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Microsoft does indeed have their own Windows Phone in the works

concept

(Concept Surface phone by YrOnimuS)

Rum: 9

Yesterday we wrote a fairly lengthy article about a new rumor of a Microsoft Windows Phone. The source came via China Times and we were hesitant to believe the claim—after all, no evidence or sources were mentioned.

Still, we pointed out that Microsoft is a large company with a ton of resources. If they wanted to do a phone, they most certainly could pull it off and the Surface Tablets only reinforce the notion that they can do this in secret.

So what has changed? Information has come forward to Windows Phone Central that demonstrates Microsoft does have their own Windows Phone hardware in the works; in fact, we’ve heard it already exists and is in testing. The source(s) are known to us and not anonymous, though for obvious reasons we must keep them off the record.

Details about what it looks like, hardware specifications, launch times, etc. have not been shared with us by the person(s) who have provided the information. The only thing we do know is when compared to current WP8 hardware it’s something unique.

WP Central

Something awry between Microsoft and Nokia?

 

Why is Microsoft doing this?

We speculated yesterday on two possible angles for Microsoft doing their own phone.

One was the Google-Nexus route of selling their own hardware, direct to customers with no carrier interference. Sold through Microsoft Store, the devices could fill in a niche for Microsoft while their OEM partners can have the carriers. This would allow Microsoft to have their own "vision" of Windows Phone and a way to update the devices directly, with no one compromising their vision. In addition, their OEMs will mostly be kept "happy" since unlocked phones are not the crux of their business model.

The other reason we raised was Microsoft maybe wanted a contingency plan—in case the Windows Phone 8 launch doesn’t go well and the currently announced devices don’t catch on. Nokia could be in trouble financially and Microsoft would need another dedicated hardware partner.

A third possibility we've been hearing about for a weeks is tougher to swallow. We have heard rumblings about Nokia focusing too much on the “Lumia” brand as opposed to Windows Phone, which may explain why Microsoft put HTC on a pedestal with the “signature” Windows Phone banter a few weeks ago in New York City.

Interestingly, BGR.com just ran a story where they too are confirming a Microsoft Windows Phone. They note they learned about it weeks ago and our sources appear to be different from theirs (our info came this morning). They do note that it is a “high end” phone but it will not launch with the 1st wave of Windows Phone 8 devices.

Studio C

Microsoft Studio C

 

Microsoft on Lockdown

In an interesting and perhaps related story, the reputable site GeekWire is reporting that areas of the Microsoft campus have substantially beefed up security in recent weeks:

“The company notified employees this week that it will be implementing new physical security measures — limiting employee access at four key Xbox and Interactive Entertainment Business buildings to ensure confidentiality of upcoming products.”

“The changes will affect Microsoft Studios A, B, C, and D, on the west side of state Route 520, starting early next month with Studio A and rolling out to the other buildings by the end of the month.”

GeekWire is rightly claiming this is most likely related to next-gen Xbox console testing, but from our own knowledge Microsoft has some Windows Phone "things" happening in Building C too.

With a Microsoft branded Windows Phone entering into late stages of development, it would make sense that much like the Surface tablets, they would begin to implement tighter security around campus.

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Reader comments

Microsoft does indeed have their own Windows Phone in the works

376 Comments

I'm willing to bet this is the Juggernaut Alpha that we havn't heard anymore about since august. All the announced windows Phone 8 phones have been disgustingly underwhelming and two of the headlining phones dont even use the expandable micro sd tech that was a major point of contention for a lot of the phone 7 user base. We still have yet to see any quad core prototypes or even an intel or tegra based versions.

Yes, we haven't seen the HTC Zenith, at least I hope we haven't, and this is set to launch next year. I have a feeling that we will see more high end hardware next year from HTC, MS, and maybe Nokia. But here is wishful thinking.

Disgustingly underwhelming? 
So far the Lumia 920 and all the HTCs (at the very least) are using the most advanced mobile CPU on the market (Krait). The 8X display is outstanding and the camera even has the HTC camera specific CPU for crazy fast shutter speeds. The Lumia 920 has the most advanced display technology on the market and either the best or second best camera (depending on what you think of the 8X camera). It is also the first smartphone that has built in wireless charging. 
 
You are WAY overemphasizing a minor tech (expanadable micro sd). The fact is that both the 920 and the 8X would be "hero" phones on any mobile OS.

Maybe SD cards are a minor issue for you; for me they are a very important one.
Please understand that one size does not fit all.

I'm just curious.  What would you do with an sd card within a phone other than more memory.  And if it is just for the memory what are you using all that memory for?  I'm really just curious because  few people mentioned they need more memory.  BecauseI never came across a problem with not having enough memory.

Dammit. This is the typical technology world. There's also something new around the corner! Serious first world pains. I am going to ignore this rumor and just stick with the Lumia. It's going to be an amazing phone. What could Microsoft do better?

"A third possibility we've been hearing about for a weeks is tougher to swallow. We have heard rumblings about Nokia focusing too much on the “Lumia” brand as opposed to Windows Phone..."
This is such a ludicrous speculation. Why should Microsoft care at all if Nokia is focusing on the Lumia brand? Should Microsoft care that Samsung is focusing on the ATIV branding (for both phones and Windows 8/RT devices)? If Nokia sells a lot of Lumia handsets, Microsoft gets the royalties, whether Nokia is pushing the Windows Phone brand or not. And it's not as if Nokia can wrest control of the WP ecosystem, like some Android makers can fork their own version. Microsoft still controls the codebase.
 

"... which may explain why Microsoft put HTC on a pedestal with the “signature” Windows Phone banter a few weeks ago in New York City."

A good explanation for HTC using the Windows Phone branding is HTC is just plain unimaginative with coming up with their own brand. The best they can come up for Android was the "One" brand.
 

Yup. plus supporting HTC (the small OEM with the logest track record in mobile...  attacked by Apple and abandoned by Google lawyers) is quite sensible from a strategic point of view with a marketing push, etc. HTC also has better carrier relations in the USA (unlike Nokia).

yeah its very interesting but for nokia its almost a fiasco!
i personally dont think that microsoft can build a phone that has so much quality like a nokia but today enough people are just buying because of scpecs looks good. the smartphone business is a new world where can a tiny issue  destroy the complete phone like display problems like one x or antenna issues iphone or dropped a feet and broke.
Nokia should create something new symbian is gone meltemi is gone meego is gone just s40: They need something big because if windows phone fails in the next 2yeas they have no time left to build up a new ecosystem and os.
So kick Elop out hire a new ceo and then call intel and say hey lets build an impressive meego qwerty onlys 

It's foolish to think a multi-billion $ company like Nokia doesn't have a Plan B or C or D! Their former Chairman said they already saw Symbian slowly dying in 2009 so I'm sure Plan B then was Android and/or WP. But feelers indicated they couldn't get $1B/yr from Google so Elop was hired as CEO in Sept 2010 to broker a deal with MS. Nokia will be fine because I'm sure Plans C, D, & E are already in place. Its MS that needs to hedge for the future!

I wish I had this kind of faith in MS, but they're too comfortable releasing stuff at their own pace. Chances are, it'll be after the next volley of devices launch in October if not next year.
 
That said, how awsome would it be if on October 26th, they pulled an Apple and were all, "Windows Phone Surface: Available for preorder today, shipping to your doorstep on November 9th."

Here's the thing.  What if MS chose Nokia as the hardware partner to manufacture the phone?  Maybe MS wants a phone that doesn't have Nokia on it, isn't engineered, but still is manufactured by Nokia?  That's not out of the question honestly. 

Another possibility is a "Surface Phone" manufactured by different OEM partners at the same time so if you're a fan of a particular OEM, you would gravitate towards that particular WP reference device.

Nokia has closed their manufacturing facilities in Europe to save money. Their phones are made by the same contract manufacturers as everyone else. Microsoft will go to China to make their phone, and will use the $1B a year they're paying Nokia to finance it. (IMHO of course.)

Making their own phones would reduce the cost of providing a free Windows 8 phone to all 94,000 employees as promised. 

Why is everyone worried about MSFT making their own phone?Did Google making Nexus phones killed their partners.No.Then?Google's Nexus devices give boost to its platform everytime.It's the same logic behind MSFT making their own phone.And if #WP8 gets boost because of #MSFT phone,who's gonna benefit?Their partners. TC #Samsung and obviously devs.

So MS is releasing a tablet this fall and phone next year. Nokia is releasing a phone this fall tablet next year. What brand should I go with all in with Microsoft or all in with Nokia hmm.

Why would this make Nokia jump to Android?  They said that producing an Android phone is like peeing in your pants to stay warm.  I don't see this changing anything since Google already makes their own Nexus phones and on top of that, Google also owns their own manufacturer (Motorola).

I'm still getting the 920... Can't be waiting around for the next big thing. If the Surface phone is successful then I will look into getting one with my next upgrade in a couple of years. In the meantime I will still be enjoying my Nokia phone.

Absolutely! That's my plan too! What's missing, now, in the 920, or 8X, or Ativ S, as smartphones that I should wait at all for the rumored "Surface Phone"?! Nothing at all!

As a tech junkie and consumer this is awesome news. It seems if you can look past any built in loyalty to android or ios then Windows Phone has and will have some very nice high end hardware, including a soon to be flagship device from Microsoft itself. Great news.

When you say "uniquie" hardware, what do you mean? quad-core? higher memory? I was already confsued wheather to get 920 or 8x now got a new problem should I wait for this "surface" phone.. but i think this is a good news for the ecosystem tho, the OEMs can suck it up and just say we can do better than what MS is doing like they did with the windows 8 tablets.. exciting stuff but does get my head spinning when it comes to my next windows phone 8 :S

This is not unlike Android with the Nexus. I think it's a great move. This will allow MS to control all aspects of the device ala Apple. Exciting times for wp8. Now, ms and its marketing partners need to kick some major ass to to make this product and ecosystem stick and catch hold. Its too good an o.s. to let slip away and become vapor.

All this is doing is making me not want to get a 1st wave phone. :/
I'd hate to get something now and go into a 2yr agreement only to have my purchase eclipsed by something like this only a few months apart. Sometimes choices suck! lol
 
decisions.. decisions..

Or, NOTHING comes to those who wait, especially tech geeks. If you keep waiting you never buy anything so you end up with NOTHING. Sometimes you end up with crap, like when I waited for the Boxxee Box only to be disappointed about it when it came out. Didn't buy it.
 
For geeks, contrary to what Samusng thinks, the next big thing isn't here, yet.

It's not like any of the first wave devices are bad. And if you wait for this device to come out I bet something newer will be announced. And then you'll be stuck with your current phone forever because your constantly waiting for the next phone to come out.

Yea I get what you're saying, however, this phone will be unique in the sense that it will recieve automatic updates with no carrier interference. Not to mention that it will probably have high end specs. I love all the choices we have now and I know that they are all quality phones but there's a huge benefit to getting a phone that works directly with the software manufacturer. Especially if it looks as nice as it does in these pictures!
 
Having these many options with Windows Phone is great! I just have to go back to the board and figure out what I want to do.

Just remember that MS has actually never built a phone... It might take them 6-8 months to release it. And what would it have that Nokia's 920 hasn't? 

If you want thinner, get the Ativ S! I think Nokia, HTC, Samsung already have in their WP8 devices what anybody would like in a high-end phone!

If it were coming out this year, I'd consider it, but I can't wait any longer for a new phone. I'll be purchasing a Lumia 920 once it's out

Just somewhat hard to imagine that MS has the ability to manage phone hardware development and the supply chain well. Look at Apple and the flaws in various iPhone models. Nokia has the hardware experience. They just fell asleep for too long on OS development.
It's also hard to see a former MS exec have that big of a falling out with the "Mother Ship". Or, why wouldn't MS just go ahead and buy Nokia?

I didn't expect this. In all honesty I thought the Surface was as much a warning to OEM's to get serious about designing quality Windows 8 hardware as it was about creating a unique product. On one hand I think it's pretty exciting, but we all know that quality MS hardware doesn't necessarily create a win. After all the Zune was consistently a better designed device than the ipod and been the unjust butt of tech jokes since before going the way of the dodo.

I swear some people on this site have tunnel vision and don't remember how closely HTC and MS have worked with windows mobile. As for the few ranting that MS is screwing Nokia need to wake up! I know alot of people are turned off by the very name 'Windows' and some have even asked me if my phone every got the blue screen of death... Really? I have been with windows phone since the hd7. I have owned the hd7, focus flash, focus 2 and now a Lumia 900... In fact me and my wife own the 900 and most if my friends and now some of my family use windows phone and most of them don't even care what brand or model it is they are just happy that it runs great. Even got one of my friends to give up his iPhone just by showing him some of the features WP7 has and he tells me time and time again that he loves it more then he every did his iPhone 4 and is getting a 900 this week only because it comes in black and his focus 2 is white and gets dirty at work. My niece is getting a focus 2 instead of an iSomething. I stand behind the brand I love and say that if ms wants to make a phone to set a standard so to speak then let it be, buy the device you want and show them that way and stop be being childish and making outrageous claims and statements. If you support WP then do so without the finger pointing and neysaying.

I'm glad somebody is lol, I support the device I like by buying it not ranting raving about devices that aren't even on the market yet.

@Dan R.

Didn't you guys see this coming long ago when Microsoft filed a phone patent?

No shocker here!

What might come as news later is how Nokia is shedding key components Microsoft cannot use. My guess is their prepping to sell themselves off.

Notice how Nokia sold patents to the same group that handles Microsofts patents.

Hmmm, wassupp with all those selective moves.

No, I don't.

Microsoft, like ALL tech companies, file lots of patents. That doesn't actually mean they are going to make anything. Some of those patents pre-date Windows Phone, so no, i don't think that's indicative.

I think it means what it means: Microsoft likes to have all bases covered, JIK. Patents make money, they could license that to Nokia or HTC or anyone if they wanted. Doesn't mean they're doing they're own hardware.

of course they have windows phones and devices in the works... you think all those Microsoft stores are for xbox and computers only? You think MS is going to let this opportunity pass? Why would they? Phones, tablets/surfaces and eventually 7" tabs are inevitable from microsoft in retail stores.

If this is like the Nexus devices then it will just be the best developer phone (getting fast updates, etc...), but it won't actually be the best phone.

So now where is all the people who will say that Nokia will leave as it tarnishes relationships? What happens next? Do Nokia,HTC & Samsung feel abandoned/threatened or do it like I sad earlier promote competition and sets the bar a la Google Nexus?

So, does this give more credence to the posibility that the Nokia Lumia 920 (and even other phones, except for HTCs) will drop before the Microsoft presser on the 26th of October? 
Could the unveiling of all of WP8 at that conference really be the stage to showcase what MS envisions with WP8 and their own hardware?
Would stink for Nokia, Samsung, HTC for MS to drop an announcement of a 2nd wave phone right as their phones are launching WP8... but who knows...
Google does it with their Nexus line, why can't MS do it with their Surface line?

SWEET!!!! I'm totally waiting for a Microsoft branded Phone. Once again MS is pushing the innovation in computers.

Interesting news! I like the look of the rendered phones, but to really decide looks - wise, I would have to see it in the flesh. Also, phones which are not comfortable to hold are a no-go for me, so I would have to try. I wonder if they will make them in surface-like colours too?
Also, I'm a sucker for good phone cameras and wonder if MS could match the Lumia 920 camera (still unproven by the general public at this stage though).
Just a thought ... for some reason, I think the MS-own phones could be good business phones with their clean, no-frill look.
 
But very interesting ineed. I see lots of choice coming ahead on WP :-) Especially since my contract upgrade is more than a year away! I'm starting to see an advantage in this.
 
(If these babies are ever available outside of the U.S. ... )

While I am sure MS will come up with a premium phone with unique features -- if the Surface is any indication -- I doubt they can engineer a better camera than Nokia's Pureview models, and the camera is a pretty important element for me so I'll go with Nokia this time. That said, I'm sure MS can make a more attractive phone than any other OEM (except maybe Nokia). 
 
You know what, I miss a kickstand on large-screen phones (thinking of the HTC EVO), it's a very useful feature. If they're going to make a Surface pohone I hope they can engineer an attractive and useful kickstand onto the body. 
 
Other things MS could be working on with the Surface phone:
- Smart covers (there's been some patents going around about this)
- Dual-screen phones
- Gestures! 
- I always wanted a phone with a detachable Bluetooth headset... I know, it's kind of a pipe dream, but please try it MS! Imagine that: you never lose it or leave it behind because there's a slot for it in the phone (it also charges it). The Bluetrek Metal Evolution is superthin, I'm sure the earpiece can also be engineered to be foldable or small enough for storage. 
 
 
 

I'm not too sure about this info being accurate, and if it is, that it's a good idea.  I'd hate to get into a two year contract with a new phone this year and find out that MS has a better phone of their own coming out mid-next year.  If that's what's going to happen, just tell us now and we can all wait to see what they've got.  MS announced the surface for W8 before anyone else produced a W8 tablet, so why wait on a MS WP8? 
However, I do think it likely that they already have such a thing in their HQ... it's probably a device that's capable of adapting to whatever new thing other manufacturers dream up as well as those of their own creative teams, so that they can design the code to work best in the OS.   Maybe all this speculation is much ado about something they never intend to put on the market? 
Whatever they have planned, I'm pretty confident they're on the right track with W8 and WP8.  Just hope they don't muck it up.

I've never gotten into a contract and not seen a better phone arrive before the end of the contract. You just get the best phone available, and then spend the next 2 years coveting all the new stuff that gets released to make sure you re-up at the end. That's just the way of the tech world, man.

I still doubt it--they nay have a contingency with no plans to release it but I don't believe Microsoft would be this ruthless. If it is true I will certainly be cancelling my plans for Surface and may even switch to another platform. Perhaps I'll follow Nokia wherever they go.

What's ruthless about it? It's not like Nokia is a blind, three-legged puppy that Microsoft adopted out of mercy...

Nokia could have been selling millions of Nexuses by now but Microosft convinced them to exclusivley partner up on Windows Phone instead and Nokia has done wonders on their end. WP would be all but dead now if not for Nokia and even with Nokia's drive, WP's viability is still not certain. Do you think there is a chance Nokia would have cancelled their plans for Android had they known Microsoft was going to suckerpunch them 2 years later. If it true I hope Nokia just goes all in on Andoid and MS and go pound sand--I'll still have to make my living from .NET though!

And you know Nokia would have sold millions of Android phones how? What part of Samsung is the only one making money off of android is hard to understand, especially when Nokia themselves said long ago that Android was going to cost OEMs and it has.

Think about it. Because Nokia is a much better brand than HTC and even a bit better than Samsung. Can you imagine how sought after a high-end Android with Pureview would be--it could be giving the SGIII a run for its money.
As long as Nokia remains the premium vendor on WP and doesn't get stabbed in the back by Microsoft, I still think their WP only strategy will pay off big time in the long run though. But it is a risky enough strategy as it is without Microsoft waylaying them.

Mythos13, are you naive or what! Probably you are "what"! Nokia is a billion dollar company so do you think they would just jumped into WP without considering Android? I'm sure they did except Google probably wouldn't give them the $1B/yr which MS was willing to give! MS needed them but they also needed MS - it's a symbiotic relationship that benefits both! Not a one-way street that only benefits MS! Stop pretending as if Nokia got the short end of the bargain!

And why not? Everybody is free to come and go as they please! That includes Nokia, HTC, and Samsung too! As for me, I left Android for the Windows Phone OS so I'll stick with whatever OEM has the best device for my needs which has WP in it, and which happens to be the 920 at this point.

I'll be buying my wife the 920 for sure. But I'll hold on to my 900 till I'm sure what I want. Still have a while on contract anyway.

If you always wait to buy the latest you'll never own anything. When MS finally comes out with their phone Nokia will have another great device coming and then you'll be saying, I'll wait for that. And then when that's about to come out, HTC announces a phone with a teleporter and then you wait for that. :-) anyway, my point is, technology is moving very fast and you'll never enjoy any of it if you are always waiting.

Thank you. All the commenters are acting like they've never bought a thing in their lives before. You either jump in at some point and are happy with it until you decide to buy another, or, like you said, you end up waiting forever with your old device. Or I guess you could always buy the newest as soon as it come out, but you'd probably go broke.

You are 100% correct!  There will always be something newer and better.  Personally I like all the new WP8 devices.  There's something for everyone in each one of the newly announced phones.  My favorite is the Lumia 920.  If it were expandable to 64GB it would be PERFECT!  On the otherhand, I lament in Microsoft for not building their own devices in the first place.  They should have build a Zune phone and then improved on that just like the XBox.  It's easy for me to wait and see what happens because I'm on TMobile and in all likelihood they will not release a L920 version.  I like the L820 but not that much that I couldn't wait another year.  And I know by then Nokia might release the perfect phone, but I doubt it would be relased on TMobile.  That's where MS comes in (hopefully) if they release a Hero device it maybe available on all networks.  Then I wouldn't be sitting around to see if some OEM will deem it important to release their best phone on the carrier I currently have.  IMO. 
 
 

I don't know. I'm planning on buying a 920 out of contract unlocked around early 2013. Unless if the Surface Phone is fundamentally better than the 920 in the hardware specs, I'll seriously consider. My main thing is that if it's on GSM network and has a microSD card along with 64-128 gigs of internal storage. But I think Nokia is safe in the specs showdown. And they make a red Lumia 920! :P

Screw Microsoft I go where Nokia goes, its time for nokia to start making android devices as a backup plan and get their navigation of the wp. Nokia should say to Microsoft, make your fucking mind up or Im jumping to android in which case WP is fucked.

Absolutely! Everyone is free to come and go as they please! That includes Nokia too! As for me, I love the WP OS so I'll stick with MS.

Unless they allow Nokia build this phone, it's no dice for me. This is not because of some fanboyism, but because Nokia knows how to build a quality phone, they have knowledge in camera tech, mapping and design.

Why is something better always announced right before the next big thing is almost in my hands! I just don't know what to do... Patience...

Of course, it would be amusing to see MS come out with a phone that doesn't use USB or wireless charging, but a 'whole new plug' that no one else has, with a touch screen that's 'the best ever' when it isn't, and a whole new pair of earphones that don't sound good, with app that don't work ... just to see the iPhrauds rant about how wrong MS is to do that to consumers. 

My question is when will this be officially announced (If true), when is the next big Microsoft event/keynote? Second about when will 2nd wave phones be released like July 2013?

This doesn't change my purchase plans very much at all. I wanted either the Lumia 920 or 8X at launch and will be grabbing one with my carrier discount (being on tmo, that will likely be the 8X). When the Microsoft phone comes out, if I really want one, I'll buy it unlocked. Microsoft isn't stupid and is in this to make WP a viable competitor to Apple and Droid. They aren't going to drive away their partners, and are fully capable of building a distinctive product. As for Nokia, I'm not sure why everyone is in love with the company. They weren't on board when WP launched, and moved to WP strictly as a business move to survive as a viable company (I also don't see them rushing over to android to tale on Sasung at thus point in their company life cycle). The fact is, companies rarely deserve such love (ie. Apple), and fans who fall in to that trap often end up blindly talking to each other in an echo chamber. As far as I'm concerned, the more options the better - and if Microsoft is able to set the bar for other manufacturers with their own product, so much the better. More and potentially better options for us in the long run (which unlike most of the posters here is exactly what each of these companies is focused on).

I agree with this. Seeing that their partners are not willing to throw out monet at the OS. SAMMY,HTC

Whether this is significant depends on pricing and availability. If this is 699 and only available at the Microsoft store ... It will be niche.

If they do go head to head with Nokia, then Nokia would be stupid to not look at Android to maintain volume and stay in business.

I honestly think it will be pricey and niche, like surface. The only other viable theory is that MS really do want to branch into hardware, but i think that is the wrong move for them. It would be like Apple trying to get into maps ;)

Welp, Microsoft just snatched my money right out of Nokia's mouth.  I'll be getting a Surface this year, and holding off for a Surface Phone next year or whenever.

It really doesn't bother me if MS comes out with their new phones, because either way I will be getting a new Windows Phone from T-mobile. I just hope 920 comes or I will be getting HTC 8X or Nokia 820.

I'm waiting for the HTC phone with a teleporter!  AWESOME!!  I'll give one to all the peole I don't like with pre-set coordinates that will send them to the moon when they open the app!!!  AWESOME!!!!
 
 

What people in these comments seem to fail to realize...is that if this really exists, it won't be on the market for at least 6-12 months.

I'm not a fanboy, I look at products. Right now Nokia's 920 is my next phone because it's the one that stands out and it has everything I need (base on available specs and pictures). Now, to all the fanboys, what tells you that Microsoft's phone will be better than Nokia's?

Apps? Well, those apps will be on Microsoft's OS, which is the same OS that all the other OEMs use. So i guess they'll be available to every WP user. If they are not available to everyone at launch, they will be sooner or later for sure.

Updates? Well, only people in the US have issues with that. Your carriers really have too much power. In other countries like in South Africa, it's not always the case. Plus, I've always been able to update my phone using the trick that Wpcentral showed. I got all my updates as soon as they were available.

Hardware? Well, I doubt that Microsoft will be able to out perform Nokia when it comes to that. Even though they got the Surface, really Microsoft is not known for their breath taking designs.

Bottom line, MS getting in the game just makes the whole ecosystem better. Fanboys don't get this because they get emotional. Rational people will see that this, if it's true, is a good thing for the ecosystem.

Another thing is that MS already gave OEMs a head start so let's be fair here. Moreover, I am ready to bet my current Windows phone when I say that all OEMs always knew this (if it's true of course).

Great times for Windows Phone ahead.

Selling only to the customers who want an unlocked WP is a very small market for a very big investment
It doesn't make financial sense and won't attract much market share so there appears little to back up the unlocked service model only.
Also this leak is exactly that and should have been stopped because I can guess three things are going on
1. Some folk are now considering delaying their WP8 purchase until they see the MS offering (BAD!)
2. Nokia won't have known anything about this and makes their precarious position even more fraught (BAD!)
3. The MS WP won't be out until this time next year to give the current OEM's more of the market to help them build momentum for subsequent and additional handsets
Lastly, if it is a Surface phone please please please include a stand just as you do on the Surface.

One of the ways that OEMs differentiate their phones are by the available applications.  Nokia of course has a huge range of Lumia only apps.  How could MS compete in this realm?  I highly doubt they would release apps exclusive to their phones.  The only differentiating factor would have to be hardware, but from what I've seen, Nokia and HTC are getting pretty darn good in that arena.

If MS makes a phone, it would be to fill a niche not currently tilled by existing OEMs.

The Corporate market.

It would be business focused, cutting out consumer related fat, but adding business goodies.

So I think we may see a smaller phone (3.8" screen) with extra ports and a physical keyboard.

Wow.  Who would have thunk.  Microsoft vs Nokia??
I just didnt think Microsoft would want to compete against Nokia.  It didnt make since with all the innovations Nokia had.  I thought it was more likely that Microsoft would buy Nokia.
 
If, this is true. I eat my words.

This is great! I hope this phone directly competes with the iphone in weight and size.... something no other windows phone has attempted.

This is great! I hope this phone directly competes with the iphone in weight and size.... something no other windows phone has attempted.

Also its very short sighted to say this pits microsoft vs nokia. Improving the wp8 ecosystem helps all the phones running wp8 at this juncture.

I just might instead skimp out on the Lumia 920 and get this. I will see what happens as I can not completely decide yet. Nokia does have interesting things.

comments are pouring in.... if not said before, here is my point: What if this is a joint MS/Nokia product? In that case:

  1. it gets the hype and fame
  2. Nokia benifits
  3. MS benefits
  4. OS benefits
  5. fans will be proud

Lets do this :)

Unless the MS Surface Phone has somethin unique, I will wait for next spring or summer to replace my L710 with another Nokia, hopefully waiting that Nokia's Pureview camera will trickle down to the mid-range devices (Lumia 830?).
Nokia has always had rock solid reception and voice quality.  I know it sounds odd, but I use my phone as a phone.  

Hey, nothing wrong with using a phone as a phone. Good voice quality is a key factor for me as well.

Maybe the "big WP8 secret" is Microsoft buying Nokia and then releasing the MS-branded phone, LOL!

While I would be happy to see a "MS" branded device, what is to stop them from selecting Nokia, a prized partner, as the manufacturer of their device?  Its not like MS has cell phone designers and factories just sittling idle waiting to build something for 2013.  They will need a partner... and what if this is a fall back plan to Nokia not surviving on its own? Or HTC, Acer, Sony , etc not wanting to "commit" whole heartedly and independently. Microsoft isn't going this alone - and I bet there are lots of backroom secret negotiations that these vendors know about... Too many variables to really make any educated guesses at this point. 

Even if M$ releases their own phone, lets be realistic about what you can expect. Obviously it will meet the Windows Phone standard spec sheet with maybe the S4 Pro thrown in if it's truly high end.

However, I can't see an in-house MS phone featuring anything close to OIS. Why, because Nokia's the only one to even try in the cell phone space. Lets just say MS matches the spec sheet of the 920/Ativ/HX on everything else; would you still really choose their phone over the 920 or HX.

The surface is being introduced in an emerging market were there's lots of engineering room to grow. The cell phone market is swimming with great whites. Even if the render was the actual phone (awesome rendering) I'd still be inclined to take a look at the company with the coolest tech and its hard to imagine MS coming anywhere close to Nokia in that front out the gate.

Is it possible that this would be released as a developer phone only, so that Microsoft could give phones away to developers and what not and not show "favoritism"? I know it seems late to be making a phone just for developers, but you never know.

Man I hope they do come out with this Device.. I'm already going to get a Surface Pro and to have a Phone Surface would be Sweet. This for sure would be the phone I would get if indeed it does come out.. If not then I would look at one of the other Windows 8 Devices..  :)

Who takes more sales, the nexus or galaxy s3, galaxy of course... Same thing with the lumia line. The lumia line will continue to have more sales. Ms is talking about one high end phone where nokia takes low, mid, and high with their high end being a beast of a phone. So thumbs up to MS for finally bringing their own phone but nokia will continue to win just like the s3 beats the nexus.

I buy a phone based on hardware and OS, not by the name of the phone. Right now I have an opportunity to get a new phone when the new WP8 releases and L920 and 8x have good hardware. Something new is always around the corner, if I wait now,I'll always be waiting. Bring on the current WP8 now. They offer more than enough to keep me happy now.

Also as a comment on the part of the article that speculates it's because they can push the updates directly to this phone.  Didn't they say at their WP8 tease earlier this year that with the new OTA-update system they can do this anyway?

What I think Microsoft is doing is becoming a complete solutions company. From Software to Hardware. They're trying to be the best of both worlds, ie: Google and Apple. There is really no reason why Microsoft has a stock price in the $20's or $30's, when both Apple and Google are in the $600's - $700's. Adding real hardware to their portfolio, as long as it does well, can only improve their standing financially. They will always need the manufacturing partners to continue to achieve and maintain their market presence, so I don't think that will ever change. 
As far as Nokia goes, they are ddefinitelyone of the more innovative tech companies out there. Even with their financial troubles. They seem to be pushing the bboundariesacross all of their platforms, so I ddon'tthink it will be the end of Nokia, if WP fails them. They have more to offer than just phones. But having said that, people are looking for something different and WP and Nokia are providing that. It will take time for sure, though... 

Hmmm can't say I'm sure this is a good idea, but if it brings more visibility to the OS and does not compete direcly with Nokia ( by being sold only at full price) it will be good overall. That being said I will buy the lumia 920 because there is no chance the surface phone will beat the lumia 920

 
I don't blame MSFT for at least exploring making their own phone, if nothing more than get some experience in phone hardware. Everyone is so concerned about Nokia, but if WP8 doesn't pan out, does anyone doubt it will take its Lumia hardware straight to Android. The same with HTC. Wasn't the Verge already saying they wish the 8X had Android?! Apple makes the hardware and software and Google now owns Motorola, so why would MSFT leave themselves to get caught with their pants down?  Despite what many people want and some analysts predict, it's not a foregone conclusion that Nokia will become a MSFT property. 
And I think it's no more frivolous to want matching hardware (phones and tablets) than brightly colored phones

I am with @rx74ray on this. I don't see MS throwing Nokia under the bus after all their efforts. Nokia still has a very large presence in the emerging markets. MS knows that very well. What are the odds of Nokia making the product and ms branding it as surface phone or something else??

Nokia should definitely expand into the Android market.  Release a Quad-Core Android phone with Pureview camera/Nokia Maps and let the market decide what people want.  Royalty to MS only invites back stabbing like they did to PC OEMs with Surface.  Each company should look after the best interest of the phone users and their shareholders.

If Nokia does that, they would loose the $1B annual subsidy they're getting from MS! Maybe they should do it later but not now when they still need MS' money.

Just thought of something. What if the big secret for the WP launch / OS reveal is that M$ wants to show the WP8 software running on M$ branded hardware (i.e. Surface phone)

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that is probably gonna be an xbox branded windows phone 8 device. If so, I'm hoping for a 5" 1080p ips display, custom quad core qualcom processor/w custom graphics chip, 2 gigs of ram, and at least 32gigs of storage. Who really knows though, chances are it's probably a enterprise centric device.

I'm upgrading to the 8x when it comes out so I really could not give a sh*t about a surface phone. I mean, Do you really think that the FIRST phone Microsoft will release is going to be THAT great? I'll stick with with HTC for two more years

Whatever this is, its really bad news for Nokia. Judgeing by the Surface, it surely will be a kick-ass device, Microsoft will not slip on this.It will definately take out a good chunk of Nokias piece of the WP8-cake.
 
Even if its only available in MSFT-stores and on windowsphone.com. There is a market for free/unlocked phones in Europe and elsewhere. Around here its generally cheeper to pay upfront for a free phone as opposed to a 2-year contract + cheap phone.

Uh...you haven't listed any evidence or sources either, same as China Times.
It's understandable since I'm sure you have to protect your source, but the same thing goes for China Times. Both of you are saying "well, we heard from somebody a secret..."
Not that I doubt the veracity of your story about Microsoft producing a phone, but I'd just like to point out the hypocrisy. You can't really criticize China Times about not submitting any actual evidence and then not produce any yourself...

Unless it's announced before the 920 launches and blows it out of the water then I'm still going with Nokia. I've been able to upgrade since June and decided to wait for WP8. My Android device is dated and lost its appeal to me even with flashing a different ROM every month so I need to upgrade ASAP. I'm sure a Microsoft phone will be nice, but unless they rip off Nokia with the display and camera technology, then I don't see it comparing.

So you said that chinese site didn't have any source to back up their claim, and then go on to say you can't reveal your source(s)? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!!!

I don't want to wait for a phone anymore... I think I'll get the Lumia 920 anyway....
 
My samsung focus flash is too thin and small... It 's hard to grab while writing in protrait mode

I also remembered that Microsoft are giving all their employees a WP8 phone and PC/Laptop. It'd be kinda strange if they hand out all these devices and then they release their own right?
As another poster said, is this what all the silence is about?

 
I'm wondering who the manufacturing partner will be. I can see either Nokia or Sharp.
One big thing Nokia's got going for it is it's suite of exclusive WP apps. So whle this phone may be first-party, it may not be the 'best' even on the software side.
One thing that would suck, and I mean really suck, is if Microsoft had some exclusive apps of their own (Kin Studio anyone?). But noone would be that stupid? Right?

Well I mean when will know about this Microsoft phone? If I get a 920 in a few weeks and MS decides to release mid 2013 how cool is that?

I believe this is true and this windows phone is the "Juggernaut Alpha" that appeared on windows bench sometime ago.

damm this confused me =(, my MS products always been very professional.
but in reallity look how long they take to release things, im looking for surface pro, but  im still wating and dont know if its gonna be available for xmas, since im in Australia maybe even longer. i got a lumia atm and the phone,support and apps from nokia its been great..
i do think MS is capable of the phone since they already invested on making the tablets (hardware,desings.etc) will be just another step. so surface RT -> Surface pro -> wp surface?

Microsoft is doing exactly what it needs to do to ensure its future in the market. With Nokia promoting the lumia brand over windows phone, and with strong brand recognition growing for that name, all it would take would be for Elop to be ousted for Nokia to start building android lumia devices. With the popularity of android this could quickly crush any gains windows phone has made. Microsoft needs its own high profile devices to maintain the windows phone brand. While HTC has some nice devices, I doubt they can single handedly hold market and mindshare for windows phone.                         [paragraph - IE10]            This shouldn't hurt nokia in the short term, and given that we know nothing about Microsoft's planned device, I can't see people putting off purchases based on this. Nokia's devices are just about here and look very impressive. If Microsoft outs a nice device in 6 months then that will be the device of choice for people who want to buy a phone in that time frame, but contracts are 2 years and 6 months is a fairly big portion of that, so unless there is no WP8 device that you feel suits your needs, then there is no need to delay your purchase. Even if a few of us who follow WP were to delay getting a WP8 based on this information, remember that this represents a veeery small portion of the smart device market, and most people just get a new handset every 2 years instead of waiting for a specific new device. It is therefore unlikely that this news will hurt Nokia.

Assuming this article is correct and this "possible" phone is in the late testing phase, I'm hoping it will be released with the Surface Pro Tablet.  Now that is an event I want to see.
I'm going to wait a bit either way because I'm happy with my HTC Trophy for now and I'm not sure I'll have enough money to buy both tablet and the phone at full retail (I'm on Verizon and plan on keeping my unlimited data, therefore I must pay full price).

I agree.  I think they'll wait to release it with the Surface Pro tablet.  This would do wonders for the "Surface" branding and keep the other OEMs somewhat happy by giving them a 3 month headstart.

I'm buying the 920 because it's WP8 and it fits what I want/ need in a phone now. I'm buying it not because it's a Nokia but because it's WP. I left Android for WP7 last Dec 2011 so if the OS is advanced by MS coming out with their reference phone, or niche phone, or business phone, or whatever phone, I'm all for it. But for now, its Nokia for me!

The more, the merrier I say. To all of u crying foul, go get your binky and suck on it. This can only help WP. Once consumers start seeing more choices with WP, the more they'll see it as a viable option. Oh yeah, whoever wants to get rid of their Nokia stock, give it to me, I'll take it.

SURFACE IS NEEDED BECAUSE ALL MS PARTNERS [OEMS] ALREADY HAD A PLAN B :
HP - WEBOS TABS
DELL - ANDROID TABS, UBUNTU LOVE
SAMSUNG - GALAXY TAB, MULTIPLE OS
 
 
SAME WITH PHONES:
HTC, SAMSUNG,  - HAV ANDROID PHONES
EXCEPT OFCOURSE NOKIA - BUT IT MAY CHANGE GEARS TO ANDROID OR ALTERNATIVES AS SOON AS LUMIA IS NOT AS MUCH A SUCCESS AS ANTICIPATED.

So, my theory about Microsoft's strategy is that they're essentially doing A/B testing with HTC and Nokia for the WP8 launch.
- HTC phones are being marketed and pushed as "Windows Phone" in primary naming/branding of the devices.
http://www.htc.com/us/smartphones/htc-wp-8x/
- Nokia phones are marketed as "Nokia Lumia" with predominance given to the Lumia name. The "Powered by Windows Phone" indicators are much less noticeable in much of their materials and "Windows" is only mentioned once, way down the page, in the product info at  the URL below.
http://www.nokia.com/us-en/products/phone/lumia920/
The difference in naming/marketing strategy is significant and intentional. My hunch is that Microsoft is aware of the negative perception that Windows has. So, in  order to test the theory, they launch similar phones ( in specs and polycarbonate color ) with different branding to see which one performs better. They can use the information to drive future naming strategies with Windows 8 and WP8+ and potentially a future "Surface Phone" - or perhaps a "Windows Phone 8 - Surface".
 

A Surface phone would be great. It will boost WP8's market share which will indirectly help increase Nokia's market share as well.

Maybe they're doing it to lower nokia's stock price and then do a buyout once it goes under a dollar? everyone pays nokia patents on a shitton of stuff, and MS has a lot patents as well. it might add to their portfolio?

Windows 8 is a true revolution - particularly for business. Now we can have Windows 8 (2013)servers in our business, Windows 8 desktops in our offices, Windows 8 Surfaces in our briefcases and Windows 8 phones in our pockets.  All of them capable of running Office and all the other business software we've paid for over the years and will pay for going forward. This is precisely what just about every business on the planet has been waiting for for a very long time.
However, do I really need to carry around both a Nokia 920 in my pocket and a Surface tablet in my briefcase?  Or can I make the two devices integrate with each other and work better while taking up less space on my person?  Why do I even need a screen on my phone if I already have a bigger, better screen on my Surface?  If I use the Surface screen for Internet activities do I need to pay for a big expensive 4" screen on my phone just to use as a dialpad? 
There's a lot of room for innovation.  A "Surface Companion" phone would be a no-brainer. Simply tether it to the Surface and voila!  However there would be little or no interest in making such a device for OEMs (Nokia, HTC, Samsung, etc).  Perhaps this is what Microsoft's doing.

If this wasn't actually happening, I find it strange that NO ONE from Microsoft has outright denied it.

Seems like an ar$$hole move to announce something like this just a few weeks away from the launch of OEM phones.

I'll admit I'm not Apple or Google fan but Microsoft are by far the most interesting company out there in terms of the hardware and software they're creating at the moment.
I don't see anything new from Apple (just evolution) nor do I hear of anything new. Google likewise.
But MS seem to be really pushing it at the moment.
Can't wait to see what they come up with next!

If the phone you see today does what you want then get it.  If you wait for the newest phone that will be release in 4 months (there is always one) then you will never actually buy a phone.

I hate to break the news to all of you.   BUT surface phone is not in the work, but rather a remote control for the surfaceRT and pro.  Will enable you to play media and games at the comfort of your couch.  LOL>

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Future residents will be able to walk to the existing Bugis MRT. With such a short drive to the city area as well as the orchard and bugis area, entertainment for your love ones and family will come at a stone’s throw away.
DUO Residences

It is a short drive away from Woodlands and Admiralty MRT Station. Future residents will be able to walk to the nearby Vista Point or a short drive to Causeway Point for some family fun and gatherings. A truly unique lifestyle awaits you. Forestville EC

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