Satya Nadella says Microsoft is planning the ‘ultimate mobile device’

Brad Stephenson

Lumia 950 running Windows 10 Mobile in Tokyo, Japan

In a new interview with the Australian Financial Review this morning, Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, dropped some interesting titbits concerning the company’s existing Windows phone products and where they see the mobile hardware concept evolving in the future.

“We don’t want to be driven by just envy of what others have,” Nadella said, referencing Windows phone’s previous efforts to imitate the iPhone and Android experience. “The question is, what can we bring? That’s where I look at any device form factor or any technology, even AI.”

It seems as if Microsoft is indeed still planning to continue investing in mobile technology but whether their solution takes the form of a Windows phone or something entirely new is unclear. What is certain is that whatever Microsoft has planned for mobile is going to offer something different for the consumer than what its rivals are offering.

“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,” Nadella revealed. “Therefore [with Nokia assets], we stopped doing things that were me-too and started doing things, even if they are today very sub-scale, to be very focused on a specific set of customers who need a specific set of capabilities that are differentiated and that we can do a good job of.”

Nadella could be referring to Windows 10 Mobile’s refocusing on the business, or enterprise, section of the smartphone market but he could also be hinting at a concept for a future Windows phone that offers a solution to a problem that most consumers aren’t even aware they have yet. Microsoft has already done this with several of its software solutions but also with their Xbox video game platform, whose online Xbox Live service was revolutionary when launched, and more recently with their Surface products. “I mean, take even Surface,” Nadella specifies. “Three years ago, the two-in-one as a form factor was questioned. Does anybody need one? And now guess what, even our competition has decided that it’s not a refrigerator and a toaster but it’s actually a two-in-one.”

Rumors of a ‘Surface Phone’, a new Windows phone running Windows 10 Mobile, have been circulating for a while now and such a device could very well be an “ultimate mobile device” if given the perfect killer feature that sets it apart from its competition. What form do you think Microsoft’s future mobile ambitions will take? Share your thoughts with the community in the comments below.