During the D: Dive Into Mobile conference, Windows Phone corporate vice president Terry Myerson took the stage to shoot down any rumors that Microsoft is working on a branded Surface phone. Recent reports have indicated that the company is aiming to launch its own smartphone later this year sporting the latest version of Windows Phone 8 that will be released as part of "Windows Blue".
But Myerson indicated that Microsoft has no immediate plans for a branded phone unless there's something the Redmond company can specifically provide. "It would have to be something where Nokia or HTC or other primary partners were not providing the consumer experience we think was possible on our platform," he said.
But current Windows Phones provide the ideal experience, he said, so there's no need for Microsoft to jump into the smartphone arena and produce its own device.
Casey McGee, Microsoft's senior marketing manager for Windows Phone, relayed a similar stance back in March, saying that the company has enough influence over Windows Phone 8 handset makers that it really doesn't need to produce its own branded phone. Even more, 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.
Previous reports stated that Foxconn was handling the Surface smartphone for a 2H13 launch. Originally the phone was slated to launch by the end of 1Q13 or the beginning of 2Q13 so that it wouldn't compete with Windows Phone 8 launch devices at the end of 2012.