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Nvidia Tegra Microsoft Phone? Maybe, Maybe Not

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 15 comments

With Apple having made a splash on the mobile and smartphone industry, it’s nearly expected that Microsoft would eventually jump in at some point for a piece of the pie.

Microsoft’s answer to those expecting some sort of phone--even a Zune phone--are met with denials that the company is working on such a product. An analyst at Broadpoint AmTech, however, believes that we could be seeing a phone product from Microsoft sometime in the next six months. He even goes as far to say that it’ll be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra technology.

The fact that Nvidia Tegra is geared towards powering the Windows Mobile platform already means that the chip company is already working with Microsoft on certain design specifications, particularly for the next versions of the mobile OS.

So far only HTC has committed itself to Nvidia Tegra, but the Broadpoint analyst believes Microsoft will be next: "We believe the HTC ramp in '09 is the more material of the two as we have some concerns on the channel for Microsoft's handset distribution given the lack of prior carrier relationships/handset qualification history," he wrote Thursday, according to CNet.

Of course, there’s also the possibility that it could be a three-way partnership between Nvidia, Microsoft and HTC in bringing a Microsoft-branded smartphone to market. HTC’s already shown that it can work closely with other companies to bring out specialized handsets--something we saw with the (deep breath) T-Mobile HTC G1 Google Android phone.

Microsoft adherent Mary-Jo Foley wrote in her All About Microsoft blog that her sources are pointing to the Redmond company making a reference design for other manufacturers follow and improve upon--but Microsoft itself won’t be releasing the hardware under its own brand.

“The (Zune phone) chassis 1 spec is challenging the manufacturers to come up with something that will please customers,” said Foley’s source, adding that Microsoft was pitting a handful of cell-phone makers against one another to come up with the best implementation of the spec.

With Dell, Acer and Asus/Garmin already plotting to release smartphones, it would be unlike Microsoft to try to seize a part of the market. As far as a Microsoft-centric smartphone that goes beyond just running Windows Mobile, it’s not a question of if, but how and when.

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  • 1 Hide
    tenor77 , February 6, 2009 6:43 PM
    The only way a MS phone wouldn't be a total flop is if it is able to sync with your Xbox and Xbox live account. Otherwise just let this fad go.................
  • 2 Hide
    squatchman , February 6, 2009 6:48 PM
    Apple is a hardware company first. Microsoft is a software company first. It has been this way for decades now and no matter how much they try to blur the lines, you can still clearly see what each company does best.

    Also:
    Unverified blogging wacko Mary-Jo Foley wrote...
  • 1 Hide
    pcolby , February 6, 2009 7:15 PM
    With Apple having made a splash on the mobile and smartphone industry, it’s nearly expected that Microsoft would eventually jump in at some point for a piece of the pie.

    What the? MS has been in mobiles and smartphones for several years now! So that statement kind of undermines the author's authority somewhat.

    Paul.
  • 4 Hide
    pcolby , February 6, 2009 7:18 PM
    Oh, I see... you're distinguishing between phones "running a MS OS" and phones "manufactured by MS"... I get it now ;) 

    Paul.
  • 2 Hide
    curnel_D , February 6, 2009 7:26 PM
    If microsoft makes a phone, then it will be in direct competition against the tons of manufacturers that already use their mobile OS, which could possibly drive them to use different software such as the Google OS or lisenced palm. With this in mind, it's not likley. Microsoft makes a ton of money in the mobile market as it is.

    They dont need to compete with apple, because apple isnt their competition. (Seriously, a single phone on a single exclusive carrier, with a very very exclusive price.)

    And I agree with squatchman. You'd be a ton more credible if you left out the 'blogger' source.
  • -3 Hide
    Marcus Yam , February 6, 2009 7:42 PM
    curnel_DYou'd be a ton more credible if you left out the 'blogger' source.

    I'm sorry, I do not know whom you are referring to.

    If it's about Mary-Jo Foley, she's one of the most dedicated journalists who cover nearly everything to do with Microsoft. Her knowledge and familiarity of the company is almost unmatched.

    You might want to check out her book, "Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft Plans to Stay Relevant in the Post-Gates Era" at your local bookstore -- it's a great read if you'd like to get educated on Microsoft happenings. :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 6, 2009 8:29 PM
    The Tegra looks like a more powerful TI OMAP3, which is a great thing as the OMAP3 has alot of juice and is very power efficient. But every smart phone runs on ARM, microsoft does not have time to fight against the Iphone using evolutionary better hardware. Go big, Atom based smart phone that runs xp/vista. Have nvidia make a very low power chipset and wrap it all up with a 7" touchscreen and slide out kb.
  • 0 Hide
    curnel_D , February 6, 2009 9:19 PM
    And when microsoft officially announces her as their in-source journalist, her paramount 'street-cred' will turn into something more substantial in my mind. But her entire article on this topic is based on nothing but rumors and heresy, not company sourced information.
  • 1 Hide
    SneakySnake , February 7, 2009 1:08 AM
    Microsoft needs something innovative and new. Sure they can follow the ideas of other companies like Apple but they're always gonna be 2nd best. I don't know what the next big thing will be, maybe the touch computer stuff they're working on, but the need to release a ground breaking, innovative product. Something that they haven't done in a long time
  • -3 Hide
    ossie , February 7, 2009 8:32 AM
    SneakySnakeMicrosoft ... need(s) to release a ground breaking, innovative product. Something that they haven't done in a long time

    Actually when did this ever happen?
  • 1 Hide
    ravenware , February 7, 2009 10:27 AM
    Quote:
    Actually when did this ever happen?


    Windows 95

  • 1 Hide
    squatchman , February 7, 2009 8:39 PM
    ahh... huh... Windows 95... hm.

    Maybe Windows NT, where they started moving away from running Windows on top of MS-DOS?
  • -1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , February 9, 2009 5:30 AM
    squatchmanApple is a hardware company first.

    Hardware first? Do explain ? Their ipods always come with old harddrives, their computer systems can only be equipped with old graphics cards .... and I don't really know about many other things they make .... but if they prioritize hardware first, I wonder how they can actually release anything? All apple products are basicly 6 months old the day they go to marked ... they're always underspecced, and they're almost always overpriced.

    Microsoft is software first though. You at least got that right. They've probably learnt to stick with what they're reasonably good at, and outsource what they are not.
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , February 9, 2009 11:59 AM
    Dude....just put an Atom in there, and run Win XP/Win 7 (J/K) :lol: 
  • 0 Hide
    squatchman , February 9, 2009 12:48 PM
    Quote:
    All apple products are basicly 6 months old the day they go to marked ... they're always underspecced, and they're almost always overpriced.



    The software is just a vehicle to get you to buy the shiny hardware. It's less secure than Windows, and less configurable than Linux. Ask someone for the first thing that pops into their head when they think of Apple and you're going to hear either ipod or macbook as opposed to itunes, safari, or OS X.