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Microsoft hints it could make phones

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Microsoft hints it could make phones
Microsoft has just announced a radical overhaul of its whole organization structure and there is one huge takeaway that we’d like to emphasize. Describing its vision of one family of devices, Microsoft hints that it could make phones in the future.

First, Microsoft makes it clear that its future ‘family’ will consist of “both partner and first-party devices” and then it clarifies that the family would include not just tablets and PCs, but phones as well.

While this is not clearly saying that a Microsoft-made (‘first-party’) is coming, but we definitely take this is a hint in that direction.

Not just that, later on the Redmond company says its family will include “other devices to be imagined and developed,” and if we think hard about devices yet to be developed we can definitely envision smartwatches, glasses and other wearables.

If Microsoft does indeed decide to make a phone, it definitely sounds strange announcing this on the same day as its most important partner Nokia is launching its long-anticipated flagship, the Nokia Lumia 1020. Is that how you interpret the words of Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer right below?


Our Family of Devices

No technology company has as yet delivered a definitive family of devices useful all day for work and for play, connected with every bit of a person’s information available through one cloud. We see tremendous room for innovation in software, services and hardware to bring the consumer this new, more complete and enveloping experience.

Our family will include a full spectrum of both partner and first-party devices. We believe we need all of these categories to drive innovation, fulfill market desire for diversity of experience, and achieve volume.

Our family will include phones, tablets, PCs, 2-in-1s, TV-attached devices and other devices to be imagined and developed. No other company has such strength across so many categories today, and yet this strength is essential to being relevant and personal throughout people’s lives. Our devices must share a common user-interface approach tailored to each hardware form factor. They must deliver experiences based on a common set of services such as the same account login or a common understanding of people and their relationships. They need to share the same services infrastructure so that the information an individual has shared on one device can be available and carry across all the devices in the family. Our devices must support the same high-value activities in ways that are meaningful across different device types. Developers must be able to target all our devices with a common programming model that makes it easy to target more than one device.

We will continue to reinvent the core “shell” of our family of devices and build upon what we have started with Windows 8. We will keep evolving our new modern look, expanding the shell so that it allows people and their devices to capture, store and organize their “stuff” in new ways. Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world. Our shell will natively support all of our essential services, and will be great at responding seamlessly to what people ask for, and even anticipating what they need before they ask for it.

The experience we will deliver across all our devices centers on the idea of better connecting people with the things they care about most. This includes their files, documents, photos, videos, notes, websites, snippets, digital history, schedules, tasks, and mail and other messages, combined with real-time information from our devices and services. It is more than what we think of as the shell today, and no current label really fits where we are headed. Neither the desktop nor the social graph describes this new experience, and neither does the search box, the pin board or the file system. The shell will support the experiences layer and broker information among our services to bring them together on our devices in ways that will enable richer and deeper app experiences.

With these innovations in software, hardware and services, we will develop the only ecosystem that promotes variety in hardware but coherence in the user experience. Other companies do one without the other. Only we can bring it all together to create one experience for everything that’s important in people’s lives.

(emphasis ours everywhere)

source: AllThingsD

47 Comments
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posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:14 4

1. clevername (Posts: 1407; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)


Waitaminute... Victor H., are you really surprised that Steve Balmer made a stupid decision or said something stupid? This is baller we're talking about. He's been straight and narrow for a while but he has a reputation to uphold.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:14 7

2. Bootutu (Posts: 163; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Probably tired of watching nokia ruin things....

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:40 2

13. Whateverman (Posts: 3162; Member since: 17 May 2009)


That was sarcasim, right?

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:15 6

3. ihatesmartphone (unregistered)


watch out LUMIA!!

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:42 3

14. Wiki_jaan (Posts: 661; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)


nah........

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:16 3

4. rms.max (Posts: 69; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


Nokia will surely go to android if M$ makes phones......Good luck.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:49 4

17. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 813; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


If that's the case then MS please make that phone right this second!

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:19 1

5. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Makes one wonder if MS was planning to take over Nokia from the get-go, and then Nokia realized it knew how to handle itself and backed out. Leaving MS without a manufacturer of its own.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:20 8

6. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)


MS hints it could make phones, right after it buys out Nokia. That's really the only way I can see them doing the mobile hardware.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:23 1

9. Dastrix (Posts: 542; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


True, even if it won't be direct competition, Nokia would be a solid contender. They could also go the Google way; by having 'Nexus'-esque devices made by OEMs like Nokia and HTC, but then again, WP is pretty standard across OEMs.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:22

7. hms2407 (Posts: 94; Member since: 25 Apr 2013)


Let's just hope things don't go as bad as it went with the kin series

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:23 5

8. Genersis (Posts: 167; Member since: 29 May 2013)


...the render looks nice.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:25

10. Alex123 (Posts: 166; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)


It would be very interesting if Nokia makes Android phone. Microsoft might want to play hardball with Nokia in order not to pay Nokia anything

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:36 2

12. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


That's assuming Nokia *wants* to make Android phones. Yes, the fandroids want it to happen, and some of the shareholders want it to happen, but who says it's a good strategy to follow the herd?

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:57 2

19. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 813; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Because a lot of us "fandroids" want it and that equates to a lot of sales.. I don't understand why so W8 fans (* you can direct your comment to people without trying sound insulting and clever. Even though using the same term everyone else does is not being clever. But I digress.)

If people want to buy your product then you get sales.
Sales = money.
Money = happy shareholders + not going bankrupt
Happy Shareholders = more investors
more investors = even more money

Even if Nokia is planning on being bought out by MS. The hint that they would be willing to make an Android phone would drive up the price. I don't know why all W8 fans always get angry when this is brought up. It just makes sense.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 10:03 2

24. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


I point my finger at the "fandroids" because I don't see the sentiment coming from impartial parties. If Nokia is doing well with WP8 (as they appear to be currently), what's wrong with that? If MS indeed stabs Nokia in the back and tries to compete directly with them, then we can talk alternatives. But the assumption seems to be that they MUST choose Android.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 10:29 1

29. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 813; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


They don't have to do anything. Nokia is a company and they can do whatever they want. I never said they MUST. I just said they should because it makes sense and in my opinion would be awesome. At least in a test market in environment to see how they sell and then go from there.

If MS stabs Nokia in the back then it might be too late. I'm just saying expand the portfolio. If Apple were to allow them to make an IOS phone then I would encourage that too (even though would never happen).

I have owned multiple models of windows, IOS and Android phones but have a preference for Android. If that makes me a "fandroid" so be it. How many people calling me that can say the same.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 12:59

40. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


And if you'll go back, you'll see I never pointed the "fandroid" finger at you. But anyway...

I get my back up whenever I see the "Nokia needs to make an Android" line because it smacks of OS monopoly. My impression is that Android owners like Nokia as a company, but after 2 years they still can't accept that Nokia chose WP. And it looks like the risk is finally paying off - Lumia sales are up and WP8 is taking a solid #3 berth with Nokia as the face of the platform (as BB10 has fizzled out).

Could Nokia make an Android? Absolutely. Would it be well-executed? Probably. But in the meantime, I think they should stick with what's working, keep improving the Lumia line, and not get distracted with multiple platforms.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 13:30

41. grapeseed87 (Posts: 123; Member since: 13 Mar 2013)


I can. I was a power Windows Mobile 6.5 user. After that I switched to Android and had all flavors from 1.6 through 2.3. I even had a dual boot Htc HD2 (best phone ever in my opinion complete freedom!).

I even used a 3GS for a month and a half >.< Sucked!

Then I also had a 4.1.1 device and tablet too. But then I tried WinPho 7.5 and the great work suite integration through office app. Haven't looked back since! Owned 3 Win Pho device - 2 7.5, latest Htc 8x on 8. Looking to move to 8.1 when they release.

posted on 12 Jul 2013, 08:18

45. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 813; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


roldefol - It's not that I can't accept that they went with Windows. I just think it's little risky putting all your fruits in one basket. I've said many times that I would love them also to rehash their old OS and improve it. Personally I really like what Ubuntu is doing and the fact that it's getting a lot of carrier support pre-launch would make interesting investment for Nokia or even give them the ability to throw in some of their own flavor into the phones.

It's not that I hate W8. It has a place in the market and we need competitors to remind Apple and Google that they weren't always the top dogs and can be dethroned if they piss enough people off. I just personally personally don't trust MS because have been burned by them and their business practices multiple times plus find personally find it too limiting for the things I like to do.

grapeseed - I'm actually going to reactivate my Lumia 928 on my secondary line to try it out when 8.1 comes out. I wasn't too impressed with W8 (especially when using it on the HTC version) but I have recommended it to my aunt and uncle looking to upgrade to a first smartphone. My problem is the lack of customization (as stated above) but for them would be perfect because easy to use and they like to take a LOT of pictures.

I'm thinking MS might come out with a stronger W9 feature phone that will work in conjunction with X-Box One. Something in my opinion Sony should do with their line. I miss the slide down controller from the original Xperia. Hopefully by then the notorious MS Hubris doesn't kick in that almost killed them with the Xbox One and gave MAC a stronger foothold.

posted on 12 Jul 2013, 09:14 1

46. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


I think if Nokia hadn't already declined significantly, I would support the multiple OS approach. But Elop really had to do something drastic to pull Nokia out of the mess it was in, dumping resouces into both the dying Symbian and infant MeeGo. MeeGo looked really promising, and the N9 got really good reviews, but it was too late to introduce a whole new platform. If MeeGo had arrived in 2009, things might have been different.

But today's Nokia is not Samsung. It's not even LG. I don't think Nokia has the marketing muscle to sell both WP8 and Android devices effectively. It would be Samsung's Galaxy and ATIV in reverse. Yes, Samsung sells WP8, but it barely gives the platform the time of day since the Galaxy line is paying the bills.

posted on 12 Jul 2013, 14:19

47. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 813; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Good point. I had to buy my N9 from Europe. I loved that phone.

Samsung is running into more problems by over stretching. They over saturate the market way too much with their product line and it's going to bite them in the ass sooner than later.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:29 2

11. PhoneCritic (Posts: 331; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


This is the only course of action if MS wants to advance it market share above the 5 - 6 % if Nokia's board of directors and shareholders expected anything less, than this action, from MS then they are fools. MS can only continue funding Noika for so long and when the negotiations to out right purchase Nokia fell apart - MS must do what it must to further it's interest. In my opinion Nokia is going to be a big loser here if MS carries out this action soon. Nokias Board and its shareholder will demand Elops resignation and become a Android partner. Producing both Android and MS devices because those are its only options. Putting your eggs in one basket is really not a good course of action if you want to get market shares.
I have said it before and will say it again Nokia is a hell of a device manufacture and makes second to none hardware but they must marry it to a compelling platform and the only compelling platform out there right now beside iOS is Android and to ignore that fact is really a big blunder.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:58

20. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 813; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Well said!

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 10:33

30. snowgator (Posts: 3160; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


To continue to call for Elop's resignation is to ignore 2 things: The restructioning of Nokia HAD to happen- it was bloated, losing profits, strife with infighting and buried in a sea of conflicting company directions. Elop was HIRED with the vision of gutting the company and making it leaner. He accomplished that, and did it quickly. Painfully and and too quickly in my opinion, but he did it. Secondly, 1 BILLION dollars a year is what Nokia is STILL getting from MS. That is a lot of free money to do what Nokia is going to do anyways: Make phones.

If we hit 2014, and Nokia is still a bottom feeder, I can see it. But they are now leaner, have a tenth of R&D expenses, and are the largest producer of the fastest growing OS in the smart phone industry. I think he is still trying to live down mistakes he made in 2010-2011 in most peoples eyes without being given credit with his leadership since.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 12:06 2

36. PhoneCritic (Posts: 331; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


Snowgator I agree with most of your response. But remember under Elop Nokia has purchased all remaining shares of the Ericson/Nokia telecom equipment manufacture which was bleeding cash. This to me (I don't know the inside info on why they did it maybe a good deal in the long run) seems a bit contradictory if you are restructuring you don't go any acquire more debt. However, Beside the point the restructuring had to be done as you said and that was painful and the money reportedly save comes from the layoff of employees and cut backs in certain area but profits from WP8 sale are nowhere near what they had hoped for ( which is why MS is exploring its options of making first party phones). Elop will get an earful if not removed and the Board of directors will not ignore that. Entering a partnership with Google will have to be option if not right away but before the close of 2014.
Nokia would love to have a cut of the compelling1billion android activations a month.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:43 2

15. MachidoDen (banned) (Posts: 202; Member since: 30 May 2013)


Microsoft will really Backstab Nokia once or if Windows phone comes very close to ios market share

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:49 2

16. kindlefireowner (Posts: 311; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


I'm a Nokia shareholder that thinks Nokia should never make a android phone. Why? Look at Sony. They make above average android smartphones that the fandroids and crictics love, but nobody buys them. Have you see more than 3 people with a Sony android smartphone. Probably not.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 10:01 3

21. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 813; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


And how many people did you see with a Windows phone prior to Nokia jumping into the mix. By your logic it didn't make sense for them to make a Windows phone.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 10:45 4

31. PhoneCritic (Posts: 331; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


Sony and Nokia Lack the power to persuade multiple carriers to carry their devices. The days of Exclusives are over. Apple proved this resoundingly when their exclusive contract with AT&T was over and Verizon could sell their device ( they sold a ton of phones that year. Then came sprint and most recently T-Mobile.
Samsung realized this weakness on Apples part years ago when it persuade Verizon, AT&t, T-Mobile and Sprint to carry it First Galaxy S line and the rest is history. Now even budget carriers like Virgin and Mobile PCS carry the Galaxy S line making Samsung such huge profits that Apple is responding by creating its own budget phones to spread out to low end carriers.
Nokia must stop this AT&T exclusive business but in order to do that they must show that their device is in demand so that Verizon and Sprint will come asking to carry it as well. So it is a bit of a catch twenty two for them. However this is not a impossibility. HTC has shown this with The One. How? A beautifully design Phone with a compelling OS ( look Apple will never license iOS so what's left?)
The ball is in the Nokia shareholders hands this coming vote. The last meeting shareholders were not just unhappy about the one horse show they were frustrated so my guest is that Nokia will have to open its self to The Android option soon. They can't wait for companies like Nikon ( who are looking into getting into the smartphone market base on you guest it - Android) to strike first.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 11:52 1

34. lovefist (unregistered)


I think I have to disagree a bit. Do you live in the US? Have you been to europe, middle east and asia? That's where you'll see most of sony's customers.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 12:15

37. PhoneCritic (Posts: 331; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


Well said. I agree I do live in the US and the US is not the world
( thought we like to think so) But here in the states it is not the biggest market ( China and India are) but it is the trend setting market ( which Chain, India and sometimes the rest of the world tend to pay attention to).
Sony may have it customer base in the east and in Europe but until it holds a good size of the American market it will feel like it is a third string player.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 09:53

18. yousef8824 (Posts: 35; Member since: 28 Jul 2012)


surface phones :p i hope they will be cheaper than surface tablets

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 10:01

22. poping (unregistered)


ms make phones, nokia go android...

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 10:03

23. boosook (Posts: 779; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Bye bye, Nokia... this is the reward for your devotion to WP only (or your stupidity).

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 10:04

25. icyrock1 (Posts: 267; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


Surface phone? Oh hell yeah.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 10:07

26. poping (unregistered)


if nokia goes android, the phone series will be called tulia, which is fire in finnish... lumia is snow in finnish...

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 10:07

27. poping (unregistered)


are you ready for tulia 900?

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 10:23 1

28. snowgator (Posts: 3160; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


2 things I am tired of hearing about:

1) Nokia is going to be bought out by MS or that is what MS wanted. Yes, the Wall Street Journal reported there were high level conversations recently about this recently. So what? That happens all the time on this level, companies talking deals that almost never happens. Nokia's profits are improving. If this was going to happen, it would have by now. Let it go. I do not care where Elop came from. Nothing to see here. Move along.

2) MS making it's own phone. So what? How different is WP8 devices from one manufacturer to another anyways? Will MS put better hardware then Nokia? Better exclusives? Nah. Nokia would paddle MS. Period. No worries. Besides, this would only happen if Nokia is on firm footing. MS can not compete with distrubution, support, and production compared to Nokia. MS knows that. Nothing to see here. Move along.

One thing I am fine with: Nokia making an Android line. Why not? They would make a great set of Android phones. I am all in on that. Hedge your bets, Nokia. I believe in WP and believe it stands on its own as a great OS, so I am not worried by this.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 10:49 3

32. PhoneCritic (Posts: 331; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


Agree. Well said.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 10:57 2

33. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 813; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Well said indeed.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 12:05 1

35. Arthurhkt (Posts: 79; Member since: 19 Apr 2012)


First things first, there is no way Microsoft dare to ditch Nokia away by this moment, simply due to Nokia was the only manufacturer that able to brought up Windows Phone fame. Second, if Microsoft really dare to stand alone, we as a consumer is okay with it as long it still able to design a headset which able to stand with Nokia Lumia's series or any other Android mobiles, and by the way i do hope Nokia bring back Symbian or MeeGo back to their base in case Microsoft ditch them, it's not like i don't want to see Nokia producing a Android phones, but we want choices, and we don't want any thing were related to Google or Android as well, Android has already got a strong producer such as Samsung and HTC. So just leave Nokia alone building with different types of headset OS to differentiate them self from other OEM's.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 12:21

38. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 813; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Getting on the ground floor of the Ubuntu OS would also be very interesting.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 12:33 1

39. PhoneCritic (Posts: 331; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


Never say Never. Steve Ballmer is in the middle of a huge MS shake up and has said that making first party phones is not off the table. This is a veil threat to Nokia that if things don't improve soon it will jump into the fray by producing its own phones. MS has the deep pockets for this and really does not need Nokia because of its huge PC distribution network which MS can leverage for it WP8 devices. ( Steve may hire someone with experience in running a mobile device manufacture ) No doubt that Nokia is an excellent hardware maker and has really pushed the envelope on that side but they need to branch out and embrace more than one horse. This is not the Motorola story when it placed it bets on a young fledging OS ( Android ) and made one of the biggest comebacks in history. The mobile OS have been decided already ( Just like in the PC wars there can only be Two < Windows or Mac>) so there are only two Android and iOS. Microsoft had it's day in the sun and its time has passed Intel had it day in the sun and its time has passed. Samsung will have it's time in the sun before it's time comes. Noika can hope to be like a Dell or HP in the PC hay days.

posted on 11 Jul 2013, 19:47

42. Kyokado (Posts: 115; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Microsoft should do it like google and its nexus devices, I think if Microsoft does, manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung will be galvanized to be more involved in the WP market.

posted on 12 Jul 2013, 03:33

43. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2111; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Good move MS and thanks, now Nokia will make a Android EOS. Yippeee!!!

posted on 12 Jul 2013, 07:14

44. poping (unregistered)


small bezels please...

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