With Microsoft’s announcement of Windows 10 S and the Surface Laptop, there were two big questions in fans’ minds. What of the Surface Pro and, perhaps more importantly, what of the Windows phones. Exhibiting perfect PR craftsmanship, Nadella’s answer to the latter is, to be blunt, a non-answer. According to the CEO, the company will still be making phones. But those phones may not even resemble the form, or even the idea, of phones we have today. Cue the speculations.
So, in a nutshell, Nadella is calling it quits on the Windows 10 Mobile devices we know today. Well, not entirely either. He acknowledges the work that’s been done with OEM partners like HP and its Elite x3, but qualifies it as something that focuses on a specific, niche market. Microsoft’s general mobile thrust has been to brings its apps and services to iOS and Android.
That’s not to say Microsoft is no longer interested in smartphones. It’s just waiting for the “next change in form and function.” Nadella likens it to what it accomplished with the Surface tablets which defined, or redefined, the tablet PC market and 2-in-1 category. That is what Nadella wants Microsoft to do in the smartphone market as well.
So the Microsoft phones of the future may not even look like today’s phones, says Nadella. Of course, this has triggered all sorts of theories, including the crowd favorite foldable tablet. Microsoft does have patents on those and, once upon a time, came close to making that a reality in the scrapped Courier project.
That said, Microsoft has had a track record of flip-flopping on the mobile front, so it’s not exactly easy to put faith or hope in such statements. We are probably still years away from that “not a phone” phone, and, by then, Microsoft’s direction may have changed. For now, however, we can probably safely say that Windows 10 Mobile and Windows phones are practically dead.