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

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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  • chumly
    Windows makes a phone?!?! I've never seen one before!
    Reply
  • headscratcher
    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.
    Reply
  • magicandy
    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.

    Reply
  • Soda-88
    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.
    Reply
  • mariusmotea
    After selling only 1.5 million of surface and surface pro be shure they will not do the same in phone area.
    Reply
  • headscratcher
    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?
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    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.
    Reply
  • Marcus52
    A Surface phone sounds like what I want - full-blown Windows OS on a high quality smart phone.
    Reply
  • Avus
    they actually can exit the phone market completely as well....
    Reply
  • headscratcher
    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?

    Reply