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Microsoft Surface Phone rumours - surfacephone.com isn't the clue you're looking for

Seth Barton
29 Jan 2016
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We look into the startling lack of any evidence for the much-sought-after Microsoft Surface Phone

Microsoft has certainly turned heads of late with its excellent Surface tablets and the stunning looking Surface Book. However the 'Surface' brand has yet to be applied to a smartphone, something that many are keenly awaiting. That's not surprising, the idea of a high-end, magnesium alloy handset running Windows 10, which can be used as a full desktop operating system using Microsoft's Display Dock, is an attractive one.

However. Unlike the speculation surrounding many upcoming smartphones - such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 - we can't even be sure if a Surface Phone will ever see the light of day. Samsung and Apple are bound to release new flagship phones this year, maybe under different names from those expected, but they will release new phones. Microsoft on the other hand could merely continue producing Lumia handsets, or even leave the business all together if some are to be believed.

The surfacephone.com story

The latest piece of grist for the rumour mill was the information that Microsoft had registered the domain surfacephone.com. Some took this as evidence that the company was winding up to launch the phone. However it quickly proved that the existence of this one URL was hardly the smoking gun some were looking (wishing) for.

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As Evan Blass pointed out, on venturebeat.com, the domain was registered back in late 2014 and is just one of 55 domains that Microsoft owns that starts with 'surface' including lots of other possible devices we'll likely never see, such as surfacecar, surfacepc and surfacevcr - anyone for mag-alloy VHS recorder that also runs Windows 10? Or how about the Surface Zune? I thought not.

Those make up some of the 67,681 domains that Microsoft owns, so let's not get overexcited about a single domain. And just in case you thought to visit, don't bother, like many others it simply redirects to the main Surface product page.

Microsoft combines teams

A lot of the more recent furore about the Surface Phone comes from Microsoft combining its Lumia and Surface divisions into a single Microsoft Hardware Division under the much-respected Panos Panay. Panay was the man who brought us the Surface Book, or at least the one who got to pull it apart on stage in Microsoft's best received launch event in living memory.

Microsoft Surface Book

Now it's pretty certain that people working under Panay are working on new flagship phones, after all everyone left over from when Microsoft brought Nokia in-house is now in that department, and they haven't got them making toasters (although a toaster with Cortana, where have I seen something like that before?).

So given that Microsoft's Surface brand (which is associated only with Microsoft) is currently more desirable than its Lumia brand (which for better or worse still brings to mind Nokia), it's hardly a huge leap to think that the next handsets out of that division will be Surface-branded rather than Lumia branded. After all there's certainly the engineering expertise there to create a pretty smart-looking mag-alloy phone.

And the rest is merely conjecture ...

Beyond that everything is pure conjecture without any supporting evidence. yes we'd love to see a mag-alloy handset, maybe with a clever clip-on keyboard attachment and some kind of smart docking port to turn it into a fully-fledged PC, and based on renders online we wouldn't be the only ones, but for now we'll just have to wait.

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