Microsoft working on own-branded phone even before the Nokia deal completes

In a report in DNAIndia an anonymous Microsoft exec confirmed Microsoft is planning to launch its own Microsoft-branded Windows phone soon.

Microsoft Director Vineet Durani of the Windows Phone Business Group  confirmed the existence of such a project, saying:

“We are waiting for regulatory clearances on the Nokia deal to merge the devices and hardware business, with Microsoft’s software business. The Microsoft-branded phone is under review, but in the meanwhile we continue to work with our partners like Huawei, Samsung and HTC for Windows OS handsets.”

Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s handset business will only complete some time in Q1 2014 if everything goes smoothly, and according to reports the two companies are prohibited from working together as if the deal is already done, suggesting the new Microsoft handset is a solo project reminiscent of the Surface.

It is difficult to know how well such a handset will perform, with the Surface blighted by simply being markedly overpriced for its then niche in the market, resulting in a $900 million write down and suggesting Microsoft does not have the best grasp or understanding of the mobility market, unlike Nokia.

Anshul Gupta, principle research analyst at Gartner said he expected this to change with the Nokia acquisition.

“While it is difficult to comment on how Microsoft would perform with its own branded handset, considering that we haven’t seen much  from them as a hardware player. By taking
over Nokia, they will gain the device assets and manufacturing capabilities of an experienced global player, that puts them on par with other global players, and therefore in a better place than they were earlier.”

If the handset ships before the deal is complete it would presumably not carry the Lumia brand, and will likely be the long-rumoured Surface phone. Do our readers think the handset has a chance or will it be just another vanity project? Let us know below.

Source: DNAInia