I think we all know by now that Windows phones are dead. While Microsoft hasn’t discussed the future of Windows 10 Mobile too much in the last couple of years, the company confirmed through the voice of Joe Belfiore that no new features and phones are planned in the coming years.
What the firm hasn’t detailed, however, are plans for mobile devices that wouldn’t be running Windows 10 Mobile, as it’s believed to be the case of the super-anticipated Surface Phone.
At this point, the Surface Phone is without a doubt the most eagerly-awaited device ever said to be made by Microsoft, and the funny thing is that we don’t even know if it’s real. Sure, there were rumors that Microsoft planned to launch such a phone model, but they’ve never been confirmed. What the software giant did was drop hints every once in a while to suggest that what it called an “ultimate mobile device” was on its way.
If the Surface Phone is still on the radar, everyone expects it to be powered by Windows 10. Not the mobile version, but by the full build, most likely in ARM clothes. Thanks to the partnership with Qualcomm, Microsoft has brought Windows 10 on ARM on amazingly-cheap devices, and the best of all is that they offer stunning battery life that you couldn’t even imagine for a laptop.
Installing full Windows 10 on the Surface Phone certainly makes sense, especially because such a mobile device would perfectly round up Microsoft’s device ecosystem.
But what if Microsoft does something that nobody expects and instead of Windows 10, it launches the Surface Phone with Android? I mean, it certainly sounds like blasphemy for many diehard fans, but think about it, there’s no reason for Microsoft not to launch an Android phone right now. And what better way to take the Android world by surprise if not by launching an ultimate mobile device running Google’s OS?
Right now, I think there are three reasons why a Microsoft Android phone just makes sense.
First of all, Windows 10 Mobile is dead. The press said it, users eventually admitted it, heck, even Microsoft confirmed that there’s no future for its mobile OS. Without a mobile operating system to invest in, why not switching to one that already has the market share, the apps, and the potential to attract users? Why starting from scratch with a mobile-optimized version of the full Windows when Android can do pretty much anything? And it already gets along nicely with Windows 10.
“Microsoft has the apps.”
Second of all, Microsoft has the apps. One of the many reasons Microsoft’s diehard fans were angry with the company was that it spent too much improving its Android and iPhone apps. While in its early days this strategy didn’t make sense at all, the plan took shape beautifully when Microsoft acknowledged the death of Windows phones. Microsoft wants its customers to be able to use all of its apps and services no matter their platform of choice, and if their platform of choice is Android, that’s their option and their option only.
At this point, Microsoft already has a rich Android app portfolio, and the company is very committed to improving it, so why not launch a phone that comes pre-loaded with the essentials and provides easy access to everything else? Why use Samsung to advertise your own apps, when you can do it on your own?
And third of all, Panos Panay can build the ultimate Android device. Microsoft’s fans certainly know that Panos Panay is a super-passionate tech leader that managed to make Surface a hit. He pretty much transformed the Surface RT, a flop that everyone laughed at, into what the Surface is today, with a large variety of devices, amazing tech, and the highest build quality you’ll ever find.
Panos Panay can build not only the ultimate mobile device, he can build the ultimate Android device.
Microsoft is already selling Android phones into its own stores, so by launching its very own, the company does nothing more than to embrace the obvious.
Of course, such a bold move to Android wouldn’t be a smooth ride. Critics would blast the company for letting Windows phones go after promising to make it the best, and hardcore users would feel betrayed. But that’s nothing Microsoft should be extremely worried about because a top-notch Android device would make everyone forget about the reasons for building it.
In the end, no matter what operating system it picks, Microsoft needs a new mobile phone to complete its device ecosystem. And if Android and Windows 10 are already BFFs, choosing which way to go in mobile isn’t as hard as it sounds.