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.