Peter Klein of Microsoft fame has stated in no uncertain terms that the Redmond software giant has every intention of adding to the Surface hardware lineup, sparking another frenzy of rumors that a Surface Smartphone release date could become a reality as early as this year.
However, having not yet exactly taken the world by storm with the Surface RT or upcoming Surface Pro tablets, some have questioned whether now really is the right time for Microsoft to be considering further hardware ventures.
During a recent conference call, the Microsoft executive clearly confirmed that the Surface hardware project will not come to an end with the Surface RT and Pro tablets. What’s more, when asked about the relatively poor performance of the Surface RT tablet since its release date last year, he cited “limited distribution” as the primary cause.
“As you know, we are excited about expanding that. So our goal is to continue to build that business to highlight the incredible power of Windows 8 in an interesting set of devices. We are going to expand geographically. We are going to expand the product line up. We are going to expand retail distribution and capacity. So we look forward to continuing the growth of that business,” he told the media and industry analysts during the call.
While this was as far as the details went in terms of future Surface hardware plans, it has been rumored for some time that an own-brand Surface Smartphone running Windows Phone 8 is essentially all that’s missing from tying the Microsoft Windows 8 ecosystem together perfectly.
In fact, some have dubbed the concept of the Microsoft Surface Phone more a question of when, rather than if.
Google’s Nexus Smartphones have certainly proved that such own-brand ventures can be incredibly successful if gone about correctly, which in turn represents quite the opportunity for Microsoft. Perhaps the only downside would be the possible blow to Nokia – the company that has pledged a rather undying allegiance to Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform and would likely take a massive hit if a range of own-brand Surface Smartphones were to join the market.
More details are expected to follow the Surface Pro tablet launch festivities next month – a device that has been earmarked for both unstoppable success and the scrapheap by various analysts and critics already.