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Microsoft Reportedly Working On Its Own Smartphone 215

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 lobiusmoop ( 305328 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:34PM (#41859573) Homepage
  • In Other news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tuppe666 ( 904118 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:51PM (#41859785)

    LG is profitable again after dumping windows and focusing on Android.
    Asus have also having good fortune from Android Tablets.
    Sony after dumping Ericsson is profitable again with Android.

    Nokia gets burnt once with Windows Phone 8 incompatibilities
    Nokia gets thrown under a bus with the Surface tablet
    Nokia gets B*******d new Microsoft Phone

    Now I'm not saying Nokia should have gone Android...just that Android has a 75% share , and Nokia has well a share of what 2%

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:57PM (#41859855) Journal

    Whatever you may think of Apple, the fact is that Microsoft's notion of innovation now seems to be "Do what Apple does." At some point, if Microsoft continues down this path, it's going to weaken its OEM network, which is, at the end of the day, what made Microsoft the company it is today. Without all those manufacturers throwing MS's OEM products on new units, I'd say Microsoft's attempt to become Apple better work really damned well.

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:59PM (#41859883) Journal

    Apple has a problem with Android because Android is a major competitor. It has no problem with Microsoft because it does not foresee any point in the near future when Microsoft will be a major competitor.

    Getting hauled into court by Apple is a sign that you're on to something. Not getting hauled into court by Apple is a sign that you're probably going to fail.

  • Re:In Other news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by laffer1 ( 701823 ) <luke@ f o o l i s h g a m> on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:00PM (#41859887) Homepage Journal

    Android is a race to the bottom just as PC sales were. If you're Samsung or Moto, it's great to be in android. They have the higher margin devices. Too bad most devices are crap. The same can be said for the PC. Google has used microsoft's own battle plan against them. Microsoft sees this and uses the Apple battle plan because somehow they always survive. In 15 years, will we see google giving microsoft a loan or investment so there is still competition?

    Nokia has a microsoft fanboy working for them. There is nothing left for them. They could have owned the dumbphone market and worked on something decent or acquired RIM and tried to do something with it. They could have tried to get webos from HP or partnered with them. There are many things they could have done, but they chose to be the launchpad for microsoft as a hardware company. (ignoring the xbox and input device lines) Best case, Nokia is bought by Microsoft. I don't even see that future.

  • by tuppe666 ( 904118 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:01PM (#41859897)

    Linux Desktop will never catch on in mainstream and it's isn't Microsoft's fault, it's the short-coming of bunch of stubborn losers in denial.

    Not sure of the relevance of that comment, but saying Windows phone will never catch on with the mainstream...and its definitely Microsofts fault, it's the short-coming of bunch of stubborn losers in denial.

    I believe Linux runs on 75% of Smartphones :) where Windows Phone runs on 2%

  • by Dracos ( 107777 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:02PM (#41859919)

    The two phones MS made a couple years ago that sold ridiculously poorly and were pulled from the carrier (Verizon, I think) after only a few weeks. Yeah, a Microsoft phone will change everything.

  • Re:In Other news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tuppe666 ( 904118 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:14PM (#41860093)

    Android is a race to the bottom...Too bad most devices are crap

    There is no part of that that is true. Current Windows Phones won't run WP8 [seriously single processor], Iphones had a disappointing launch is reflected marketshare is down from 23.1% to 14.9% in a couple of quarters. RIM is yet to come out with a compelling product...and Elop killed Symbian

    Android had waterproof phones; projectors; massive phones; value phones; keyboard phones; cutting edge phones...and a marketshare of 75%...they are buying them because they are great innovative hardware and more importantly software. They are building market share not a desperate dying monopolist trying to gain market share through its usual bully tactics[Microsoft] or maintain it through Litigation.

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:20PM (#41860173) Journal

    The problem here is that it is now going to do battle against companies who have years of experience as *hardware* manufacturers. Yes, Microsoft has some experience, but on the level of Apple or Samsung? And just how far can Microsoft intrude into the world of manufacturing before it starts stepping on the toes of OEMs? If Microsoft is just planning a few flagship devices to demonstrate Windows on smartdevices, I can understand it, though I have a hard time seeing how they can hope to make money with it, but if Microsoft is deciding, after literally decades of essentially being a software company, that now it is going to become a manufacturer, then it's entering territory it has little direct experience with, and is going to be going head to head against very big players like Apple.

    I'm not saying it might not work. Who knows? Maybe in five years, it will be a major rival against Apple and the Android ecosystem. But even success in this new strategy carries risks of damaging core business units.

  • by tuppe666 ( 904118 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:24PM (#41860221)

    What's funny to me is that Elop went all-in on the Windows Phone strategy because he didn't want Nokia to be just another Android device maker. Now they're just another Windows Phone maker.

    The reasoning made no sense then. The weirder one was they didn't hedge there bets with something else, Android and Meego being the obvious choices.

  • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:25PM (#41860241)

    He decided he didn't want to be part of an expanding market if he had to share it (and, granted, Android isn't doing that great for people not in the front rank). So now he's in a dying market. And he has to share it.

  • by oztiks ( 921504 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:54PM (#41860589)

    He's right and the truth of the matter is with the exception of Acer who has basically signed its own death warrant by not consigning to windows will be suddenly left in the cold. Push vendors to create competitive devices by brandishing your own is a good strategy.

    Sorry guys, nobody cares what OS is on a phone. Only Geeks do and normal people will by Nokia because its a good brand and if half the devices out there run the same system (like what surface+windows8 is doing) users will just buy it without a care to what a tech review has to say.

    Nokia phones rock, they are even better with an OS like WP on it, I really do hate Microsoft with a passion but I cannot knock what they've done with WP7 and the Luima 900. Upon using a Nokia phone you get one important thing you miss with the iPhone, that is its a phone, not a handheld computer with a gsm module tacked on to it which even after all these years is what the iPhone still looks and feels like.

  • by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:54PM (#41860595) Homepage Journal
    Nokia's recent history is more like "kidnap, ravage, dump." Extending? Embracing? Nope, nope.
  • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @08:32PM (#41860953)

    even hedge bets with Symbian and featurephones would have been good enough, they were selling very well until the pillock stood up on his burning platform and, well, pushed the company off.

    I'm sure he'll still get his million dollar bonus when they sack him though.

  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @08:49PM (#41861091) Journal

    Meego didn't have the developer ecosystem.

    I wonder if there is anything Nokia could have done? I see his point with Android and since Windows Phone is a new OS with MS providing a huge developer base and tools not to mention hope that it might be compatible with METRO be a boon.

    Investors hate people who say it is a hot market I want in!!! That makes them yawn as consumers prefer other players who are already in psychologically. Symbian didn't have the developer support or ecosystem either or the mass market either.

    Picking Windows Mobile kind of made sense and was a big bet for these reasons. Problem is it never took off. If Windows Phone did take off Nokia would be riding it as they are Microsoft's preferred phone provider. Sadly, in the end they got screwed over by MS just like everyone else. MS is a very non trustworthy company to be foolish enough to trust your business too.

  • Re:In Other news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Saturday November 03, 2012 @12:28AM (#41862355) Journal
    Nokia is losing a billion dollars a quarter focusing on Windows Phone, and you think Android is a race to the bottom.
  • by girlinatrainingbra ( 2738457 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @05:53AM (#41863305)
    regarding your statement "...since Windows Phone is a new OS with MS providing a huge developer base...":

    Did you happen to see Windows Phone 8 Having Trouble Attracting Developers [] on /. just about three days ago? What kind of huge developer base is that? MS is not being very developer friendly, considering that last week, /. featured "Trouble For Microsoft Developers With the Windows Store" []. Maybe they are letting WPhone7 applications run on 8 and that's what they're counting as part of that "huge developer base."

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."