There’s still a rabid community of Windows Phone fanatics out there, and they really want to see a new smartphone and operating system from Microsoft.
A change.org petition began circulating last week, imploring Microsoft to keep pushing ahead with the rumored new handheld Surface-branded device, aka Andromeda, after news reports indicated that the flexible dual-screen device may be on hold indefinitely. The petition, which seeks to show Microsoft how much demand there is for the device, had close to 11,000 signatures Monday morning.
“Money is power and if a lot of people want a Surface phone like the ones in the leaks then they will be forced into action as everyone knows Microsoft wouldn’t be able to give a reason on why not to do it to there (sic) investors, as it’s too much of a money opportunity to miss,” according to the petition authored by Zach Hinski of Chesterfield, Va.
Rumblings of a handheld foldable Surface device that blurs the lines of PC, tablet and smartphone have been leaking out for the last few months. The possibility of a 2018 debut stoked the anticipation of those who want to see a follow up to the Windows Phone.
But now it appears the device is now on hold indefinitely. The issue reportedly comes down to a problem that hurt Windows Phone: lack of third-party app ecosystem.
Plans for the device reportedly came together under the direction of Terry Myerson, who left the company following a recent reorganization. New leadership could take the device in a new direction or discard it entirely.
Microsoft has largely retreated from the smartphone hardware market when Windows Phone failed to catch on. Microsoft has spent the last few years shifting its mobile strategy to focus on breaking down the walls between devices and unifying the Windows experience between PCs and smartphones on competing operating systems. Apps like Microsoft Launcher and tools like Project Rome exemplify Microsoft’s new mobile strategy.