From the Forums: The Microsoft Surface phone and the company's Apollo secrecy

The From the Forums series of articles are published to round-up some of the hottest threads on the Windows Phone Central forum. Bringing readers the latest and greatest discussions, the From the Forum articles are here to keep everyone on top of popular threads. Head on past the break and check out what has been discussed lately.

We kick off with a discussion created to cover the rumoured Microsoft Surface phone, which we covered not too long ago. Forum member Simon Tupper asks what the impact will be should Microsoft actually be developing their own hardware.

"Anyone is worried about the huge impact that a Surface phone could have on other phone manufacturers and especially Nokia who's all in with Windows Phone? If I have to chose between a Surface Phone and a Nokia, I would certainly pick the Surface, which I believe would be better; on the other hand I love having a choice."

It's an interesting piece of news indeed. One can look at Nokia, and view this potential move by Microsoft to be slightly off-putting, especially since Nokia has poured everything into Windows Phone, and Microsoft has provided the manufacturer with funds to do so. But even if the software giant launches its own hardware, it's not the end for Nokia and other OEMs.

As mentioned in our coverage, Microsoft would most probably make the said 'surface phone' available from its own stores, whether it be online or in one of many Microsoft Stores dotted across the US. Unfortunately, that could mean the device(s) wouldn't be available to those who don't reside in the US, but we'll have to wait for more details (if the device is / devices are real, of course).

Head on over to the "Surface phone and its impact" thread to add your opinion.

Holding out for Apollo hardware?

Forum user steve_w_7 has created a thread covering the wait for Windows Phone 8 hardware. The suspence and desire to purchase a new Apollo device is fairly high for many, but would it be wise to quickly invest in current generation hardware?

"I'm due for a hardware upgrade, but the more time that has passed since the handsets were introduced, the less excited I'm getting to upgrade. I might just grab the 7.8 update and hold out for 2nd gen devices. We all saw what happened with the Mango handsets (Titan/Titan II). It feels more and more to me like HTC hasn't shown their high end phone yet and there is a rumor out there that Microsoft will be releasing their own 'Surface Phone' in early 2013."

While it's worth noting that Nokia and Microsoft do not intend to leave those with Windows Phone 7.8 powered devices with a sour taste. We're still not entirely sure what's contained within the update that will be pushed out to current hardware. But it's always good to have the latest and greatest devices.

What are your thoughts? Wait, or dive in now? Sound off your thoughts in the  "Anyone Going to Hold Out for 2nd Gen Devices?" thread.

Microsoft silent on Windows Phone 8, good or bad?

While we wait for the launch of both Windows Phone 8 and 7.8, it has started to worry some consumers that Microsoft is incredibly quiet on features and other bits and bobs that are included in its next version of Windows Phone. GoodThings2Life has published a sound argument in the "Microsoft's hush hush on WP8... good or bad?" thread that argues we should be patient until the unified launch takes place:

"I disagree that we know all there is to know. I think they are announcing things on a unified front... Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox together... or at least in a series of announcements. And if nothing else of this post is taken seriously, trust me on one thing-- a unified launch is CRITICAL for Microsoft this time around. People WILL be impressed to see that Microsoft has a plan that brings so much together in such an impressive way."

We'll be the first to agree that Microsoft still has some tricks up its sleeve and hasn't unveiled everything that's new in Windows Phone 8. That's the hope and expectation anyway. Consumers should be excited for the month ahead with the announcement of not only Windows Phone 8, but Windows 8 and the Xbox services / console update. It's going to be huge, which would make sense to keep as much under wraps as possible to simply go: "And this is what we have! Oh yeah!"

The Windows Phone Central community is the place to be for Windows Phone discussions and debates. Be sure to head over and engage with other Windows Phone fans.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.