Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a Surface Phone?
Windows Mobile fans are getting somewhat desperate for evidence Microsoft has not completely abandoned the platform, after years with no hardware releases and middling OS updates, with the last hope as always being the ever mythical Surface Phone.
Numerous patents have suggested we are looking at a dual-screened rather than conventional slate device, and Satya Nadella’s statements that Microsoft will not release device which does not offer something unique has fuelled the fires that Microsoft is actually working on such a game-changing device.
There is, however, no real evidence that such a device exists, and the news that even Bill Gates is using an Android phone and Satya Nadella’s statements that there is no need for a 3rd smartphone ecosystem has made even staunch fans of Windows Phone reconsider their commitment.
It is in this context that we have an article by All About Windows Phone, asking if the head of the Insider program, Dona Sarkar, above, has been snapped (by Jen Gentleman) carrying a dual-screened device, the elusive Surface Phone.
Steve Litchfield from AAWP writes:
Spotted late at night at Microsoft Ignite by my source Peter Libbrecht was Windows 10 Insiders programme boss Dona Sarkar – with a couple of phones in ‘folio’ cases. Now, this may just be a wild goose chase we’re starting down here, but one of the phones appears to be a clamshell or a folding phablet of some kind. Could this be one of the first real world sightings of the fabled ‘Surface Mobile’?
The image is certainly suggestive enough if we presuppose that Sarkar would carry such a sensitive device off-campus.
It’s obviously very tough to identify phones from their top ends, but it does make something of a feature of a device which is more than a ‘slab’. In this case, two slab sections hinged together – too symmetrically to be a ‘Communicator-style’ clamshell, but about right for a folding phablet, as per the recent Microsoft patents.
An interesting spot and it would make sense for Dona to have a prototype or two around her person – though if she were carrying this around this openly then I’d have expected more people to have snapped it by now?
There is an old adage that if a headline starts with “Is it” the answer is usually “It’s not.” Unfortunately, this is the case once again on this occasion.
While Dona clearly carries a number of electronics, she is also in the habit of carrying a spiral-bound notebook in a leather sleeve for what she calls “analogue creating,” which can be seen in a picture she posted a few weeks ago.
Clearly, the “dual-screened” device spotted above is simply the notebook, which sports such useful features as infinite battery life and pen support.
AAWP acknowledges “… part of the frenzy around such a device is fuelled by a complete absence of other first party mobile hardware,” and this is particularly acute if your website is only All About Windows Phone. Better to stop oneself going mad by posting about the occasional Android phone 😉