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Microsoft Reportedly Working On Its Own Smartphone 215

Posted by Soulskill
from the seeing-what-sticks dept.
According to a (paywalled) report in the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is experimenting with its own smartphone design. "Officials at some of Microsoft's parts suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Redmond, Wash.-based company is testing a smartphone design but isn't sure if a product will go into mass production." The article continues: "If Microsoft pushes ahead with its mobile phone, it would underscore how far Microsoft has moved away from its long-standing practice of making software and leaving decisions about design, features and marketing of the computing hardware to partners such as Hewlett-Packard or Samsung Electronics. ... As it does so, Microsoft pulls from a modified playbook of Apple—whose hardware-plus-software approach Microsoft officials long have scorned. ... Smartphones running Microsoft's two-year-old Windows Phone operating software for cellphones haven't sold well, and Microsoft may want to leave itself an option to test whether its own phone would spur sales."
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Microsoft Reportedly Working On Its Own Smartphone

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  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Friday November 02, 2012 @05:40PM (#41859643)

    In case you are wondering what Elop thought of this news.

    "in a conference call two weeks ago, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said that he would welcome such a rival. Elop said that a Microsoft smartphone would act as a “stimulant” to all companies making Windows Phone 8 devices, but added that he wasn’t aware of any plans to do so." http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/microsoft-smartphone-windows-phone-8-98096 [techweekeurope.co.uk]

    Whatever you think of Steve Ballmer how he for the record got for a bargain the most expensive advertising campaign in history for next to nothing, and a patent cartel with Nokia, and it seems things are unlikely to change in the future.

    I'm astonished the Finnish Government has done nothing all I can find is this quote http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/20/us-finnish-government-wont-buy-nokia-sha-idUSBRE85J15V20120620?irpc=932 [reuters.com] "This is not our business. We are developing Finland into a country where companies can do well, but this is not the way of support along which the government will go,"

  • I don't think so (Score:3, Informative)

    by AbhiTheOne (2717543) on Friday November 02, 2012 @05:44PM (#41859697)
    The reasons Microsoft built Surface were:
    1. MS felt the OEM Win8 tablets not upto the mark with iPad.
    2. There is no dedicated OEM working on Win8 tablet.
    3. MS thinks there isn't OEM with market perception comparable to Apple in tablet space.

    All these issues aren't present in WP8 space, as Nokia has history of marking amazing phones, it is dedicated to WP8 and market perception of Nokia isn't bad in phone space. So it doesn't make sense for Microsoft to make their own phone.
  • by jbolden (176878) on Friday November 02, 2012 @05:48PM (#41859757) Homepage

    Apple has already stated in court that Win8's design does substantially differ from Apple's. Apple has a problem with Android. They've been unequivocal about MeeGo, Tizen, Win8, BBOS9, BB10... not being a violation of their patents.

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:45PM (#41860503)

    Nokia is the company that closed a digital store and revoked the access to all purchases to their customers. Death is an appropriate fate for them.

    Microsoft did the same thing when they shut down the "playsforsure" platform.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:56PM (#41861127)

    Whatever you may think of Apple, the fact is that Microsoft's notion of innovation now seems to be "Do what Apple does."

    That's not really true at any meaningful level. Sure, they followed Apple into the phone/tablet market, but they're not at all a copy-cat. Apple came up with a field of icons. Android copied that, and added widgets and a status bar. Apple copied those back. Microsoft came along and made something completely unique. Not necessarily better -- I haven't used it -- but definitely unique.

    Microsoft also makes a video game console with a unique motion sensor, instead of copying Nintendo the way Sony did. Note that the Kinect isn't necessarily better than the Wiimote, but it's certainly different.

    And Microsoft innovated with Bing, adding lots of features that Google has since mimicked: helicopter view in maps, infinite scrolling image search, preview panes on the side, flight searches, etc. Bing isn't better than Google, not by a long shot, but it's certainly not some me-too! copy.

    Really, Microsoft comes up with some innovative stuff. I'm not sure why they're floundering. Maybe it's just bad marketing? But it's certainly not for lack of talented people.

  • by symbolset (646467) * on Friday November 02, 2012 @11:07PM (#41862283) Journal
    Nokia never did well in smartphones? Really? They sold half a billion Symbian smartphones - more than either Apple or Android has so far. They had 40 percent market share.
  • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @09:28AM (#41864257)

    I spoke to a salesperson today aswell, see I wanted a tablet for my wife so she could plug it in to her (i think olympus) camera and then upload her photos to DropBox. The guy told me come back in a few weeks when the Windows tablets are in. He also said that it was something the iPad isn't capable of, which really I'd consider is a pretty damn remedial task.

    If you go talk to the Salesman in a Microsoft store in the office where you work you will hear some pretty weird shit. The iPad can obviously do that using the camera connection kit [apple.com] and if you bought a Nexus tablet you could just do it with a converter cable. I'd recommend going ahead with that now whilst you can still claim you bought it before the Surface was available. Later on you might get into trouble with your team leader for not being sufficiently loyal.

    I think that Microsoft has been able to get away with spreading silly rumours about like this about Linux in the past because most people didn't have access to systems where they could check them. On the other hand, anyone who uploads a photo from their camera to an iPad or a Nexus is immediately going to see the benefits that a quality screen with a high PPI rating is going to give them. This is going to be one of the first things any iPad owner is going to ask a surface owner to show him.

  • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @09:55AM (#41864429)

    How did Nokia get screwed by Microsoft?

    so so many ways.

    • Microsoft is pushing Skype on all Windows platforms; this is specifically designed to take over AT&T and other operator's billing relationships. Means no sane mobile operator will go with WP8
    • HTC is the main launch partner for Windows 8 - Nokia is going to be pushed down below even a Minor Chinese competitor, smaller than Sony or LG in smartphones.
    • Windows Phone does not support pureview
    • Windows phone 8 is deeply late for Christmas deliveries
    • Microsoft has completely failed on app quality control - most apps are simply the cheapest thing to get a Microsoft bonus and inflate the app numbers
    • Microsoft took the tablet space - Nokia had previously planned to do WP8 tablets themselves
    • Microsoft promised Nokia sub $100 BOM on Windows phones - not, apparently, delivered yet.
    • Windows phone 7 won't be upgraded (as you said - Nokia for a long time claimed to believe it would be)
    • Microsoft is publicising their own phones just before Nokia's big launch

    The camera one is really instructive. Nokia's big new feature as 40MP ultra-big, ultra-high resolution sensors with digital stabilisation. They create a special "pure-view" brand just for these. Instead they will be delivering 8MP sensors with standard optical stabilization and are desperate (this is the sensor where they cheated on the publicity video). Nokia has been forced to brand these "pure-view" also so they could get that feature check on their Windows phones.

    Think about the loss that causes when imaging was the last feature Nokia stood out on:

    • Pure View - originally associated with 40MP custom sensors is now associated with commodity 8MP sensors
    • they have no single feature on their phones which is outstanding; almost everything is worse than an iPhone 5 and much worse than a new Samsung.

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.

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