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While Microsoft’s smartphone Beta test didn’t quite get off the ground, with Windows Phone 8, 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile all failing to make sizeable market impacts, the firm reportedly hasn’t given up on mobile. To rephrase, while Microsoft has all but killed off developing this iteration of Windows Mobile, the firm is reportedly working on yet another mobile experience.
A new report from Petri’s Brad Sams highlights that Microsoft has been working on new hardware for Windows 10 Mobile internally. This hardware device is supposedly one that highlights the new mobile experiences Microsoft has been thinking of and is being tested with a supposedly different user interface than what we have now.
As far as release, Sams speculates that the device could very well be a year or less away from release if it is an internal hit. Such a device will no doubt run the universal Windows apps Microsoft is pushing at the moment, but it’ll need to provide a new experience that pushes the mobile needle in both hardware and software to break into the consumer market. Microsoft has also used up consumer and retailer goodwill with prior Windows phone iterations, so it is very likely that they’ll already have built in biases working against them. However, it is also true that the consumer is fickle and memories are short, so that could very well change.
Many have speculated that Microsoft would position Windows 10 on ARM as a successor to Windows 10 Mobile. This is unlikely as Windows 10 on ARM (the version being discussed here anyway) is merely an iteration of Windows 10 Pro to provide an opportunity for Qualcomm-powered Laptops and Windows Convertibles to light up new mobility experiences as we can see in the LTE-capable Surface Pro. It is more likely that this unnamed new branch of Windows Mobile is where Microsoft is actively testing possible future iterations of Windows Mobile.
Barring a product that amounts to a total failure of imagination such as a shrunken down Windows PC or another Windows Phone 7 inspired interface, it’ll undoubtedly be exciting to see what they come up with next.