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Microsoft Reportedly Launching Its Own Windows Phone Smartphone 190

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the nokia-shareholders-gather-with-pikes dept.
zacharye writes "When Microsoft announced earlier this year that it will launch an own-brand tablet to compete directly with its various vendor partners working on Windows 8-based tablet PCs of their own, there was some backlash. Privately — and sometimes even publicly — long-time Microsoft partners took it as an attack on their businesses and questioned why Microsoft would be so brazen. But with nowhere else to turn thanks to Windows' overwhelming PC dominance, these vendors had no choice but to continue developing Windows 8 devices and compete directly with their software supplier. Though events may play out a bit differently in the smartphone market, where Microsoft has yet to stage the comeback it promised two years ago, BGR has learned that the Redmond, Washington-based company plans to release its own Windows Phone 8 smartphone in the coming months."
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Microsoft Reportedly Launching Its Own Windows Phone Smartphone

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:15PM (#41540209)

    And Microsoft has always loved doing what works for Apple.

    • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:03PM (#41540777)

      If something works for Apple, there is no reason for Microsoft to ignore it.

      I can understand Microsoft may be frustrated with partners not following through on a long term strategy. They had success establishing their own gaming console, maybe they can do the same with tablets and phones. It's not like there is a huge base of third party manufacturers in these categories already using Microsoft products to piss off.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by davester666 (731373)

      Just like a little kid who has been dropped on his head way too many times and then decides to try to be cool by copying what the cool kid is doing, but can only do so in the most craptastic way.

      Microsoft. Because We're Special.(tm)

      • Just like a little kid who has been dropped on his head way too many times and then decides to try to be cool by copying what the cool kid is doing, but can only do so in the most craptastic way.

        Microsoft. Because We're Special.(tm)

        ...and what role does Apple play in all this?

    • by Pope (17780)

      Yes, all those iOS licensees out there welcome each new iPhone as a healthy competitor.

    • Yes but that horse already left the barn. Poor Microsoft, riding on apples coattails again..
      • by exomondo (1725132)

        Poor Microsoft, riding on apples coattails again..

        And we have invented a new technology called Vertical Integration, which is phenomenal. It works like magic, you don't need OEMs, it's far more profitable, it ignores 3rd parties, it's super smart, and boy have we patented it!
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JZBLjxPBUU [youtube.com]

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @02:00PM (#41541487) Journal

      And sadly that is EXACTLY what we are gonna get. No more open Windows platform to build on, you have the Apple walled garden or the Ersatz Apple walled garden...wonderful.

      I have never more openly and fervently hoped a company would fail like I want MSFT to fail now, maybe if Ballmer shits enough money down the toilet we'll get lucky and the board will revolt and bring someone in who can do something other than ape Apple poorly, as that seems to be the ONLY strategy Ballmer knows. How pathetic and sad.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Film at 11...

  • Yes, but (Score:3, Funny)

    by swanzilla (1458281) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:21PM (#41540273) Homepage
    Will it run Linux?
    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      You betcha somebody will put CyanogenMod on it.
      If the HW is good it might even be worth it.

    • Will it run Linux?

      Only hosted in Hyper-V. But you'll have to use the more expensive i7 CPU version to get reasonable performance.

  • With Microsoft building Surface, it was inevitable they would branch into building other hardware too.

    Microsoft's mobile future is too important to Microsoft to leave it entirely to third parities.

    It'll be interesting to see how Microsoft manages to make this balance work, although Google seems to be doing fine so far with Nexus devices vs. what everyone else sells. In that regards there's not much third parties can do, since both Google and Microsoft compete against them it's a wash.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      The Nexus phones are made by an Android vendor not by google. They also do a good job of spreading the love around. HTC made the first few and now Samsung has made the Galaxy Nexus. Much different than building your own hardware and competing directly

      • That is somewhat different, but still competes against all the other vendors. And of course Motorola Mobility (which Google owns) still makes the Droid line, which is wholly competition...

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Droid is a verizon thing. HTC and Samsung have made droid labeled devices.

          Google owns Motorola, but they don't play favorites with it. I don't see it being an issue because of that.

          • I wasn't aware other makers also maid Droids, interesting.

            But I wasn't claiming Google was playing favorites with Motorola, just that it was more direct competition for handset makers than HTC producing a nexus, and that hardware vendors were living with that already. So Microsoft doing the same thing should have no impact on the desire of third party handset makers to also build WP8 units.

            • by h4rr4r (612664)

              The droid line has nothing to do with Google directly. It is a Verizon thing. So your claim fails right there.

              Hardware vendors are not competing with it they produce it.

              Microsoft is not going to be buying handsets and branding them, which is what google does with the nexus line and what verizon does with the droid line.

              • The droid line has nothing to do with Google directly.

                Had to followup after I found this at the motorola link:

                Motorola Droid [motorola.com].

                GottaBeMobile's Best smartphone CES 2012.... Buy it link works.

                So how again does it have "nothing to do with Google"?

                Point stands, now unaltered.

                That's the last time I doubt my understanding of the Smartphone market over a post from some random guy on Slashdot...

    • by Microlith (54737) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:38PM (#41540451)

      Google seems to be doing fine so far with Nexus devices vs. what everyone else sells.

      Depends. Is Microsoft designing and having the device manufactured entirely on their own, or are they working with an existing Windows Phone vendor on it?

      All of Google's Nexus devices are prominently done by one of their OHA members (HTC, Samsung, ASUS, etc.) and that's probably one reason there's never been a whisper about the Nexus program. By contrast, with Surface Microsoft bypassed all of their OEMs and is going head to head with them.

    • We are yet to see Google's Motorola strategy. I would expect the manufactures to get nervous as early as the first Motorola phone release.

    • by rsborg (111459) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:13PM (#41540909) Homepage

      With Microsoft building Surface, it was inevitable they would branch into building other hardware too.

      Microsoft's mobile future is too important to Microsoft to leave it entirely to third parities.

      It'll be interesting to see how Microsoft manages to make this balance work, although Google seems to be doing fine so far with Nexus devices vs. what everyone else sells. In that regards there's not much third parties can do, since both Google and Microsoft compete against them it's a wash.

      If I am a handset manufacturer, now the only game in town is Google's Android, since the Microsoft is considering moving into hardware on this front.

      Has Microsoft realized that they just can't manage Phone manufacturers [1] ? Microsoft has repeatedly backstabbed it's "partners" to it's own detriment later on. Is there anyone laying down the law in Redmond? - seems like Lord of the Flies when it comes to internal discipline and ability to execute as a group.

      [1] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/01/06/microsofts_masterplan_to_screw_phone/ [theregister.co.uk]

      • by sootman (158191)

        > If I am a handset manufacturer, now the only game in town is Google's Android,
        > since the Microsoft is considering moving into hardware on this front.

        Did you miss that Google has already moved into the hardware with their purchase of Motorola Mobility?

        • Did you miss that Google has already moved into the hardware with their purchase of Motorola Mobility?

          Apparently you missed that Android is open sourced. That means that there are at least three major competitive ecosystems (Amazon ; Barnes and Nobel and the major Chinese app market places [quora.com]) as well as innumerable minor ones (e.g. CyanogenMod and all the small independent market places). Any or all of those would welcome a major manufacturer as a partner.

          Google has to compete for favour from Mobile manufacturers. Microsoft is setting its self up to completely mess them over. Probably, it will buy one o

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      We've been here before already:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Kin [wikipedia.org]

      As a civilization, we have extremely short memory sometimes...

    • by exomondo (1725132)

      It'll be interesting to see how Microsoft manages to make this balance work

      Perhaps they don't need to, maybe Desktop and Laptop software is enough for Microsoft as far as OEM licensing goes? Windows Phone hasn't done particularly well in the market so maybe it's time to try going vertically integrated, you avoid hardware fragmentation and reliance on OEMs to deliver quality products, it becomes wholly Microsoft's responsibility, they reap the benefits if they succeed and they only have themselves to blame if they fail. This leaves the OEMs with Android and perhaps things like Bada

  • by Thud457 (234763)
    They buy Nokia, and now they think they're Google?!
    • by jandrese (485)
      I think it's more a case of copying Apple. I mean Apple is making money hand over fist with their cell phone business, and Microsoft is saying "Me too!"
      • by zlives (2009072)

        however they don't restrict the manufacture to just MS for their devices (yet?) so better comparison would be Google/Droid

    • They didn't buy Nokia yet, but soon.
  • Who is going to want a ZunePhone?

    They might want to first get some penetration in the smartphone market before spending in even more money.

    Oh well, this is the modern MS, spend desktop and office money on markets that someone else dominates and keep spending till you compete. Never mind the fact that even 360 has not paid the Xbox bills.

    If I was an investor I would be pissed. If you are just going to waste the money pay it out as dividends.

  • Maybe they aren't evil, power hungry, or nakedly greedy. Perhaps they just have a really ambitious sense of humor (Microsoft Tweet [fuckyeahdementia.com]), and competing with their customers is just how they do. Their next step will be announcing they are launching an own-brand laptop in a retail store made entirely of painted glass windows.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:26PM (#41540349)

    I never saw that coming...

    • by bmo (77928) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:40PM (#41540467)

      >I never saw that coming...

      Every Microsoft "Partner" thinks they are special. "It will never happen to us" they say. "Look at all this money we get from Microsoft!" They think they can beat the Devil with their own fiddle playing. Except this isn't a Charlie Daniels Band song.

      --
      BMO

      • Partnering with Microsoft is like partnering with Smaug.
      • by pnot (96038)

        I get the feeling the MS partnership was completely or largely a top-down decision forced by Elop. The peons presumably knew they were shafted from the start but didn't have a say in the matter. Elop presumably knew they would be shafted, but doesn't care because he gets well paid until Nokia is a gutted shell, at which point he hops off, buys a few yachts, and walks into the next cushy job -- perhaps with his old buddies at MS.

        *Everyone* saw this coming, that's the tragic thing. The past 18 months have bee

        • by bmo (77928)

          It wasn't the employees decision to get Elop. It was the board. The Nokia board has been exceptionally incompetent, and approving Elop was just another example of their ongoing incompetence.

          They have their golden parachutes.

          The employees do not.

          It's disgusting.

          --
          BMO

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In memoriam: Microsoftâ(TM)s previous strategic mobile partners

      ïMicrosoft's new "strategic partnership" with Nokia is not its first. For a decade the software company has courted and consummated relationships with a variety of companies in mobile and telecom. Here are the ones I can remember:

      LG. In February 2009 Microsoft Corp. signed a multiyear agreement for Windows Mobile to be included on devices from LG Electronics Inc. LG would use Windows Mobile as its "primary platform"for smartphones and

    • by 21mhz (443080)

      I also feel pity for all those Android OEMs. How could Google piss on them and release their own Nexus. And what's more, they own Motorola Mobility now...
      What? You are saying this is different because?..

      • by Microlith (54737)

        Because Google doesn't actually release the Nexus devices (except for the Q, which had no equivalent.) The OHA members do.

        And yes, they own Motorola. But the OHA still exists. It'd be similar if Google, upon buying Moto, terminated the OHA and dropped the AOSP.

        • by 21mhz (443080)

          And yes, they own Motorola. But the OHA still exists. It'd be similar if Google, upon buying Moto, terminated the OHA and dropped the AOSP.

          So what did Microsoft terminate and drop with regard to its Windows Phone partners?
          So far all we have is ad-grabbing gossip on a second-rate website.

  • Not so fast.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erp_consultant (2614861) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:36PM (#41540443)

    Microsoft has had their share of unsuccessful hardware (Zune comes to mind) but they are capable of getting it right sometimes too. They make a really good mouse and keyboard for example. XBox is successful, albeit after years of losing money on it. I think they are able to build technically successful products but what kills them time and again is poor marketing and an inability to make anything perceived as "cool" by the hip generation.

    The Zune was a really good MP3 player (better than the iPod in many ways) but it had that horrible brown color and MS put no marketing behind it. This is a lesson that gets lost on hard core techs sometimes - it doesn't matter that your product is technically superior if you can't sell it. This is what Apple excels at - superior marketing.

    If MS hopes to be successful with their branded phone they are going to have to hire some people that know how to sell stuff. First thing I would do? I'd get rid of all of those idiots behind that series of ridiculous Seinfeld ads. Remember those? Yeah, nobody does and that's the point. Complete waste of time and money. Next thing they have to do is design something that looks cool and is easy to use and is well built. Number three - develop some features that set them apart from IOS and Android. Give people a reason to buy an MS phone instead of the default choice of Apple or Android. Otherwise why bother? Just get one of those two and call it a day.

    This is Microsoft's last, best chance to get back in the mobile game. If they blow this one then they might as well throw in the towel and accept their fate as the leader in an increasing dying industry (desktop pc's).

    • by jandrese (485)
      Only one Zune was brown, as an optional color. Zune didn't die because it was brown, it died because they didn't build a huge ecosystem around it the way Apple did with the iPod. They didn't pull the Jedi mind trick that Jobs did with the record companies to release most everything on the platform. Plus, once the Zune came out they were an also-ran in an increasingly crowded marketplace. The biggest feature was the ability to bypass the DRM a little bit sometimes, whereas Steve was careful to mention DR
      • because they didn't build a huge ecosystem around it the way Apple did with the iPod.

        They tried - they had Zune Pass, and quite a bit of music accessible.

        The real reason they failed is that instead of building the Zune they should have Zunified Windows Mobile phones with a music ecosystem and better playback/discovery experience, seeing ahead of Apple that standalone music players were a short-lived niche that smart phones would eventually overtake.

        But Apple saw before Microsoft did that the standalone musi

        • But Apple saw before Microsoft did that the standalone music player would be eclipsed by the personal phone, even though Microsoft was producing them long before Apple... very odd.

          I say that Apple saw that the successor to the music player was a consumer smart phone. MS was too concerned about the enterprise smart phone and put too little effort into the consumer side. For MS, Apple's iPhone could never compete with Windows Mobile but the shortsightedness of MS was that iPhone was never competing directly with Windows Mobile or Blackberry. Apple focused on making a phone for consumers instead of shoe-horning an enterprise one for consumers.

          • Although I knew a number of people with personal Windows smartphones, by and large I'd agree with your point... it probably was the wholesale inability to realize how big the consumer smartphone space would be and defend it well that hurt them.

            Probably also the separation of concerns in the company, you can imagine the Zune team and the Windows Mobile team being very at odds instead of working together.

            • by gtall (79522)

              Saying it was the inability to realize how big the consumer smartphone space would be points to a bigger culture difference. Apple has almost never expressed an interest in the business market, probably thinking that MS had it all sown up. So the difference goes farther back than phones. I doubt Apple could have predicted that the consumer market would wag the business dog. Jobs was many things but he couldn't predict the future. Rather, MS got blindsided when the consumer angle started impacting their core

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by SuperKendall (25149)

                I doubt Apple could have predicted that the consumer market would wag the business dog.

                I think you could see that a really long time ago. Really it was home users with Apple II's and the like wanting to be able to use spreadsheets that really made computers even get into business. Later on the Palm line came in from the personal space to enter into the corporate world. On a lesser scale, the same was true of Mac laptops and OS X, that came in to business very much against the will of IT departments far

              • As long as Jobs had come back, Apple was always about design. With the iPod and iMac, the design was for consumers whereas their Pro line was for creative professionals. For the iPod people here still think it was just marketing. It was good design and good marketing. As long as the MP3 was designed for geeks, it would never be successful. Apple didn't do anything technologically Earth-shattering; they focused on details that consumer would use/prefer.
    • by bazorg (911295)

      I thought that MS mouse and keyboards were re-badged Logitech products? If it is still the case, then it's quite different from Zune and Xbox?

      • I thought that MS mouse and keyboards were re-badged Logitech products?

        As far as I know their mice are all in-house products. Also the original 'sidewinder' gaming mouse = pure awesome.

        Now if they could just figure out how to market things and/or write decent software...

        • by gtall (79522)

          Ummm...so you are saying that MS should promote a mouse-cellphone....

          • Was I? I'm saying that MS is has proven themselves capable of building good hardware 'in-house' in the past

            ...but sure, lets go ahead and build a corded gaming mouse that runs WM9 and makes phone calls, I can totally see that taking off.
    • Slightly off topic...

      If anybody had the balls to enable unlimited wireless mp3 sharing between devices, they could own the market.
    • by fermion (181285)
      Everyone wants to bring up the mouse and keyboard. How hard is that? Hard enough so that Apple fails often, but no one seems to to care. OTOH, the only thing MS does make is the mouse and keyboard.

      The XBox has little to do with hardware. The Xbox has a failure rate in the vicinity of 20-50%. It does not matter because MS has the money to just replace the console because the console is not the thing. The Games are the thing, and MS was able to use it's developer mojo to get the games. The XBox is no

    • Re:Not so fast.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by thoth (7907) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @02:59PM (#41542129) Journal

      This is a lesson that gets lost on hard core techs sometimes - it doesn't matter that your product is technically superior if you can't sell it. This is what Apple excels at - superior marketing.

      I see this bandied about all the time, Apple's marketing is so awesome it defies the laws of physics, while Microsoft's marketing sucks rocks. Yet if asked why Linux never took over the desktop and Microsoft's dominance there, the answer is typically that Microsoft's marketing is unbeatable. Apparently Microsoft is both awesome and sucks at marketing... WTF?

      Claiming the iPod won out due to superior marketing displays massive and willful ignorance, extreme forgetfulness, or both. The iPod won out due to ease of use, plus the incredible integration with the iTunes music store (which came out after another 2 years I think?) - this made it easy and simple for REGULAR consumers to buy music and load it on their device. That plus some confidence their investment wouldn't disappear. Zune launched right into a fairly well established iPod ecosystem and delivered... "squirting" music to your friends, which let them listen to a song you purchased what, 3 times? That's worthless.

      The Zune blew chunks in this respect. Microsoft didn't get the music industry on board at the same level, and there was a clusterf*ck of DRM crap which kept getting renamed, rebranded, retired, rehashed - remember PlaysForSure? The announcement that "PlaysForSure" would be killed off and all music inaccessible unless burned to CD? The different but parallel Zune store? The reversal? The new "Certified for Vista?" The new-new XBox Music store? The consumer base threw up their hands and lost confidence any money spent on any media would continue to be usable in the next 6 months.

      Sorry but Microsoft totally mishandled this all on their own.

      For a company with deep pockets, they are pretty quick to throw a device getting a lukewarm reception under the bus. XBox seems to be the only thing they stuck with long enough. What they haven't figured out is that if you are going up against entrenched successful competitors, and can't leverage Windows on the desktop, you have to deliver a BETTER consumer experience and be price competitive. Google figured this out with a different strategy (open source, free tools), competitive pricing, etc. Microsoft is still trying to leverage their desktop. I don't get it - it seems to me mobile apps are basically written from scratch.

  • by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc,paradise&gmail,com> on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:36PM (#41540447) Homepage Journal

    if there's one thing I've learned, it's that BGR really can't be trusted for its exclusive leaks. SO many of them just don't pan out, it seems like like an accident one one of them actually does.

    In this case, we have an unconfirmed source saying that MS is planning its own phone but it doesn't have a release timeline for them. Seems like an easy way to get page hits to me.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:05PM (#41540813) Homepage

    Google did the Google Nexus 7 and it hasn't upset Android makers as far as I can tell. But it does upset carriers who capitalize on their ablity to have devices locked down so that they can take the most advantage of consumers possible.

    I think what Microsoft is doing will give the new Windows Tablets/phones the best possible opportunity for success (or failure) by setting the bar at a particular level. OEMs are free to exceed the Microsoft model, but it would upset consumers to not at least meet the standards set out there by Mocrosoft's base model. And when software/firmware updates come out for the Microsoft device, they had damn well come out for the OEM phones and tablets too. In the end, it should upset carriers more than it should upset manufacturers.

    • Google didn't do Nexus 7, Asus did - Google just slapped their logo on it once it's done.

      • Even if it as Google, Android partners so far have seen that Google will put out a model mostly as a reference instead of competing outright with their partners.
    • by gtall (79522)

      "but it would upset consumers to not at least meet the standards set out there by Mocrosoft's base model"...consumers? Care about MS's base model? Not bloody likely.

  • It will be different from the iPhone 5 because it will have a wonky camera and GPS navigation that doesn't work properly.
    Wait a minute...

  • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:25PM (#41541069) Homepage

    Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from the frog's back. A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.

    "You fool!" croaked the frog, "Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?"

    The scorpion shrugged, and did a little jig on the drowning frog's back.

    "I could not help myself. It is my nature."

  • Maybe they are buying up all of those phones from Android that Google won't let them sell and rebranding them?

  • by DaWhilly (2555136) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @02:49PM (#41542015)
    Microsoft is reportedly launching it's own windows phone smartphone.. It's expected to land somewhere in the pacific..
  • A Youtube clip that explains you corporate relationship with Microsoft:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT5WYSwET28 [youtube.com]

    Have a nice day.

  • Unless Microsoft is keen to take heed to the mistakes made by their Kin phones (HA!), this may well fail just as miserably. Kin phones didn't even make it two months before getting pulled off the shelves.

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