• Microsoft Surface Phone

Microsoft Surface Phone (Photo : Weibo / KJuma)

As rumors fired up that Microsoft will push for a late 2017 release date for the hotly-anticipated Surface Phone, likely after the Windows 10 Redstone 3 Update rollout in August, a new report suggested that the "ultimate mobile device", as described by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, will not come out until the early months of 2018.

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"The Surface Phone will launch when it's ready," Windows Central reported, speculating too that the rumored Windows 10 smartphone will most likely launch in 2018. Recent reports have been saying that the device will see the light of the day in the last few months of 2017 or immediately after the Redstone 4 Update deployment.

The premise is that the Surface Phone will serve as the showcase device for the mobile features packed with Redstone 3.

But the same Windows Central report seems more convinced that the remaining months of 2017 Microsoft will utilize to build up the ecosystem to support the Surface Phone. "As Microsoft prepares for what is presumed to be a 2018 launch of the Surface phone I foresee 2017 being a runway where Redmond greatly ramps up efforts in building its ecosystem," the report said.

The report went on to outline the crucial factors that will determine the likely success (or failure) of the Surface Phone. For better distribution or for the device to reach users with speed and efficiency, Microsoft working closely with carriers would be essential.

Equally important too is the choice of the manufacturing partner for the project, the report added.

Windows Central also highlighted on its report the features that will differentiate the Surface Phone from the iPhone by Apple and the numerous Android flagship devices. First would be the applications that will matter to users and the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and bot functionalities, which essentially is Microsoft pushing Cortana to the next level.

And as indicated in the previous reports on the matter, Windows Central is in agreement that Continuum will be the core feature to define the Surface Phone. The Windows 10 feature, Microsoft said, will be supported by ARM-based chips that will allow for smooth x86 apps emulation on the device.

As mentioned, it will be a 2018 release date for the Surface Phone or nearly a year after the rumored Surface Pro 5 launch March this year. The latter is believed up for introduction in time for the MWC 2017 that kicks off on February 26.