Microsoft killing Nokia and Windows Phone brands

A leaked internal document has revealed that Microsoft is phasing out the Nokia and Windows Phone brands.

Microsoft killing Nokia and Windows Phone brands

Microsoft has long stated its desire to drop the Nokia brand, following the completion of its $7.2 billion takeover of the Finnish company’s devices division earlier this year. Now it seems the company is finally ready to plunge the knife, with an internal Microsoft document leaked to Geek on Gadgets confirming that the company will rely solely on the Lumia brand for future, premium smartphones.

The terms of the takeover gave Microsoft a licence to use the Nokia brand on premium smartphones until only December 2015, in any case.

Perhaps more surprisingly, Microsoft is also discarding the Windows Phone brand that it has spent the past four years nurturing, after killing off Windows Mobile.

Microsoft will now simply refer to the OS as Windows, as the company moves towards a single app store that covers PCs, tablets and mobiles in 2015.

That doesn’t mean the operating system itself will be killed off. Microsoft is expected to merge the Windows RT and Windows Phone code base, which will remain distinct from the “Windows 9” operating system due to be launched next year, even though both will share the same name.

Microsoft has already started dropping the “Phone” in television adverts for new Lumia handsets, although the Nokia website – which is now operated by Microsoft – still makes constant reference to the Windows Phone OS. Someone at Microsoft is going to be making heavy use of the Find and Replace shortcuts in the coming months.

With both tablet and mobile devices simply using the Windows label in future, it will be interesting to see how Microsoft differentiates between devices running the x86 code base and the ARM code. Microsoft has admitted that consumers were largely bewildered by Windows RT, but simply referring to every device as a “Windows device” could lead to further confusion over which products can run traditional desktop software.

It’s believed that Microsoft will drop the desktop for pure tablet devices with the release of Windows 9, which may avert some potential confusion.

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