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Microsoft Is Testing Its Own Windows Phone 8 Device – Report

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Will other phone makers take fright if Microsoft makes its own Windows Phone 8 device?

Microsoft is reportedly working with its component suppliers in Asia to test its own Windows Phone 8-based smartphone.

Officials at Microsoft’s suppliers told the Wall Street Journal that the company is testing a smartphone design, but isn’t sure whether it will ever go into production. The device is apparently between four and five inches. The iPhone 5 has a 4 inch display while the Samsung Galaxy S III has a 4.8-inch display.

A Microsoft smartphone has been touted as a possibility ever since the company announced its own Windows 8 and Windows RT-based tablet, the Microsoft Surface, which was released last week.

Microsoft smartphone a possibility

Such an approach is favoured by Apple, which has enjoyed great success by not only creating its own software, but by having its own computers, tablets and smartphones designed and built. Google has also been keen to emulate the iPhone-manufacturer by releasing its own range of Nexus-branded products and through the acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

Many of Microsoft’s hardware partners were angered by Microsoft’s decision to release its own Windows RT-based tablet, with Acer suggesting that the move would have a “huge negative impact” on the Windows 8 ecosystem. Toshiba and HP have halted their plans to develop Windows RT devices as a result.

It is possible that Windows Phone 8 manufacturers might not be too happy at the prospect of competing against a Microsoft smartphone, but in a conference call two weeks ago, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said that he would welcome such a rival. Elop said that a Microsoft smartphone would act as a “stimulant” to all companies making Windows Phone 8 devices, but added that he wasn’t aware of any plans to do so.

Windows Phone 8 smartphones arrive in the UK today, with the Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 820, HTC Windows Phone 8X, HTC Windows Phone 8S and the Samsung Galaxy Ativ S all available from various networks.

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