Is Microsoft planning to launch its own smartphone handset? A report released Friday is lending credence to the rumors.
The Wall Street Journal’s Lorraine Luk and Shira Ovide started the fresh round of speculation when they wrote, “Microsoft Corp is working with component suppliers in Asia to test its own smartphone design, people familiar with the situation said, suggesting the computer-software giant is increasingly adopting a variation of a business model favored by rival Apple Inc., which designs computers and phones along with the software that powers them. Officials at some of Microsoft’s parts suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Redmond, Wash.-based company is testing a smartphone design but isn’t sure if a product will go into mass production.”
DailyTech’s Shane McGlaun added, “One source claims that the screen of the Microsoft smartphone being tested right now measures between four and five inches. A screen of that size would put it right in the mix with the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S III.”
PCMag quoted Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer who said, “we’re quite happy this holiday [season] going to market hard with Nokia, Samsung and HTC. Whether we had a plan to do something different or we didn’t have a plan I wouldn’t comment in any dimension.”
Joel Johnson from NBCNews.com noted, “This isn’t the first time we’ve heard reports of Microsoft’s purported moves into phone hardware. And any forays into first-party hardware may simply be a backup plan in case Windows Phone 8 fails to gain traction with customers on other partner devices. But as the recent launch of the Microsoft Surface proves, Microsoft is willing to take steps into hardware manufacturing that seemed alien to the company as recently as a year ago.”