Microsoft has not had much luck in the mobile phone business. Perhaps that is why we seem surprised by the recent comments made by CEO Satya Nadella. While the executive admits that Microsoft has missed the entire mobile boom, he states that Microsoft will continue to stay in the phone market with "unique features," and will build the most ultimate mobile device.
Last year, Microsoft wrote down $7.6 million, which was the approximate amount of what it spent to buy Nokia Devices and Services in 2014. Now that Microsoft has cleared the decks on its balance sheet, will it build the long rumored Surface Phone? Nadella says that Microsoft won't return to the industry without bringing something different to the table.
Pointing to the enterprise-focused HP Elite x3 Windows 10 Mobile handset, Microsoft's CEO says that his company already has a role in "structural innovation" in the smartphone world. The focus now is on productivity, management and security. And those certainly sound like buzzwords related to the business world. That meas that those who have talked about a Surface Phone being directed at the enterprise could be right.
The Lumia line apparently failed to connect with consumers. But companies are an easier sell for Microsoft since most are familiar with Windows. So instead of rushing back into an industry where it will have to battle Samsung and Apple for consumers' cash, Nadella is biding his time until Microsoft can come up with something so different that it becomes an easier sell.
"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. 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."-Satya Nadella-CEO, Microsoft
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