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Microsoft Doesn't Need Self-Made Phones, Company Says

By - Source: Piocket-Lint | B 28 comments

Why make your own phone when you can crack the whip on Nokia?

On Friday, Casey McGee, Microsoft's senior marketing manager for Windows Phone, told Pocket-lint that the Redmond company really doesn't need to produce its own smartphone thanks to the influence it has over Nokia. Nokia will likely be the ODM of choice behind Microsoft's rumored Surface-branded phone slated to arrive in the second half of 2013.

"We enjoy having the variety that we do," McGee said when asked if he was frustrated over a lack of dedicated hardware. "We are so close to the process that it feels like our child too. Especially with Nokia."

He added that Microsoft's relationship is so close to Nokia that the Redmond company gets hardware early and has some say in how the devices are designed and built. "For an engineer or a designer it might feel a little bit different, but I think for people working with the developers and talking broadly about the phone I am very happy with the relationship and the ability to influence what they are doing," he said.

Despite Windows 8 partners churning out tablets and hybrids, Microsoft shocked the industry last year with the announcement that it would produce its own Surface tablets. Now, with two models on the market, the company is experiencing disappointing sales while Android takes the lead as the tablet market leader for the very first time. For now, that battle cannot be won by Microsoft.

On the smartphone front, Microsoft has relied on Nokia and others to lead its market takeover. But does Microsoft even need a Surface smartphone if it's so influential over Nokia? In this case, the roles would seemingly be reversed: Microsoft would design the phone from the ground up while Nokia would provide some design input. Still, what would the difference be between a Surface phone and a Windows 8 Phone by Nokia?

The upcoming Surface Phone will supposedly feature the "Windows Blue" build of Windows Phone 8. This will likely be heavily tied to the Xbox Infinity and Windows 8.1 for desktop, providing a better multi-screen experience than what we've seen thus far. This may be why Microsoft would want full control over smartphone development: so that it doesn't have another disappointing Windows 8 launch.

Hmmm… I smell an Xbox-branded Windows 8 gaming tablet in the air…

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    headscratcher , March 26, 2013 7:56 AM
    Considering buying a tablet with Win 8 Pro on it. It'd be nice to have a tablet with a real OS on it and not a glorified phone OS.
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    chumly , March 26, 2013 7:06 AM
    Windows makes a phone?!?! I've never seen one before!
  • 10 Hide
    headscratcher , March 26, 2013 7:56 AM
    Considering buying a tablet with Win 8 Pro on it. It'd be nice to have a tablet with a real OS on it and not a glorified phone OS.
  • 9 Hide
    magicandy , March 26, 2013 8:09 AM
    If MS/Nokia made a fair-priced full x86 Win8 gaming tablet (~$500-600) with a decent built-in controller, I'd be sold. So far the gaming tablets that have been announced/released have all been $1000+ beasts. Not interested in paying that much for under-powered hardware.

  • 3 Hide
    Soda-88 , March 26, 2013 8:12 AM
    chumlyWindows makes a phone?!?! I've never seen one before!

    No, but Microsoft, who makes Windows, also makes Windows Phone OS. Hardware is made by 3rd party.
  • -8 Hide
    mariusmotea , March 26, 2013 8:12 AM
    After selling only 1.5 million of surface and surface pro be shure they will not do the same in phone area.
  • 5 Hide
    headscratcher , March 26, 2013 8:35 AM
    magicandyIf MS/Nokia made a fair-priced full x86 Win8 gaming tablet (~$500-600) with a decent built-in controller, I'd be sold. So far the gaming tablets that have been announced/released have all been $1000+ beasts. Not interested in paying that much for under-powered hardware.

    Not asking for much, are you?
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , March 26, 2013 8:57 AM
    mariusmoteaAfter selling only 1.5 million of surface and surface pro be shure they will not do the same in phone area.


    I'm pretty sure that that number is just the Surface Pro sales, but I could be wrong.

    headscratcherNot asking for much, are you?


    I don't think that it's asking for too much, at least depending on the finer details.
  • 2 Hide
    Marcus52 , March 26, 2013 9:33 AM
    A Surface phone sounds like what I want - full-blown Windows OS on a high quality smart phone.
  • -8 Hide
    Avus , March 26, 2013 9:35 AM
    they actually can exit the phone market completely as well....
  • 2 Hide
    headscratcher , March 26, 2013 9:43 AM
    blazorthonI'm pretty sure that that number is just the Surface Pro sales, but I could be wrong.I don't think that it's asking for too much, at least depending on the finer details.

    Full x86 gaming rig tablet for $500 - $600. You can get the atom based tablets with Win8 Pro in that neighborhood, but start putting in Core i5, more RAM, etc. and you are pushing close to $1000 or more. What kind of gaming laptop can you get for $500?

  • -7 Hide
    psupanova , March 26, 2013 9:53 AM
    Poor Microsoft, Not really relevant in the post PC world.

    They should stick to being a software house that makes the odd nice peripheral.
  • -4 Hide
    Fernando Garcia , March 26, 2013 9:59 AM
    ha ha someone here thought that the Surface Pro sold 1.5 million.
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , March 26, 2013 9:59 AM
    Quote:
    blazorthonI'm pretty sure that that number is just the Surface Pro sales, but I could be wrong.I don't think that it's asking for too much, at least depending on the finer details.

    Full x86 gaming rig tablet for $500 - $600. You can get the atom based tablets with Win8 Pro in that neighborhood, but start putting in Core i5, more RAM, etc. and you are pushing close to $1000 or more. What kind of gaming laptop can you get for $500?



    Lol, try to be more creative ;) 

    Think smaller. A decent Pentium or i3 is more than enough for the CPU. Even a Celeron with a decent frequency would do the trick. Graphics doesn't need to be anything special. If we think about Haswell, GT3 will probably do the trick. If not, then a weak little graphics card of some sort with performance comparable to, say, a Radeon 6670, maybe a little better, will be plenty. 4GB or 6GB of RAM is not a lot and is very feasible even if it's shared between the graphics and CPU.

    Throw in an SSD around 120/128GB or 180/196GB or even 240GB/250GB/256GB or an SSD-cached low RPM 250GB to 500GB hard drive and you're set to go. The hard drive could even be a very thin and cheap to manufacture single platter model at such capacities.

    You most certainly don't even need Windows 8 Pro as was earlier suggested. An OEM copy of the non-Pro x86 version would do the job just fine. Heck, maybe there's a Win 8 x86 starter edition that I've forgotten about that would be fine.
  • -7 Hide
    mt2e , March 26, 2013 10:00 AM
    Until u can run full x86 code/programs on a windows phone, MS phones are 100% dead
  • 3 Hide
    blazorthon , March 26, 2013 10:07 AM
    Quote:
    Until u can run full x86 code/programs on a windows phone, MS phones are 100% dead


    Why would Windows phones need to support full x86 code/programs when BB, Android, and iOS generally aren't scorned for lacking such a feature?
  • 4 Hide
    kyuuketsuki , March 26, 2013 10:21 AM
    mt2eUntil u can run full x86 code/programs on a windows phone, MS phones are 100% dead
    ... Right. Because so many people are clamoring to run legacy desktop software on a smartphone. Not. On a decent-sized tablet? Sure. I want a Windows 8 tab. But I can't imagine any scenario where I care about it on a phone.
  • 1 Hide
    headscratcher , March 26, 2013 10:28 AM
    blazorthon, I don't think that you are on the low side of $600 with that. I guess if you don't want to play aggressive games, a basic Win 8 tablet will be fine.
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , March 26, 2013 10:35 AM
    Quote:
    blazorthon, I don't think that you are on the low side of $600 with that. I guess if you don't want to play aggressive games, a basic Win 8 tablet will be fine.


    If I can buy much better 11.6" laptops for around $400 to $600, which I can, then I'm pretty sure that such a tablet is possible within that price range. The battery life in gaming might not be great or such, but it should be possible.
  • -3 Hide
    frank_drebin , March 26, 2013 10:52 AM
    who cares
  • 0 Hide
    koss64 , March 26, 2013 11:21 AM
    They learned their lesson from the Kin disaster...
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