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Microsoft Surface Phone: Is The Company Canceling The Windows Smartphone?

21 February 2017, 8:00 am EST By Andrew Norman Tech Times
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Rumors that Microsoft is working on a Surface Phone have been swirling online for sometime. However, reports suggest that due to the dismal performance of the Windows mobile OS, Microsoft may possibly cancel the smartphone.  ( Edmund Tse | Flickr )

Rumors pertaining to the Windows-powered Surface Phone from Microsoft have been surfacing online for a while now. However, suppositions are rife that Microsoft could possibly cancel the upcoming device.

According to reports, Microsoft may contemplate canceling the Surface Phone owing to poor performance of the Windows platform.

"The rumored Surface Phone's release date, which has been the subject of much speculations in the past few years, may never come at all if Microsoft loses hope in the Windows Phone," asserts Inquistr.

The publication cites a report from Gartner Inc. as the basis of the supposition. The report from Gartner has revealed that sales of Windows devices has been almost non-existent in Q4 2016

Poor Performance Of Windows Devices

Gartner has revealed that during the fourth quarter of 2016, the Windows mobile OS accounted for only 0.3 percent share of the total smartphone sales in the period. By comparison, in Q4 2015, the operating system accounted for 1.1 percent market share.

This statistic is a clear indication of the depleting fortunes of the Windows mobile OS. Only a handful of Windows-powered mobile devices are available in the market courtesy Alcatel and HP. The Lumia smartphones were the most notable devices powered by the platform; however, with Nokia and Microsoft parting ways, things look bleak for the latter.

Rumors that Microsoft was discontinuing the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL emerged online earlier this month when the company's UK store stopped listing the two handsets.

In April 2016, Microsoft revealed that its phone revenue and Windows OEM were both experiencing a downward spiral at the rate of 46 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

That Windows-powered phones are performing terribly is further highlighted when one compares its market share with that of Android and iOS, which accounted for 81.7 percent and 17.9 percent sales, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2016 per Gartner. The only saving grace for the Windows-powered handsets is that BlackBerry phones are faring worse.

Microsoft Surface Phone: Future  

This dismal performance by the Windows-powered phones has led many to believe that Microsoft may scrap the development of the Surface Phone. Rumors of the supposed specs of the device had excited many of the fans. However, the future of the smartphone now looks bleak.

The company would probably try to maximize the sales of the Windows-powered phones, which are already available in the market at this juncture.

However, a silver lining for consumers looking forward to the Surface Phone is that Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella had confirmed in November 2016, that the company was working towards the "ultimate mobile device." He had shared at the time that "innovative" research would aid Microsoft in boosting its presence in the smartphone space. Many believe the device he referred to is the Surface Phone.

Even though Microsoft's smartphone business has been struggling for a while now, the Surface Phone could be the key to reviving its depleting fortunes. If the smartphone is as revolutionary as it is believed to be and is indeed the "ultimate mobile device," then Microsoft may be able to reclaim lost ground.

Photo: Edmund Tse | Flickr

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