The Surface Phone is dead, long live the Surface Phone
For the better part of forever – or at least since late 2012 when the first Surface tablet launched – we’ve been talking about rumors that Microsoft would bring the brand over to its smartphone business and deliver a Surface Phone. Following the acquisition of Nokia’s Lumia line, and even more substantially following the launch of Windows 10, those rumors have been picking up fresh heat, most recently focusing on the idea of a mid-2016 launch for a metal-bodied Surface Phone running Intel silicon. Especially with the new Lumia 950 models failing to deliver in every way we’d like, there’s been a lot of pressure on this fabled Surface Phone to put Microsoft’s smartphone efforts on an exciting new track. But now a new report claims that the Surface Phone we’ve heard about isn’t happening at all, and that a spiritual equivalent could be out by this time next year.
Supposedly, Microsoft has canceled that metal Surface Phone projected for mid-2016. However, work continues within Microsoft on a compelling new smartphone effort, though not one that’s being referred to internally as the Surface Phone any longer – instead, it’s the “Panos phone.”
With Panos Panay leading up the Surface team, this handset is still expected to be a super-premium model, though maybe not a metal device anymore. The idea of an Intel chip remains, however, and while it’s far from confirmed, there’s the outside chance we could be looking at a phone with some next-gen Continuum support that extends to x86 Win32 software.
That could be a huge boon for Windows 10 Mobile, and help push Continuum beyond the realm of a useful addition to Microsoft’s smartphone experience, and place it front and center as a key selling point: a smartphone that has the ability to run standard Windows apps.
This “Panos phone” might not even be finalized until sometime next summer, with a release later in the year – and fall’s sounding like a prime candidate.
It’s important to remember that all this is a mixture of rumor, analysis, and speculation, and there’s very little that sounds like a sure thing right now. That said, the Surface Phone we’ve long waited for may become a reality before we know it – even if it does so in a way we’ve yet to fully grasp.
Source: Windows Central