Microsoft’s new Surface tablets mark a fundamental shift in the company’s long standing philosophy wherein they focus on the software and let their partners deal with the hardware. Microsoft, it seems, is slowly coming to the realization that has been part of Apple’s DNA for decades – a premium user experience is more likely when one company controls both the hardware and the software. Indeed, Google is also coming to that realization as well.
That said, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft’s efforts to have greater control over the hardware that runs its mobile software is manifesting itself in a Microsoft smartphone.
Microsoft is working with component suppliers in Asia to test its own smartphone design, people familiar with the situation said.
The move suggests the computer-software giant is increasingly adopting a variation of a business model favored by rival Apple Inc., AAPL -3.31% which designs computers and phones along with the software that powers them.
Officials at some of Microsoft’s parts suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Redmond, Wash.-based company is testing a smartphone design but isn’t sure if a product will go into mass production.
Microsoft of course hasn’t seen much luck with its partnership with Nokia. Nonetheless, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer toed the party line when asked to comment on the company’s plans to potentially come out with their own smartphone.
“We’re quite happy this holiday going to market hard with Nokia, Samsung and HTC,” Ballmer explained. “Whether we had a plan to do something different or we didn’t have a plan I wouldn’t comment in any dimension.”
At a certain point, much like the impetus behind the Surface tablets, Microsoft will have to swallow its pride and realize that the Windows era way of doing business just doesn’t apply to the smartphone and tablet market.