Is Sony disowning Microsoft and Windows? Not quite, says CEO

Sony is leaving open the possibility of products using Microsoft's mobile operating system.

Xperia Z: A future Sony phone running Windows Phone 8?
Xperia Z: A future Sony phone running Windows Phone 8? Sony

With Sony's high-profile exit from the PC business, it is essentially rejecting any devices that run on the Windows operating system -- the traditional Windows desktop OS, that is.

First the bad news. Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai did make it clear in Tokyo on Thursday that Microsoft Windows for PCs is not part of its future.

"Windows products will go to the new company," he said, in a press conference that was widely reported in the Japanese media, referring to Japan Industrial Partners, the investment fund that will take over Sony's PC business.

That statement was part and parcel of Sony's new mobile mission. "In the mobile arena, we decided that it is essential now to concentrate on smartphones and tablets," Hirai said.

But there was a qualifier. "Microsoft has various OSes, including mobile. So, as Sony, we will consider new product development going forward."

CEOs typically don't drop hints about future products unless they have a clear plan in place. So, it appears that Sony is considering smartphone and tablets that would run on an operating system like Windows Phone 8.

Sony's Xperia Tablet Z runs Android.  Sony is not excluding the possibility of a small tablet, for instance, running on a Microsoft mobile OS.
Sony's Xperia Tablet Z runs Android. Sony is not excluding the possibility of a small tablet, for instance, running on a Microsoft mobile OS. Sony
About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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