Microsoft’s Surface Phone To Miss MWC 2017 – Forbes
As the Tech Media plan a week on the Mediterranean coast to attend Mobile World Congress, their eyes have spotted the appearance of Microsoft at the annual jamboree. With expectations running high around a potential Surface Phone, and MWC being one of the key events for a product launch, could the big story from Spain be Satya’s smartphone?
Probably not, but that’s no reason to discount Microsoft’s appearance. Not only will Windows 10 be in the spotlight, but Nadella and his team can support one of its long-standing hardware partners
I am confident that Microsoft will launch a Surface Phone at some point in 2017 – the anticipation and expectation has been allowed to build around the handset, CEO Satya Nadella has been quoted as saying that Microsoft can make “the ultimate mobile device” and Windows 10’s performance on mobile devices is expected to be upgraded in the second half of 2017 through the third Windows 10 feature update called Redstone 3.
That feature update would be the point to release the Surface Phone. Match up the latest software with an ultra-high specified device couple with exquisite styling and you would have a smartphone that rivals the utility of the Surface Pro 4 and the fashion of the Surface Book.
Until then, the Windows 10 Mobile flag will need to be carried the old-fashioned way, through Microsoft’s hardware partners. Which is where MWC comes in, as the Windows 10 Mobile focus moves to HP.
HP’s Elite X3 smartphone is currently powered by Windows 10 Mobile and has picked up some critical acclaim. As with all Windows 10 Mobile handsets, it is partially let down by the smaller portfolio of third-party applications. Nevertheless there are areas where Windows 10 is worth considering, especially in the Enterprise environment where only a handful of specialist mobile applications are needed to complement the built-in PIM suite and support for Outlook 365 and Microsoft’s cloud features.
Following on from the Elite X3, HP is expected to release a mid-range consumer-focused Windows 10 smartphone. It is this handset that many expect to debut in Barcelona, with Microsoft offering moral support to HP. Alongside that support the plans for Windows 10 Mobile will no doubt be showcased, including the potential to run full desktop-bound Windows 10 apps on a mobile device.
MWC might not have the reveal of the Surface Phone, but it is another step towards an ecosystem where Microsoft’s ultimate mobile device will not only survive but thrive.