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Microsoft Cellphones Handhelds Operating Systems Windows

Microsoft CMO Confirms Development of 'Spiritual Equivalent' of Surface Phone (hothardware.com) 165

MojoKid writes: We all know what Microsoft wants to do with Windows 10. It's supposedly the last monolithic release of Windows and the ultimate plan is to unite hardware from different device categories under a single, universal ecosystem. That includes smartphones, which is an area where Microsoft has historically struggled hard to compete. The release of a premium "Surface Phone" of some sort, however, could prove to be a game changer. Microsoft is aggressively pushing Windows 10 upgrades, and makes no bones about it, all in an effort to get developers on board to build universal Windows 10 cross-platform apps and spur mobile development. In that respect, Microsoft needs to finally make an impact in the handset space and Windows 10 Mobile is the company's one shot to do just that. And it appears that Microsoft is working on what could be essentially a true Surface Phone, or at least something very similar. In a recent interview, Mary Jo Foley pushed Microsoft's Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela on the prospect of a Surface Phone and he confirmed the company is working on a "breakthrough" phone that is the "spiritual equivalent" of their very successful line of Surface branded products. Capossela has been with Microsoft for over two decades. He used to write speeches for Bill Gates and is intimately familiar with Microsoft's many products and strategies.
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Microsoft CMO Confirms Development of 'Spiritual Equivalent' of Surface Phone

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  • so now, the tech world enters Shia/Sunni territory?
  • Oh noes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Sunday December 27, 2015 @09:01PM (#51192543)

    And I'm sure it'll be another stunning success, just like the last 5 failed phones they tried to force into the market.

    • How would that really be different from their Lumias today?

      Microsoft has 2 problem - the first being that it's failed to get mindshare of app devs who otherwise are happy to support both iOS and Android. Almost every app you see out there supports those 2 OSs, but not Windows Phone/Mobile. Their other issue is that they've failed to get clout w/ the carriers so that they rather than the carriers can push phone updates, like Apple does and like Google is starting to do beginning w/ Lollipop. I'm not sur

    • One more thing - they need to discontinue all their phones that have just 8GB of storage, and start at 16GB. 8GB fills up too fast.
      • One more thing - they need to discontinue all their phones that have just 8GB of storage, and start at 16GB. 8GB fills up too fast.

        If they had half a brain they'd start at 32GB or even 64GB. That might help set them apart at least a little bit.

  • >> Random marketing head says now THIS is last desktop OS Um...Microsoft CEO Nadella said that Windows 10 was already going to be this great converged OS...back in 2014. http://www.extremetech.com/gam... [extremetech.com]
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      "Windows 10" is the "OS X" of Redmond. OS X was released in 2001, still has the same name, but has evolved quite a bit. It also means "Ten" in Latin.

      Windows 10 is going to incrementally alienate every single desktop user, which is the business user, which is where Microsoft makes most of its money. Headless virtual machines on keyboardless commodity hardware are not going to be administered by tablet, and the stupid tablet interface is really just going to piss people off.

      Well, that sounds terrible. May

      • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

        the stupid tablet interface is really just going to piss people off.

        Then I guess it's a good thing they got rid of their tablet-only interface before Windows 10.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wait a minute...I heard Windows Phone 6 was going to be the game changer. Then WP7...now it's 10? Perhaps they will succeed with Windows Phone 11?

      But I get why they say it will be the spiritual equivalent of surface...the surface machines don't get the bad reviews that the Windows Phones do...so they are hoping the improved marketing speak will work this time.

  • No one WANTS a Microsoft-branded anything.
    The only reason anyone still uses Microsoft products is because:
    1) it came preinstalled on your new computer.
    2) Most workplace IT managers only know Windows so automatically force it onto everyone's work computers.

    • If by "no one" and "anyone" you mean "all the other kids in my parents basement", then yes, you are probably right. If none of them are gamers.

    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      They definitely need to work hard to move product. I am not sure how anyone believes the Surface is successful. MS revenue appears to be down, and while Surface sales spike, and increase, as each new Surface is released, sales drop the next quarter or two until a new surface is released.

      Their one successful piece of hardware, the Xbox, seems to go up and down. The XBox success is that it is not windows, and MS does not do a lot to use Xbox to push MS Windows. From a consumer point of view, the MS ecos

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gman003 ( 1693318 )

      I'm actually getting a Surface. (A used Surface Pro 2, but still specifically a Surface - I found a use case where Windows compatibility in a super-portable machine with a touchscreen is actually quite useful).

      Microsoft is blatantly trying to be Apple, but they actually seem to be doing a better job of it than the modern Apple is. All their devices are reportedly solidly-built and well-specced (either high-end overall, or good specs for the price... yes, their high-end stuff is expensive, but at least it's

      • Doesn't the Surface Book fill up that need? What is it about detachable that defeats your purpose?
        • It's not the detachable per se that's the problem - it's the limited ability to customize and upgrade which I would want in a full-size laptop, and that is at odds with the need for compactness that a tablet needs. Oh, and also the simple physical size - a productivity laptop ought to be in the 15"-17" range, not 13", if only for the keyboard.

          The Surface Book seems like a good convertible ultrabook. The sacrifices they made to make it good at certain things made it less suitable for other things. Nothing wr

          • Laptops are tough to upgrade anyway. If upgradability was a criteria, I'd think one would go for desktops. As for the keyboard, I prefer the ones that still have the numeric keypad section on the right, as opposed to the compact ones where you can only type the numbers from row 2.

            Anyway, my point was that if Microsoft started making laptops like what you're describing, they'd start to cannibalize their Surface books. They needn't make EVERYTHING

    • I'm still using a first generation Intellimouse. Love the layout.

      • I miss the split ergonomic Microsoft keyboards. Typing used to be such a joy in the 90s, compared to now
    • The only reason anyone still uses Microsoft products is because:

      It's the best platform for Fallout 4.

    • If Google had Chromebooks and boxes that supported USB printing in an easy to setup way Windows would slowly fade into the sunset.
  • by hsmith ( 818216 ) on Sunday December 27, 2015 @09:05PM (#51192571)
    Is that why Windows Mobile 10, or whatever it is now called, got pushed back until 2016? I am sure people will be busting down doors to buy this new phone, maybe they'll break 5% market share in Beruit!
    • But nevertheless Slashdot feels the need to tout it as the Coming Great Thing.

    • Is that why Windows Mobile 10, or whatever it is now called, got pushed back until 2016?

      Pushed back? I'm using it on my phone right now.

    • Is that why Windows Mobile 10, or whatever it is now called, got pushed back until 2016? I am sure people will be busting down doors to buy this new phone, maybe they'll break 5% market share in Beruit!

      Pushed back? One can already get a Lumia 950/XL, which comes w/ Windows 10 Mobile. Only thing they haven't yet done is upgrade all their other phones to 10. They need to take back the OS upgrade capabilities from the carriers

  • by Gavagai80 ( 1275204 ) on Sunday December 27, 2015 @09:08PM (#51192583) Homepage

    Chief marketing officer thinks his next product is good, and spiritually equivalent to things people like. This is credible because he's spent decades writing speeches for Microsoft saying similar things.

  • I read the article, and I'm still not clear on how a "Surface Phone" would be different from a Lumia with Windows 10. I'm sure someone here can explain to me, seeing as I'm apparently not familiar enough with the Microsoft eco-system.

    Thanks!

    • by ChunderDownunder ( 709234 ) on Sunday December 27, 2015 @09:55PM (#51192801)

      Lumia represents the last of the Nokia/Elop era, whereas a "Surface Phone" is done in-house?

      x86 compatibility, perhaps. If they cram an Atom into a phone then when docked you've got a desktop PC in your pocket, with the full win32 back catalogue.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        x86 compatibility, perhaps. If they cram an Atom into a phone then when docked you've got a desktop PC in your pocket, with the full win32 back catalogue.

        That is what I'm hoping for, they saw how Surface tablets/convertibles with ARM processors and WinRT tanked. The one reason to buy Microsoft products is compatibility with the vast, vast amounts of x86 software. If this is yet another ARM phone, just call it a Lumia. It's not a terrible brand and it's an established as a non-x86 platform. They've finally unfucked their brands, if they do it again by launching a new non-x86 product under the Surface name their marketing department should be fired. Out of a c

        • I fully agree w/ this. On the hardware side of things, they made things pretty clean. Like one of their ARM based tablets running RT 8.1 is called a Lumia, not a surface. Using the Surface name for any of their ARMs was a bad idea. Lumia is good, if not great, hardware, and all one needs is the key apps that they commonly use.

          I'm not sure whether having an x86 phone would make things better for them in the software department. Like some apps, such as Yelp! and Fandango, are available on Windows Phone

  • It's spiritual because you need a lot of faith to use it.

  • Surface (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    There seems to be this narrative that the Surface is successful in the market. It isn't. The only Surface I have seen in the wild is on the NFL sidelines, and Microsoft is paying the NFL for that. There is no way Surfaces are selling widely.

    • Tell me about it. These iPads are a flop too. I just got off a train and I didn't see a single iPad. Not one. I saw 2 Surfaces though.

      You may not think Surfaces are selling wildly, and in your tiny little world they probably aren't. In the mean time my local government has bought many thousands of them, my partner's school is switching to them for all staff and students (iPads were a flop for real this time not just me being stupid as in the first line) and the more I talk to people the more they are either

  • game changer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday December 27, 2015 @09:59PM (#51192817) Journal
    I don't remember anyone saying, "The iPhone is a gamechanger" when it was released. People said, "this is really cool" or for some, "this is really lame." They focused on the features of the phone, and how it felt. They didn't need to tell people it was a gamechanger, because that was fairly obvious right at the start.

    Hypothesis: if you have to tell people your product is a "game changer," then it probably isn't.
    • by intrico ( 100334 )

      Not sure if Steve Jobs used the exact term "gamechanger" in that original iPhone keynote, but he definitely did effectively describe it as such.

  • I really don't. They are the only company that could do something like the Atrix lapdock and make it work really well. In fact, the sanest thing for them to do would be to put together a beast of a phone and sell the dock at cost to business customers. Once docked, all of the touch stuff fades away into a full blown Windows 10 desktop experience complete with extra USB ports, wired ethernet, HDMI output, you name it. If they wanted to be really slick, just make the phone pluggable like a PCMCIA card into th

    • If they wanted to be really slick, just make the phone pluggable like a PCMCIA card into the dock itself so no one even knows it's a dock.

      Every time someone decides to dock a phone into a larger device, it is stupid. The phone needs to be the whole device aside from your input devices. If you need more than that, you're going to need more ports than you can reasonably put on a phone. But needing a proprietary dock is a non-starter. Uptake is never good on those.

      The problem is the screen, which always goes to waste. At best it's used as a gimmick. Mostly it's just turned away from the user and not available at all.

  • by crbowman ( 7970 ) on Sunday December 27, 2015 @11:31PM (#51193175) Homepage

    I'm tired of coming back to my desktop PC and finding Microsoft has decided to reboot it without asking me, thus losing work. I'm tired of constantly being nagged to upgrade to windows 10. I don't want all information shared with Microsoft. I really wish I could but windows 7 and down grade. I only run Windows because some dev tools for electronic design and some games only run there and I can't get PCIe slots without buying an insanely expensive MAC. I think I'm pretty much end of the line with Microsoft. Disclaimer: I run MacOS X and FreeBSD. I'm not unaware of my options but there are some things for which I want a windows PC or I want Windows to die so I don't need a windows machine but just a PC.

    • I hear you, and I have the same complaints/concerns.

      My guess is that I'll be running Linux Mint or possibly Ubuntu once they force the Win10 upgrade down my throat.

      Barring that, I'll run Win 7....until my PC dies or drivers are no longer available for whatever new gadget I buy...and I'm thinking tat will happen within a year or so, maybe sooner.

      • I'm in this situation also: I like Windows 7 but can't stand 10. I'll continue to use 7 as long as I can, then I'll probably go Linux and maybe a secondary Win 10 partition just for gaming.
        I'd pay good money to have a Windows 7 with the internals of 10 but I guess Microsoft thinks we're too few to be worth it.
        • I'd pay good money to have a Windows 7 with the internals of 10 but I guess Microsoft thinks we're too few to be worth it.

          Same here, but the whole "telemetry on every mouse-click and keystroke" thing is a little off-putting to me.

  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @02:32AM (#51193761)

    Used to be excited about "new" technology because it sometimes had a purpose and offered users value and capabilities. Today all anyone can do is fuck with people. Everyone wants to be a spyware or malware vendor and they don't want to do anything useful in return for a paycheck. Much of the consumer crap being churned out today is not only worthless but hostile and even dangerous.

    Why would I want a Windows phone when I'm required to have a MS account, can't use my devices GPS without uploading my location to Microsoft, can't have a local phone book without giving all of my contacts to Microsoft, can't install software not approved by Microsoft, can't use wifi without participating in MS crowd sourced skyhook spying. I'm fed up with the childish games and people constantly justifying their actions by citing who else is doing it too.

    The opportunity cost of so much wasted potential is beyond sad.

  • I still don't understand how anyone can possibly think that every device from cellphones to servers can possibly be used to their own full potential with the same damn user interface.

    Either servers are going to be dumbed down or cellphones are going to be missing features, there simply is no way around that. And neither one is acceptable.

    Any rational being would recognize that cellphones and servers have such different roles that differing interfaces on them would only help people to realize that there is m

    • I still don't understand how anyone can possibly think that every device from cellphones to servers can possibly be used to their own full potential with the same damn user interface.
      Either servers are going to be dumbed down or cellphones are going to be missing features, there simply is no way around that. And neither one is acceptable.

      You are talking bollocks here. My Android tablet has got a Terminal application, and therefore it has the same interface that I use to administer Linux. Why can't a Windows tablet have the same interface used to administer a server? You can run Powershell on non-server Windows. They both have the same GUI classes. You're full of it.

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