All along, Microsoft has always maintained that as far as mobile phones are concerned, they are more interested in providing software solutions rather than hardware. Now, however, if reports from All Things Digital are to be believed, Microsoft is in the process of making their own phone, and is expected to launch it within this quarter.
Analyst Katherine Egbert, of the investment bank Jefferies, wrote in a note to clients, “Our recent industry checks indicate Microsoft will be debuting its own phone, in the next two months. We expect the new phone to debut soon, either at the Feb 15-18 Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona Spain, or possibly at CTIA in Las Vegas one month later.”
Egbert believes that the phone, which is expected to be Zune-like, will be made through an OEM partnership, much like Google has with HTC for their Nexus One.
It is rumoured that the project for this new phone has underway for a while, under the codename ‘Pink’. A mobile handset release would complete Microsoft’s trilogy after Windows and the Xbox. The phone is expected to have a five mega-pixel camera and support 720p HD video and some form of music subscription or buying service.
Microsoft might have decided to make their own phone, irrespective of Google’s mobile strategy, to augment the revenue generated by Windows Mobile, which is currently not very large. They might also feel that they can deliver a better mobile software experience if the hardware is also their own.
There is no information as yet about the cost or service partnerships in place for this new phone.
If the phone is actually released any time in the near future, people are bound to think that Microsoft has lost all originality and is now merely following in Google’s footsteps.