Is it likely that 2013 will herald the arrival of the very first Microsoft Surface Smartphone?
Microsoft has put the weight of the entire company behind the launch of Window 8 and its mobile counterpart in the form of Windows Phone 8, representing one of the biggest shifts and evolutions in the history of the company. Making every effort to bridge the gap between the touchscreen and desktop PC markets, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 were earmarked for great things since day one.
Major Smartphone release dates including the Nokia Lumia 920 and the HTC 8X have seen Windows Phone 8 thrust into the spotlight the world over, while the Microsoft Surface RT Tablet has so far got off to a modest start with its stripped-back OS, specs and features.
All in all, things are off to a reasonable start, but not exactly the blistering success story Microsoft and its partners had expected and hoped for.
Nevertheless, rumors are once again gathering steam that Microsoft is to further its own=brand hardware efforts in 2013 with the very first Microsoft Surface Phone to fly the flag for Windows Phone 8.
The fact that Microsoft went ahead with the Surface Tablet launch to showcase its own OS despite raising a few eyebrows in the process indicates that should the company be toying with the idea of an own-brand Smartphone, nothing will change their minds. In addition, the launch of a Microsoft Surface Phone would see Microsoft pretty much top-off its first fully-connected Apple-esque ecosystem whereby Microsoft Smartphones, PCs and tablets could all be interlinked seamlessly.
Exactly what the launch of a Microsoft Surface Phone would do for already struggling brands like Nokia on the other hand remains quite the unknown.
While there is every chance that a further piece of kit from Microsoft could draw new attention to Windows Phone 8 and boost sales of WP8 devices across the board, there is also the chance that Nokia’s Lumia range could be shunned and its one remaining chance at reinventing itself be extinguished
On the other hand, Microsoft could suffer untold reputation damage if the Surface Phone turned out to be a flop, meaning that this is one piece of hardware the Redmond giant really should be thinking twice about before bringing to the market.