer WileyFox launched its Windows 10 Mobile smartphone at September’s IFA trade show in Berlin. But with the best will in the world, there’s a slight different in status between the agile youth of WileyFox and the established enterprise and consumer footprint of HP.
Microsoft’s CEO Sataya Nadella did say earlier this year that it was considering its own mobile device: “…when you say we’ll make more phones, I’m sure we’ll make more phones, but they will not look like phones that are there today.”
Decisions on product releases can change at short notice – it was believed that Microsoft’s Surface Mini was ready for release but pulled a few weeks before its own launch – so there is no guarantee that Microsoft will release a Surface branded smartphone. In any case Nadella’s nod that it would not necessarily look like a phone has left Redmond with a little bit of wiggle room.
There’s a balance point here for Microsoft to consider. No doubt there are enterprise partners who will expect an ongoing supply of ‘current’ Windows 10 Mobile device and there will be a desire inside Redmond to retain as much hardware competency as possible. The former will be sated by WileyFox’s new device and a Surface device of some description would satisfy the later… but there’s no reason why any device built inside Redmond would have to be released to the public.
Yes, Microsoft will want to keep hardware competency as much as possible as mobile hardware evolves in case there are opportunities to affect the market, but with the preview release of its Edge web browser for iOS and Android last week, the consumer-facing focus is less on the operating system and more on the software and services that interface with Microsoft’s cloud.