Microsoft to release three Surface Phone models in 2017

Microsoft to release three Surface Phone models in 2017
Towards the latter stages of last year, it was rumored that Microsoft was working on the so-called 'Surface Phone'. Though murmurings of such a device can be traced back as far as 2012, the more recent reports suggested the elusive handset would arrive early this year. Soon thereafter, reports were touting a late-2016 arrival Surface Phone -- one perhaps packing Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 processor. Given that Redmond's head is not in the game as far as mobile is concerned, it should come as little surprise that the Surface Phone has been pushed back once more; apparently on ice until some point next year. 

The pre-existing Surface range has been a great success for Microsoft, with the higher-end Pro models considered the gold standard for professional tablet hybrids. It would make sense, then, for a range of smartphones to utilize the popular Surface branding and help the Windows maker stake a more substantial claim to the mobile industry. 

According to Windows Central, there could be three different configurations of Surface Phone upon launch in 2017. Though nothing sounds too concrete for now, it would seem that Microsoft plans to divert attention away from the Lumia branding, which it inherited when it purchased Nokia's Devices and Services division back in 2013. 

Of the three purported editions, one will allegedly be focused toward the general consumer, one for 'prosumers' or enthusiasts (read: geeks), and a third model aimed at enterprise. One or all of the Surface Phone models may include Microsoft Pen technology, though as you can imagine, details are pretty scarce at present 

By pushing things back, it is thought that Microsoft will have time to concentrate on strengthening Windows 10 Mobile, whilst also allowing OEM partners to come through with new devices. Armed with a probable trio of new Surface Phones, a bunch of new handsets from its manufacturing allies and a better mobile platform, the company will then hope to tackle the market with a little more gusto than it has over the last couple of years. 

Is 2017 too late for Microsoft to try and salvage its lagging mobile business? Let us know below.

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50 Comments

49. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

I don't really care how late it is, if the Surface Phone is capable of replacing my Surface Pro 2 and everything else it replaces without any compromise, I'll proudly hop on board the Windows 10 Mobile platform. Until then, Android is the best companion OS to my Surface Pro 2.

47. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I think Microsoft DESTROYED THEIR LUMIA LINE OF SMART PHONES WHEN THE FAILED TO BE ABLE TO UPDATE MOST OF THEIR LUMIA 8.1 OF SMART PHONES TO WINDOWS 10 MOBILE. People flee a brand that wont update their smart phones. Most Windows smart phone fans are like me they are waiting for the "Surface" Line of Windows smart phones. Unfortunately for Microsoft the Surface smart phones may not debut this year further making some people ignoring Windows smart phones

45. Shocky unregistered

They need to remove the windows logo, I really hate it on the front of mobile devices. That alone would probably put me off. :D

41. HR_19

Posts: 103; Member since: Aug 09, 2014

While my mind *could* change, right now, I'm planning on buying the HP Elite X3 when it comes out.

42. HR_19

Posts: 103; Member since: Aug 09, 2014

I had a Lumia 1520, and I miss it. I almost wish I'd never changed to Android exclusively, and kept one of each. Ultimately, I'll probably end up with a gaming PC, and when I want to play my favorite Android games, I'll run AMIDuOS, and maybe even use Remote Desktop to play Android games on my Windows phone.

37. tigermcm

Posts: 861; Member since: Sep 02, 2009

"whilst also allowing OEM partners to come through with new devices." buhahahaha WHO!!??

39. justrt

Posts: 446; Member since: Jul 10, 2014

HP, Acer, Alcatel.. Android is too saturated. Some will have to flee.

35. newuser1

Posts: 276; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

Another year?? the waiting is forever.

34. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

820 for 2017's flagship? but if its 6inch win10, with 5000mAh+ battery, I may have a reason to take it

46. Shocky unregistered

Looks chunky as well, it's going to be a like a brick.

30. darealist

Posts: 107; Member since: Feb 25, 2015

Why would they waste time using crappy ARM processors. It'll just be another Lumia phone without the crappy shovelware apps from Android and iOS.

33. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 748; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

Its because developers make apps on a RISC chip. NOT on a CISC chip!

27. snowgator

Posts: 3630; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

No such thing as too late. Only "too little". I honestly think MS gave a good effort for Windows Phone, but I think they were sure developers would flock to their OS because of the MS name and the Windows reputation, but that part of the plan never materialized. They totally underestimated their position in the new mobile world, and never recovered. A complete shame, Windows Phone 8 was a great OS. So, this time they are trying a different tactic: Build the app community behind their Mobile OS on tablets and PC's, and just shoot for the handset market afterwards. They will be starting from near zero, but at least it will have an ecosystem of some kind to offer. Nadella really needs to lead on this. Honestly, the only areas of profit for him are revenue streams left to him. Sooner or later, he needs to prove his vision is what MS needs.

25. meanestgenius

Posts: 23174; Member since: May 28, 2014

Definitely interested in the Surface line of phones when they are released. Microsoft, bring your A game!

23. jove39

Posts: 2154; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Microsoft need to bring their A game with surface phones right from beginning...to attract retail customer...enterprise space may go for windows phone devices to make admin tasks easy for admin folks.

18. justrt

Posts: 446; Member since: Jul 10, 2014

Oh wow!! That's good news!

16. htcisthebest

Posts: 440; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

The speed at which Microsoft rolls out its flagship products is comparable to Tesla. You have rumors for years, R&D for another 3 years or so, then software and end user testing for another 1 year, and finally the product rolls out. ps. Hopefully they could fit a 4K screen into this thing like the Sony Z5 Premium. A lot of people, including myself, are huge fans of high screen resolution.

14. ejcapri

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 08, 2015

I was excited for the Lumia 950 until I learned it was exclusive to AT&T. I think if they figure out that exclusive contracts aren't in their best interest is when their devices will do better.A Surface phones sound like something that could sell wit hthe right development, advertising and marketing. However if you package it just to be sold on a single carrier or with availability stipulations; it's gonna fail like all the other products.

13. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I think the Lumia Line of Windows smart phones is DEAD this is their last year. indeed the 650 could be the last one made. The Limia smart phone I like to be remembered are the Lumia 520, Lumia 640, Lumia 920, Lumia 928, Lumia 930, LumIa 1020, Lumia 1520. it's a shame the public as a whole did not buy as many of them as Microsoft hoped but they were good smart phones just the same

12. kefalin

Posts: 292; Member since: Feb 08, 2015

Too late,better focus on Android and Surface tabs.x86 support would too mediocre on that screen and not to mention SD 820 or any ARM cant handle it. UWP is an option,but devs ignore it,and i get them.

48. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

the lack of apps from developers is the reason Microsoft has to make a Windows smart phone that runs X86 win 32 desktop Programs in Continuum mode. if apps developers keep failing to give windows smart phone's Apps such as MS NEW Universal Apps. Microsoft has to make a smart phones that uses it;s huge Library of Millions of Windows Desktop programs to be used in Continuum mode or get out the Smart phone arena. Frankly there are Millions of People like me who do not want Android or expensive Iphones. enough Windows smart phones are sold on a World wide bases to keep them alive

11. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I use a Windows smart phone and welcome the new "Surface" Line of Windows smart phones That I believe will replace the failed low selling Lumia line of Windows smart phone. it looks like there will be 2 types of CPU's in the Surface Line of smart phones the ARMS CPU type and the Intel CPU for the high powered "Surface Pro" Enthusiast smart phone that will run x86 Win32 Desktop PC Programs plus run all Windows 10 Universal Apps and all the current apps in the Windows 10 store. the hold up could be due to Newer ARMS and Intel Mobile have to be tested and the Microsoft wants The Windows 10 OS Redstone 2 Major update to be tested and working well on the New Surface line of smart phones.

9. shy2papa

Posts: 336; Member since: Jan 23, 2010

The truth and fact of the matter is Microsoft is a software company than can't keep up with innovation and software updates like android and iOS, Microsoft lack lust attitude towards its OS and phone hardware is extremely disappointing. I wish them the best in there future endeavors.

6. hemedans

Posts: 763; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

if it is x86 phone it will be huge sucess. i cant wait

8. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1187; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

uhh.... nope, it's gonna fail miserably if it's a x86(system) phone. First, 99.99% of the x86 apps would suck on a phone and second, a phone with an atom chipset even core m3 processor and chipset would suck just because of the lack of power running full windows, yes it could do it, but most of the apps would just suck running on it.

17. hemedans

Posts: 763; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

core m3 is more powerfull than i3 in laptop (u version) and can run most of apps smoothly. if atom can run windows app then core m is two/three times faster in single thread tasks. and now windows has universal apps and there are tools to convert x86 software to universal app. if you have laptop/computer with windows 10 go to control panel and activate tablet mode then you will see how x86 apps in full screen mode, for me they are just fine. also full windows has many advantage of mobile os 1. true multatsking 2. drivers 3. emulation (ps2, gamecube, wii etc) 4. real games not in app purchase games 5.continuum

28. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1187; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Who the hell told you that? On paper, core m3 has high turbo clock speeds but the lower tdp just makes it throttle like s**t, this is a fact proven many times, look at Linus's review on the new MacBook, that thing clocks to 1.8ghz for 20-30secs and boom, 800mhz (0.8ghz). This is pretty much same for all core m3 devices. Now let's talk about your real games, do you really think you can game on this SoC? I mean full blown pc games, do you even think it would be possible? Hell no, continuum is actually do-able and pretty nice feature which I would totally support. Multi tasking the way it is right now is just fine for the form factor of a smartphone. You are not gonna do much more on that "puny" 5-6inch screen anyway. You talked about universal apps, yes there are some universal apps, but are still way less compare to the already small group of apps ready for arm based wp10. Full blown Windows 10 is never gonna work on a smartphone. Maybe if they do a hybrid type thingy, it might work, something like a dual system but more integrated together. The smartphone would use the one system for daily basis, which could not only save power but be more optimized for the form factor, the other system would be switched seamlessly when connected to the dock or something for continuum, but again, this form factor would have to many restrictions such as heat and power.

40. hemedans

Posts: 763; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

dont live in past core m broadwell is not same as core m skylake and kabylake /cannonlake one which will be ready by 2017 will be even better. skylake can maintain turbo for long time read review of surface pro here http://www.notebookcheck.net/Microsoft-Surface-Pro-4-Core-m3-Tablet-Review.153843.0.html core m plays almost all emulators including dolphin and pscx2 and give it huge advantage compare to mobile gaming. core m also is equivalent to core 2 quad in desktop you can play so many games like league of legends, star craft, pes 2016, final fantasy series etc about multitasking i really miss symbian, i miss to leave task and continue after three days where i left, i miss to open hundreds of apps without reloading or slowing my phone. android has multitasking but if its not level of symbian or windows. full blown windows is what microsoft want you to run in all of your device and i think its almost ready, i told you to run your laptop in tablet mode and see how x86 apps like vlc behave. not all x86 apps use mouse and keyboard, there are touch based apps for windows since 2002 look at this touch optimised x86 video editing. http://i1-win.softpedia-static.com/screenshots/MAGIX-Video-Easy_5.png

29. Micah007

Posts: 266; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

I doubt it would fail with the amount of time being invested into this rumored device and Panos spearheading everything. We already know Skylake Core M in smartphones has been in testing for awhile now, with Kirby Lake coming in volume towards the end of this year. I'd say with recent advancements and a hybrid form factor (which has been rumored for some time now) it can be pulled off.

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