Last year rumours transpired that in a bid to offer a truly competitive smartphone based on its Windows Phone 8 operating system, Microsoft Corp. might roll-out its own-brand device, just like it did with the Surface business and media tablets. Microsoft denied such plans and here is why: the company not only orders which hardware to use for which devices, but is deeply involved in their development and can control a lot of aspects.
“We are so close to the process that it feels like our child too. Especially with Nokia. Our relationship is so close we get hardware early and we have some say in how these things are designed. For an engineer or a designer it might feel a little bit different, but I think for people working with the developers and talking broadly about the phone I am very happy with the relationship and the ability to influence what they are doing,” said Casey McGee, Microsoft's senior marketing manager for Windows Phone, in an interview with Pocket-Lint web-site.
It is not a secret that Microsoft itself makes choice of hardware platforms for Windows Phone 8-based devices and ensures that the software runs smoothly on particular family of chips. This naturally limits certain capabilities of Windows Phone-based devices, but this also guarantees that all smartphones will run smoothly and will be able to compete against Apple iPhone and Google Android-based rivals.
As it appears, Microsoft virtually co-designs handsets with Nokia, which is not a bad thing as the resulting products appear to be rather powerful and fast. However, to many degree that limits innovations that Nokia might install into its Lumia devices to make them more advanced at the expense of other things.
Microsoft recently announced new strategy, which involves developing its own software and hardware that takes maximum advantages of software innovations. The first products that fit into the new business approach are Microsoft Surface media and business tablets. The head of Microsoft recently reaffirmed that more gadgets are incoming from Microsoft, but neither confirmed, nor denied the smartphone. Perhaps, Microsoft wants to get more involved into development of third-party solutions, but not necessarily design everything in-house to show hardware companies they way something meant to be developed?
The reaction of HTC, Samsung and other Windows Phone partners remains to be seen. At present Nokia commands over 75% of Windows Phone-based smartphones shipments. Still, the platform continues to lack popularity. Windows Phone had around 2.6% of the smartphone market share in Q4 2012.
Nokia did not comment on the news-story.