So what is the future for Microsoft devices?
The answer for this question is not an easy one. Microsoft does a great job keeping its projects a secret. Panos Panay, the VP of Microsoft devices team, is working hard to bring us exceptional things, but in the same time, he is taking his time to make sure the device is ready.
Regardless, let’s try to imagine, or guess what the future will bring us. You must take this with a grain of salt though.
n the smartphone industry, Microsoft failed to become a leader, but the game is not over yet. Windows 10 Mobile is very much alive, even if Windows Phone is dead. The operating system is evolving and improving every day, and Dona Sarkar is making sure we, insiders, are happy with constant updates. This makes me believe that my Lumia 950 is not the last Microsoft powered mobile device I will own. The much anticipated “Surface Phone”, or I would name it “Surface Mobile”, will be the next step in the evolution of the mobile devices. Even though there is no official confirmation of this device, we all how Microsoft keeps its secrets (Holo Lens, Surface Book). Giving the fact that Microsoft demoed how the full Windows 10 runs on an ARM processor, and Satya Nadella talking about the importance of cellular capabilities in the future products, I am confident we will see the “ultimate mobile device” is very much a reality.
But when it will see the light of the day?
Certainly not this spring (2017). Ever since Anniversary Update, we started to hear about the next update. Then we knew it only as RS2, but in the meantime we got a glimpse of it and we know that in April we will get the Creators Update. Well, even the name doesn’t tell us that this update will be Mobile focused. So, no chance of seeing a mobile device alongside of this update.
If you ask me if there is a chance of seeing it later in 2017, I would answer – Yes, there is a chance. The next Big update is programmed to be released this fall, somewhere in October. And with so many rumors, leaks, and news about the new technology that can be fitted in a mobile device, Microsoft cannot keep us waiting longer. If so, somebody else, will have enough time to design and develop a device that can seize the market before Surface Phone is released, even if it will be an inferior device. So, yes, I think we will see this much anticipated device in 9 to 10 months from now.
Is Microsoft Band Coming back?
This ts the second thing, I want to talk about: Microsoft Band, also a dead product, shelved in Microsoft’s labs.
Previously I said that The Band 3 could be released, But I think I missed some facts. The first and second generations of the Band were great devices, but they had a flaw in design. They were designed with Windows 8 in mind, and with the dramatic shift of perspective regarding the future of Microsoft ecosystem philosophy, the Band felt behind, and couldn’t keep up with the rest of the Surface family. And the answer to the question above is NO, Microsoft Band is not coming back. But there are rumors that Microsoft has assigned to its Surface Team a new project regarding smartwatches. And as we already can tell, Microsoft is in a constant effort of unifying everything, with Windows OneCore, and the Surface family. Following this logic, if Microsoft will ever release a smartwatch, it will be a Surface watch, or Surface band, or something entirely different that will fit with the philosophy of Microsoft to create new segments in the market.
I hope those rumors are true and they will be able to be ahead of the game and will bring us, new and exciting devices, as they did with the Surface Pro line and the Surface Studio.
Microsoft have a few good cards in their sleeve, with Continuum, AI and Bots and if ever, now is the time to play those cards right, because the competition is not sleeping. In a market, most often, doesn’t matter who is the best but who is the first, because people remember first product, especially when Microsoft is trying to define new categories.
Only time will tell.