But Microsoft’s smartphone business never took off, and the company has essentially exited the smartphone market which it entered in 2013 with the purchase of Nokia. It has since then laid off most of the employees it gained in that acquisition and written down its entire value. The only way Microsoft would get back in, marketing manager Yusuf Mehdi told Bloomberg, is if it could do something different.
The interview follows Microsoft’s introduction on Tuesday of the Surface Laptop, a $999 device that runs a limited version of Windows for education called Windows 10 S. Microsoft is making a new push to grab more of the education market from Google’s Chromebooks and Apple iPads, but the Surface Laptop is also an effort to get more students to consider Microsoft products in place of their favored Mac laptops.
Microsoft’s hardware team over the last few years has become a serious competitor to Apple products, with one recent device, the Surface Pro 3 combo laptop-tablet, besting the iPad in a recent customer satisfaction survey.
Watch: Will Microsoft’s software challenge Google