The 'Designed for Microsoft Lumia' program lets third-parties make official accessories for new Windows Phones

Microsoft announced the new Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL and Lumia 550 smartphones earlier this week, and third-party companies such as Finland-based Mozo and Sweden-based Krusell have already been named as "official" case makers for those phones, complete with a "Designed for Microsoft Lumia" logo.

This new logo looks to be a legit program started by Microsoft to shuffle off accessory production from themselves to third-party companies on an official scale.

Krusell

However, so far Microsoft has not yet indicated it will offer its own cases for the new Lumia phones as it has with previous devices in the family. As MobileFun.co.uk points out, Microsoft has not yet listed any such cases on the official pages of the new Lumia smartphones.

Instead, Microsoft may have decided to abandon that part of the phone business in favor of giving "official" case licenses to third-parties. We have contacted Microsoft to see if we can get more information on their cases strategy for their new Lumias.

Meanwhile, Mozo says it will take pre-orders for its new Lumia cases soon on its website. Krussell is also showing off its cases for the phones on its site, including the Boras FolioWallet for the Lumia 950XL that's designed to also hold credit cards, and the Boden cover for the Lumia 950 that has a one-piece design made to quickly snap on the back of the phone.

Even better? Many of these cases will be Qi-enabled too. This solution essentially solves the "what about this color?" problem for potential customers. Microsoft offloading the risk of production and distribution to professionals is a good idea and inline with their current program of focusing on what they are good at.

What do you think? Is Microsoft taking the right approach here? Do you like what Krussel and Mozo have revealed so far? Sounds off in comments.

Source: Krussel, Mozo Accessories; Via MobileFun.co.uk

251 Comments
  • I like this idea.
  • Perfect approach for msft to take. Guess I will finally get my metal rimmed lumia phone :)
  • Agree. I like the official idea. Best case I ever had was the Nokia designed one for the Lumia 920. Perfect fit.
  • This is the best approach... style wise.
  • All, Correct me if I'm wrong... Wasn't this phone supposed to feature some type of "smartcover" that shows who's calling or something via Glance?
  • Maybe they'll launch that when wm10 is complete, along with new Skype and that feature. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I really miss that case, I bought 3 of them in different colours just to mix it up..
  • Yeah, omg, I want the L950XL again.
  • These cases transform the phones. From feeling a bit 'meh' about them after the leaks, I'm now seriously thinking it will be difficult for any Surface phone to look better than that brown leather one.
    Brilliant.
  • The best thing about some of them - they are not cases but replacement covers - thus not all adding bulk! :)
  • I love this idea too.
  • Indeed, this fixes at least one of the gripes! Although unfortunately can't fix the front, but already being able to have a metal(-covered plastic) rim and some other materials will at least give a better feel in the hand! Although I still think that if Surface phone comes out with similar design as Surface tablets, it will give Lumias with covers a run for its money.
  • Red, just red.
  • i think you mis-spelled yellow :)
  • YES! A metal rim was at the top of my wish list for the 950XL! I was dissapointed when the phones didnt have it. These are sexy! an absolute no-brainer for me. My contract is up for renewal with rogers (in canada) so a phone switch seemed like the stars had aligned. ..until of course the rumour that NONE of the canadian carriers are carrying 950 or 950XL! SMH. FML.
    $1000 is a lot to pay for a phone outright.
  • Get a phone Rogers is offering when you renew your contract (ie Galaxy S6), sell it on Kijiji and use the difference to help pay for the Lumia.
  • I like the black and brown leather ones. I might just have to buy both and switch them out. Can't do that with an iPhone!
  • I love it because it means we're not just limited to what Microsoft comes up with, there are endless possibilities, limited to only who bothers to make cases. We have options, I love it!
    I hope we get a nice variety of different covers and cases, some that are just different colors, and some that serve different needs (Like the wallet case). After all, if companies like Otterbox start making cases, they can be a little thinner since they can grip the phone itself, as opposed to resting on top of it.
    I don't know about everyone else, but I personally love the idea of my phone being a different color based on whatever whim I'm feeling that day.
  • My only problem so far is if they will keep a stock in the Microsoft store for these cases. As shipping from their site is expensive, €15 for UPS to the states. Which is a lot if you consider the cost of the case itself. Granted, that isn't stopping me as I am ordering one for my 640 as their back covers look wonderful!  
  • That's true. But since this is an official Microsoft program: We can hope they're featured in-Store.
    They were on display at the event, so that's a good sign.
  • The 640 case is also offical, just Microsoft gave up on it so fast in terms of stocking and availablity a long with US carriers, which is sad as I think it is a great bang for your buck
  • I think it's fine. But then, I'm Swedish, so I don't think shipping will be expensive here ;-D
  • Haha at least not the krussel ones, they are in pretty much every store. 
  • are mozo cases for 640 any good? do you already have one? how is the texture on the back? buttons are ok? they look awesome on the picture, but i am a little hesitant to buy one. So far, i ordered one for 4€ from aliexpress, and buttons on that one are rubbish. tnx :)
  • Placing the order next week. WIll let you know once I get it. From the way the specs were they seem the same as the ones that the 950s are getting.
  • I was just in a MS store playing with everything (except for the 950 - humbug!) and they said they've already got boxes of covers for both 950 & XL in stock, but aren't sure when the phones will hit the floor.
  • You should be able to buy it on Amazon before too long.  Amazon already carries a bunch of Mozo cases for other Lumia phones.
  • me too
  • They look great.
  • But I want MS to make these beautiful cases(or get thirparities to do it for them). cos these third party cases don't have the great new MS log on it.
  • The wallet case does, actually. I think it's at the discretion of the case maker. I could be wrong, but the wallet case suggests that case makers are free to use the Microsoft logo.
  • The Microsoft logo is a plus!
  • I prefer my cases clean. Microsoft doesn't pay me to show of their logo. 
  • This is a new logo. and I think it adds bit of glamor to the phone. still its just my opinion.but definitely new MS log is better than "M Mozo" logo that you will have on these cases.
  • Really sexy! Solved my worries that i had to be stuck with B/W options only!
  • I like the idea, too. The shell/case idea for the phone does make it more flexible and less bulky once you consider customizations.  But, I think that if we're going to have limited carrier availability they should probably make licensing fees next to nothing.  Otherwise, who would want to license it if there are not enough units being sold due to lack of retail surface area?  Golly, I hope they explain better their carrier position.  I have resolved that I'm ok with Microsoft Store, I'm lucky to live near one.  But what about those that don't or that want an XL on AT&T or that aren't with AT&T.  I feel back for fellow Lumia fans that just won't have easy hands-on access to these units.
  • US is not the world, these phones will be widely available in Europe so case makers should see good sales.
  • I like this idea as well. Too bad the manufacturers of the cases they were showing off did not add wireless charging. At the demo unit, the employee said manufacturers can easily add the wireless charging to the cases. Let's hope future cases add that capability. Wireless charging adds zero bulk to the case.  
  • Ironically, by reverting to removable back covers (which I highly approve of, BTW, even if it adds 1mm of thickness) Microsoft has effectively returned to Nokia's roots. "More Nokia than Nokia," you might say: http://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/posts/Try-Out-All-Different-Cases.jpg I sincerely hope to see a cottage industry pop up for these phones--which should be feasible now that budget Lumia phones aren't introduced and phased out every few months. That black Mozo case already looks fantastic (white looks good too, but I suspect the leather will get dingy in a hurry). And instead of a bulky case outside: Drop your phone? Just swap in a new back.
  • Is that really metal on those cases? You felt them right? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It's metal coated.
  • It is probably aluminum in order to match the buttons on L950XL.
  • nice.. I don't have to worry about plastic body anymore....
  • YUP! It's just amazing that we get to literally customise the body of the device and even add metal and leather. I hope someone does a matte blue suede.
  • It's one of the best ideas they could have. Apple and Samsung don't make nearly 1/4 of the available accesories that exist for their phones. Accesories are important to people, and so is a wide varaity of choices for them. I think this is going to cause more interest in the Lumia line. I just hope that, plus universal apps, is enough to at least break a 5% market share over the next year. 
  • Well nokia never consistently had cases that were molded to fit just universal holsters
  • Can you imagine if they had shown these 950 and 950xl with these cases on them at the reveal event?!
  • I agree. My fiance just got a really nice one for her 640. I was very impressed.
  • I am soo getting the brown leather one... although the red and gold is also super hot... maybe get both :-P Awesome way to go IMHO. Nice with some high quality 3rd party support. 
  • Cool.
  • I hope you can use one of those metal-leather ones for the review ^^
  • Except they don't have the Windows logo on them. Wtf??
  • One of them does......which means they must have the option to include this - I like the logo too and would therefore choose only those that have the logo.
  • +1 consider 1 or 2 of the cases too
  • Indeed! This is what I'm wishing for ever since for Lumia. Now Microsoft have to push this on all of their Microsoft Stores around the globe, that includes the concept Microsoft Stores converted from old Nokia Stores. I hope that Microsoft tries to make a deal and shipped these accessories together with the devices so any stores that sell these Lumia will have compatible accessories for them ready. The current issues with Lumia accessories is that because they're not too popular devices, they're accessories is almost non-existent on most parts of the world. That I think also kills the Lumia adoption rate on some people where cases and other accessories are very important for them (practical or not). Also these shells at least fixes the issue of Microsoft purposely not including color options for their Lumia (the brand that started the trend and they killed the concept with these new devices). Good thing these shells from Mozo Accessories are stunning and looks and feels premium. They better be included not just on online store, but try to sell them together with these new Lumia on same store anywhere.
  • I like the idea of instead putting a "case over the phone", which makes the phone bulkier, you can change the whole back cover and sides. It's like having a new phone.
  • That white Mozo case is freaking beautiful @@
  • Beat me to it!
  • I like the brown one, but I wish it had shown the Microsoft logo. It is very important to me show the logo. Microsoft is becoming the greatest brand in devises. :-)
  • I was thinking the same. I wish they add the MS logo but in metal
  • That would be epic to have it in metal.
  • Go on their site and request. :)
  • The brown one specially.
  • Yeah..totally in love with that myself...:) all of them look great...
  • Microsoft logo please!!!
    Take my money ...
  • I thoroughly enjoy this idea. We now have established Lumia partners, building high end cases and accessories for our devices. This is good news! The fact that these companies will build accessories for other devices too will ensure their success. The 950 and 950xl have pulled a lot of attention, and this is a good start. If only Microsoft would work with tmobile...
  • If its like anything they have for xbox we'll be lucky to see it instore & not ontheline
  • What is really important for me is the marketing, here in Saudi Arabia is soooo hard to find an accessory for my Lumia
  • mursalat in Riyadh has nearly everything available on this planet related to mobile.
  • Well, in taif, it's hard to find a Lumia phone -_-
  • Yeah bro, I have forced to order cases and screen protectors from amazon when I bought my NOKIA Lumia 1520 from Jareer.
    And at that time I hadn't any bank account nor shipping service, so I opened a new bank account and made my account at Shop and Ship from Aramex 'SnS' just to buy all these and protect my new phone
  • Makes perfect sense.
  • I hope we'll at least see colored poly backs in some form, if not from Microsoft.
  • Me too, man. Especially with these removable backs, we're not talking an annoying case but just changing the look of the plain phone. Color polycarb would be my dream. Then again, I've just figured out how to color my Lumia 925 back cover, so I guess getting the white color and colorizing it is an option. Not for everyone, though.
  • How about in green leather camouflage or brown leather camouflage? Just imagining it. That will look awesome and hell of unique.
  • Will they also offer the rumoured stylus?
  • Not sure entirely.. But it is supposed to work with the surface pen.
  • I'll have a black leather case for my 950XL
  • Brilliant, I like where this is headed.
  • Wow those back cases look awesome
  • Yeah, a friend of mine was reading this article in his Note and rush to me and said "that phone looks awesome" he's considering a Windows phone because of the case =]
  • I will buy a 950xl if I can get that red case from Mozo. I think it's a good strategy. You see how the aftermarket case took off for Apple and iPhones and some Galaxy phones. Every mall has a cart stand and many accessories from third parties to make everybody seem different.
  • Nice avatar.
  • But that's also because those phones are widely popular themselves.
  • Love this idea too!  Smart way to empower other companies while also unloading some of the burden of satisfying all corners of the phone market.  Those leather Mozo case/cover/backplate (whatever you want to call them) is exactly what I've been wanting and waiting for.  It's like Mozo got into my mind and pulled that out. 
  • How about having that Ms logo and the optics stuff at the back
  • Looking good from the back! :-)
  • They all look awesome, but any word on price?
  • Yeah but don't know the US prices. Cost 40 Euro in EU so probably less in the us.
  • Dropped a mail to their rep. This is what they said: "The price range for the 950 & 950XL back covers will settle around 50 USD, we will try to offer competitive pre-order pricing so all the people loving our covers around the world would be able to have one shipped to them with a reasonable total price"
  • They should inscribe Windows logo on back of their cases
  • I do agree but at the same time I don't really care for the logo as much as the look of the overall case Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Let 'em just have the logo in silver or gold (either real metal or embossed metallic paint will do) and see how sexy it is to attract more people.
  • I agree. The cases themselves look great, but having the Microsoft logo on them tells everyone the brand without people asking "hey, what phone is that?"
  • Not everyone knows the new Microsoft logo unfortunately! But yes the logo will help with brand awareness, if it becomes a badge of honor like that dumb shiny Apple then it will spread like a forest fire. Personally though I'm not a fan of "showing off" in that way, I'd rather leave the mystery. I converted my first ever Apple fan boy after forcing him to watch the Microsoft event all the way through to the end. He's getting the Band 2, 950 XL or the Surface Phone if it's out when his contract expires and when it's available in the UK he will pick up the Surface Book with the GPU. He also just upgraded his laptop to Windows 10 today so +1 on that front! His favourite moments of the event were the continuum demo and the detachable display on Surface Book reveal, he said those were the two parts that convinced him to get on the Microsoft train.
  • Exactly - it should be a requirement for the logo to be on there. Even if it's just pressed into the leather, etc. Doesn't have to be a full color logo - but it should absolutely be there. Doesn't Apple require that their logo be visible thru cases? MS is now a top-shelf hardware company and should do everything it can to market that.
  • I agree @ Farshadatis
  • I want the red mozo case. If it'll be available. Looks awesome! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Is the massive ugly silver ring around the camera on the 950 part of the back cover or part of the camera housing?
    I really hope its the back cover so it can be changed to be made beautiful.
  • It's part of the phone's camera housing.
  • That's a shame
  • Yeah it is, but it is also suprisingly NOT ugly with these cover on. So they actually so make a difference.c
  • Maybe you should just scratch it off, maybe that will mean destroying the lens.
  • I've liked the stuff I've seen from Mozo. Microsoft may have found a jewel when partnering up with them. I am a bit surprised that MS is going to miss out on the possible money by selling their own branded accessories but I imagine that there's some more involved details that make this move rational and likely profitable.
  • I think this idea is very cool... I like it ...
  • OT: I Don't like Phones that have buttons on screen:(
  • In Vanuatu it´s raining today.
  • Makes a good case (pun fully intended) for the long term existence of Lumia phones.
  • Putting style to an otherwise boring looking phone, 'nough said.
  • Ooooooo that leather one!!
  • Is that a gold trim on the red one ?
  • Yes. Champagne-ish. Looks nice although I'd personally prefer red/silver.
  • Yeah, I would have preferred silver/aluminium. Even black would have looked nicer than gold. Gold to me always looks cheap and tacky. And "rose" gold looks awful.
  • That leather one is mine!  Can't freaking wait!
  • They're all leather, but I understand what you mean :)
  • LOL, yeah i thought maybe i should clarify after I posted it.   Brown leather.  
  • Hopefully this will start a proper accessory ecosystem for Lumia's going forward.
  • Definitely right approach
  • Let's all support those who support our platform. I'll be ordering the white and red cover for 950 XL. Furthermore, Mozo also has accessories for the 640 XL. Now, ill be buying three.
  • Those mozo cases are freaking beautiful, I'll buy two for my 950XL
  • The other great thing about how the 950 and 950xl has the removable back cover plate is that, when I enevitably drop my phone, I can replace the beat up cover with a good looking new one!  And to think, I was pretty lukewarm about the removable back plate when the information first leaked...but now it's such a great feature in my opinion!
  • Great idea but for me the question is: These two branda have power enough to make these accessories worldwide available?? At least I didnt had hear about Mozo until Tuesday...
  • Lol exactly. & will the shipping make it unbearable
  • Since mozo is basically making for MS itself.. I don't think that availability would be a problem
  • With these brilliantly beautiful covers I suddenly feel that the design of the phones themselves is not important any more. Fingers crossed they are not insanely expensive.
  • http://www.gsmarena.com/genuine_leather_backs_for_microsoft_lumia_950_an... Nott too bad will probably be getting 2 of them :-)
  • Cool! €60 is like $70, very reasonable!
  • I like the Mozo covers but they don't have windows logo which is so cool to have it in the back as the original cover
  • Look great, but I guess will be bloody expensive if coming from Nordic Countries. Any pricing yet??
  • Yes, they look crazy expensive for sure
  • 50 Euro for it in EU not too bad for these bad boys. Some Samsung plastic covers almost this much.
  • I definitely want a camera grip accessory like the 1020 has.
  • Will these cases also be avialbe at MS stores? I'd like to see and feel what I'm buying first before buying
  • I'd imagine that the Microsoft Stores are going to be the first place you'll find these cases. I've never seen Mozo anywhere on any US sites, so MS may be importing them and spreading the company's reach.
  • Does anyone know if those Moso cases are covers (do they go over the existing back plate?) or do they replace the poly back plate of the phone?
  • They replace the back, both the 950 and 950XL has removable back/side cover
  • These phones look much better with some color. I do really like that they look like a unibidy design but still have a removable back.
  • This is really great
  • Anyone noticed that golden colour in 1st photo
  • I guess Microsoft has finally learned that they can't do everything themselves. :P
  • I just have four words I TOLD YOU SO
  • This will provide more customisation options to the consumers. Hence it is good. However I don't like removable back covers. I like unibody designs.
  • The initiative is good. But Microsoft should also allow them to add its logo on the accessories. They look so incomplete without the brandings.
  • I fully agree!
  • I feel like I'll need a case for the case...
  • NO! Lumia 950/xl not too nice looking but awesome with cover. Samsung, iPhone etc. excellent looking phones that needs cover that makes them ugly? I likew the MS way better then :-) If I drop it I can get a new backplate for 50 Euro and 10 sec change.    But yeah if the fit isn't good then... well crap.
  • I have no problem paying extra for quality accessories to spiff my phone up, made or designed in the land of my heathen brethren.
  • Great move!
  • I was on Mozo's website yesterday trying to check these out. Very good looking covers. Now if they could add a kick stand to go with that beautiful look it would be perfect for "me".
  • I hope that you let them (Mozo) know. I like the idea of a kickstand,
  • Great Idea ! Like MFi this is a great move by Microsoft. 
  • I want one of those backs for my Lumia 830!
  • I Llke the idea of microsoft focusing on what its good at but why cant microsoft build in the Qi charging in the phone so that each removable back cover doesnt need its own Qi hardware, causing the price of these ca