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Microsoft 'Surface phone' in development, reports say

Microsoft's own-brand Windows Phone 8 mobile is in the late stage of development, according to mysterious sources.

A Microsoft-made Windows Phone 8 device is in the late stages of development, reports suggest, hinting that the software giant is about to try its hand once more at crafting hardware.

The mysterious mobile would see the company who made Clippy taking matters into its own hands, just as it already has with its Windows 8-powered Surface tablet.

BGR cites an unnamed source, who said that the phone is nearly finished and will launch 'in the coming months'. A separate report from China Times reckons the Windows-branded mobile would be revealed in the first half of next year however.

A Microsoft phone might seem like a weird notion, but it could make a lot of sense for Ballmer and his PowerPoint pals. Microsoft badly needs Windows Phone to take off, and if it thinks its recognisable brand could make that happen, then it could make the jump into mobile making.

That said, Microsoft has some very capable partners on board for Windows Phone 8, including Nokia, Samsung and HTC. Microsoft won't want to upset those companies by flogging an own-brand rival device -- the revealing of the Surface tablet had PC-makers like Acer steaming.

Several Windows Phone 8 devices have already been revealed, the most intriguing of which are the Nokia Lumia 920, the HTC 8X and the abominably-named Samsung Ativ S. I've stuck a hands-on video of HTC's mobile below, for your delectation.

Would you like to see Microsoft step up to the hardware plate? Or should it leave mobile making to pros like Nokia and Samsung? Tell me in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

Image credit: Jonas Daehnert on DeviantArt

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