1. ViZHiQUE's Avatar
    Hey guys! Recently, I've been looking into the Surface Phone and Windows 10 Mobile, and I've been thinking, what needs to happen in order for this to succeed? Well, I've listed some of my own thoughts below (with consideration of 2018-19 release), on both the software and hardware side, and I'd like to hear your guy's thoughts and what you guys would like to see.

    Hardware:
    Hardware isn't as big of an issue, but I think it's still up there as a contributing factor as to the diminishing sales of the Windows Mobile platform. If I were designing the Surface Phone, I'd probably be looking for a 5" - 6", 8K / 16K, Gorilla Glass 5 display, wrapped around a slim, ergonomic all-metal body. However, the device does not necessarily have to be as thin as possible, as it could use the additional space to its advantage, gaining a competitive edge in power, to accompany a new-and-improved dock. The device would offer two Carl Zeiss cameras, of different magnifications, to offer a supreme photography experience, comparable to that of the iPhone, to create crisp, beautiful images. But don't be fooled by its exterior, as it boasts a top-of-the-range processor and 8 / 16 GB of RAM, with a 32 / 64 GB internal storage, which can be extended via Micro-SD. One of the defining features of the device would be the side port connectors on the left side of the device (think iPad Pro), which would allow bluetooth-less connection for a multitude of powered accessories, such as the Keyboard (free with device), which could fold back up, acting as a cover, or a charger for the Stylus (optional accessory), giving users a superior writing experience. On the back, users have access to a finger scanner, that, when pressed down, can be used as a heart rate and breathing monitor, which is also coupled with NFC. The battery powering this device would be a 3500mAH fast-charging battery, that also can also be charged wirelessly, or otherwise, with the USB-C braided cable.

    Software:
    The main issue with Windows Mobile stems from the OS itself. First, the design would have to undertake a major overhaul through Project Neon, utilising blurs, transparency and translucency, whilst features behind-the-scenes would be tweaked and adjusted to ensure a smoother experience, even amongst older, less powerful devices. However, the device will still stay snappy, probably even snappier than ever before, as the system utilises specific placement to ensure a simplistic, easy-to-use, fast and to-the-point experience for casual users, whilst also providing professionals with the power and versatility they need to accomplish tasks faster. The UWP would be drastically improved upon, making development even easier for developers, creating more applications for the platform. Features would be constantly improved on, whilst existing ones would become more streamlined, un-cluttering the crowded screen. At the same time, multi-tasking in both mobile and desktop mode would be introduced, allowing for split applications on the mobile side, and windowed applications on the desktop side. A larger, foldable version of the aforementioned keyboard, could be bundled with the device, that connects horizontally as opposed to vertically, making the phone a touchpad on the side of the keyboard for use during Continuum.

    So what do you guys think? Let me know below!
    04-01-2017 06:11 AM
  2. HM84's Avatar
    You forgot a third, much more important factor.

    Hardware is great and all, we had wireless charging and amazing cameras way before the market leaders (still do to some extent), we also had the expandable desktop environment before anyone else.

    Software tweaks like what you suggested might help, it would also help to show a revamped OS when it comes to...

    Marketing
    Unlike the market leaders, WiMo, WiPho, and WinARM (and friends) always get their exposure from MS, or from sites like Windows Central. While this is all very good on both the source and a dedicated third party, it pales in comparison to Apple, who make a scene about every step they take, and Android, who outsource their marketing to OEMs, each of whom makes a massive effort at showing off their great camera, environment proofing, desktop experience... having Snapchat...

    Meanwhile, MS whispers its way into the crowd. When Nokia released the Lumia 920, it was done online. No one knew we had wireless charging years before most, no one cared that we had a camera that made the picture look better than the real thing. (Yes, that actually is something I heard someone tell me when I demonstrated it.)

    In contrast, when Apple release their iPhone, the whole neighborhood is invited to the party, Gatsby-style. This is why iPhone fans seem to us like sheep. They were shown almost everything the phone can do as far as they are concerned, while if they saw your Windows phone they reacted with bemusement. It's odd. It's not what they are used to.

    Case in point, the newest iPhone is almost the same as the previous iteration (minus the auxiliary port) but it still sells.

    The next time MS want to muscle their way into the party, they have to one-up the establishment in all respects because they had little marketing. They also have to round up the whole neighborhood while doing it.
    ViZHiQUE, aximtreo and Guytronic like this.
    04-03-2017 01:39 AM
  3. G4Grandad's Avatar
    Yes, marketing it's a key factor but has to be combined with price. Price to Specs to Features ratio. IPhone will always have faithful followers but the dominance of Android comes from phones that get the ratio of those 3 things right. WM10 OS has so much to offer but hasn't been/isn't being marketed. And even if it was there aren't any phones like Moto's and the many other low cost/well equipped phones. Lumias got it right, MS marketing let them down.
    04-03-2017 04:57 AM
  4. BenGutt's Avatar
    I don't think it can now. That ship has sailed.

    The failure to do any real marketing of the devices early on has cost everything. Microsoft spent so much money courting developers, writing apps with the marketing policy of "If you build it they will come" that they gave away any chance of catching up or becoming relevant.

    A few large corporate organisations may move to this device, most however will remain with their current platform of Android or Apple. They have custom apps that work on that platform so they'll stick with them. Why have a cost to replace all the phones in an organisation, along with all mobile apps they have custom written?

    The vast majority of consumers won't even know it exists, those that do will understand that the ever widening app gap will mean having one of those devices will mean making compromises about what that device can do. Even giving the devices away won't help this.

    Waiting for this mythical paradigm shift is just loosing market share, while the likes of Samsung steals the continuum platform with a constant iteration approach. Like it or not, This keeps their platform and market share relevant, they are breeding loyalty. Any paradigm shift will be gobbled up quickly by their marketing base to existing users who update to the next device.

    The Surface phone won't make any difference to woes of being a Windows Mobile user.
    FXi2 likes this.
    04-03-2017 08:16 AM
  5. dov1978's Avatar
    It needs to succeed where Windows phones have failed before or it will simply follow the same fate. To repeat what's been said for the past 7 years - it needs a comprehensive app store with all the big apps. And not just poor quality versions like before, they need to look and feel like their counterparts and match them for features. It also needs to break cover as a real device and not just vapourware so people can start talking about it and getting excited about what it might bring. It needs to have a killer camera because that's what most people want and it needs to have the awesome build quality and sleekness of the Surface family already in existence. And finally it needs to be unique so it doesn't have to fight a losing battle with the sea of Android and iOS flagships already out there.
    04-03-2017 08:22 AM
  6. a5cent's Avatar
    Okay, I'll be the bad guy and say you are likely all mistaken.

    Almost every failure and remedy is being expressed relative to, or in comparison with, iOS or Android (mobile PHONE OSes). The Windows Store must apparently offer a mobile app selection and quality as good as Google Play's or the Apple Store's (for mobile PHONE apps). Marketing efforts must be on par with those of other OEMs like Apple or Samsung (PHONE OEMs)....

    Well... Whatever MS releases, it won't be marketed as a PHONE. If it is in any way positioned as an iOS or Android competitor (which is how most of you seem to still be thinking about it), then it's DOA.

    If what you want is a smartphone, MS expects you to purchase an Android or iOS based device and download their apps.

    MS has long since moved on. They still want a presence in mobile... just not a smartphone hardware/OS presence. It seems that's what most of you are clamoring for... you're going to be disappointed.

    However, if what you want is a very portable PC, which doesn't care about or put much emphasis on mobile apps (beyond MS' own productivity software), then MS might have something for you.

    That's just not in competition with iOS or Android. It's more of a competitor to Ultrabooks or Chromebooks.
    Last edited by a5cent; 04-03-2017 at 11:57 AM.
    tgp likes this.
    04-03-2017 09:56 AM
  7. tgp's Avatar
    That's just not in competition with iOS or Android. It's more of a competitor to Ultrabooks or Chromebooks.
    I have a question about this: do you believe that whatever mobile device Microsoft is working on is not meant to replace an iOS or Android device? I generally agree with your post here, but yet I find it hard to believe that Microsoft is not working on something that is meant to be used instead of a smartphone.

    If it is meant to carry alongside a smartphone, then it will require another mobile line. Few people are going to carry two devices and pay for two services.

    If it is not a smartphone, but is used instead of a smartphone, then it is competition to the smartphone (read iOS and Android phones).
    a5cent likes this.
    04-03-2017 10:33 AM
  8. a5cent's Avatar
    ^ Good point.

    This new mobile device will be in competition to Android and iOS in the sense that you can also make calls with it, send text messages, or browse the internet over the cellular network. In that sense, it's in competition to every smartphone OS. True.

    I just doubt those are the things that come to most people's minds when they think "smartphone". IMHO we take those things for granted. IMHO most people (certainly most everyone on WCentral) will typically think about somewhat "more advanced" usage scenarios. Most of those scenarios will involve apps in some form. This new mobile device will be in direct competition with that sort of thing to the same extent laptops or desktops are. People will just (maybe after unfolding the display) use the website.

    That doesn't strike me as something that will offer a comparable experience to a typical smartphone.

    Not as many people can get excited over Linux, OSX or Windows devices. That's what this will ultimately be. Hence the whole "focus on the enterprise" thing.
    Last edited by a5cent; 04-03-2017 at 07:39 PM.
    tgp likes this.
    04-03-2017 11:50 AM
  9. tgp's Avatar
    @a5cent So what you're saying is that instead of creating a new smartphone, Microsoft is trying to make smartphones obsolete. Much like Henry Ford made horse-drawn carriages obsolete with his horseless carriage rather than making the horse-drawn version faster and better.

    I can buy this theory!
    a5cent and aximtreo like this.
    04-03-2017 12:00 PM
  10. a5cent's Avatar
    @tgp
    I think "obsolete" may be a bit too extreme of a word. While it's possible, as with cars replacing horses and websites replacing newspapers, it's very rare. Smartphones also didn't replace computers (some thought they would). ATM's didn't replace banks (don't get me started). Computers never replaced televisions (yup, that was a thing once). E-Readers will not replace all books (some still think they will), etc etc etc.

    Of course a competitor could come along and offer similar functionality in a better package. MS' efforts would then all have been for naught. Or I could be completely wrong and it really will be disruptive enough to eventually make smartphones obsolete. As always, it's hard to predict the future. ;-)

    I have no idea what it will eventually end up being. It's a lot easier to understand what it will not be. That's all I'm really pointing out. Not very spectacular. I know ;-)
    Guytronic, Nate W and tgp like this.
    04-03-2017 12:28 PM
  11. tgp's Avatar
    I think "obsolete" may be a bit too extreme of a word.
    Well yes you are correct. It was a poor choice. Maybe a word like "niche" would be better; not completely gone, but yet not used by the general population.

    Even horseless carriages aren't obsolete. I live in Amish and Old Order Mennonite country, and horse-drawn buggies are alive and well here.
    Guytronic, a5cent and aximtreo like this.
    04-03-2017 03:28 PM
  12. a5cent's Avatar
    Even horseless carriages aren't obsolete. I live in Amish and Old Order Mennonite country, and horse-drawn buggies are alive and well here.
    Sounds like a very relaxing place. :-)
    Guytronic likes this.
    04-03-2017 06:27 PM
  13. tgp's Avatar
    Sounds like a very relaxing place. :-)
    Yes it is. I have to remind myself of that though when I get stuck behind one in traffic! I think it would do all of us good to slow down and take life at a leisurely pace like they do.
    a5cent and aximtreo like this.
    04-03-2017 08:22 PM
  14. sd4f's Avatar
    The thing is, the analogy of horse drawn carriage to motor car demonstrates a significant change in technology. I'm at wits end to figure out what could possibly be offered by MS to make such a compelling device to encourage a movement away from the existing set up.

    Another thing is, where in the past, business was generally the early adopter and that kind of dictated where the industry went. I don't think this applies with smartphones, because it appears that the consumer space has been dictating where business has gone.

    So I think as a strategy, what has been said from MS does sound good, but when I think about it more, it sounds more like 'I'm going to win the lottery by picking the right numbers'... Yea that sounds good, but just how do you achieve that?

    Maybe some people at MS have been watching too much south park;
    Step 1: Make surface phone
    Step 2: ...
    Step 3: Profit!
    aximtreo likes this.
    04-03-2017 08:37 PM
  15. Nate W's Avatar
    It is the world we live in. Many of us have been around Microsoft products for a long time, and others saw it come to fruition. Now we have young ones starring at our tiny pocket-able devices before they can even walk. There is a reason Windows core OS is made to be able to run on anything. If we look long enough, anything means most everything out there of value to our daily lives. Granted not everywhere is of age for these things, but what Microsoft is doing is paving the way for what lies ahead. It really does not matter what device it is. To me, what it does and how, is what really counts.
    Last edited by Nate W; 04-04-2017 at 05:26 AM.
    04-04-2017 05:10 AM
  16. a5cent's Avatar
    @Nate W
    What it does and how, depends very much on what kind of device it is.
    04-04-2017 07:42 AM
  17. Nate W's Avatar
    Very true, and it also means it will be running Windows.
    04-04-2017 09:35 AM
  18. FXi2's Avatar
    The #1 thing it needs to do is exist. #2 is it has to be available everywhere. That's what handsets are about. #3 is you'd better not forget in the engineering nostalgia that it has to be a phone plus whatever else you layer on. MS is not silent, they are madly building software. But I've got so little to run it on that they have become the Mac of the phone generation...
    Nate W likes this.
    04-05-2017 12:54 AM
  19. psurob55's Avatar
    Marketing and ability to run useful apps that are up to the quality of iOS / Android.

    This = success
    05-08-2017 01:44 PM

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