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Microsoft Tips Surface Phone Strategy

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has some big ideas for the future of smartphones. And he believes his company can deliver on those ideas.

Speaking in an interview with American Public Media's Marketplace last week, Nadella said that he believes the smartphone market will change over time and it's possible that the industry's top competitors, including Apple and Google, might not be leaders forever.

Credit: Sam Rutherford/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Sam Rutherford/Tom's Guide)

Nadella didn't make any promises on exactly when new Microsoft handsets might hit store shelves, but he did say this: "...We’ll make more phones, I’m sure we’ll make more phones, but they will not look like phones that are there today.” He didn't elaborate on what his company's handsets might look like in comparison.

More: Windows 10 Mobile Isn't Dead Until a Surface Phone Flops

Microsoft's track record in the smartphone industry has been abysmal. The company was slow to respond to the iPhone and Android onslaught, leaving it flat-footed. Former CEO Steve Ballmer lost his job in large part because of the Microsoft's lack of a mobile strategy.

Under Satya Nadella, Microsoft has focused much of its efforts on creating a singular software experience across computers, smartphones, and tablets, but it hasn't lost sight of hardware. The company recently announced the new Surface Laptop, which looks pretty sleek despite the limitations of Windows 10 S.

Given that, Nadella's comments are nothing if not bold. But exactly what he might have planned remains to be seen. Judging by his comments, he apparently wants to deliver a handset that doesn't follow the crowd and offers something unique other smartphone makers haven't yet offered.

But with companies like Samsung considering foldable screens, and reports that Apple has a big update planned, it's unclear how much of an innovation boost Microsoft can deliver.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide. 

  • Daekar3
    The Surface Phone (or whatever it will be) isn't even on the horizon yet. The phone market hasn't changed enough yet, and Microsoft is still evolving and developing Windows 10. They'll keep developing and improving the experience via tablets, and working towards a more full experience before even thinking about dipping their toes in that pool again. I'd be surprised if we see another Microsoft phone in the next 5 years.