[sc:hardware-category ]Two interesting items came out last week about Microsoft’s Surface line.
First off, the holiday Microsoft stores will be opening on Oct 26th, just in time for the Windows 8 launch and presumably the Surface RT tables to go on sale. This makes my life a little bit easier as I won’t have the drive to the US or wait until the new Microsoft store opens in my area.
The second interesting thing that came up was the rumor (which seems to be confirmed by multiple sources now) that Microsoft will be building their own phone sometime in the new year.
First off I’m not waiting for an MS phone, I’ve pretty much decided now that I’ll be picking up a Lumia 920 as soon as I can as my primary phone. While it is a bit larger/heavier than I would like, the inductive charging has won me over.
So why is MS making its own phone?
I think the answer is simple. Microsoft has finally realized that depending upon partners to make designs that will compete with the top end phones isn’t working. As great as the Nokia and HTC phones look, they seem like mid range phones really instead of high-end ones. Now some might say the 920 is top of the line, which is true for the feature set, but it really is a big and heavy phone in comparison to the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S III. Samsung Ativ S is a slim/light phone but with a huge display and no LTE. Likewise it just seems too much like a re-purposed Android device.
So the obvious answer is for Microsoft to make their own phone. A phone that will be comparable to the specs of the iPhone and GSIII while adding a design flare that clearly differentiates it from anything else out there. MS has done it with the Surface tablets and the phone seems like a logical extension.
Microsoft could once again sell it primarily in their physical stores and not trample all over their partners while having a showcase phone to use in its advertising and marketing campaigns.
Time will tell for sure but here’s a though… The PC industry is pretty conservative in its design too, could a Surface PC and laptop push PC makers to compete not just in the mass market but for a designer market as well?