New info on Windows 10 Mobile Redstone 2 and Surface Phone: both might be coming April 2017

Mark Coppock

We reported just a few minutes ago on some new information that surfaced from Microsoft regarding their Windows 10 Mobile commitment, namely an email that seems to reconfirm the company’s commitment to mobile even if it’s focused on business customers. Now, the source of the earlier story, Windows Central, has published some new information on Windows 10 Mobile and Microsoft’s future strategy.

First up, Microsoft reportedly doesn’t consider the Lumia 950 and 950 XL to be good examples of what they want Windows 10 Mobile devices to be. Given the fact that the company is pushing them out the door as quickly as they can via aggressive tactics like BOGO offers, combined with Microsoft’s smartphone sales tanking last quarter, we’re not terribly surprised at this news.

Second, there seems to be additional confirmation that the upcoming Surface Phone will indeed be awaiting a future Redstone 2 update to Windows 10 Mobile before hitting the streets. Currently, that’s slated for April 2017, according to Windows Central. Anybody who was hoping for a release of new Surface hardware, including another revision of the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4, sometime in 2016 will likely be out of luck. Incidentally, there is apparently also a Redstone 3 update planned that, along with Redstone 2, will be heavily focused on improving the smartphone experience.

Third, Microsoft’s productivity and security mantras, repeated over and over by CEO Satya Nadella and other Microsoft executives, will play a key role in defining the Surface Phone. As Windows Central puts it:

Microsoft is also planning on positioning the Surface phone (assuming that is its final name) with two goals in mind:

  1. Most secure phone in the world
  2. The best phone for productivity

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has repeatedly referred to productivity as a Microsoft’s key strength in personal computing and a differentiator from the competition. From that perspective, it makes sense that Windows 10 for the phone will continue to build off that base as it goes forward with its mobile plans.

Finally, it’s looking like Continuum will play a key role in the Surface Phone, particularly the ability to run apps on remote servers a la HPs Elite x3 strategy. At the same time, Windows Central claims that Win32 will remain important to Microsoft although it’s unclear if the company will attempt to enable Surface Phone to run Win32 apps in some way or if Continuum and remote access will play a part.

No matter what, this info dump demonstrates that Windows 10 Mobile and the Surface Phone remain important to Microsoft, no matter if it’s to go head-to-head with consumers in competition with iOS and Android or to provide enhanced mobile options for Microsoft’s ever-important enterprise customers. Certainly, 2016 and 2017 will be exciting times for anyone interested in Microsoft, and should answer some important questions about what, exactly, Microsoft plans to do to maintain their relevancy in an increasingly “cloud-first, mobile-first” world.