For all intents and purposes it looked as if Microsoft’s Windows Phone campaign had died its final death in 2014. Nokia left the space following its acquisition by Microsoft, who, in turn, began to release budget handset after budget handset, much to the disdain of many hardcore Windows Phone fans.
The departure of Nokia from the ecosystem, Windows Phone’s only real advocate and force of innovation, was bad news for everybody invested in the struggling platform. Worse still was Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia and subsequent billion dollar write-down on said acquisition.
Things went from bad to worse, essentially, and with the advent of Windows 10 on the horizon it was unclear where Windows Phone, or, indeed, Microsoft’s Lumia handsets, would fit into the mix, if at all. Microsoft was deliberately coy about the issue of phones, doing its usual marketing-speak when asked direct questions on the subject of what we can expect from Windows 10 Mobile in 2015/16.
But all is not as it seems. Nope! Microsoft isn’t ditching its mobile aspirations just yet – and this time it is apparently looking to take a more Apple iPhone approach with its mobile releases.
“If there are a lot of OEMs, we’ll have one strategy. If there are no OEMs, we’ll have one strategy,” Nadella said of Windows Phone’s future.
More recently, news of what these handsets will entail have surfaced online. Hardcore tech-leaker, and occasional KYM contributor, Evan Blass – AKA @evleaks – reckons Microsoft will release a bunch of Windows 10 phones in 2015/16. These phones will be designed to set the bar for innovation, performance and features for other, potential Windows 10 Mobile OEMs.
Speaking to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, Satya Nadella outlined A LOT of his thoughts on the future of mobile inside Microsoft. As you’d expect there has been a lot of soul searching during the past few years and this has resulted in the company taking a different approach to mobile in the future.
“If anything,” said Nadella, “one big mistake we made in our past was to think of the PC as the hub for everything for all time to come. And today, of course, the high volume device is the six-inch phone. I acknowledge that. But to think that that’s what the future is for all time to come would be to make the same mistake we made in the past without even having the share position of the past. So that would be madness.”
Ideally, we’d like to see Microsoft come out with a high-end concept phone, something that shows off the true power of Windows 10. Microsoft needs to make a splash in 2015 with Windows 10. Windows Phone failed to do this during its history and Microsoft cannot afford to get it wrong again.
As for when we’ll see these handsets… no-one knows. But a release around or shortly after the release of Windows 10 would certainly make a lot of sense. And maybe ditch the Lumia name to – it drags up too many bad memories. The Surface Phone sounds loads better.
READ THIS NEXT: Microsoft Office 2016 For Mac Review: It’s A Bit Bloody GOOD!