Rumors of a Microsoft Surface smartphone date back to last year, but so far we've yet to see Redmond officially comment on the matter. With the Nokia Lumia 920 (and the rumored Lumia 928), Windows Phones finally seemed to gain some traction by the end of 2012, but could Microsoft try to speed things up even more by releasing its own phone?
Speaking at the Dive Into Mobile conference on Tuesday, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of the Windows Phone division Terry Myerson said that he's pleased with devices like the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC's Windows Phone 8X. He added that any Surface-branded handset isn't necessary as long as its partners keep offering quality products (Lumia 928 and rumored HTC "Tiara") and don't mess things up.
"It would have to be something where Nokia or HTC was not providing the consumer experience we think is possible with our platform," said Myerson, according to The Verge. Asked specifically about how the company's partners were performing, he said that Nokia is "a great partner for Microsoft."
Even so, it looks like "sources familiar with Microsoft's Windows Phone plans" have detailed to The Verge that the company has recently tested Surface Phone prototypes with a magnesium casing.
Last year, anonymous sources also relayed that Microsoft considers jumping into the fray with its own Surface phone to be "plan B," but a Nokia filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in March suggested that Nokia understands it's possible Redmond will eventually make its own device.
"Microsoft may make strategic decisions or changes that may be detrimental to us," read the SEC filing. "For example, in addition to the Surface tablet, Microsoft may broaden its strategy to sell other mobile devices under its own brand, including smartphones. This could lead Microsoft to focus more on their own devices and less on mobile devices of other manufacturers that operate on the Windows Phone platform, including Nokia."
If the Surface Phone is real, could it force Nokia to consider expanding into different operating systems, or at least offer a more diverse line-up of phones? The company is pretty much betting exclusively on Microsoft and Windows Phone at this point, so it would be interesting to see how it handles the appearance of a Surface set.
That is, of course, if it ever actually comes out.