Microsoft Rumored to Market Own-Brand Smartphone

Rumors have surfaced of a Microsoft brand WP8 smartphone currently in development.

After rumors began circulating from the China Times that Microsoft is developing its own original smartphone for Windows Phone 8, others sources including WPCentral and BGR have since followed up to see if there is any merit behind the claim. 

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WPCentral first responded to the rumor by pointing out there is no reason to believe Microsoft couldn't develop its own phone, but many reasons to speculate about what would be motivating the company in the event this is indeed its plan. The main grounds for doubt are Microsoft's partnerships with Nokia, HTC, and Samsung as they prepare to roll out Windows Phone 8 devices following a wider Windows 8 launch at the end of October. 

A second possibility is that Microsoft is looking to market a smartphone that can be sold directly to its customers, along the lines of Google's Nexus, without any carrier or vendor to mediate. This would put Microsoft in competition not only with Apple and Google over choice of OS, but also with its own partners over the sale of hardware. 

The final possibility follows from the second, which is that Microsoft may be looking for a contingency plan if the Nokia, HTC, and Samsung devices do not secure enough of a foothold for Windows Phone 8 in the growing and crucial mobile market. 

New information has come forward on WPCentreal through unnamed sources, suggesting that a Microsoft smartphone is already in the development and testing stages. No information was provided about appearance, hardware specifications, and launch times, but WPCentral notes that the sources are known to them and not anonymous.

In a separate report drawing on different unnamed sources, BGR has also revealed that Microsoft is working on an own-brand smartphone, but that the company is unlikely to bring the phones to market simultaneously with the Nokia, HTC, and Samsung models operating on Windows Phone 8. 

The quiet approach taken by Microsoft is something to keep a close eye on, as it raises many questions about how the company plans to adapt as the web continues its advance over PCs. News that Google has overtaken Microsoft in market capitalization highlights the trend, and while Microsoft is a diverse, resourceful, and historically innovative company, its challenges in the mobile arena are considerable.