ASPIRING GADGET MAKER Microsoft reportedly is hawking around a prototype smartphone but isn't sure whether to put the design into mass production.
Microsoft's Surface RT tablet has seen the firm break new ground and compete directly with some of the hardware companies that helped it become the world's largest software company. Now the firm reportedly is measuring reaction before deciding whether or not to put its smartphone prototype into mass production.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft's prototype smartphone has a screen that measures between four and five inches, which isn't surprising given that Apple's latest Iphone has a 4in screen while its popular rival, Samsung's Galaxy S3 has a 4.8in screen. The WSJ wasn't able to get any more details, but if Microsoft is working with component suppliers in Asia it is certainly thinking about getting into the market.
Should Microsoft decide to make its own smartphone, it will be a big slap in the face to Nokia and its CEO and former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop. While Samsung and HTC also make Windows Phone devices, neither company has staked as much as Nokia on Microsoft's mobile operating system.
Microsoft's decision to hawk around a smartphone design doesn't mean it will automatically put it into mass production, but it strongly suggests that the firm is considering such a move. However, even if Microsoft decides to put the device into mass production it is far from being a guaranteed success. After all, the last time Microsoft put its name to a smartphone, the Kin, it was forced to abandon that within months of launch µ.
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ