• Microsoft Surface Phone

Microsoft Surface Phone (Photo : Weibo / KJuma)

Microsoft is unlikely to launch the rumored Surface Phone anytime this 2017. Instead, the device release date will not happen until 2018 as a new report claimed Satya Nadella's envisioned "ultimate mobile device" is far from ready.

If indeed the Surface Phone is the game-changer that Microsoft CEO, Nadella that is, is painting it to be then the chance is not too good that there will be an unboxing to be seen this year. According to Windows Central, the Windows 10-powered handset coming out this year could prove premature. More likely, the debut will be 2018 but even that is not yet set in stone.

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The same report said that for the Nadella's vision of the Surface Phone to be realized, which is to be a unique and game-changing mobile device, there are a number of scenarios and conditions to be fulfilled first.

The one thing that is deemed to set the Surface Phone up for a good take off is sufficient developers' support. Windows Central is convinced that apps will make or break the smallest of the Surface mobile devices and applications to make the Surface Phone an inviting or compelling gadget will not be made available until 2018.

What follows is the building up of Microsoft's ecosystem with Windows 10 as the backbone. This year, Creators and Redstone 3 updates will roll out and by early 2018 developers support for the system is seen to mature at a certain level. Then it would be ripe for the Surface Phone to come out.

Another important component is constant connectivity. "Cellular PCs are the harbingers to the ultramobile Surface," Windows Central said, adding that reliable applications and stable cellular connection, as opposed to Wi-Fi, will further enhance Microsoft's plan of anchoring the Surface Phone on a solid ecosystem.

As for the hardware, speculations are rife that ARM-based chips, specifically Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 SoC will power the Surface Phone, thus firing up the device's Continuum feature that in turn will permit the emulation of x86 apps on the mobile handset. Practically, users will have at their disposal a phone that doubles as a desktop machine.

This likely is the Surface Phone that Nadella is dreaming about, if the Windows Central analysis is to be believed, though the realization might be pushed back a bit if indeed the device release date has been moved from 2017, as earlier rumored, to 2018.