It’s probably no secret by now that Microsoft has been trying its best to keep down the rumors and Internet chat about their Surface Phone. Whether it actually exists or not is probably lowest on the totem pole now, considering the fact that most techies and bloggers alike believe that the Microsoft Surface phone will definitely debut. It’s just a matter of when and what it will actually look like.
On October 25th the Microsoft Surface tablet will officially launch. It appears to be part of a holiday program that Microsoft is working on to generate more interest in both their phone market and general hardware market all around. There’s word of a $99 Xbox 360 deal that requires a 2 year Xbox live subscription, as well as the new Windows 8 tablets and phones that are set to be launching soon as well.
In theory, if these deals go well, Microsoft will establish themselves as a serious competitor in both the tablet and phone market. If the Surface Tablet is a success, the Surface phone is the next logical step, right?
One of the biggest hopes for a Microsoft Surface phone are updates directly from Microsoft. In Windows 7 phones, one of the biggest complaints that customers had was that in some cases the updates for the firmware and software on the phone were withheld from them because of pesky phone carriers not wanting to suppor them. Although the Windows 7 phone was good from a technical standpoint, the lack of support for it led to many consumers either getting upset with the carriers or with Microsoft. This debacle ultimately led to a $240 million loss for the company and brought them right back to the drawing board. If the Surface phone gets released, it will have to have updates directly from the company to stay competitive.
Partnerships? Maybe Not.
There’s one big problem that Microsoft is going to have to overcome and definitely not ignore if they’re going to go forward with producing their own hardware and software device: Partnerships.
At the moment, Microsoft is partnered with Nokia and HTC. Nokia has been producing Windows phones for a few years now and has been able to generate a pretty healthy revenue from them. Although the growth of the phones hasn’t been what they were expecting, Windows phones have added about $1 billion in revenues to the company. Rehashing a partnership they had before, HTC is supposed to be releasing the new Windows 8 phones due out sometime this year.
If Microsoft bails on both of these relationships to start producing and selling their own phone, it could be a disaster for how their revenues look in the following year. It’ll take a lot of momentum and interest in a Windows Surface phone to cause Microsoft to give up on their partnerships with other companies and go rogue to produce their own products.
As a whole, it seems as though the Surface phone is just a backburner plan at the moment. Based on how well the Windows 8 phones sell in market, it could force the company to either scrap the plan altogether or release the phone as a way to capitalize on momentum that they’ve already built. Obviously, only time will tell how well the newest Windows 8 phones will do, as well as the Microsoft Surface later in the year. If things launch successfully and Microsoft is back on the good side of consumer’s minds, it may be a few more months of waiting before we see the Microsoft Surface phone actually, and pardon the pun, surface.
Photo Credit: deviantart