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Hardware-Shy Microsoft May Be Launching Own-Brand Smartphone

Microsoft is apparently just months away from releasing its own-brand smartphone. It is, says BGR, high-end, and will be marketed separately from all the upcoming Windows 8 phones such as Nokia's Lumia 900 and the HTC doppelganger. The phone is expected to run Windows Phone 8, and Microsoft sees it as competing with Samsung's Galaxy S III as well as the iPhone 5.

The phone, claims a report in China, will be marketed under the Surface brand and will appear in January—rather like another much-hyped own-brand cellphone. However, Fast Company expects Microsoft to have learned all the lessons about how not to go about launching a smartphone from Google, whose Nexus One was beset by problems, leading to its early demise.