The idea that Microsoft would make it’s own Windows Phone hardware [ when we say make their own hardware, it would involve some third party manufacturer making devices to their design specs] has been speculated upon for a while. We have seen concept phones, like the one pictured above, but these have been “on paper only” wishful thinking. The rumour has persisted though, and today in two separate stories, WPCentral, and Boy Genius Report have taken the rumour up a notch.
The ever popular anonymous, well not anonymous but those that cannot be named sources, are saying that the phones are already in testing and will be marketed under the surface brand.
Though events may play out a bit differently in the smartphone market where Microsoft has yet to stage the comeback it promised two years ago, BGR has learned that the Redmond, Washington-based company plans to release its own Windows Phone 8 smartphone in the coming months.
Add to this an article that appeared earlier in the week on China Times, that compares Microsoft’s ambition to that of Google, with it’ Nexus devices, and the rumour really takes flight. Does Microsoft see itself producing that pure Windows Phone, that showcases Windows Phone 8, without the OEM and Carrier customisations in tow? In a lot of ways it would cement the corporations faith in the OS, but what does this say about it’s relationship with it’s OEM partners? Is Microsoft having regrets?
The fact is that Windows Phone would be nowhere without OEM support, and on top of that heap is still HTC and Nokia, with Samsung trailing, still hedging their bets. So how does a Microsoft Windows Phone affect that relationship? If this rumour plays out as true, does it stack up as a true competitor for it’s OEMs in the market?
Are their changes afoot in those relationships, one indicator may be the fact that WindowsPhone.com has dropped Nokia devices from the front page for HTC’s upcoming 8X and 8S. While it’s a small change, does it indicate a change in focus?
Stephen Elop in a candid interview with Ina Fried of AllThingsD also commented on Microsoft and a surface Windows Phone, which was either telling, or an example of Microsoft being able to cover it’s tracks really well, even with a major partner.
“There’s a lot of complexity to partnership, but in terms of the fundamental commitment that we made to each other — in terms of our commitment to Windows Phone, to do our very best work for them, and for them to work closely with us, minute by minute, feature by feature, we’re getting that.”
“I have no indications they are planning to do their own phone,” Elop said. “They can do it if they so choose.”
It’s incredibly conflicting with the current rumour, and Microsoft’s investment in some of Nokia’s tech like maps, could also be seen as opportunistic, the close work /relationship the two companies have enjoyed has been mutually beneficial, but as Stephen himself says, there is nothing to stop MS making their own phone.