Having entered the hardware scene in recent weeks with its first tablet, Microsoft is seemingly set to join the handset mix with a Microsoft Surface smartphone reportedly already in testing.
Following last month’s Microsoft Surface tablet UK release date which coincided with the arrival of the Windows 8 operating system, latest reports have suggested that the Redmond based software behemoth is on the verge of producing its first smartphone device, a flagship Windows Phone 8 handset that will rival the Google’s collection of Nexus branded handsets, a series that was recently added to by the LG manufactured Google Nexus 4.
Said to be working with component manufacturers in Asia to piece together its first own branded smartphone offering, the rumoured Microsoft Surface Phone would be expected to run the new Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system that launched in the UK yesterday aboard the likes of the HTC 8X and the Nokia Lumia 920.
Whilst little is currently known about the rumoured Microsoft Surface phone, Wall Street Journal sources have claimed that the handset could head to market with a screen size between four and five inches, a bracket that could see it line up anywhere from a 4-inch iPhone 5 rival to a 4.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S3 competitor.
Stating that Microsoft “is testing a smartphone design but isn't sure if a product will go into mass production,” the WSJ insiders have suggested that given Microsoft’s current move to heavily promote the Windows Phone 8 efforts of HTC, Nokia and Samsung, any Microsoft Surface phone release would be a ‘plan B’ option for if the revised operating system fails to gain traction in its bid to narrow the gap on iOS 6 and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Far from the first time musings on an own-branded Microsoft Surface Phone have been banded around, latest month Nokia CEO Stephen Elop claimed he would welcome a Microsoft Surface Phone into the mix as it would help bolster the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem that his company is now so heavily invested.
Elsewhere, HIS iSuppli analyst Wayne Lam recent told TechRadar that a Surface Phone is needed to ‘showcase what the platform can do.’
"Microsoft diving into this really makes sense,” Lam said. "We've seen Google take an interest in creating Nexus devices. They're there to create a new example, a new device, and new form factor."
"They wouldn't be doing it to steal market share away from Samsung or HTC, they'd be doing it to showcase what the platform can do. Microsoft has traditionally not been a hardware company but they're getting into a space where they have to set a hardware agenda."
Would you welcome more Microsoft branded hardware to the scene in the form of the company’s first smartphone or do you think a Surface Phone would be detrimental to the Windows Phone 8 platform? Share your thoughts on the matter with us via the Trusted Reviews Twitter and Facebook feeds or through the comments boxes below.