Print 24 comment(s) - last by Alexvrb.. on Nov 5 at 12:39 AM

Microsoft has its own tablet, so offering a smartphone certainly isn't hard to believe.
How will Windows Phone partners feel about a Microsoft direct smartphone?

A rumor has surfaced that claims Microsoft is currently working with component suppliers in Asia to test out its own smartphone design. Earlier in the year, this rumor might have been met with significant criticism and disbelief. However, with Microsoft already offering its own tablet called the Surface and having plainly stated that it intends to do more first-party hardware, the latest report seems more plausible.

Windows Phone hasn’t traditionally been a very popular operating system for smartphones. It wouldn't be a stretch to imagine that Microsoft blames some of the poor showing of its smartphone operating system on poor hardware design. If Microsoft can design an attractive and high-performing smartphone using its own operating system, consumers might be more inclined to buy a Windows Phone 8 device.

The Wall Street Journal says that officials from some of Microsoft's parts suppliers have stated that the company is testing a smartphone design, but Microsoft isn't sure whether the product will go into mass production. The sources are declining to be named, naturally.

One source claims that the screen of the Microsoft smartphone being tested right now measures between four and five inches. A screen of that size would put it right in the mix with the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S III.

"We're quite happy about this holiday [season] going to market hard with Nokia, Samsung and HTC," said Mr. Ballmer, referring to companies making smartphones powered by Microsoft software. "Whether we had a plan to do something different or we didn't have a plan I wouldn't comment in any dimension."

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Same way they feel about Google's Nexus phones
By quiksilvr on 11/2/2012 10:17:42 AM , Rating: 4
It'll be a model for other companies to follow.

RE: Same way they feel about Google's Nexus phones
By Camikazi on 11/2/2012 10:44:32 AM , Rating: 2
Except for Acer who will complain and moan about it :P

By quiksilvr on 11/2/2012 10:54:28 AM , Rating: 2
To be fair, it was complete BS that Windows stepped in and took off Thunderbolt from Acer's tablet.

By Samus on 11/2/2012 11:08:18 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah I read that on Engadget and couldn't help but think that's really holding back creativity from their new ecosystem of tablets.

RE: Same way they feel about Google's Nexus phones
By Mitch101 on 11/2/2012 10:58:40 AM , Rating: 2
There is a rumor this is a SKYPE Phone not a carrier phone.

Imagine a iPod Touch with Skype but laid out like a phone. Hold to ear if you like or use as a video chat holding it outward.

RE: Same way they feel about Google's Nexus phones
By Motoman on 11/2/2012 1:21:22 PM , Rating: 2
That would be...moronic. What good is a phone that doesn't work if you're not connected to a wireless LAN?

With no cell carrier and no cellular connection, it's not a phone - it's a little tablet.

By zephyrprime on 11/2/2012 7:04:02 PM , Rating: 2
It's intended purpose is probably to tell the OEMs what to do and to shame them into not being so cheap and shoddy with their designs. It's probably not intended to be a successful mass market device and will probably only be sold online through limited channels.

By retrospooty on 11/2/2012 3:58:07 PM , Rating: 2
"Except for Acer who will complain and moan about it :P"

LOL, Acer will make an equally spec'd phone of lower quality and higher price, then it wont sell, because of the known quality lapses and high price and THEN they will complain and moan about it.

By spread on 11/3/2012 6:38:35 PM , Rating: 2
And it's going to have the worst screen in the world and the same battery life as a boiled potato.

By Connoisseur on 11/2/2012 10:59:32 AM , Rating: 2
Except Android is essentially an open source OS and other companies are allowed to Skin it as they see fit. You can't do that with Windows Phone so the only differentiating factor (and motivation) that other companies have is the hardware. Since there's certain requirements in terms of internal hardware, other makers can only differentiate in terms of external looks. How many different ways can you make a rectangle with a big screen?

By Mitch101 on 11/2/2012 12:02:04 PM , Rating: 2

Skinery lets you skin tiles with your favourite photos. You can resize and position your photo as you like to fit on the tile.

Unlike other tile apps in the marketplace, Skinery tile can also be used to launch the your favourite apps: Internet Explorer, Phone, Calculator, Alarms, Marketplace and Maps.

RE: Same way they feel about Google's Nexus phones
By Myrandex on 11/2/2012 1:17:17 PM , Rating: 2
By throwing on a world class (HTC Touch Pro 2 style or better) keyboard on it for starters! The surplus of phones all looking the same is lame. Carriers are able to customize the hardware, so take advantage of it!

And don't put it on Sprint like the HTC Arrive.

RE: Same way they feel about Google's Nexus phones
By Motoman on 11/2/2012 1:26:02 PM , Rating: 4
Yes, you differentiate on hardware features.

Some people want a physical keyboard...some don't. Some people like a bigger phone, some like a smaller phone. Some people will pay more money for a fast, dual-core (or quad-core) processor...some people want it to be as cheap as possible, and are fine with a low-end single-core processor.

So on and so forth. Different Windows phones will differentiate the same way that laptops and desktops do. They all use the same OS, but they all have different features.

RE: Same way they feel about Google's Nexus phones
By RufusM on 11/2/2012 2:29:17 PM , Rating: 3
This is what the hardware OEMs don't want though. When they can differentiate on hardware alone the product becomes a commodity like most desktops and laptops today. Margins get small because there's so much competition. OEMs would rather add on something no one else has because it gives them product differentiation and they can justify a cost difference. This is also why carriers lock you into their network; so they don't become a commodity.

I would love to see the OS, hardware and carrier be completely different units so I can buy the hardware I like, install the OS and software I want and connect to the network that works best for me. I fear unless the laws in the US change, this will never happen. There is far too much money to be made by requiring lock in.

RE: Same way they feel about Google's Nexus phones
By Motoman on 11/2/2012 3:35:05 PM , Rating: 2
Keep dreaming. No one is going to make an OS that can support every possible piece of hardware you ever come up with.

And without a solid user base for an OS, no one is going to make apps for it.

As for becoming a commodity...phones already are a commodity. At least, Android phones are.

None of the rules apply to Apple. Which is why they make heinous amounts of money while being the biggest walled garden ever seen.

As always the appropriate action is to not worry about Apple - you're never going to anything about Apple or their followers. Do what you do and compete where you can compete.

By inighthawki on 11/4/2012 1:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
It would be rather easy to support as long as the hardware is from the same family. Much like choosing between and AMD FX and an Intel Core i7, there's certainly room for it to work. The biggest problem of course would be optimization. Doing something like this means the OS needs to be more generalized instead of optimized for a specific chip. This means you lose some of your performance as well as battery life.

By Alexvrb on 11/5/2012 12:39:01 AM , Rating: 2
I think you'll find that Google controls Android pretty tightly. Source drops aren't quite the same as open source. If a manufacturer wants the latest source code delivered to them in a timely fashion (rather than many months after the competition), they'll do what Google tells them to do.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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