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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sees value in making more hardware - could a Microsoft phone be next?

News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday November 15, 2012.

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Microsoft has explicitly stated that it has no plans to develop a phone; however, plans can change, and recent comments from CEO Steve Ballmer suggest that's a possibility. At a recent tech event, Ballmer made the following statement when asked about Microsoft potentially building more products:

"Do I anticipate that partners of ours will build the lion's share of all Windows devices over the next five years? The answer is, absolutely. With that said, it is absolutely clear that there is an innovation opportunity on the scene between hardware and software and that is a scene that must not go unexploited at all by Microsoft."

Ballmer's comments were given in the context of the Microsoft Surface, a Windows tablet/laptop hybrid device that competes directly with a slew of products from Windows licensees. It would be safe to assume that Ballmer meant the company will introduce more computers and take a more direct approach to getting Windows in front of more consumers, but smartphones could be another area in which Microsoft finds itself competing with its partners. If Microsoft believes that it cannot allow critical areas to go "unexploited" by the company, the constantly growing mobile market is a logical next step for the company.

When the Wall Street Journal asked Ballmer if Microsoft would build a phone last week, he declined to comment. As we've already highlighted, that's a non-committed stance that suggests Microsoft is considering, if not already pursuing, entrance into the smartphone market. Relying on other manufacturers failed to make Windows Phone 7 competitive in the smartphone race. Like the Surface, Microsoft may see an opportunity to create a Windows Phone 8 device with software and hardware directly from the source.

source: Reuters

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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