Microsoft India chief keeps the possibility of a 'Surface Phone' open
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Not many tech products have generated quite the buzz as the mythical 'Surface Phone'. At the recently held Media and Analyst even in the Microsoft India, Hyderabad campus, the company's India President, Anant Maheswari, answered some questions posed by Digit magazine pertaining to Microsoft's products and services and their scope in the Indian market. While the interview is worth a read, the part about the 'Surface Phone' stands out. A relevant excerpt from the interview —
Digit: What is the last word from Microsoft on making smartphones? We keep hearing rumours of a Surface Phone. Is there one in the works?
Anant: I think given the world that we live in, we should never be talking about last words.
Digit: So are there any new words you would like to share with us?
Anant: I would say in the form-factors we are currently really focussed on, clearly the Surface line of products which has Surface Hub, the Surface Studio, the Surface Book and the Surface Pros, we have a lot of capabilities across those devices, and we are continuing the focus on those form-factors. As far as mobiles are concerned, we are working with all the major OEMs and OS players to create new applications and experiences. We want people to be able to access all Microsoft apps and services on the mobile form factor also.
So while Maheswari did not explicitly deny anything about the 'Surface Phone', he was also not affirmative in confirming its existence. Microsoft will continue to focus on its hero device and also work with its partners to ensure that its services are as ubiquitous and platform agnostic as possible. In other words, it's just corporate speak for now.
Ever since Microsoft started diversifying the Surface portfolio with the Surface Book, Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, and the Surface Studio, the only remaining piece of the puzzle was a mobile device. Windows 10 Mobile was guttersniped both by third-party developers and by Microsoft themselves, with the platform now only on life support. CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, famously went on to say that he would like to invent a 'category-defining' mobile device instead of the conventional smartphone form factor we see today. It remains to be seen what his definition of 'category-defining' actually means. One thing for sure is that Microsoft would need to position this device in a way that attracts both consumers and enterprises alike lest it might again go the way of the dodo.