According to a report by Windows Central, Microsoft may release a Surface phone in the next year and would hopefully revive its smartphone business which has been dwindling a bit now.
For some time, rumors have been surfacing that Microsoft was working on a full metal phone incorporated with Intel processor based on Windows 10 but that plan won’t see day light any soon. Instead, a Surface phone is on its way.
The Microsoft premium device engineering team behind Surface and Surface Pro, led by Panos Panay, is reportedly working on the phone presently known as Panos’s phone. Intel is also reportedly working with the team to co-develop a chipset like x86 for the phone which is more powerful than the current Qualcomm processors running the smartphones. It is also speculated that the phone will be able to run Win32 applications, something which Windows fanatics have wanted for a long time.
The report also mentioned that many executives in Microsoft, particularly from Surface teams, were not happy with the recent Lumia devices, namely Lumia 950 and 950 XL. In fact, the full metal phone with Intel was also supposed to be a part of Lumia series.
Moreover, Windows smartphones have failed so far to earn any fortune in smartphone market, currently dominated by iOS and Android. Given the recent success of Surface and Surface Pro, Microsoft may be planning an entirely new strategy for bringing premium flagship Surface smartphones, which were rumored since the launch of Surface tablets.
However, the report still remains unclear whether the new phone slated for 2016 release will be a Surface phone or not, as Microsoft seems to be experimenting with different technologies at the moment.
The phone is expected to launch in the second half of 2016, probably in August 2016 along with the Windows 10 Redstone aka the next big OS release from Microsoft. It may also extend further for an early fall release in October probably along with the launch of next generation of Surface Pro, Band and Surface Book.