Right on the tails of a major week for Microsoft's Windows Phone 8, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Microsoft may be developing a smartphone of its own to go with its new OS.
The November 2 article, which cites "officials at some of Microsoft's parts suppliers, who declined to be named," says the company is running tests in Asia on their own smartphone, a device measuring between 4 and 5 inches.
However, the article's sources say the company is still undecided as to whether the device in question will ever go into mass production. And, when asked about the phone by the WSJ last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer declined to comment.
Still, the possibility is intriguing. Should Microsoft come out with their own handset to accompany Windows Phone 8, it's anybody's guess how that would affect its partnership with hardware partners, like Samsung, HTC, and Nokia. After all, Apple certainly doesn't let competitors use its smartphone OS.
And, if Microsoft really is planning to launch its own mobile device, it would be a complete 180 for them, after years of developing the software and leaving the design up to others.
Even so, as Gizmodo points out, a Microsoft-made smartphone could be a thing of beauty:
"Microsoft’s eye for design is keener than ever, and while WinPho is great, it’s yet to make the impressions it could. Or even should. A Microsoft phone could change that."
But don't get carried away. Quoting an older article on its own site, Gizmodo cautioned:
"Even if these reports turn out to be totally accurate — and that’s far from certain — this does not mean that Microsoft is close to actually making a phone you can buy. It doesn’t even mean it ever will. Just that it’s developing the hardware, and testing it. That’s it."