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Microsoft Reportedly Developing Own Smartphone

By - Source: WSJ | B 24 comments

Tablets may not remain the only new hardware category Microsoft is interested in.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is currently testing components for a smartphone. There is no confirmation whether the testing will result in an actual mass-produced product, but - if the information is correct - this may be yet another sign that Microsoft is moving closer to Apple's product strategy.

During the launch of Windows Phone 8, Microsoft neither confirmed nor denied speculation that the company is working on a smartphone. The company stated that it is happy that Nokia, Samsung and HTC expect to be offering Windows Phone 8 devices by the end of the year and declined to comment on questions about a Microsoft phone. According to IDC, Windows Phone currently holds only 2.0 percent of the smartphone market with an estimated 3.6 million devices that shipped in the third quarter - compared to 136.0 million Android phones.

It does not take much insight to conclude that Windows Phone has not had the impact Microsoft is hoping for and there is more concern about its relationship with Nokia. So far, Nokia has not shown the determination and innovation that would be required to turn Windows Phone around. Surface is a demonstration of Microsoft that the company is not going to wait for compelling products from its partners. If Nokia cannot follow through with a breakthrough Windows Phone device, a device designed by Microsoft that is capable of better capturing the strengths of the operating system may turn out to be catastrophic for Nokia, whose entire product strategy is focused on Windows Phone with no backup plan in place.


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  • 15 Hide
    jhansonxi , November 3, 2012 1:25 AM
    Quote:
    Nokia has not shown the determination and innovation that would be required to turn Windows Phone around.
    Nokia only staked their entire future on it. Apparently that's not enough commitment for some people.
  • 14 Hide
    lunyone , November 3, 2012 1:33 AM
    Well if they wouldn't limit themselves to AT&T for the Lumia 920 then they would probably have more people buying them (I'm with Verizon). I would buy the Lumia 920, but since it's not on Verizon, I don't have that option (not changing to AT&T).
  • 12 Hide
    memadmax , November 3, 2012 1:38 AM
    "If you want the job done right, you gotta do it yourself"
Other Comments
  • -9 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , November 3, 2012 1:07 AM
    when M$ said they will do more on hardware, it meant to be they will hv their own smartphones, tablets, ultrathin laptops like the crApple
  • -4 Hide
    abbadon_34 , November 3, 2012 1:17 AM
    just stick with OS developement that keeps out beloved XP interface and makes behind the scenes improvements like Win7 so we can run the newest and fast hardware
  • -5 Hide
    mrmez , November 3, 2012 1:21 AM
    Taking bets that it will tank like their last phone.
  • 15 Hide
    jhansonxi , November 3, 2012 1:25 AM
    Quote:
    Nokia has not shown the determination and innovation that would be required to turn Windows Phone around.
    Nokia only staked their entire future on it. Apparently that's not enough commitment for some people.
  • 14 Hide
    lunyone , November 3, 2012 1:33 AM
    Well if they wouldn't limit themselves to AT&T for the Lumia 920 then they would probably have more people buying them (I'm with Verizon). I would buy the Lumia 920, but since it's not on Verizon, I don't have that option (not changing to AT&T).
  • -5 Hide
    falchard , November 3, 2012 1:37 AM
    If I was a Microsoft OEM I would not be too concerned considering their hardware efforts thus far in the Surface and XBox360. They choose to go with subpar parts, so it leaves an opening for companies that release adaquete devices.
  • 12 Hide
    memadmax , November 3, 2012 1:38 AM
    "If you want the job done right, you gotta do it yourself"
  • 6 Hide
    CaedenV , November 3, 2012 2:06 AM
    everyone makes the comparison with Apple, but I find that comparison rather flawed. In my mind it is more like the way Sony use to be when it had a cohesive product line (yes, it has been a while, but they did almost have one back in the '90s), where you wanted to have the matched set of the TV, receiver, radio, CD player, DVD player, speakers, etc. And when you stuck with the Sony brand then you would have special features, such as the receiver controlling the other devices. But if you got something of another brand, those products worked just fine with your other Sony branded equipment.

    I think that MS is moving in that same sort of direction, saying that 'this is the way we think hardware should be', and it all works together with the 'full expierence'. But if you purchase a product from someone else, it will integrate just fine with the other parts. Even if you move to a different ecosystem, such as Android or OSX you can still link certain aspects which are software agnostic services, and get by just fine in life. It is not the total experience, but it is still functional.

    In this case you will have the WP8 Surface, Surface tablet, and the Nextbox as their desktop PC replacement. All 3 devices share the same basic OS at their heart, and all work together, but they are not a closed group of hardware like apple products tend to be. You can install smartglass on your other branded phone, and have it work with your xBox or nextbox. You can network your macbook and have access to your network files, etc. Where as in apple land you cannot have a PC read files from your apple network, and it can be a pain to sync data between your android phone and iMac, etc.

    At any rate, in the end Sony tried to close the system and become exclusive, and failed miserably (at first because they could not get departments to work together, and later because of QC issues). And most other companies who have closed the loop entirely have simply been abandoned and left for dead. MS knows this, and they know that they are not Apple, and could never get away with what apple has done. And with more crap products like we see with the new iMac and iPad mini I doubt it will be long that Apple can remain being Apple as well... but maybe it is just a growing pain they will move past.
  • 2 Hide
    CaedenV , November 3, 2012 2:07 AM
    lunyoneWell if they wouldn't limit themselves to AT&T for the Lumia 920 then they would probably have more people buying them (I'm with Verizon). I would buy the Lumia 920, but since it's not on Verizon, I don't have that option (not changing to AT&T).

    I read today that the exclusivity deal is only for 6mo, so you will be able to get one before too long. Also, there will supposedly be a refresh next spring/summer which will bring some better phones that could be available for other markets. Nokia is in no position to supply enough phones to meet demand for all networks. They need a solid success on this one to be able to fund the production needed to do a total launch.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , November 3, 2012 4:41 AM
    lunyoneWell if they wouldn't limit themselves to AT&T for the Lumia 920 then they would probably have more people buying them (I'm with Verizon). I would buy the Lumia 920, but since it's not on Verizon, I don't have that option (not changing to AT&T).

    There was something i read about a particular service that was carrier dependent, and only AT&T was ready for it.

    Anyway, all i'm concluding is that it won't launch in my country too soon, since we don't have much of this carrier locking thing.
  • -1 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , November 3, 2012 9:25 AM
    This might be cool. I was thinking about getting the Surface, but I'll wait until Surface 2 comes out (if there will be one). I think it's a joke that Surface was released without USB 3.0 compatibility.
  • 0 Hide
    nekromobo , November 3, 2012 9:40 AM
    JOSHSKORNThis might be cool. I was thinking about getting the Surface, but I'll wait until Surface 2 comes out (if there will be one). I think it's a joke that Surface was released without USB 3.0 compatibility.


    What would you do with that usb 3.0 when these controllers cant even saturate usb 2.0 (eg. 30mb/sec)
  • 0 Hide
    nekromobo , November 3, 2012 9:46 AM
    Nokia laid off a lot of people who where developing for smart phones and outsourcing that research to Microsoft. I bet this is just Microsoft doing what Nokia used to do by themselfs.. so its just BAU.
  • -2 Hide
    nebun , November 3, 2012 1:46 PM
    so I guess Nokia did not do so well after all....such a waste of money
  • 0 Hide
    Shin-san , November 3, 2012 1:52 PM
    I feel that this is closer to Android, yet you can see how companies like HTC are doing
  • 3 Hide
    DRosencraft , November 3, 2012 2:42 PM
    caedenveveryone makes the comparison with Apple, but ...


    I agree with you, with one stipulation. So far they are not pushing out their companions in these sectors. So long as they keep in mind not to do that, they will avoid falling into Apple's forthcoming issue of lacking diversity. We can accept a company being involved in all these areas, but not being alone in these areas. It's just unsavory to us.

    I don't have a problem with MSFT dipping into the market, pushing innovation by making their own devices. But Apple is the only one who can make anything that runs iOS or the desktop OS. So, when Apple's own creativity on the hardware end drys up, the company goes with it. MSFT could fail here on the hardware, and all that would mean in the best case is the customer going over to a different hardware maker who is still using the Windows OS. Apple misses on the hardware, there isn't another hardware maker with the software, so the customer moves on to someone else altogether.

    So long as they don't lose focus on software, and doesn't try to push folks like Acer, HP, or Nokia out of the market, they could have good "coopetition". This model works a lot better for the long term than does Apple's.
  • 0 Hide
    JamesSneed , November 3, 2012 3:34 PM
    I have a sneaking suspicion Microsoft has been holding out in many markets so they didn't get the Monopoly title. Now that Apple if pretty large they are going to enter every market they have had in their sights. Think about how little focus they put in smart phone or tablet market prior. I think MS will do just fine if they focus on it. Plus we really need them to do this, we need the competition from a company that holds a ton of patents that no company in their right mind would think about suing.
  • -2 Hide
    Marcus52 , November 3, 2012 3:49 PM
    jhansonxiNokia only staked their entire future on it. Apparently that's not enough commitment for some people.


    The 900 was a nice phone, and the 920 is even better, but the fact is, they are not in the league of the top Android phones currently on the market (in an overall sense, clearly the 920 has the best camera available at this time). Microsoft is right to do research and testing, and even make their own phone if no one else will make the kind of product that supports their platform they want made.

    I firmly believe that if Win 8 comes out on cutting-edge phones, it will garner a much larger market share. People didn't buy Android phones because of Android, they bought them because of the quality of the hardware. The Nokia 920 is a step in the right direction, but isn't quite there. They need "Wow!" phones that make people take notice.

    More choices will help, too, such as a Note II style phone for those that want that kind of product.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , November 3, 2012 5:13 PM
    Linux is going to become the new Windows. As Microsoft moves towards an Apple "walled garden" strategy with their own hardware and all of these locked bootloaders they're pushing, Linux based OS like Android and Ubuntu will continue to offer the traditional freedom of actually owning your device and hardware and being able to tinker with it or build your own.

    By contrast, Microsoft will then become the old Apple with hints of Blackberry: aka, a minor player with a focus on businesses, mostly just the ones who are already invested in them and too scared to leave the MS ecosystem...
  • 0 Hide
    p05esto , November 4, 2012 12:13 PM
    I'm on Verizon, so I can't get a Win8 phone (not the good ones anyway). Only dipsticks would choose crappy cell service on AT&T just for an iPhone or whatever. I am so sick of talking to iPhone users and constantly having their calls drop. I want to strangle them that their service sucks and I never want to talk to them on their phone again!!!
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