Microsoft is more or less out of the phone game at this point, but it could be planning to make a comeback, as according to a Microsoft Store employee it’s working on a new handset.
The information was shared with Windows Latest in a series of messages in which the agent (who wanted to remain anonymous) said specifically that Microsoft is working on a new line of phones which will be powered by Android.
And when asked specifically whether these phones would be Microsoft-branded the agent said that they would, so this certainly sounds a lot like Microsoft will be making its own phone that runs Android, though the agent couldn’t give any more information on it or on when we might see it. You can see key parts of the exchange below.
Don't count on it
However, we’d take all of this with a huge pinch of salt, as we’re not convinced an customer service agent would have this kind of inside information unless the launch was imminent, and if it was this probably wouldn’t be the first we’re hearing about it.
It’s also possible that the agent got confused and was talking about Microsoft selling another company’s Android phone on its store, perhaps with some Microsoft software bundled in, as it has done in the past.
Still, it’s not impossible that this information is accurate. After all, Microsoft has long been rumored to be working on a Surface Phone, and while it was assumed that this would run some version of Windows, Android might make more sense in terms of getting sales. Or this could be something completely unrelated to the Surface Phone. Only time will tell.
So it's Monday morning, the World Cup's over, the UK heatwave is coming to a close and did we mention that it's Monday morning? But don't fear... we've teamed up with Vodafone to bring TechRadar readers two exclusive SIM only deals to put that spring back in your step.
Vodafone's big data SIMO deals already offered some of the best value on the market, but now that they're throwing a big fat Amazon.co.uk gift card into the mix as well it means these are the SIM plans to go for if you require a big data allowance and unlimited calls and texts. The SIM plans on offer are:
Both are a bargain, but we think that the 20GB deal just about pips it. That's because you'll also be on Vodafone's Red Entertainment plan, which includes a subscription to your choice of NOW TV Entertainment Pass, Spotify Premium and Sky Sports Mobile TV. Add that exclusive £100 Amazon voucher and you get some serious bang for your buck.
Considering that Amazon Prime Day is also upon us and we're expecting some ace reductions on SIM-free handsets, it makes sense to get your SIMO sorted out this week as well. And that's all you've got – one week, as this offer comes to a close on Sunday July 22.
Just make sure you use the links above to claim your Amazon voucher. It's a really simple process, made even easier with our full instructions below.
For a long, long time now we're been hearing rumors that Microsoft is working on a Surface Phone or mini-tablet, with the device apparently folding in half when needed. New reports suggest the hardware and the software for the compact Surface are now being reworked, with no launch expected until 2019.
That's according to sources speaking to Thurrott, sources who say Microsoft isn't happy with the quality of what they've managed to put together so far. It's not a case of going right back to the drawing board, but Microsoft is apparently taking a few steps back.
The good news is, as per the latest leaks, that the project is still being actively worked on and isn't in danger of being killed off completely (at least not yet) – that will come as a relief to the thousands of people who signed a petition asking Microsoft to please, please release a Surface Phone in the near future.
What we think we know so far
Based on everything we've heard so far, it sounds like the new Surface device will use smartphone components, and be smartphone-sized, and fold in half – but it may not be marketed as a "Surface Phone". Microsoft itself seems to be referring to it as a "pocketable" device in a new hardware category of its own.
The device is going to run the Andromeda OS, a new modular revamp of Windows 10 – modular as in different bits of the software can be added or removed depending on what kind of hardware it's running on. This too is unofficial, and is likely to turn up in 2019.
Given what happened with Microsoft's last mobile venture it's perhaps not surprising that it wants to get everything perfectly right this time around, hence the extra delay in the phone-tablet-laptop hybrid. It seems clear that Microsoft is working on something like a Surface Phone – as for whether it'll ever see the light of day, we'll have to wait and see.