Microsoft could already be testing a prototype of its rumoured Surface phone at its Redmond campus. In fact, the company has almost certainly been testing a number of in-house devices, including the previously-named Juggernaut Alpha.
A Windows developer came across an log entry for its website, and traced the device’s IP address to Redmond’s Studio H building, where the company’s design team has its headquarters.
The phone’s firmware is a newer build than what has been seen on the latest Windows Phone 8 devices, so we know that the OS is still in active development. Whether or not this is a precursor to a future product announcement — Microsoft is now a devices and services company, after all — remains to be seen. Microsoft releasing its own Windows Phone 8 device could undermine its relationship with the likes of Nokia and HTC, especially since, unlike Android, Microsoft doesn’t allow fundamental alterations to the look and feel of its mobile OS. A Microsoft-branded Windows Phone 8 device would inevitably work and operate in extremely similar ways to its OEM partners’ smartphones.
Would you buy a Microsoft-branded Windows Phone over a Nokia, Samsung or HTC? If so, why?