Microsoft has all but given up on Windows Phones, but it seems the idea of a smartphone running a Microsoft OS has not completely died at Redmond.
In an interview with MarketPlace discussing Minecraft and H1B visas, they also touched on Microsoft’s plans for phones in the future.
Nadella emphasised that if they would make a phone, it would be a device which breaks the mould like their Surface line, and creates new product categories.
“We make phones today, we have OEMs like HP making phones and others and we picked a very specific area to focus on which is management, security, and this one particular feature that we have called Continuum, which is a phone that can even be a desktop,” Nadella said.
“And at this point, we’re making sure that all of our software is available on iOS and Android and it’s first class, and we’re looking for what’s the next change in form and function. What we’ve done with Surface is a good example. No one before us thought of 2-in-1s and we created that category and made it a successful category to the point where there are more 2-in-1s coming. And that’s what we want to do,” he continued.
“So in some sense when you say will we’ll make more phones, I’m sure we’ll make more phones, but they may not look like phones that are there today.”
Of course, all kinds of form factors have been rumoured, with flexible, foldable devices running full Windows 10 apps on ARM the rumour du jour at the minute. Another option would, of course, be augmented reality glasses like the HoloLens, which many have suggested would one day replace the smartphone.
Whether it will be enough to break the iOS/Android duopoly remains to be seen, and at present no-one expects a first party phone from Microsoft this year, and even next appears doubtful, but it seems at the very least when it does arrive it will be interesting.
Hear the clip below.
Read more about Microsoft’s recent foldable smartphone/tablet patent here.