No, Microsoft shouldn't manufacture their own Windows Phone device

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| October 3, 2012

Earlier this year, right around June or so, rumors and speculation started swirling around that Microsoft was going to unveil something unique. The Redmond-based company had just put on stage their first Windows 8-based tablets, called Surface, so it didn't seem that far of a stretch to consider that they would also pull the curtain off their own Windows Phone device, too. Unfortunately, those rumors didn't last all that long, and it looked like Microsoft wouldn't be going that route after all.

I'm taking a different approach now, months later. I've changed my mind.

But we all know how that works, right? A statement from the company in question only goes as far as we want it to. Someone says they aren't doing something, even though there are rumors from "trusted sources" saying differently? Well, obviously the company is just dancing around the subject and trying to shrug off any attention while they really do work on that thing they are hard at work denying.

It's certainly possible. There's no written or unwritten rule out there that says a company has to announce everything they're doing, even if there are rumors suggesting they're doing something interesting. Sure, it'd be nice, but without that rule we're out of luck.

But Surface is still coming. There are other companies out there making Windows 8-based tablets, but the majority of the focus right now is on Surface. We know when it's launching (at the end of this month), but right now we're still squabbling about how much it's going to cost. Some think it should run anywhere between $200 and $400, while others believe Microsoft is going to charge upwards of $500 to $700. That's a wide net to cast, so obviously someone out there is going to be right.

So while Surface is still coming, I'm not surprised that rumors about a Microsoft-created Windows Phone 8 device are starting to rear their head again. I am shocked it's taken this long, to be honest. But you know what the problem is? You know why these rumors of a Microsoft-created Windows Phone just don't matter? Or even make any sense?

Because there is absolutely no reason for such a device to exist. When I asked all of you whether or not Microsoft should create their own Windows Phone device, I suggested that Microsoft could pitch it as their direct iPhone competitor, or even their own version of Google's Nexus device. And all those scenarios are great, if they didn't already have those options available courtesy of other manufacturers.

Microsoft is going to position every high-end Windows Phone 8 device as the iPhone competitor. The Lumia 920 by Nokia? Yep. The Windows Phone 8X by HTC? Of course. And there's no reason why Microsoft shouldn't put those devices up to battle. But this whole rumor mill falls apart the moment we start thinking that Microsoft wants their own Nexus brand name.

Windows Phone isn't Android, and it just wouldn't make any sense for Microsoft to go that route. They don't need a "developer version" of a device because, well, there's no "vanilla" version of Windows Phone. "I need stock Windows Phone!" is a thing that no one has said. And it probably won't ever be said, either.

Windows Phone is the brand. Lumia is a brand that Microsoft can endorse with all the power they deem necessary (and I'm sure they will, when the phones launch next month). We all know, or at least strongly believe, that Microsoft upset plenty of Window 8 tablet manufacturers out there with the unveiling of Surface. But they'll still make Windows 8 tablets, because they will. Microsoft won't make a move that would potentially upset the manufacturers that bring Windows Phone to market. That just wouldn't be a smart move in the slightest.

Besides, it's not like a Microsoft-created Windows Phone 8 device would be cheaper on contract from any of the major wireless carriers, right? I just don’t see a point to these rumors anymore.

No, Microsoft should not create their own Windows Phone. I'm sure it'd be a great addition to the Windows Phone line-up, but it's just unnecessary as there's too big of a chance it could alienate other Windows Phone manufacturers. Why take the risk? But, I want to know what you think, Dear Reader. Do you agree that Microsoft shouldn't create their own Windows Phone device? Or would you love to get your hands on one?

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