Microsoft's alleged plans for the Surface Phone are hugely ambitious

Lumia 930
The Surface Phone could impress, but it's set to be a long wait

The Microsoft Surface Phone has been rumored for so long that we can barely remember a time when it wasn't distantly on the horizon, but we might finally be able to mark a launch date in our calendars, or at least a launch month.

According to sources speaking to Windows Central Microsoft will set the Surface Phone free in April 2017, alongside the Windows 10 Redstone 2 update, which is set to bring new features to both the mobile and desktop versions of the OS.

It makes sense that Microsoft would look to launch new hardware alongside new software and we've previously heard the Surface Phone could land in 2017, so this all seems fairly believable.

When it does arrive it apparently won't be taking on other flagships directly, with the company instead focusing on making it the most secure phone in the world and the best for productivity.

Where we're going, we don't need computers

It's easy to see how Microsoft is already pushing for that second goal, thanks to its Office software and its Continuum feature, which can essentially turn handsets into desktops. Apparently it plans to further improve Continuum for the Surface Phone, with the aim of making it a "real alternative to a computer."

Quite how Microsoft plans to make it the most secure phone is more questionable. It's got a lot of competition in that area from BlackBerry, Samsung KNOX and niche devices like the Turing Phone, but it makes sense for Microsoft to change its focus, given that it's making little headway against Android and iOS in the mainstream consumer market.

If you're not interested in productivity or security the Surface Phone could still tempt you though, as previous rumors suggest it might come in three different versions- a consumer model, a business one and a premium edition.

April 2017 is a long time to wait regardless, but in the meantime Microsoft at least has its first big Windows 10 update coming in June, which will hopefully do a little to freshen up it smartphone experience.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.