Microsoft: no plans for branded phone; not yet, at least

Microsoft may be making a branded tablet, but that doesn't mean it plans to extend the same strategy to phones.

The new Windows Phone 8 homescreen.
(Credit: CBSi)

Information Week quoted Greg Sullivan, the senior marketing manager for Windows Phone, shooting down that rumour. When asked in an interview about whether Microsoft planned to apply that strategy to the smartphone market, Sullivan said: "No. We do not."

The denial came after Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund last week floated the idea in a research note — though, he did not suggest that Microsoft had firm plans to build its own phone. "It is unclear to us whether this would be a reference platform, or whether this may be a go-to-market Microsoft-branded handset," said Sherlund. He wrote that "we would not be surprised if Microsoft were to decide to bring their own handset to market next year, given that Microsoft has decided to bring to market their own Windows 8 Surface tablet/PC products".

All this takes place against the backdrop of Microsoft's surprise decision to sell its own branded "Surface" tablet computers. That move raised questions about the possible repercussions of Microsoft being in competition with many of its old hardware partners. But given Sullivan's message to the market, it's clear that no such angst will accompany Microsoft's plans for pushing Windows phones.

At least, not for the present time.

As has been widely noted, Microsoft is playing catch-up to Apple and Google in the phone market and as such, Microsoft needs all the assistance it can muster from its mobile hardware partners.


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trebor83 posted a comment   

You mean a "Tech Analyst" may just have been guessing and making things up? Surely not!

Could it perhaps be that Microsofts hardware partners in the phone market (HTC, Nokia, Samsung etc.) have a track record of making excellent phones so there is no need for Microsoft to get involved. Mean while, the history of tablets from their computer partners (HP or Samsung Slates and Acer or Toshiba Android tablets) has been distinctly mediocre, if not flat out horrible at times, and Microsoft have felt the need to ensure there is a benchmark in the market and at least one tablet running Windows 8 that is actually up to the standard they want.

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