Is Microsoft working on a smartphone of its own? We’ve asked that question over and over, and while there have been a lot of opinions on the matter, as well as some evidence that’s still open to interpretation, it’s been hard to know just what to think. Now some new Microsoft-produced photographs have come to light that appear to show an unknown Windows Phone 8 handset. Could this be the rumored Surface phone, or is there another explanation?
Discovered on Microsoft web pages for the company’s Visual Studio 2012, the full images depict two workspaces loaded with Microsoft gear, including Windows 8 tablets and this handset. We can make out the current-generation Windows logo on one of them, but they appear otherwise unadorned.
The simplest explanation is that these are nothing more than props, like the hollow plastic TVs and computers you see in furniture stores. Maybe Microsoft needed a generic phone stand-in, so it threw this together. It’s clearly a Windows Phone device, but beyond that, Microsoft wouldn’t have needed to add any more detail.
If this is real WP8 hardware, this is certainly an interesting way to share it with the world, but we’re not going to bet on that without some more convincing pics.