Microsoft's long-winded culling of Windows Phone has been painful to watch. From a functioning and interesting platform two years ago, it is now as good as dead. However, there are still rays of hope shining from the seemingly eternal myth of the Surface Phone.
Yes, once again we are back to the idea that Microsoft has been developing a super phone that will leave all others in its wake. If I come off as flippant, it's because I simply don't believe the company has been working on such hardware for four years.
That's right, Surface Phone rumors have been persistent for half a decade. As I have written before, this timeframe means there never was a Surface Phone. Instead, the name has become something to represent any flagship device Microsoft may be working on.
Back to the latest rumor, which states the API changes in Windows 10 17650 reveal phone-related APIs are back. Microsoft previously removed this APIs through the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (FCU) release.
Doing so killed any hopes of new smartphone hardware arriving. With the return of phone-related APIs, there is at least some hope that Microsoft still has aspirations in this market. Of course, since the FCU release, the company debuted Always Connected PC and Windows 10 on ARM.
Future of Mobile
While Microsoft is scrambling on those fronts at the moment, integrating smartphone tech into PC tech is something the company is definitely interested in. CEO Satya Nadella has said the future of mobile devices will not look like a phone, while also suggesting Microsoft is looking to the next era of mobile tech.
While my personal mistrust of Surface Phone rumors is evident, the device has admittedly always been billed as a crossover between smartphone and PC. Even thought, if Microsoft wants to release mobile hardware, it needs a fully-fledged platform, and Windows 10 on ARM is certainly not that just yet.