When Microsoft announced its Windows Phone 8 hardware partners last month, it named Nokia, Huawei, Samsung, and HTC, all producing phones running Qualcomm chips. Earlier in the year, though, we heard rumors that some additional companies were looking to produce models for the WP8 launch, including both ASUS and Lenovo, and Lenovo has recently confirmed that work is underway on a WP8 model. Now a new rumor says that Lenovo has been in talks with Microsoft about the idea of making this model a bit of a departure from the standard WP8 Metro UI.
Supposedly, a Lenovo team traveled to meet with Microsoft execs to see just what it might be able to get away with in the design of its first Windows Phone handset. Apparently the company has some ideas for modifying the stock WP8 UI, though just how extreme a change we’re talking about isn’t entirely clear.
While that might have gotten Lenovo laughed out the door in the past, there are now at least some signs that Microsoft is open to one degree or another of customization in WP8. After all, with support for multiple screen resolutions, new processor options, and the specter of WP7.8 hanging over it, Microsoft has clearly moved past its dream of a universal Windows Phone experience. That said, there’s a big difference between changes Microsoft orchestrates, and giving freedom to individual manufactures. For now, we still don’t know just how successful Lenovo may have been in getting permission for its changes.