New hopes emerge for the elusive Surface Phone from Microsoft, as the company’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Chris Capossela, dropped some intriguing hints in this regards.
The Surface Phone has starred in so many rumors so far that it almost seems like a myth, or a utopia, but nothing actually materialized just yet. Microsoft made notable efforts recently to increase its presence on all fronts, hardware and software, and its latest Windows 10 platform aims to unify different device categories and pull them under one big umbrella with a single, universal software ecosystem.
Microsoft had a big year in 2015 and it made several announcements and advances that marked important steps forward, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement, particularly on the mobile side of things.
The company may have launched a few new smartphones rocking the latest Windows 10 Mobile out of the box, but the new mobile OS has yet to make its way to a wider pool of devices. Just recently, Microsoft disappointed many of its fans when it announced that it was delaying the release of Windows 10 Mobile as an update to existing Windows Phone devices.
Microsoft previously said it would roll out the Windows 10 Mobile update to existing Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 devices this December, but ultimately decided to push back the release so it could make sure that everything works as it should. Rather than rushing the update just to roll it out as soon as possible, the company decided that it was best to take its time and iron all the kinks rather than issuing a buggy update.
A similar reasoning seems to apply when it comes to the much-rumored Surface Phone. Microsoft wants to up its game on the mobile front and it’s working on it, but it wants to come up with a real game changer and that’s why it’s not rushing things.
Microsoft CMO Chris Capossela tackled various aspects of Microsoft’s work and vision in a recent Windows Weekly Twit interview with Leo Laporte, Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley. Amid talks about the cultural change with Satya Nadella at the helm of the company, the Office 360 transition to the cloud, the importance of privacy, the great hype HoloLens stirred without selling a single unit, the progress of Surface hardware in general, and much more, the executive also dropped some hints on the next big smartphone. When Foley asked him for a reason not to give up hope as a Windows Phone fan, Capossela suggested that Microsoft has some big plans for the future.
Capossela did not offer any specific information regarding the purported Surface Phone, when it would arrive or what it would be called when it’s finally ready to hit the market. The executive did not even refer to the device as the Surface Phone.
Nevertheless, among plenty of vague statements we have already grown used to, Capossela did say that the upcoming smartphone powerhouse from Microsoft needs to be truly impressive to make it.
“We need some sort of spiritual equivalent on the phone side that doesn’t just feel like it’s a phone for people who love Windows,” the executive reckoned. “It’s got to be a phone where it’s like ‘Wow, that’s a real shock and that’s a real breakthrough,’ and that’s going to make me, as a hypothetical Apple fan, pause before I buy my 17th iPhone.’ And we need time to actually go build that.”
Truth be told, Microsoft is indeed facing a tough battle ahead, and its mobile presence is not very encouraging for now. IDC predicted a bleak future for the mobile Windows platform, and Microsoft needs a game changer now more than ever. However, the company knows that it needs something big, and Capossela’s statement suggests that Microsoft is working on it. It may not be a clear confirmation for the Surface Phone, but it’s as close as it got so far.
If Microsoft made it with its Surface line, it could definitely pull it through on the mobile front as well, despite fierce competition from rivals. Microsoft doesn’t even need to beat Android or iOS, it just needs a bigger slice of the pie, an increased market share.
With a “breakthrough” phone that’s the “spiritual equivalent” of the Surface line, Microsoft could have what it takes to make it, but it remains to be seen. In the meantime, Capossela’s comments understandably fuel more rumors and expectations for the almighty Surface Phone, which could finally see the light of day in 2016.