Sony and Microsoft in discussion over Windows Phone

by: Robert TriggsJanuary 10, 2014

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Z1 mini red brand AA colors -1

Pierre Perron, head of Sony Mobile Europe, has told TechRadar that the company doesn’t want to be tied to just a single smartphone operating system, and that Sony is engaged in discussions with Microsoft about hedging its bets in the smartphone market.

[quote qtext=”(Working with Microsoft) is an interesting proposition for us in the PC environment, and we continue our engagement with them… We are exploring this as part of our discussion in the mobile space too.” qperson=”Pierre Perron” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

However, soon after the interview Sony’s CEO, Kunimasa Suzuki, stated that the company has no plans to release a Windows Phone, so take the comments as more of an exploratory statement rather than a commitment. Even so, a move into the Windows Phone market might be a sensible hedge, Sony already has strong connections with Microsoft via its range of Windows based laptops.

Although Sony seems in a pretty secure position right now, the company hasn’t always had such a successful time in the Android market. Its older generation of Android handsets failed to gain the same level of recognition as the older Sony Ericsson models and some of its more recent smartphones, due to intense competition from the other big Android players like Samsung and HTC. The Xperia range may finally be competing at the top end of the market, but there’s no guarantee that this success will last.

[quote qtext=”We don’t want to be a single OS manufacturer, I don’t think it’s a viable position in the long term” qperson=”Pierre Perron” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

In the hugely competitive Android market it’s tough to tell if your next device will be a success, but with Windows the number of competing manufacturers is smaller. Perhaps Sony believes that it can capture a good sector of the smaller Windows Phone market.

  • Tanner Hoyt

    Can you imagine playing on your Xbox One and getting a phone call on your SONY Windows Phone? Or the other way around with the PS4, lol.

    Seriously though, I like this. Sony’s phones have a very nice build quality. They would be wonderful successors to Nokia.

    • APai

      “…successors to Nokia”
      windows phone killed nokia :P

      • Tanner Hoyt

        No, Stephen Elop, the Microsoft trojan horse, killed Nokia :P

        • APai


          • Luka Mlinar

            Some times you find the best comments at the bottom of the pile :/

            +1 from me guys.

        • mikee

          ACtually, both.
          Windows Phone & Stephen Elop killed Nokia.

    • mustbepbs

      It’s as if Sony hasn’t been creating Windows laptops and desktops for years already…

      Oh wait.

      • Tanner Hoyt

        Yes, because Windows PCs are a major part of the computer market. You pretty much had to sell laptops and desktops with Windows. Windows Phone on the other hand is nowhere near a “must” at this point.

        • mustbepbs

          Android phones certainly are, but Sony seems to be messing that up. I wonder why they’re wasting money on Windows Phone now.

          • Tanner Hoyt

            I wouldn’t call it “wasting”. Windows Phone is the fastest growing mobile OS. It has made huge gains over the last year and forecasts are even more optimistic for this year.

          • mustbepbs

            Pretty easy to jump over the bar when it’s on the ground.

          • Tanner Hoyt
          • mustbepbs

            Exactly, 2.0% to 3.6%.

            Wow, groundbreaking. Thanks for proving my point.

          • Tanner Hoyt

            When Windows Phone has 25% market share in a few years, my point will be proven.

          • mustbepbs

            Haha, get back to me when that happens.

          • me51

            I like WP, especially their UI (live tiles), but I doubt WP will gain any significant growth any sooner.

            As long as MS still slow giving update to WP, has limited feature, and not customizable (read:hackable), it will never catch to iOS, or even Android.

            People don’t want to risk their investment in locked-down device. That’s why jailbreak is popular in walled garden iOS.

          • APai

            somehow I tend to think of IDC as a microsoft front desk, so they might have actually been pusing the real numbers by 156% :P

  • Luka Mlinar

    Fine. So use Ubuntu. Just stay away from the cancer that is Microsoft Mobile.

    • Shark Bait

      The world will be batter off without Microsoft

    • mkest

      You mean Windows Phone ?
      The old Windows Mobile is good, it’s WP & RT that become cancer.
      Good thing RT is dying. WP will follow soon. Nokia will be free from cancer.

  • Tyler

    Don’t do it Sony, you make great products don’t ruin that by making a microsh*t phone, please.

  • Cal Rankin

    OEMs have the ability to install their own apps onto Windows Phone. Imagine if we have Sony Windows Phones that have the PlayStation Apps.
    The ability to have great build quality, great camera, awesome specs, and expandable memory, PLUS the ability to possibly straddle the two largest gaming ecosystems would be priceless.
    Well, hopefully no more priceless than $599-$699

    • pritish

      That means Xbox and Playstation in the same device

      • Cal Rankin

        Yes. That was the point.
        It would appeal to some people. I know people who have both PlayStations and XBoxes.

  • Data

    Don’t go down that route Sony, just don’t.

  • Zamroni

    Z1 compact with Windows Phone will be more attractive.

    • Luka Mlinar

      You must be joking :/

  • Zamroni

    Please let user to change phone OS from android to wp and vice versa.

  • Andrew White

    Both Sony and Microsoft have been relegated to second tier corporations over recents years, because of poor advice and a lack of vision.
    Shit happens, as they say. You cannot be on top forever regardless of budget.
    It will be about synergy, what each can bring to the table and either party’s ability to ultimately compromise to accommodate the other.
    Windows mobile is nice and simple and Nokia produce beautifully vertically integrated devices, but Android and ‘open source’ is the future of mobile devices for day to day communication.
    The support given by multiple manufacturers of super smartphones confirms this.
    Dual boot O/S has to be a given, not only in the home but on enhanced ‘all powerful’ mobile phones (not tablets) as well.

  • MadCowOnAStick

    You know what happened to Nokia Sony. Don’t do it.

  • K.

    Kunimasa Suzuki is Sony Mobile’s CEO and not Sony’s.