Microsoft's upcoming Surface Phone might be aimed at the enterprise market

Microsoft's upcoming Surface Phone might be aimed at the enterprise market
According to Microsoft's Corporate VP of Windows, Kevin Gallo, the company's upcoming phone - a handset that was often referred to by unofficial reports as the Surface Phone - will be a high-end product that caters to the enterprise sector of the smartphone market.

According to recent reports, Microsoft's Windows Phone is in the process of losing the little market share it still had. Windows 10 Mobile did not take off as Microsoft needed it to, the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL flopped due to a poor app selection and what seemed to be an incomplete Windows 10 Mobile operating system. Building on this, Microsoft has considerably cut jobs in the phone business in the past couple of years, and has recently sold the Nokia smartphone brand to a newly-founded Finnish company.

Given Microsoft's struggles in the smartphone market, many might be wondering (and rightfully so) which are Microsoft's intentions for the phone market?

Speaking at a recent Build Tour, Kevin Gallo - Corporate Vice President of Windows - noted that Microsoft has not abandoned Windows 10 Mobile. According to The Register, Gallo also noted that looking to the future, Microsoft will focus its attention on the enterprise sector when it comes to the smartphone version of its OS. Gallo reportedly said that Microsoft's previous strategy of catering to the entry-level segment of the market was never going to translate into profits for the company.

Although Gallo did not specifically mention the existence of a Surface phone, he did make some interesting comments when it comes to Microsoft's newfound focus on the high-end sector:


It remains to be seen if Microsoft's Surface Phone will be aimed directly at the enterprise sector or if the handset will also be available to regular smartphone users. Previous rumors have claimed that the Microsoft Surface Phone will land as a processing powerhouse. Rumored specs include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 chipset, up to 8GB of RAM, up to 128GB of integrated storage, as well as Continuum support.

source: The Register

FEATURED VIDEO

38 Comments

1. johnh3

Posts: 142; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Apple/iPhone are often a business phone to, and also BlackBerry now with Android. You also need apps for Banks, travel etc..So I dont know how it will go. But time will tell.

3. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Who knows man.. Some of Intel's negative decision on it's mobile processor made me worry over the faith of surface phone. The new CEO Satya nadela seems like not paying much attention to Mobile OS division (or he might find put it doesn't worth it? I pray not) Like you said time will tell...

19. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

He's not paying attention because he feels it's not ready. The software is constantly being worked on and if you're in insider build you will see constant updates. But it's just not mature/stable/feature full enough to compete at this point. Redstone 2 will be when it's finished, mature and more feature ready. This is why they will also release their devices along with Redstone 2. Satya did point out there will definitely be an enterprise specific as well as a flagship for the fans. I hope there's some focus on gaming. But enterprise is where they have a chance to grow big. That's how blackberry started. The difference is blackberry didn't build their OS to be easily updated with new trends and keep it up to date. They sort of sat on it. MS will also allow easy control of updates for enterprises and make sure security is top notch. We will see what happens. I do love windows 10 mobile but there's too much cool stuff that is going to come out around the same time. I will choose what's best for me then.

20. GreenMan

Posts: 2694; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

That's too bad... I love my cute little Lumia 430 (except for the cameras, of course!) So does it means that the low end consumers can only "rock" on Android now? Not exactly "ROCKING" in my view! Fandroids always scream, yell and yap about the fact that their Sweety Company is the world leader. Deliberately looking past the mere fact that about 80% of world's population don't actually have any other choice. It's either a feature phone or the same old stinking Droid.... Hmm, well not exactly 'stinking' but you get my point... I just wish that Blackberry open it's fantastic BB10 to third party manufacturers, ala "DarnDroid"... Instead of 'completely' ditching it in favour of "BadDroid"... Is it to much to ask, BB?

38. Fona13A unregistered

I'm with you. Regardless what anyone thinks, good or bad, of Microsoft's place in mobile we still need a third option. There are cheap Androids that are decent but some would rather go back to a Flip Phone or other Feature Phone and use a 2-in-one because of the ilk out there now.

15. newuser1

Posts: 276; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

iPhone and android are never business phone. their interface lure users are too colorful for business. Blackberry and windows phone are more suitable for business sector.

18. kiko007

Posts: 7469; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

What are you talking about? The iPhone dominates the Enterprise market with over 60% of it's market share. Not to mention the fact that iOS has over 100 Enterprise exclusive apps. Now that BB10 has started losing support, and Android devices aren't exceptionally secure, the iPhone happens to be the most popular option in business settings. Windows Phone, while secure for the most part, doesn't offer the same programs as the other three do

27. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Iphone is really the only option for enterprise right now. Windows mobile is just not complete and ready.

36. meanestgenius

Posts: 21353; Member since: May 28, 2014

BlackBerry’s software is what dominates enterprise. They are the dominant EMM/MDM player. They even secure the majority of iOS devices in enterprise through their subsidiary, Good Technology. Sure, there are a lot of iOS devices in enterprise, but they are not as secure as BB10 devices. BB10 devices have the most certificates to function in deep level government agencies, and just received more, so they are not losing support with their core customers. And BlackBerry’s version of Android is secure to the point that it's now awaiting certification from governments. BlackBerry even helped Samsung make Knox more secure. Windows Phone devices are the next most secure handsets in enterprise, and Microsoft has an excellent chance of selling a good amount of handsets to enterprise, especially with the use of continuum.

39. kiko007

Posts: 7469; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

You misunderstood my post. I will agree that BlackBerry plays a major role in Enterprise software, but the post above mine was questioning hardware within the sector and how it will look moving forward. I am an avid Windows Mobile advocate, but I know it's limitations and constraints. For instance, once the HP Elite X3 is released, it'll be able to run Win32 apps in a virtualized environment while maintaining security. However, it would be much easier to simply supply employees with a surface model at a discount. There are just too many limitations at the moment for WM to be successful outside of a niche audience IMO.

2. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Wasn't Microsoft's surface phone supposed to be running on Intel or x86 processor instead of ARM? Wasn't that the point of surface phone in the first place? A unique smartphone or true pocket PC? I hope it doesn't come with a snapdragon or any other ARM processor. If it does then It'll be the same as any other high-end Windows 10 Mobile. I want a true pocket PC.

4. hemedans

Posts: 746; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

For now GPD win is our only hope for pocket pc, About surface phone i hope it will come with core m3 kabylake/canonlake version.

16. newuser1

Posts: 276; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

yep. disappointed again. why need another 950XL ? we want something different. surface phone with snagdroagon will sink the market again.

21. GreenMan

Posts: 2694; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Well, lets be honest, shall we? W10M now support X86 so its only natural to 'assume' that the allegedly upcoming and highly anticipated Surface Phone might possess an Intel Inside hardware... There's a good possibility, to be HONEST. But to be HONEST, I see no point in that... Let it be either Snapdragon (ARM) or Intel (X86), it doesn't make any difference to the end consumer's experience and level... On the contrary, I'm willing to bet that most (if not all) W10M apps runs on ARM, to be HONEST... So lets be HONEST here, why MS should bother devs when they're already find it too bothersome to port their apps to Microsoft Platform, to be HONEST? So, to be "HONEST"; I DON'T SEE ANY POINT IN SWITCHING TO X86... To be HONEST, the worst thing MS can do at the moment is take a sharp U-Turn to Intel... And "To be HONEST", that would be senseless! Oh well... Be HONEST! G'Day!

23. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Well, 1st of all that's a lot of unwanted HONEST. Too much of smthng is a bad sign isn't it.. Lol...!!! Here I was speaking as a person who loves tech and gadget not as a end consumer (and obviously that's why I got exited hearing x86 support). Now coming to the point.. (GreenMan mode: ON) Hey lad, What is a surface phone? Why is it considered so special? Huhhhh??? Does it have so good vibrator so that u could.....&#%*@ (uhhh never mind) Duhhh........ It is the phone that running full Windows with capabilities to run x86 apps? Get it lad??? If tht doesn't surprise u then wht would??? Ur d*ck suddenly growing 15+ inches huh?? (Oops that might) WHAT.....??????? OMG!!!! U heard me deaf, don't act like u don't. It can run Photoshop , CorelDraw etc etc etc then again etc. Now shut up android buggs and iOS sheeps u want apps????? There u got real software, RIGHT ON UR STINKING FACE... G'day (GreenMan:OFF) Isn't that surface phone supposed to be??? If not what is the difference between surface phone and a usual high end Lumia phone? Mmmmmm??? Nothing to get exited???

30. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Hahaha, very well said! I definitely won't go for a Surface Phone if it's merely a rebranded Lumia, that's useless and still won't match what the competition currently offers. What you described, is precisely what I refer to as the true Surface Phone! The technology to make such a device a reality is slowly getting there, and as I've said before, couldn't care less how long it takes. Whenever it materializes, it will be my entry into the Windows 10 on Smartphones ecosystem. ASUS' Padfone ( https://goo.gl/4oAGjg ), Acer's Switch Alpha Fanless Intel Core i7U 2-in-1 ( http://goo.gl/LFA3pH ), HP's Elite X3 ( https://goo.gl/y3o7N5 ), and the GPD WIN ( https://goo.gl/JxACqE ) are all paving the way to that future, and Windows is currently the only platform practically set for this evolution to 1 computing device being practically suitable for ALL computing tasks.

33. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Microsoft is trying to move all development into UWP Api. So supporting w32 api doesn't really make a difference. The goal is to have as many developers convert to the UWP api. W32 api will no longer be getting updates, it will fall behind. New features, updates, etc.. will all be part of the UWP api. Having w32 apps on a phone makes no sense since the UI will make it horrible. Having a dual chip solution would be the only motive, where w32 works in continuum but not on the phone. Battery would not be an issue since the phone would be plugged in anyways. Heat could though. Even Adobe is eventually going to move to the UWP api. It takes a lot of work. And they still have a year to build up a better app store. There's constantly new and great apps coming. In fact, mobile is benefiting from it quite largely. I've used windows phone for a while and have never seen these many quality apps coming to it. MS wants to make UWP api as great and open as w32 but with more security in mind at the OS level. It also keeps the OS clean. W32 leaves a mess in the registry/filesystem slowing down machines over time. Apps don't uninstall everything, leave traces everywhere and cause issues. UWP solves all those problems. My guess is that MS will convince more devs to move over and UWP api is device agnostic which is the best part. You can run it on any architecture.

34. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

"Having w32 apps on a phone makes no sense since the UI will make it horrible." On the phone side, yes, it will be horrible, but in a Desktop/Tablet continuum dock, it's very suitable. Here's an example of what Continuum does on my Surface Pro 2 in a Win 32 application like Office Word 2016: https://db.tt/KRwvLvA1 https://db.tt/fckJaLQ6 When connected to a Continuum Desktop Dock (similar to the HP Elite X3, https://goo.gl/y3o7N5 ) or Tablet Dock (similar to the ASUS Padfone, https://goo.gl/4oAGjg ), running Win32 apps on such screens will be very useful. As devs continue to convert their Win32 apps to UWP apps, they'll be making the UI suitable for Smartphone screens too.

7. Martineverest

Posts: 521; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

that will spell dooms and glooms for android high ends like it did in tablets......king of phones is coming

12. sgodsell

Posts: 6739; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

"that will spell dooms and glooms for android high ends like it did in tablets". Is that why Android still sells over 60% of the tablet market each quarter.

31. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

"Is that why Android still sells over 60% of the tablet market each quarter.' Which statistics did you derive such conclusion from? The following shows Android lagging behind the other 2 in sales: http://betanews.com/2016/03/08/microsoft-surface-detachable-tablet-sales-windows/ You're probably looking at just market-share...

14. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Please elaborate how it'll be the doom and gloom for android smartphone?

22. GreenMan

Posts: 2694; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Lets be HONEST here... It won't be doom and gloom for Android, to be HONEST... But in all HONESTY, there's a possibility that Windows may become a solid alternative to Badroid, to be HONEST... To be HONEST, Budget level consumer don't actually have a choice other than Android, or perhaps a good old feature phone, to be HONEST... So, the HONESTY suggests that there is still room for a budget friendly OS ala Windows and Tizen... And to be HONEST, there's always a possibility that they might become a serious threat to Bandroid's Dictatorship in distant future, to be HONEST... Oh well... Be HONEST! G'Day!

24. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

"Lets be HONEST here... It won't be doom and gloom for Android, to be HONEST..." Ur Comment should have ended here Lol....!!!

29. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

I'd love to talk to you in real life haha.

9. Martineverest

Posts: 521; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

microsoft always launch its devices when questions are being asked about the sector or when when the sector lacks innovation..surface phones will alienate anddroid phones..

32. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

"surface phones will alienate anddroid phones.." I would really love to see a Windows alternative get to that point, but I 99% doubt it'll be with he first iteration...unless Panos Panay's magic works extremely fast, which I don't expect; he's a fellow human being after all.

10. jellmoo

Posts: 2530; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

I want to believe that they'll do something great with it, but their track record and strategy have been so tremendously terrible that I just can't see how this is just going to be anything other than lipstick on a pig. Unless they have a brilliant plan to offer something akin to true convergence (and even then...) it's probably going to end up just another failure in a long line of failures. For whatever reason, Microsoft just doesn't "get" mobile, and have pivoted to hard, so many times, and screwed over their loyal fans so many times that it's just hard to have faith in a Surface Phone.

17. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

I don't know about screwed loyal fans, to each his own though. I feel no more screwed with my old phone running win10 than my 950xl running 10. One thing im missing is apps of course, but all the ones I used on android and now on WP are there. There is some that I need at times, hence why I do android emulator when it is truly needed. I simply vpn into my desktop, and run the emulator. Not perfect though somethings fail.

26. jellmoo

Posts: 2530; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Well, consider the people that bought into WP 7 only to be left in the dust with WP 8. Then the handsets of WP 8.1 that aren't being updated to WM 10, after being told they would be. Missing apps is half of the problem. The other half is that the apps they do have, are often of a way lower quality than what's present on iOS or Android. Often times not being updated at all, or getting key features months, if not years after other platforms do. I like Windows Mobile, I really do. I still think there's a ton of promise. But part of the problem is the workaround you need to do to gain core functionality. Microsoft's approach has been terrible with how they support and drive the platform. They pivot direction way too often, and then end up with huge gaps in their offerings, or statements about not providing much in the way of support for an entire calendar year. They need the rumoured Surface Phone to be something legitimately special. It can't just be another Lumia device just branded as "Surface". They need to sort out some of the core problems their offerings have, and put an honest to goodness competitive device on the market.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.