Microsoft has been working on an all-but-official Surface Phone for quite some time, according to the many rumours surrounding project Andromeda, building fan hopes for a foldable smartphone without even saying a word. Fans have even created a petition in order to demand the device be released, however the latest news suggests Microsoft has instead gone back to the drawing board due to the handset not being good enough.
According to sources within Microsoft’s development team liaising with Thurrott’s Brad Sams, the Surface Phone has been sent back to its labs due to not meeting the standards that the company holds for its Surface branded devices. Despite consistent repairability and longevity woes, Surface devices on the whole are often made with a high-end market in mind, as well as focusing on aesthetic.
Sources claim that Microsoft will be focusing on both a hardware and software overhaul of the supposed device, in order to meet the expectations of current smartphones. Microsoft has quite a task on its hands in order to capture the previously tried and tested dual-screen handset market, as well as make up for its failures of the Windows Phone.
Image: Surface Phone concept by David Breyer
One way in which it plans to do this, according to previous rumours, is to further bridge the gap between PC systems and handheld devices with the supposed ‘Windows Core OS’, quelling the lack of apps that its previous attempts suffered from with compatibility to its Universal Windows Platform (UWP).
There’s a possibility that Microsoft could also introduce compatibility with its Xbox platform, given the continued efforts in linking to PC via its Play Anywhere scheme. This would be highly dependent on the hardware the Surface Phone opts for, as well as how mobile friendly the included games are.
As always, this is just speculation until Microsoft decides to pipe up about the project. It’s fair to say that the recent setback has crossed off any chance of a 2018 release date, however, with eyes looking towards 2019 for an official reveal.
KitGuru Says: Although this will be disappointing for the 16,000 people who have signed the petition to coerce Microsoft into releasing the handset, it would be more devastating if the company jumped the gun and released yet another disappointing smartphone. Hopefully development rolls smoothly and we will hear something soon. What are you hoping from the supposed Surface Phone? Would you be willing to jump over to another Microsoft handset venture?