Forget ‘Surface’, Microsoft Smartphones On The Way?

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That’s according to one analyst who believes the software giant’s next move is to mobiles.

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Microsoft may be already working on an own branded smartphones, believes analyst Rick Sherlund from Nomura who says industry sources have indicated operation smartphone may already be in action.

The ‘sources’ indicated the giant may be working with a contract manufacturer on the new handset.

“It is unclear to us whether this would be a reference platform or whether this may be a go-to-market Microsoft branded handset,” the analyst said in an investor note.

Earlier this week, Microsoft surprised everyone by launched its own braded tablet device, a 10.6″ Windows 8-based tablet called “Surface”  with a USB 2.0 port, rear/front cameras, a built-in stand (on rear only 0.7mm thick), HDMI output, and a magnetic cover.

Read: Microsoft Launch ARM + Intel Powered Ivy Bridge Tablet

“Microsoft’s move emphasizes a change in the PC industry highlighting tighter integration between software and hardware,” another analyst, Richard Shim, from Display Search said this week.

“Microsoft has joined a short but growing list of companies complementing their traditional businesses: Google with Motorola Mobility, HP with Palm and its webOS.”

 

“The rate of success for these companies so far has been modest,” Shim said citing Apple as the best example of the value of controlling hardware and software.

While the move is “positive” and will rise the level competition in the space, “it will likely be a slow build to significant influence for Microsoft in the tablet category,” Shim concludes.

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