There has been talk over the past few days about Microsoft releasing its own Windows Phone smartphone, although The Verge reports that its sources indicate otherwise. Despite that idea being shelved, Microsoft is reportedly considering launching a “Surface Phone” in early 2013 at the earliest as a “Plan B” idea. Depending on how well Windows 8 tablets sell alongside Windows Phone deals, Microsoft may choose to release the Surface Phone to generate momentum.
The report suggests that Surface smartphones would bypass carriers, receiving software updates directly from Microsoft, in similar fashion to Google’s Nexus lineup of devices. A Microsoft-made phone, however, would compete directly with Nokia, the company’s Windows Phone partner. Nokia currently collects $250 million each quarter, or $1 billion annually, for using Windows Phone on its smartphones; nevertheless, a Surface Phone could unravel this agreement.
Microsoft is becoming a company that focuses on both devices and services, much like Apple and Google. Microsoft is set to launch its Surface tablet on October 25th, much to the surprise of its licensed manufacturing partners. Microsoft already failed with its Kin series of devices on Verizon a few years ago, so it will be interesting to see if the Redmond company can be successful at its second major foray into the hardware industry.