Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has no plans to build its own device using its Windows Phone 8 software, a senior Microsoft executive said, putting to rest a rumor that circulated last week.
When asked by InformationWeek whether Microsoft had plans to build its own smartphone, just as it has produced its own tablet, called Surface, running Windows 8, Greg Sullivan, senior marketing manager for Windows Phone, said, "No, we do not."
"We have a strong ecosystem of partners that we are very satisfied with," Sullivan said. Nokia (NYSE:NOK), HTC, Huawei and Samsung have all committed to releasing Windows Phone 8 hardware later this year. Additionally, the platform has received the backing of AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ).
The rumor was sparked last week by a research note from Nomura Securities analyst Rick Sherlund, who cited unnamed "industry sources," and wrote that Microsoft might be working with a contract hardware manufacturer on its own Windows Phone device, similar in concept to the just-announced Surface tablet. Sherlund, who recommended buying Microsoft's shares and has covered the company for many years, wrote that he was not sure if the device would be a reference design for other OEMs to follow or a branded Microsoft product.
The idea of producing a reference device or even a branded product is not entirely without precedent. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has developed three flagship "Nexus" smartphones to showcase the latest Android software, and is reportedly giving multiple Android device vendors early access to the next version of its operating system as it expands its Nexus device program and tries to assert more control over the devices from carriers. However, the Nexus phones have sometimes caused friction since Google left other Android OEMs not involved in their development scrambling to keep up with the latest Android has to offer.
- see this InformationWeek article
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