Another Microsoft came and went this week without mentioned of Windows 10 Mobile. Sure, this week's launch event was focused on education, but with Build 2017 a few days away, the spotlight will be on Microsoft's mobile plans. The company's Alex Kipman is the latest executive to suggest Microsoft will take a left turn with its next smartphone.
Microsoft pulled out of the handset market 15 months ago, although the company always said it would return. Since Lumia devices stopped being made, Microsoft has been supporting OEMs with Windows 10 Mobile builds.
However, the platform has been declining since Microsoft's hardware departure. For some reason, many people, including Microsoft, are still optimistic about the future.
Just yesterday, CEO Satya Nadella all but confirmed that the company would return to making mobile hardware. Interestingly, the Microsoft chief said that any new device may not look like a smartphone at all.
Of course, this opens up all kinds of possibility for imaging what a new Microsoft mobile product would be. While he is not letting us in on the secret, Alex Kipman is extending this ambition. According to Bloomberg, he said “the phone is already dead … people just haven't realized it yet.”
Looking to Mixed Reality
This is a very interesting idea that reveals what Microsoft may be aiming for in mobile. It can clearly be argued that the phone is not dead, considering smartphones still sell in millions. However, Kipman and Microsoft are obviously looking further into the feature.
In other words, the company is realizing it missed the smartphone, or messed it up. So, now the company wants to be early to the next stage of mobile technology. Alex Kipman is the genius behind HoloLens, and he believes mobile technology will move towards virtual and mixed reality.
Unfortunately, he has not expanded on how that will work or when it will happen. Microsoft is taking mobile ambitions seriously, but it may not be what we expect.