Very few people would contest the fact that Microsoft is among the best software and digital services companies worldwide. When it comes to user interfaces and operating systems, the American tech firm is no where near out its depth. It is unfortunate though, that we can create a long list of Microsoft-related achievements, only to reach a screeching halt when it comes to smartphones. Many Microsoft fans believe the upcoming Surface Phone can turn all this around for the Windows maker. However, does the device truly have a shot at success as a Windows phone?
Today, LearnBonds wades into the raging river of rumors regarding the Surface Phone. The gadget is alleged to be a true game-changer for Microsoft and its stance in the mobile device space. But there are those who hold little hope for device, too. These people believed the product’s chances of success would be weighed down significantly if Microsoft chose to release it as a Windows phone.
Although Microsoft Corporation is making considerable gains with its hardware, the company’s position in the mobile gadget space isn’t so hot. The adoption of Nokia’s smartphone business took several billions from the firm back in 2014. Microsoft is almost three years into the venture and is yet to see the Lumia range get off the ground. But what deters people from the products has little to do with the gadget specs. It’s just that, with Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS raking up the bulk of the smartphone market, there is very little love left for Windows as a mobile platform. This calls into question whether Microsoft’s next set of handsets should run Windows?
To late for Surface Phone to succeed?
“I sincerely think its too late for Microsoft to succeed in the smartphone business no matter what they come up with,” comments a reader going by Osokona. “No one is going to switch their investment in iPhhones and aPhone and switch to wPhones. My last Windows phone was an HTC Kaiser when MS abandoned us. Even Skype refused to develop for the MS mobile platform. That was the last drop for me.”
Although Windows Mobile is not with its share of avid fans, the mobile platform has a difficult time pleasing the masses. It shares a lot of the traits that sent the BlackBerry mobile OS crashing to the ground. Eventually, BlackBerry was forced to give in to Android due to the restrictive nature of their in-house OS. Similarly, Windows Mobile is lax when it come to keeping up with the market. This is only aided by the platform’s lack of apps, which renders the mobile OS unable to keep up with leading smartphone makers.
“I am an user of Nokia/MS Lumia phones for 4 years now,” explains a LearnBonds commenter. “No doubt the OS is very well-designed and stable, particularly Windows 10 to which I upgraded a few months back. But of late, I face problems when some of the apps I need to use for financial or banking transactions are either not available or have a poorly-designed version for Windows platform compared to the same app for Android or IOS. Unless MS takes initiative to resolve this problem (by asking users to intimate their need and use their vast pool of programmers to assist in developing a good Windows equivalent), the day is not far off when I will reluctantly switch to an Android phone.”
Is the Surface Phone doomed to fail?
There are numerous others who have shared the same sentiments. Clearly, Microsoft has a lot to work on if it chooses to roll the Surface Phone out as a Windows Phone. Creating a holistic Windows ecosystem could do wonders for the platform, but there is little love for Windows as a mobile OS. The biggest challenge for the Surface Phone will be convincing users that Windows is no longer a sluggish, ill-maintained mobile operating system.
That being said, there are many folks itching for the Surface Phone to come out as a Windows Phone. These people argue that the software is brilliant, and that an attractive piece of hardware is all it would take to turns Windows Phones into serious competitors.
“I’m very excited for a Surface Phone,” writes A. Brennan. “As an area supervisor for a security company, I have to keep up with multiple incidents that happen at different client locations. My Lumia 920 was a beast. If the Surface Phone is [affordable] I would buy one in a heartbeat, pending paychecks, of course.”
Nixter writes that “It is clear that the Microsoft Windows Phone OS is mature, stable and secure. With a firm foundation to build on, a truly innovative design could grab a worthwhile market share. The direction that Windows Phones are going is being the best business phone out there for enterprise users.”
Microsoft knows its users
Many of these users claim that the lack of app isn’t an issue for them. “The important apps are there,”write Samson Cari, another LearnBonds reader. “But Android users are option junkies who fail to realize that many of their downloaded apps offer features that already come standard on their phones. The Android user, in my opinion, is an uninformed convenience-focus guy who can’t take the time to figure out his own phone. They also never consider the several dozen security risks they expose their phones to everyday. I’m fine with Windows and my Lumia 950. If there truly is a Surface Phone the way, you can bet your last dollar it will be a powerful, matured device, focused at the right sort of market.”
Looking at the attraction that the Surface gadgets, adding a smartphone to the lineup could prove to be a good move for Microsoft. The products are all shades of innovations and seem to appeal to the world’s hunger for premium tech that defies ordinary conventions. Microsoft Surface gadgets come as something fresh and new. They are are renewed take on what personal and business gadgets should essentially offer. Whether buyers are in search of the ideal personal, creative or business PC, they needn’t look any further than the Surface Book, Surface Pro and Surface Studio to find a gadget that is capable of tasks beyond the capacity of conventional hardware.
The all-in-one form factor of the Surface range has pulled in a lot of excitement. It is the very same excitement which rallies behind Surface Phone. If online talks and executive comments are anything to go by, Microsoft might be working on the revolutionizing the mobile device space.
A PC in your pocket
“What we are going to do is focus [our] effort on places that have differentiation.” Nadella said. “If you take Windows Phone, where we are differentiated in Windows Phone, its manageability, its security, its Continuum capability, that is the ability to have a phone that, in fact, can even act like a PC.”
Speculation hints at the Surface Phone being a unique, multi-use device with desktop-level processing. It could revive the QWERTY keyboard or make use of a foldout pad similar to the Surface Pro lineup. It is bound to be a Windows Phone as well. Microsoft is under a lot of pressure to amplify the appeal of the Windows 10 platform on mobile. The HP Elite x3 is said to be a big hint at where Microsoft plans to take Windows Phones. HP’s device is a Windows phone, too. It serves as a perfect example of a smartphone with PC-like capacity.
However, Microsoft is yet to make any official announcement about a smartphone joining the ranks of its Surface lineup. Any talks about the device should be approached with a healthy dose of skepticism. Reports claim that the Surface Phone could come out later this year, or sometime next year.
For now, we would like to hear your thoughts on the Microsoft Surface Phone. Is it a device you would consider buying, or does your iPhone/Android phone off all the conveniences you need? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. You can also keep the conversation going by sharing this page on social platforms.