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11/2/2012
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Microsoft To Build Its Own Windows Phones?

Report says company is testing prototype, but such a move could jeopardize relationship with partners like Nokia.

Windows Phone 8: Star Features
Windows Phone 8: Star Features
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
After denying it had such plans earlier this year, Microsoft reportedly is developing a self-branded Windows Phone 8 smartphone that would compete with products sold by its existing partners, including Nokia and Samsung.

Citing unidentified sources, The Wall Street Journal said Microsoft is testing prototypes with Asian component suppliers. The newspaper's sources said the device would feature a screen measuring between four and five inches diagonally. That would put it somewhere between Apple's new iPhone 5, and the larger Samsung Galaxy III.

The report contradicts statements that a Microsoft executive made to InformationWeek earlier this year. Asked if the company planned to make its own phones, Greg Sullivan, senior marketing manager for Windows Phone, said, "No, we do not."

[ Read Windows 8 Momentum: Will Pop-Up Stores Help? ]

Hardware makers building Windows Phone 8 devices include HTC, Nokia, and Samsung. "We have a strong ecosystem of partners that we are very satisfied with," Sullivan said in a July interview.

It's conceivable that the company has since changed plans. Last week, it introduced the Windows 8-powered Surface tablet, its first entry into the personal computing hardware market, not including peripherals such as mice and keyboards. The company said it views Surface as a showcase for Windows 8's full potential, an indication that it's not entirely happy with the efforts of its OEM community.

Asked by the Journal if a phone was in Microsoft's plans, CEO Steve Ballmer declined to comment. "We're quite happy this holiday [season] going to market hard with Nokia, Samsung and HTC," Ballmer told the newspaper. "Whether we had a plan to do something different or we didn't have a plan I wouldn't comment in any dimension," he said.

By building its own phone, Microsoft would be sending a message to phone manufacturers that they need to step up their efforts around Windows Phone 8. It would also give Microsoft the chance to further leverage its new, online Windows Store, which offers apps for Windows 8 systems.

Such a move, however, could jeopardize the company's partnership with Nokia, which abandoned its Symbian operating system for smartphones in favor of Windows Phone.

To date, Nokia's flagship Windows Phones, such as the Lumia 920, have received generally positive reviews, but have made little impact in the smartphone market, which is dominated by Apple's iPhone and phones that run Google's Android operating system.

Microsoft has not commented on the report.

Time to patch your security policy to address people bringing their own mobile devices to work. Also in the new Holes In BYOD issue of Dark Reading: Metasploit creator HD Moore has five practical security tips for business travelers. (Free registration required.)

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ANON1250703092871
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ANON1250703092871,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/5/2012 | 9:27:16 PM
re: Microsoft To Build Its Own Windows Phones?
I agree. What they should be working on is touch/video keyboard to work with Win8 on a desktop. I won't be buying another computer or win8 till something close is available. Better yet give them away with win8.

Larry
RobMark
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RobMark,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/5/2012 | 7:35:24 PM
re: Microsoft To Build Its Own Windows Phones?
Nokia would go under and MS would buy them . . .
RobMark
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RobMark,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/5/2012 | 7:33:56 PM
re: Microsoft To Build Its Own Windows Phones?
"To date, Nokia's flagship Windows Phones, such as the Lumia 920, have received generally positive reviews, but have made little impact in the smartphone market . . ."

Duh, Lumia 920 is not available to buy yet!
tucam toreza
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tucam toreza,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/3/2012 | 4:36:48 PM
re: Microsoft To Build Its Own Windows Phones?
...IF Microsoft is planing to use EXPLORER in new windows phone, that is gona be a bust because : when you're on the phone and get a famous note : Explorer is not responding...ha ha...Can Mr. Ballmer answer it???.
gfinale
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gfinale,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/2/2012 | 8:12:00 PM
re: Microsoft To Build Its Own Windows Phones?
As a serious computer expert of 30 years, I can say whoever ultimately made the decision at Nokia to team up with Microsoft was clueless. Somebody please name the companies who have done well for any length of time by teaming up with Microsoft because there are a massive number who have lost greatly or been destroyed in doing so. Now we get to see if Nokia will remain clueless. What should happen is all companies teaming with Microsoft should take the hit and drop them right now. They can team up with others instead. As their tablet and smartphone market crashed into oblivion, Microsoft would finally get the message that you don't screw your partners.
Gussy2000
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Gussy2000,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/2/2012 | 5:54:57 PM
re: Microsoft To Build Its Own Windows Phones?
Ballmer you lying sack. You know I hope HTC and Samsung just kill you on the Jelly Bean side of things. Oh wait, they kind of already are.

But what a shitty thing to do to Nokia. Pefectly legal but highly unethical. Microsoft being Microsoft I guess.
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