October 22, 2016

Microsoft Surface Phone to Be Launched in the Second Half of 2016: Report

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Panos Panay

The much-rumoured Microsoft Surface Phone is reportedly still in development. According to a new report, Microsoft is working on the long-rumoured and speculated handset, and currently plans to launch it in the second-half of 2016.

Citing multiple sources, Windows Central reports that Microsoft has cancelled the Intel-powered Windows Phone which was rumoured to launch in 2016. The report, however, notes that the company’s Surface team is working on a Surface Phone. This is in line with the reported appearance of the phone in Surface team’s office spotted in a recent interview.

The move to make a Surface smartphone comes as the three-year-old brand, under which Microsoftsells its own manufactured devices, finally started to return profits to the company. The earlier version of Surface tablets including the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 couldn’t manage to sell well in the market. But things changed with the Surface Pro 3, which as Microsoft claimed, turned a $1 billion in profits.

The Surface Phone is said to be powered by an Intel processor that is more more powerful than recent Qualcomm offerings. The idea behind siding with Intel for SoC is said to make it possible to run x86 (Win32) applications on the smartphone. It also appears to be a logical move from Microsoft, as the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL it launched recently can be hooked to a monitor using the Display Dock and be used as a computer, with the Windows 10 Continuum feature.

The launch of the Surface Phone could happen either on August 2016 or between late September and around Christmas time, the report added. It heavily relies on how soon Intel could provide the rumoured processor to Microsoft. Microsoft might want to time the launch of the Surface Phone with the release of Redstone, the speculated codename for the next major Windows 10 update, which is said to come with improvements in Continuum.

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