Microsoft has pretty much killed it with hybrid and all-in-one devices, but the company’s smartphone aspirations have pretty much ended in massive failures. Over the past few years, Microsoft and Windows Mobile’s market share has dropped so much that the platform is practically dead in the market. Despite this, however, and considering the massive success of the Surface series, Microsoft fans have been speculating that the Redmond-based tech giant will eventually re-enter the smartphone market with a game-changing device — the Surface Phone.
What is particularly interesting is the fact that Microsoft has been incredibly quiet about the Surface Phone, so much so that the Redmond-based tech giant has not even confirmed that it is working on a smartphone. Nevertheless, patents of interesting mobile devices do emerge from Microsoft every so often, suggesting that the company has not abandoned its smartphone aspirations just yet.
The most recent patent that has emerged so far is quite compelling, with Microsoft being granted a new patent by the World Intellectual Property Organization last Thursday. The patent in question describes a smart device that is seemingly designed for handheld use. Even more interesting, the smart handset in question is a hybrid device, one that can transform from a smartphone to a tablet to a mini laptop.
Microsoft’s latest patent looks incredibly similar to the abandoned but widely popular Microsoft Courier concept, a hybrid device that the Redmond-based tech giant was working on a few years ago. If any, Microsoft’s newly discovered patent suggests that the company has managed to refine and mature the Courier’s original design.
As noted in a report from MS Power User, the device that Microsoft presented in the patent appears to be designed to run a full OS, not a slimmed down version of Windows. Thus, if the patent does prove to be the Surface Phone, it would most likely become a game-changer in the mobile industry, offering a full operating system experience in a portable, flexible mobile device.
If Microsoft could pull off the device in the patent, and if the Redmond-based tech giant could release the handset next year, the Surface Phone could end up eclipsing the Samsung Galaxy X, the first true foldable mainstream smartphone expected to enter the mobile market. Rumors about the Galaxy X have been abounding for years, though a patent that recently emerged suggests that the device might not be as revolutionary as smartphone enthusiasts initially expected.
If there is one thing that Microsoft could really overshadow the Galaxy X on, it would be on the devices’ productivity capabilities. At the end of the day, the Galaxy X is expected to be a mainstream smartphone that just happens to have a unique design. The Surface Phone, on the other hand, appears to be a mobile device that is born and bred to be a true productivity machine. Considering the target demographic of the Surface series, the new patent for the Surface Phone seems to be on point.