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Nvidia Tegra Microsoft Phone? Maybe, Maybe Not

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.

Further reading:

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • tenor77
    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.................
    Reply
  • squatchman
    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...
    Reply
  • pcolby
    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.
    Reply
  • pcolby
    Oh, I see... you're distinguishing between phones "running a MS OS" and phones "manufactured by MS"... I get it now ;)

    Paul.
    Reply
  • curnel_D
    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.
    Reply
  • Marcus Yam
    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. :)
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • curnel_D
    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.
    Reply
  • SneakySnake
    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
    Reply
  • ossie
    SneakySnakeMicrosoft ... need(s) to release a ground breaking, innovative product. Something that they haven't done in a long timeActually when did this ever happen?
    Reply