Microsoft's marketing chief drops Surface Phone hints

Michael Cottuli

We’ve been waiting for the Surface Phone for a long time now. With a rocky start to the launch of Windows 10 Mobile, many Windows diehard fans have been disappointed with some of the steps that Microsoft has taken, and feel like their entry into the mobile world hasn’t really put its best foot forward. Thankfully, during the most recent Windows Weekly – a popular show with Mary Jo Foley – Chief marketing officer of Microsoft Chris Capossela dropped some hints that implied a bright future for those waiting for the Surface Phone to save the Windows 10 Mobile initiative.
Of course, the interview never had Microsoft’s CMO directly addressing the Surface Phone. That said, the way that he spoke about the past and future of Windows 10 Mobile could make even the most cynical Microsoft fans get a bit of a twinkle in their eye about the possibility of a revolutionary Surface Phone sometime in the near future. The discourse in question stemmed from Mary Jo Foley, who asked Capossela to “give me something to hope for in the new year as a Windows Phone fan, Chris, because I’m abandoning hope.”
To that, the Microsoft CMO replied: “We’re clearly very cognizant of our position in the phone world, and frankly we’ve done the hard yards to retrench and have an approach that, in this coming year, is very much about trying to satisfy our fans, and trying to have a great success in the business world, for businesses who want to buy phones for their employees.”
While that’s the same sort of beat-around-the-bush quote that we’ve gotten before on numerous occasions, the quote that should truly be getting you excited is what followed later in the interview. After going on to talk about how Microsoft needs to do more “breakthrough work,” and talking about some of the early “misfires” and following successes that made Surface succeed, Capossela gave us this gem:
“We need some sort of spiritual equivalent on the phone side that doesn’t just feel like it’s a phone for people who love Windows,” he said. “It’s got to be a phone where it’s like, ‘Wow, that’s a real shock or that’s a real breakthrough, and that’s going to make me (as a hypothetical Apple fan) pause before I buy my 17th iPhone.’ And we need time to actually go build that.”
That isn’t just beating around the bush – that’s the CMO of Microsoft corporation saying that they know they need to break ground on phones, and then strongly suggesting that they’re in the middle of breaking that ground at this very moment. It’s certainly not a direct confirmation of the Surface Phone coming, but it’s possibly the strongest indicator we’ve gotten to a future Surface Phone release in a very long time. For those that may have had doubts about Microsoft releasing a Surface Phone, this should serve as a much-needed shot in the arm. You should definitely keep your eyes peeled in the near future for how Microsoft tackles this subject in 2016.