Skip to main content

Microsoft’s Windows Mobile Hardware Plan Needs To Show Leadership


With its commitment to further first party Windows 10 Mobiles yesterday, Microsoft set out its store for the future: first-party devices to provide differentiation. Its a similar vision to the one that brought us the original Surface and the Surface line’s eventual success.

Microsoft will build new phone hardware to fill gaps left by third-party manufacturers.

So how do the very business-focused rumours of the new Surface Phone fit with that goal? Not very well it turns out. HP’s Elite x3 currently offers everything an enterprise with Windows Mobile leanings could want from a high end phone. Acer’s Jade Primo offers a reasonable mid-range enterprise offering (although I’m far from convinced that any enterprise organisation would deploy devices from a consumer brand).

From an enterprise offering what’s missing then is a Lumia 650 level device which supports Continuum and some form of biometric security. Doesn’t feel like this would be the right place to launch a new Surface Phone sub-brand though.

In the consumer space the imminent termination of the Lumia 950 will leave no high end device to lead the Windows Mobile platform. Hoping that third parties will fill this gap is wishful thinking. Premium Windows Mobile volumes are too low for that to happen. Third-parties will play in the entry-level space whilst there are still customers there.

So the logical place for a new Surface Phone is actually as a flagship consumer device. Given that the Lumia 950 is still very competitive in terms of performance and specs; and has a class leading camera too, it shouldn’t be too hard to create a new device that addresses the (mostly groundless) complaints about premium quality build.

Whether Microsoft has the vision and desire to do so; or has the stomach to make yet another (expensive) pitch for smartphone sales; remains to be seen.


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.