Panos Panay confirms new Surface form factors and evolution of communication

Brad Stephenson

Surface Phone / Surface Note concept

In the latest episode of Wired’s Gadget Lab podcast, Lauren Goode got the chance to ask Microsoft’s Panos Panay about the continuing evolution of the Surface brand and if the Surface Phone, the rumored follow-up to Windows phone, was in the company’s roadmap.

“It doesn’t include a Surface Phone,” Panos said when asked point blank about the possibility of a Surface Phone launch in the immediate future. “But it includes the way to think about what is it that people want to accomplish and how will they accomplish it and what are those form factors. So I will say there will be new form factors and there will be new change in the market.”

Many people have speculated that Microsoft would avoid calling any future product a “phone” so as to prevent immediate competition with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android smartphones which are clearly dominating the market right now. Instead, the company would likely produce a small device that could absolutely function as a phone, and would likely replace Windows phone, yet would market it as a new kind of product entirely. Basically a Surface Phone without being called a Surface Phone.

Goode immediately questioned Panay on this possible use of semantics and he did confirm that new form factors are planned and teased that these new products would be driven by the evolution of how people communicate instead of the devices being designed for how people communicate now.

“The way people will communicate in the future will change and the form factors will wrap around that,” Panay stated. The entire interview is available to listen here.

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