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Microsoft to kill Lumia range this year as Surface Phone looms large – report

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Lumia 950

Microsoft will reportedly kill-off its Lumia line of Windows Phone devices by the end of 2016. Is it a case of exit Lumia, enter the Surface Phone?

It's no great secret that Lumia smartphones haven't been the hit Microsoft had hoped for, with the death of the range being predicted for a while now.

And according to a new report in WinBeta, the funeral pyres are finally ready to fire up. Citing an anonymous Microsoft employee, the blog claims that the Redmond-based company is preparing to "end sales" of Lumia phones at the end of the year (December 2016), though it's more likely that production of new devices will simply be ceased.

While unconfirmed, the news sounds reasonable enough to us. The range has already been whittled down to just four handsets – the Lumia 550, 650, 950 and 950 XL – and Microsoft has spent the last few months relentlessly price slashing those that do remain.

Of course, the demise of the Lumia line will only further fuel rumours that Microsoft's mobile division is preparing to go all in with a new mobile device, likely to be anointed with the Surface moniker.

Speculation that 'Surface Phone' is in the making has intensified recently, after a senior Microsoft bod posted in a since (seemingly) deleted tweet that the Surface Phone couldn't "not NOT" be confirmed.

Related: Surface Phone – 5 features we want to see

While Microsoft still has a lot of work to do to make real inroads in the heavily saturated mobile market, going all-in with a single device seems as good a strategy as any, especially as Surface devices have been generally well-received – the Surface Pro 4, for instance, earned a nearly perfect 9/10 score in our review.

Microsoft has been heavily linked with an October 2016 launch event, though rumours suggest that's more likely to feature a new Surface AIO, with the Surface Phone saved for 2017.

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When do you think Microsoft will launch a Surface Phone? Are you sad to see the Lumia line laid to rest? Let us know in the comments below.

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