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Microsoft Readying New Surface Tablets, Possibly Surface Phones For Monday Launch

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News Posted: Sun, Sep 22 2013 12:32 PM

It should come as a surprise to no one that Microsoft hasn't been pleased with how smartphones equipped with its mobile OS have been selling, with many speculating that a solution could only come about if the company took things into its own hands. Well, with its announced acquisition of Nokia, it's clear that Microsoft believes the same thing - but just how far are things going to go?

According to new reports, Microsoft could go the way of Google and develop its own phones and then get a third-party to manufacture them (in this case, taking advantage of Nokia's resources). If Microsoft were to take this route, it's believed that the device would fall into the Surface family - and wouldn't you know it, a special Surface launch is taking place tomorrow in New York.

Admittedly, it seems a little unlikely at this point that Microsoft would be ready to reveal a Surface phone, especially so soon after announcing its intent to acquire Nokia, but given the fact that the company was very quick to remove Nokia branding from the Lumia 520 smartphone, it wouldn't be that surprising if it did happen.

One interesting thing to glean about Surface is that to date, all products that fall into that family have been equipped with Microsoft's Windows OS, not Windows Phone. If Microsoft's self-designed phone becomes a reality, that's likely to change, resulting in a spanning of three different OSes (Windows RT, Windows 8 and Windows Phone) under the same Surface brand - some might just call that a little confusing.

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sevags replied on Sun, Sep 22 2013 2:53 PM

Confusion like the Galaxy line? S's, Note's, point and shoot cameras, etc etc. Sure they all run around the same OS but I don't think the Surface branding will be a problem especially since MS is dropping the "RT" at the end of that product.

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Yeah, but the average person is going to see "Windows", and think they can run non-RT, non-phone stuff on it. And I'm not sure there is enough room for anything but niche markets for anything other than Android and iOS.

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kalqlate replied on Sun, Sep 22 2013 9:53 PM

I know this is unlikely, but a full Windows OS Surface phone could be quite appealing. I've often thought a full OS in a phone would finally allow true, ultimate desktop portability. Just plug in (or associate wireless versions of) keyboard, mouse, and monitor and there you go.

I've been hyped for getting a Samsung Galaxy Note III as soon as they are available in October, but now, if Microsoft were to present a phablet-form, full OS Windows Surface Phone anytime soon, it would give me something to think about. I imagine a Surface phablet would be a great competitor to the Note III in terms of ultra portable computing and communications. In fact, I would be inclined to acquire both as, from a development perspective, they are different worlds.

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There was a company named OXO, I believe, that managed to get XP on a handheld device (not a phone).

Also, Ubuntu's phone will/would have had the ability to run the desktop OS from the phone, just plug it in via a USB cable. Something like a phone with a USB stick. Not a big leap, you can already run Ubuntu off a pendrive.

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Which is still damn amazing to me that phones have that much power. Many are faster than my first desktop, a 486.

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kalqlate replied on Sun, Sep 22 2013 10:16 PM

Haha... ALL are MANY TIMES faster and capable than the circa 1998 Gateway Solo 9300 (450 MHz, Single Core Pentium III, 256 MB, XP, 18 lb) notebook that I'm composing this message on. :D

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