The year 2016 has been great for Microsoft, especially with the success of the Surface Pro 4. There have been rumors that Microsoft is producing a Surface Phone, and now it looks like those rumors may become a reality. The Australian Financial Review interviewed Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella, who talked about bringing something “unique” to the market.
“We will continue to be in the phone market not as defined by today’s market leaders, but by what it is that we can uniquely do in what is the most ultimate mobile device.”
Nadella adds that this mobile device will be geared towards a specific set of customers who need specific capabilities. Although Nadella didn’t specifically say he was talking about the Surface Phone, many believe that’s the product he was definitely referring to. Forbes looks forward to the new Surface Phone.
“These are all good strategies, and are being put into good effect by the teams in Redmond. But the obvious conclusion here is that Microsoft will be debuting a smartphone in the near future that demands an ‘ultimate’ moniker. Everyone not living under a digital rock knows what that device would be. The Surface Phone,” says columnist Ewan Spence, adding that he believes Microsoft will likely deliver that product during the first half of 2017.
There is a lot of excitement for the Surface Phone on Twitter.
— Christian Söllner (@chris_soellner) November 26, 2016
@GabeAul Gabe, on a selfish note I'd be really excited if u said you've been using a Surface Phone for a few months, oh well, we can dream
— Steve B (@SteveW40b) October 26, 2016
The Surface Phone is widely expected to run Windows 10, which may be a problem. In the past, running full desktop operating systems on pocketable devices has been a disaster for consumers. The 2007 Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) was a perfect example.
While many thought it would be really cool to have Windows on such a small device, using it, especially because of the poor battery life, was a different story. The UMPC failed, but perhaps the Surface Phone won’t. After all, Windows 10 has been made to work well on mobile devices. As many have noted, the Surface Phone could take complete advantage of the mobile aspects of Windows 10 and end up being a very useful phone for business users.
Besides the Surface Phone possibly being released in the first half of 2017, we will likely see a Surface Pro 5 release as well. Microsoft could have released the new Surface Pro 5 in time for the holiday season, but it is likely waiting for the brand new 7th-generation Kaby Lake processors to become more readily available — this would help improve the battery life, which has been highly criticized on the Surface Pro 4.
Most rumors have the Surface Pro 5 coming out in the spring of 2017, right around the time the second major Windows 10 update happens. According to Tech Radar, we could see an updated rechargeable stylus, a 4K screen (on at least one of the models), and maybe an even larger screen. There may be a newly improved Type Cover as well, although many feel that the Type Cover for the Surface Pro 4 is already excellent
Microsoft may not have a full hold on the laptop/tablet hybrid business this spring. As the Inquisitr reported last month, Apple may be getting ready to release the third generation MacBook with Apple Pencil support. Apple users have been asking for this for a long time, and even though Steve Jobs was always against the use of any stylus with Apple devices, the marketplace has changed.
The year 2016 was rather boring for laptop/tablet hybrids, but we won’t be able to say the same about 2017. The Surface Pro 5 and the MacBook may finally break this category into the mainstream.
[Featured Image by George Frey/Getty Images]