Both Harvey Norman and JB Hi Fi, who have had a lot of success selling Surface Pro tablets from Microsoft could soon be asked to start selling ‘Surface’ branded smartphones.
Microsoft who are struggling to sell Windows Mobile phones with sales falling an additional 48% in the last quarter, is believed to be researching the notion of killing off reference to “Windows” phones replacing it with a ‘Surface” smartphone powered by new processor and architecture that would allow the Surface device to deliver X86 applications.
At CES ChannelNews was told that Intel is partnering with Microsoft to make sure x86 apps work on the new Surface smartphone that is currently in development. The same sources also said that the exercise was proving difficult because of the size of a smartphone display screen Vs the display screen size of the Surface Pro.
“Whichever way you look at it Windows does not replicate well on a small mobile screen which is why Apple has stayed with a separate iOS for mobile” the Intel source said.
Microsoft is hoping the new architecture will allow users to basically carry a Windows desktop PC in their pocket with everything they have on a desktop Windows PC replicated on a smartphone. Currently owners of a Windows phone can’t do much outside of Microsoft’s own, limited app eco-system.
ChannelNews has been told that the new architecture if released, will not be licensed to current third party PC partners who sell Windows 10 based PC’s.
Windows Mobile and Microsoft’s desperate obsession to break into the smartphone market resulted in Microsoft forking out A$10 Billion for Nokia who at the time was struggling to hold onto market share due to the success of Apple and Samsung.
Three years later Microsoft were forced to write off that investment as they struggled to sell smartphones despite a move to rebrand Windows Mobile as “Windows 10 Mobile’.
Back in December, Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela admitted that Windows Mobile was basically a basket case.
“We need more breakthrough work,” he claimed.
“With Surface, we had a bunch of early misfires, but that notion of a tablet that could replace your laptop – that notion of saying, ‘Hey, Apple wants to sell you an iPad and they want to sell you a Mac, we think there’s one device that exploits the seam between those two devices’ – we need some sort of spiritual equivalent on the phone side that doesn’t just feel like a phone for people who love Windows.” He said.