Microsoft built an edge-to-edge Windows Phone smartphone three years before Samsung
It’s clear that edge-to-edge displays are the biggest trend in smartphone design right now, with the likes of Samsung, Xiaomi, LG, Apple debuting handsets with almost no bezels within the last 12 months.
However, Microsoft could have beaten them all to the punch – almost three years ago.
The Redmond-based company purportedly canned an all-screen Windows Phone back in 2014.
Technology blog Windows Central has obtained the prototyped of an unnamed Windows phone, which sports extremely thin bezels around the display.
The unannounced smartphone does have a substantial chin beneath the display, which houses the front-facing cameras.
Microsoft had planned to ship this staggering edge-to-edge design on a sub-$200 device.
Performance would have been modest, even by 2014 standards, with the unnamed Microsoft smartphone sporting a five-inch 720p display, SnapDragon 200 processor, 4GB of inbuilt storage, and five-megapixel camera.
Windows Central has got its hands on an unannounced Microsoft handset with all-screen design
It’s unclear why Microsoft decided to axe the smartphone.
The US technology company may not have been able to mass-manufacture the design, or decided it didn’t fit into its overall product line-up.
Regardless of the thinking behind the decision, it’s a real shame this design never saw the light of day.
Windows Phone was always very visually striking mobile operating system, it would have been nice to see Microsoft debut headline-grabbing hardware to match.
The news comes as Microsoft admitted its Windows Phone mobile operating system was dead.
Vice President of Operating Systems Joe Belfiore revealed the company is no longer developing new features or hardware for Windows 10 Mobile.
Belfoire broke the news in a series of tweets.
Of course we’ll continue to support the platform.. bug fixes, security updates, etc. But building new features/hw aren’t the focus. https://t.co/0CH9TZdIFu
— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) October 8, 2017
Microsoft will continue to release bug fixes and security patches for its Windows 10 Mobile users, but will not launch any new features.
“Of course we’ll continue to support the platform.. bug fixes, security updates, etc,” Joe Belfiore tweeted. “But building new features/hw aren’t the focus.”
The Corporate Vice President also revealed that he had switched away from Windows Phone to a rival mobile operating system.
“As an individual end-user, I switched platforms for the app/hw diversity. We will support those users too! Choose what’s best 4 u,” Belfiore tweeted.
The news comes as Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates revealed he now uses an Android smartphone, instead of Windows Phone.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to users.
Microsoft will no longer create new hardware or software features for its Windows 10 Mobile platform
Although Microsoft has never explicitly stated its Windows Phone platform was dead, the writing has been on the wall for some time now.
The Redmond-based company gutted its smartphone business last year, resulting in thousands of redundancies.
Microsoft ended support for its Windows Phone 8.1 platform this summer.
Windows Phone 8.1 remains by far the most popular version of the mobile operating system, with some 70 per cent of Windows Phone devices running the outdated software.
One of the biggest problems that Windows Phone faced was the lack of support from third-party developers.
Joe Belfiore addresses this in one of his tweets about the platform, writing: “We have tried VERY HARD to incent app devs. Paid money.. wrote apps 4 them.. but volume of users is too low for most companies to invest.”
CASMIR VALERI • BEHANCE
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Rumours that Microsoft is secretly working on an all-new flagship smartphone, the so-called Surface Phone, have swirled around online for years.
Microsoft General Manager for Surface Ryan Gavin offered smartphone fans an intriguing tidbit about the long-rumoured device last year.
Should the Redmond company ever decide to add a smartphone to its Surface range, we can be sure that it “will not resemble what we know and think of as a phone today,” Mr Gavin told Business Insider.
Mr Gavin was speaking to Business Insider about the latest refreshes to the Surface line-up, which included an overhauled Surface Pro, brand-new Surface Laptop and desktop behemoth, Surface Studio.
CEO Satya Nadella made a similar comment back in November 2016.
Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, he said: “We will continue to be in the phone market not as defined by today’s market leaders, but by what it is that we can uniquely do in what is the most ultimate mobile device.
“We don’t want to be driven by just envy of what others have, the question is, what can we bring?
“That’s where I look at any device form factor or any technology, even AI.”
Microsoft has never formally acknowledged the existence of a Surface Phone, although it has made several hints.
However, the revelation that Windows 10 Mobile hardware is no longer a focus for the company means it’s pretty unlikely we’re ever going to see Microsoft’s own in-house flagship smartphone.
Source : EXPRESS