The Perfect Surface Phone
Welcome the smartest phone on the planet, the Microsoft Surface Phone. It’s play and productivity combined and redefined. If you liked the Surface Pro and the Surface Book, you’ll love the Surface Phone. It’s a smartphone built on the same philosophy and design as Microsoft’s other Surface devices. The Surface Phone runs Windows 10 Mobile, has a full 5.7 inch full-HD AMOLED screen surrounded by an almost non-existent bezel, has 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, expandable through a side-accessible micro-SD slot and is powered by a quad-core 3.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and is housed in the same magnesium casing as its Surface kin. This phone redefines on-the-go productivity with its own kick-stand, support for the surface pen and has its own line of colorful keyboard touch covers. It can act on its own as a mini-laptop or function as a full PC when connected to a monitor via Continuum.
It’s the ultimate productivity phone. Users can easily view and compose long emails and documents on-the-go using Microsoft Office either standalone or through Continuum; answer calls through Skype; catch up with friends and colleagues through all-new Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp universal apps and grab magnificent single or group selfies through the phone’s 10-megapixel front camera. Touch cover too small for real work and games? Attach the new Microsoft Holo-keyboard plug-in with touch plate with customizable keyboard modes for work and gaming. Play Halo and Minecraft with the Microsoft VR headset. And finally, never miss a popular app again through the Surface Phone’s full Android support.
It’s too early for April fool’s day. It’s simply wishful thinking on the part of Surface and Windows Phone users because so far, despite impressive features, Microsoft’s latest ‘flagship’ Lumias have failed to take off due to comparable specs with other phone brands. The people who knew about the phones didn’t feel like they were flagship. More like prototypes to show off the Continuum feature. Afterwards the phones were left like dandelions to the wind to see which rocks they stick to. The Lumia brand itself remains unpopular due to lack of proper marketing and a lackluster app market. Branding remains a problem for Microsoft but the Surface brand has literally come up to the surface. Upcoming Surface models are now as anticipated as upcoming iPhones, and for Microsoft’s sake, they should hold on to such popularity. Adopting the Surface brand for Microsoft’s smartphone business may just be the way to go as the current Nokia/Lumia brands have not done well so far. Sales have fallen to less than fifty percent than they were a year ago.
What’s missing here is focus and some innovations. There’s also failure of marketing, not to mention app support. It’s all up there on the listed features of the perfect Windows Phone. If Blackberry can come up with Android support on the Blackberry 10 OS, Microsoft can too, so the platform won’t be devoid of apps as pundits have often complained. Double it up with Universal apps which can run and scale on phones, tablets and PCs.
The Surface Phone, which Microsoft is actually working on, will be marketed by Microsoft as a productivity tool just as it did for the Surface tablet lineup. It will be a phone to end all business phones akin to what the Nokia Communicator was before. Users will be able to edit and create documents and e-mails on-the-go without having to bring a laptop. It will be the lightest business computer and phone available. Stick PCs work but you can’t exactly work on them while in the cab or on a train. The whole thing would be feasible if Microsoft can come up with a good mini-keyboard touch cover for the phone like its tablet cousins.
Another thing Microsoft can do is design the Surface Phone to look a bit sexier than the Lumia. Sex sells after all and Apple has perfected aesthetics which boosts their hardware sales. Rounded edges with a gold, Ferrari red and Louis Vuitton finish should pique interests. The Sony VAIO Biz Phone seems to get the idea. And with the pretty phone comes the option of a stylish laptop terminal dock which is basically a keyboard and screen with a slot for the phone. The phone itself is the computer while the terminal dock can contain an extra battery, RAM and storage to complement the Surface Phone.
The fanciest and prettiest phones will still find a hard time getting off the ground without the proper marketing and support of carriers. Given that Microsoft does its marketing homework, carriers find a tough time carrying Microsoft phones and even if they do, sales reps allegedly make an effort to herd their customers to iPhones and Androids. And finally, if Microsoft does their homework on the carriers and resellers, the final phase in becoming the third phone empire is to kill all the bugs and ensure that Windows 10 Mobile and Continuum work without a hitch. Issues like repeated reboots that reportedly plague the Lumia 950 phones can easily break any product line. What about the bottom line? Strangely, they could keep it high. Premium products deserve premium pricing and premium pricing often makes products more covetable, which is what Apple’s been doing since forever. Speaking of pricing, these ideas are just this author’s two cents.