Microsoft Corporation is said to be working on a new high end Windows 10 based smartphone dubbed as the “Surface Phone” for quite some time now. Despite repeated rumors and speculations, the device so far failed to materialize. Reports, however, continue to revolve around a possible Surface smartphone. Skeptics, meanwhile, still question Microsoft’s ability to throw up an iPhone competitor.
However, the Surface Phone is definitely happening and here are three reasons why it will be released in 2017 itself:
Satya Nadella Confirms
Without officially naming it the Surface phone, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella essentially confirmed the device. He cited a 2017 release date for “the ultimate device.” Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, Nadella said that even though Microsoft missed getting on the first mobile train, it is still determined to deliver something unique to the market.
“We will continue to be in the phone market not as defined by today’s market leaders, but by what it is that we can uniquely do in what is the most ultimate mobile device. Therefore we stopped doing things that were me-too and started doing things, even if they are today very sub-scale, to be very focused on a specific set of customers who need a specific set of capabilities that are differentiated and that we can do a good job of.”
x86 emulation for ARM64
Microsoft is betting big on the Windows 10’s Continuum feature for their Surface smartphones. Continuum basically allows certain Windows phones to be operated it like a computer. However, the use of Continuum is very much limited right now.
Reports suggest that the Surface Phone’s breakthrough feature would be the ability to run any piece of Windows software while in that PC-like Continuum mode. Microsoft is apparently even working on x86 emulation for ARM64 as part of its Redstone 3 update releasing fall 2017. The emulation will essentially trick Windows software into thinking it’s running on an Intel processor, even if it’s actually running on an ARM-powered smartphone.
Twitter user WalkingCat even discovered references to a technology called “CHPE”. Apparently, according to ZDNet, it could stand for Cobalt (the codename of the project to bring x86 apps on ARM); HP, the company that Microsoft is working with to make this possible, and emulation, which is the final goal of the project.
Surface Phone Photos
As if this was not evidence enough, photos of a leaked Surface Phone emerged lately. Serial smartphone sleuth Evan Blass, showcased a sleek black smartphone running a full version Windows 10.
Without calling it the Surface Phone, @evleaks said the handset is powered by a laptop-grade Intel processor. However, it turns out that the images are in fact a Dell-made mobile phone. It was intended to run a full version of Windows 10, as opposed to Windows Mobile. The said phone based on x86 architecture never materialized. Intel had after all abandoned plans for an Atom mobile chipset earlier this year.