Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is doing a splendid job keeping its plan for the Surface Phone under wraps. The firm’s silence however is serving the “intended” purpose of causing the media to engage in a frenzied race to uncover the hottest scoop about the device. Last week, the tech media was agog with rumors that Microsoft would unveil its much-awaited Surface Phone at the upcoming MWC 2017.
Of course, the firm has promised to “do great things” MWC 2017; hence, tech bloggers had valid reasons to speculate about the debut of the Surface Phone. The firm even went as far as launching a web page through which people at MWC can arrange meetings on the sidelines of the mobile congress. However, we have reasons to strongly believe that the Surface Phone won’t make its debut at the World Mobile Congress next year.
Don’t expect Microsoft’s Surface Phone at MWC 2017
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) came late to the mobile party and its Windows Mobile OS sits at a distant third behind Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Developers have more incentive to build iOS and Android apps because those platforms have a large user base. Microsoft however lacks a huge user base for its Windows Mobile OS; hence, it can’t afford an ill-timed launch. The firm has to solve the chicken-egg riddle before it launches its Surface Phone; otherwise, the device will end up going the way of the Lumia.
Nonetheless, Microsoft will be present at MWC 2017 and HP Elite X3 will ably represent the firm’s smartphone line. Microsoft execs have already developed a canned response for avoid making statements about the Surface Phone. Any question to get them to confirm or deny the Surface Phone almost always gets a response pointing to HP Elite X3. We have reasons to believe that Microsoft will be promoting the HP Elite X3 at MWC 2017 instead for debuting the Surface Phone.
HP Elite X3 runs on Windows 10 smartphone but I’m not sure whether I should classify it as a consumer-focused device or an enterprise-focused device. As expected, the device lacks most of the popular third-party iOS and Android apps. However, what it lacks in apps, it makes up for in Enterprise functions with an inbuilt PIM suite. The device also runs Outlook 365 and Microsoft Cloud.
What is the fate of the Surface Phone?
It is obvious that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is delaying the launch of the Surface Phone –and with good reason. It appears that the firm wants to use HP Elite X3 as a guinea pig to test the smartphone waters before it launches the Surface Phone on its own brand.
If the HP Elite X3 succeeds, Microsoft will be able to pinpoint the reason for its success and make sure it nails that point at a higher level in the Surface Phone. In contrast, if HP Elite X3 fails, the firm would be able to know what went wrong and avoid making the same mistake with the Surface Phone.
Nonetheless, you can expect to see the Surface Phone in the second half of 2017. The Surface Phone might carve a niche in the Smartphone market if it is able to run desktop apps. The problem however is that the Redstone 3 update that will outfit Windows 10 will the powers to run desktop apps won’t be out until mid 2017. Hence, the Surface Phone is not likely to make its debut at MWC 2017.