A job posting has revealed Microsoft’s plans to produce an LTE-powered smart device sometime in 2018.
The job posting for a Hardware Test Engineer / Manufacturing Engineer is for a position in Redmond and was listed by Microsoft’s recruiter ABAL Technologies Inc.
It specifically notes as a hard requirement:
Understands WIFI 802.11 standards (AX Variant).
Has done LTE Manufacturing test on QUALCOMM (8998, and SDM 845) and/or Intel Chip sets. Q-DAT or QDAP background.
… and makes numerous other references to Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 845 chipset.
It also notes a good understanding of complex devices such as a smartphone would be a plus.
While the job posting was trying to be coy about the identity of the employer, the writer slipped up and mentioned
MSFT is open to support Work Visa to travel to China if needed or work with supplier to get the travel visa.
The posting notes the applicant would need to travel regularly to China over the next 6 months, suggesting whatever Microsoft is working on would hit the market some time towards the end of next year. The engineer would be travelling to JDM1, which is where Pegatron, one of Microsoft’s Surface ODMs are based.
Two main possibilities exist – one very likely and one less so. The first is that Microsoft will deliver a Surface tablet powered by a Snapdragon 845 processor – something which they are asking their OEMs to do and therefore should really also be doing themselves.
The next one is more in the realm of fantasy than reality, but we could be looking at the first signs of the mythical Surface Phone moving to production.
Either way, it is exciting to see Microsoft forging new grounds with new hardware, and we are certain to hear more over the next few months, officially or unofficially.