Microsoft Handset Could Spoil Nokia Relationship

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-06-25 Print this article Print


5. This isn€™t Windows 8 

Microsoft made the surprising decision recently to launch its own Windows 8-based tablet, known as Surface, later this year. Although that might indicate that it could consider launching its own handset, remember that the Surface is designed to establish Microsoft in the tablet market€”a space where it has very little presence. In the smartphone market, it has some presence. It needs to allow them to grow over time without too much of its input. 

6. The Motorola element 

Microsoft€™s decision to not deliver its own Windows Phone-based device might have something to do with Motorola. Earlier this year, Google closed its $12.5 billion Motorola acquisition, making the handset maker a first-party provider of Android-based devices. There€™s a chance in the coming years that this will alienate competing Android vendors who might then be more likely to market Windows Phone devices. Meanwhile, Microsoft, with no allegiance to any particular handset maker, would benefit. 

7. Remember patent disputes 

The mobile space right now is riven by patent disputes related to both software and hardware. On the software side, Microsoft doesn€™t have much to worry about, and in fact, receives licensing fees from Android vendors. But on hardware, who knows what could happen? Nearly every company is suing another on design. The last thing Microsoft should want to do is expose itself to this patent lawsuit crossfire any more than it has already. 

8. It all comes back to end-to-end quality 

9. It already has Nokia 

Let€™s not forget that Microsoft has a strong relationship with Nokia. Last year, the companies signed a deal that would see Nokia bundle Windows Phone on its smartphone line. Nokia also will bundle its Maps service in Windows Phone 8. Offering its own hardware might hurt Microsoft€™s relationship with Nokia. That€™s the last thing the software giant needs right now. 

10. The track record isn€™t so strong 

Save for the Xbox 360, it€™s hard to find any hardware products Microsoft has launched over the years that has been all that successful. From the ill-fated Zune to the Kin smartphones designed for social users, Microsoft doesn€™t exactly know what€™s best for hardware. So, why should it embarrass itself even more? 

Follow Don Reisinger on Twitter by clicking here 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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