Is Microsoft secretly planning its own Windows Phone 8 handset?

Windows Phone 8 DeviceMicrosoft has recently made its Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system official, and with it came a variety of new phones from Nokia, HTC and Samsung. With some second phase devices to come in the New Year, potentially from Acer and Huawei, you may be forgiven for thinking that Microsoft would be all set for the future.

It appears it’s not quite satisfied though, as a report published in the Wall Street Journal suggests it’s testing a prototype Windows Phone 8 device of its own design right now. According to the anonymous sources, the phone has a screen measuring between 4 and 5-inches, however it’s still in the very early stages of life, and it’s not certain the phone will ever make it into stores.

That’s not to say a future version won’t though, and Microsoft has already stirred up the Windows RT tablet market with its own Surface model, prompting both Hewlett Packard and Toshiba to abandon work on their own tablets using RT, and Acer to delay its RT tablet launch until mid-2013.

The report continues with a quote from Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer, who says it’s “going to market hard with Nokia, Samsung and HTC” over the Christmas period,” but he wouldn’t comment on any plans past that. An analyst who spoke to the BBC recently suggested that if Microsoft is building its own phone, it’s to guard against these new phones not doing well enough, or should Nokia collapse in the meantime.

Only time will tell if Microsoft intends to, or is forced to, release its own Windows Phone 8 hardware, but in an effort to ensure the OS’s success, it appears the company is preparing for all eventualities.

About Andrew Boxall

Andy's fascination with mobile tech began in the 90s, at a time when SMS messages were considered cutting edge, but it would be at least a decade before he would put finger-to-keyboard as a freelance tech writer. In the interim he wrote about travel, formulated strong opinions about films and drove a series of audacious cars