Say what you will about Microsoft, but both its hardware and software release strategies across numerous markets, tech segments and categories involve lots of moving parts that often remove predictability and boredom from the equation.

Basically, you can never know what’s next from the company behind Windows 10, 10 Mobile, 10 S, the Surface Laptop, Surface Pro and Lumia 950. Case in point, an extremely credible new rumor of a Windows Mobile reboot (another one?) drawing near just as literally everyone in the world abandoned the platform in favor of veterans and long-time duopolists Android and iOS.

According to a couple of “independent sources inside of Microsoft” speaking to the always well-informed executive editor Brad Sams, “there is a new hardware device being tested internally” and also a “separate branch of Windows Mobile for this device.”

No mention of the mystery “device” being in any way connected or related to the multitude of past Surface Phone concepts and projects, though that doesn’t necessarily mean much.

After all, we know very little about Redmond’s specific reboot plans here, with vague “new experiences” reportedly pursued, a somehow different UI than “what we know today as Windows Mobile”, and a year or more of preparation likely still needed.

But “active development” is apparently “in the works”, which is unexpectedly good news in itself… for anyone that continues to believe in the prospect of a viable Android and iOS alternative.

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