Surface Phone Buzz Builds as Lumia Brand Fades
Microsoft reportedly is getting ready to pull the plug on the Lumia brand by year's end, making room for the rumored Surface Phone.Time is ticking away on the Lumia brand of smartphones, a lingering reminder of Microsoft's ill-fated acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services business. The Redmond, Wash., software giant is getting ready to retire the Lumia brand in December, effectively spelling the end of smartphones that sport the brand, according to a report in WinBeta, citing information gleaned from an anonymous insider. The report also indicates that Lumia handsets are no longer prominently placed in Microsoft's physical retail locations. Online, the U.S. store's home page no longer features a direct link to the Lumia line of products although they can still be found by navigating the site or with a quick search. Meanwhile, on Sept. 7, Microsoft software engineer Laura Janet Butler, further stoked Surface Phone rumors with a pair of since-deleted tweets obliquely mentioning the unconfirmed hardware. In December, Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela strongly hinted that his company is taking inspiration from its Surface line of tablets for its upcoming smartphones. The Surface Phone may make its debut in the coming months if Microsoft stages another hardware event this fall.
Last October, the company held an Apple-style media briefing in New York City for a series of device announcements, including the surprise unveiling of the company's first laptop, the two-in-one Surface Book. Microsoft also used the event to showcase its Surface Pro 4 tablet and upgraded Band wearable. This year, the company is rumored to be readying a Surface all-in-one PC.