Following our latest article about the announcement of Microsoft’s new tablet, Surface, we found one thing to be certain: Microsoft’s ambitions to mark its presence in the tablet device market, as well as to go head to head with Apple, are for real. With large production orders of the Surface tablet reportedly underway, and pricing estimated to range from $499 to $599, there is little doubt that the iPad, along with all the other varieties of Windows and Android tablets out there, is in for some serious competition. To add to the headache of competitors, rumor has it Microsoft is also developing the “Windows Phone 8,” an official Microsoft smartphone that will use the NT core, discard all features associated with the Windows Phone and Windows CE operating system, and integrate various functions of cell phone, tablet, PC, and gaming devices. Microsoft appears well on its way to penetrating the tablet and smartphone markets, which is remarkably evident from its heightened interest in hardware development and reports that the company is set to create a chain of retail stores featuring its own official hardware and software products. Are these trends beginning to sound familiar?
Yes, Microsoft, for all its ambition, is faithfully following the example set by Apple, from the brand-centered mentality to the obvious hardware-software integration strategies.
Looking at Microsoft’s ongoing series of developments, it may not be surprising to hear that the company had previously denied HTC permission to use the Windows RT operating system. It seems Microsoft plans to not only reserve the new operating system for itself, but to also, like Apple, use innovation and exclusivity as means of securing presence and dominance in the market. Ostensibly, there is little question that Microsoft’s ambitious strategy to expand on its brand of compatible hardware and software products — reminiscent of the tactic used for the Xbox gaming console — could eventually lead to acquisitions of companies specializing in popular consumer devices. Nokia, with its falling stock prices, is currently speculated to be Microsoft’s top acquisition target, and may very well end up serving as a channel for the initial wave of Windows 8 smartphones.
Of course, not all will fully buy into Microsoft’s insistence to make a full leap from the software realm to hardware territory. Some are quick to contend that the company is simply following in Google’s footsteps, establishing a hardware standard by introducing a unique, accessible platform (in this case, Windows 8). Upon securing the platform’s standard, the theory is that Microsoft will simply pass the torch to thirdparty companies to come up with new developments, and then cut off involvement by pulling out of the hardware market altogether. This certainly sounds like a plausible scenario. But looking at the big picture, could Microsoft’s strategy really turn out to be this straightforward (and uncharacteristically passive)?
Not according to TrendInsider. Again, from what’s been observed, we maintain our position: Microsoft is playing for real.
Microsoft’s previous decisions to expand on its purchases of specific hardware components, in addition to the reported systematic improvements made to internal resources and measures taken to adjust its relationship with OEM partners, all point towards the possibility that the company is devoting significant attention to the hardware sector. If Microsoft is in fact on its way to delivering us the official Windows Phone 8, as many predict it will, consumers should expect to benefit from an opportunity to experience an innovative, if not revolutionary, mobile device. However, the scrapping of the old Windows operating system, along with the abandonment of a variety of previous Windows Phone features, will surely raise a few eyebrows regarding the issue of compatibility. This may not be a significant concern for newcomers, but for long-time Windows Phone users accustomed to versions 7.5 or older, the development of a completely “revamped” Windows Phone is likely to be perceived, in the short term, as both a blessing and a curse.
Concerns aside, the level of risk Microsoft is willing to assume in order to create a unique, official line of hardware products will certainly make for an interesting show. As Microsoft’s success in the hardware industry will depend in large part on how it ranks and performs in the market, the company will need to devote as much effort to the development of its smartphone as it does to Surface. Whether the acquisition of Nokia happens or not, a lot of attention is already being placed on how Microsoft will handle the marketing of its two hardware devices, and whether the company is set to take anymore bold directions from this point forward.
Regarding software updates, a critical technology believed to be key to enhancing consumer experience with the Windows Phone 8 is Direct X, the improvement of which will enable games, apps, and other entertainment-related media to run seamlessly on the Windows Phone 8 hardware. Other software and programs that are expected to be improved include: Nokia map, Internet Explorer 10, business and industry-related applications, Metro, and the internal voice command system.
First Windows Phone 8 Smartphone ?
All things considered, Microsoft’s shift away from the CE core will reportedly enable more processors to run on the new Windows smartphone, and provide more flexible software options. Whatever course the company takes from here on out, expect to see much more powerful smartphone hardware than all the previous Windows Phones.
There is one more rumors about Windows Phone 8 Smartphone, we already know that Microsoft will lunch their own brand Windows Phone 8 Smartphone in this year, just like Microsoft’s Surface tablet.
Tags: Windows Phone 8