Surface Phone is the dream device that everyone who loves Windows phones hoped to get at some point, but despite the plethora of patents discovered lately, Microsoft has never dropped any solid hint that such a device is indeed coming.
Until today, that is, as an engineer working for Microsoft China confirmed in a post that the Surface Phone is on its way, and what’s more, it’ll provide better experience with the native digital assistant Cortana than Android devices.
An employee from the local subsidiary of Microsoft Research, which is believed to be more or less involved in the development of the device, said in a post on social site Zhihu that they “look forward to the perfect performance of the Surface Phone,” explaining that some features of Cortana on Android are limited because of the restrictions in place on the operating system.
Shortly after Windows phone fans went crazy over this indication that a Surface Phone is coming, the Microsoft engineer edited the post to state that “we don’t know a Surface Phone will exist,” though it’s pretty clear this was more a damage control attempt after accidentally saying too much.
Native Cortana experience on the Surface Phone
Here’s the message posted by the Microsoft official with an approximate translation created by WindowsLatest (the original text was written in Chinese and the part highlighted in italic represents the later edit):
“First of all, Siri and Bixby, two intelligent assistants installed in the smartphones, and Cortana is a third-party application, permissions support may be embarrassing. Windows Phone users may know that Cortana in Windows Phone was better than the Cortana app, Windows Phone Cortana was a lot easier to use.
Microsoft Cortana (Xiao Na) is a cross-platform smart assistant, available across all devices including PCs and smartphone, trying to do more like WeChat. For the smart assistant, permissions is a good thing, looking forward to the perfect performance of the Surface Phone (although we do not know there will be a surface phone). Of course, as a smart assistant, the pace of development is still relatively slow, but Cortana team will be working hard to make the assistant better.”
While this message doesn’t provide any specifics as to when a Surface Phone could land, it’s living proof the project is still alive behind the closed doors at Microsoft, and sooner or later it should receive the go-ahead. How and when this is going to happen are probably the most intriguing questions that nobody can answer right now.