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Report: Microsoft Dumping 'Windows Phone' and 'Nokia' Branding

Microsoft plans to discontinue the use of "Windows Phone" and "Nokia" branding on its mobile devices by the end of this year, according to a media report on Wednesday.

"Nokia" will be removed from all Microsoft marketing materials in time for the holiday shopping season, according to an alleged internal Microsoft document published by Geek on Gadgets. "As part of our phased transition, we will drop the manufacturer name from product references during the Holiday campaign," reads one slide from the document.

Additionally, the branding for the smartphone operating system will be shortened from "Windows Phone" to "Windows," according to Geek on Gadgets. Citing "a source with knowledge of the plans," the Web site said the decision to shorten the platform's name is part of Microsoft's ongoing efforts to unify its desktop and smartphone OSes. That follows recent speculation that Microsoft may call future versions of its desktop OS just "Windows," starting with Windows "Threshold," which is expected to be released next spring.

The Lumia 830 and Lumia 730 devices that Microsoft unveiled earlier this month will be the last to bear the Nokia brand, with future devices being called simply "Lumia," according to Geek on Gadgets.

A Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail that Microsoft has nothing to share about Wednesday's report. The Verge's well-sourced Tom Warren called the information "authentic and accurate."

Since finalizing its acquisition of the Nokia devices arm this year, Microsoft has kept mostly mum about its plans for the future of the brand or its transition into the existing Windows Phone business. In an online Q&A shortly after the acquisition's close in April, Stephen Elop, executive vice president of the Microsoft Devices Group, did say that Microsoft would eventually phase out the Nokia brand, but gave no specific time frame for when it would do so.

"The Nokia brand is available to Microsoft to use for its mobile phones products for a period of time, but Nokia as a brand will not be used for long going forward for smartphones. Work is underway to select the go forward smartphone brand," Elop wrote in the Q&A.

An alleged internal Microsoft FAQ posted in June by online leaker "evleaks" indicated that Microsoft had until October 2015 to continue using the Nokia brand before its rights to the name expired.

In response to a question during the April Q&A about when Microsoft would release its first fully Microsoft-branded smartphone, Elop said, "Now that we are One company, the marketing and product folks will lay in the plans for the shift to a consistent brand. While we are not ready to share precise details, i can assure you that it will not be the 'Nokia Lumia 1020 with Windows Phone on the AT&T LTE Network' ... too many words!"

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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