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10-04-12, 06:30 AM
http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/microsoft_surface_phone_8_by_yronimus-d54trfa-640x318.jpg There's no denying that Jonas Daehnert's mock-up of a Windows Phone using Surface's finish and design aesthetic looks great. But a shortage of good-looking phones isn't the problem Microsoft has to address. (http://jonas-daehnert.deviantart.com/art/Microsoft-Surface-Phone-8-310437910)


We've argued before (http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2010/07/microsoft-should-cut-out-the-middle-men-and-build-its-own-phones/) on these pages that Microsoft should build its own smartphones. The real money in the smartphone market doesn't come licensing an operating system, as Microsoft does with Windows Phone, or apps, as Google does on Android. It comes from building smartphones for $300 and selling them to carriers and consumers for $600.

Microsoft, however, went for the traditional licensing route with Windows Phone 7, and until recently, it looked like the company was sticking to the same formula for Windows Phone 8, with Samsung, HTC, and Nokia all unveiling forthcoming Windows Phone 8 devices.

But a number of rumors suggest that that may be changing. China Times (http://news.chinatimes.com/tech/171706/122012100100265.html?ystfuv), Boy Genius Report (http://www.bgr.com/2012/10/02/microsoft-surface-phone-release-date-windows-phone-8/), and WPCentral (http://www.wpcentral.com/microsoft-does-indeed-have-their-own-windows-phone) are all claiming that Microsoft is working on its own high-end smartphone, to be sold with the same Surface branding as the company will use on its forthcoming tablets (http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/08/how-microsoft-could-make-a-199-surface-rt-a-reality-and-why-it-shouldnt/).

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