(Concept Surface phone by YrOnimuS)

Back in October, China Times reported that Microsoft was working on a self-branded Windows Phone for release sometime in 2013. Shortly after, tech site BGR also reported that they had heard similar information. Likewise, we went on record with our own source stating that indeed, Microsoft has a device in the works.

Now, the venerable Wall Street Journal is going on record with a source of their own stating that Microsoft “…is working with component suppliers in Asia to test its own smartphone design” although they are unsure if they are going to go into production with it. The device is reportedly between 4 and 5 inches, which as far as phones go is quite vague. No other details were provided and of course, Microsoft had no comment.

Rum: 9

Previously, we speculated that Microsoft was exploring a range of options, possibly as a failsafe should the first line of Windows Phone 8 devices fail to gain significant market share. We’re still sticking to that notion, as we can’t imagine Microsoft is completely ready to jump in the smartphone game. Even if they did so, we would see this much like the Surface: direct sell to customers through their physical Stores and online, but no carrier deals.

Clearly Microsoft is getting into the PC hardware game—not just peripherals—so the notion that they would make their own “Surface phone” is hardly far fetched. What form it takes and how it is marketed will be the real interesting part. But what do you think? Should Microsoft risk alienating their OEM partners and make their own device? Sound off in comments.

Source: WSJ