What lurks just below the Surface?
Microsoft, long known for its software-only business model, may be considering selling a smartphone alongside its new Surface tablet. Sources close to the matter say that the software giant is testing a device running the Windows Phone operating system, though Microsoft itself has declined to comment. The Microsoft phone being tested and the release of the Surface tablet may reflect the company's desire to adopt a business model closer to Apple's hardware-software synergy, a dramatic departure from the early days of personal computing when Microsoft found that approach too limiting.
Still, it remains to be seen if the Microsoft phone ever makes it past the testing stage. Smartphones currently running Windows Phone aren't big sellers and, in a shark-tank market with Android devices and iPhones, software's big fish may find itself with the smartphone minnow.