Microsoft May Release Trio Of Surface Phones In Early 2017

You have a better shot at correctly guessing where Jimmy Hoffa is buried then trying to figure out Microsoft mobile phone strategy. The latter seems to change like the wind, and as it currently stands, there's renewed chatter about Microsoft making a Surface Phone.

There was some talk of a Surface Phone back in December of last year. In an episode of Twit, Mary Jo Foley prodded Microsoft's Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela on the prospect of a Surface Phone, and his response was that Microsoft was working on a "breakthough" handset, one that he described as the "spiritual equivalent" of the company's Surface branded products.

Windows 10 Mobile

Caposella isn't some fly-by-night employee at Microsoft, either. He's been with the outfit for over two decades and used to write speeches for the man himself, Bill Gates. Caposella is a dude who's intimately familiar with Microsoft's products and strategies, so when he referenced an upcoming handset as a spiritual successor of the Surface tablet, the tech world took notice.

Remember what we said about trying to figure out Microsoft's mobile phone strategy? Well just last week, Microsoft's Terry Myerson told The Verge that there are more important things to focus on right now, adding that "it's the wrong place for us to lead" at this time.

He's right in that regard—Android and iOS combine for a 98.4 percent share of the worldwide smartphone market, according to the most recent data from Gartner, whereas Microsoft is clinging to just over 1 percent. Be that as it may, Microsoft isn't giving up, and it may still view a Surface Phone as the game changer it so desperately needs.

It won't happen tomorrow, next week, or next month. But according to Windows Central's unnamed sources, a Surface Phone could debut next year. Up to three of them, actually, at different price points.

While nothing is confirmed, the thinking is that Microsoft wants to continue to flesh out Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile, then kickstart its mobile hardware line in 2017 under the Surface brand. That also means the Lumia name may go the way of the dodo, though who really knows how many times Microsoft will change its mind between now and next year.