After rolling out its own Windows 8 `Surface' tablet products to the market, Redmond-based software giant Microsoft may also try its luck in the smartphone market, analysts believe.
Microsoft recently shocked its long-time hardware partners by introducing the world to its own tablet PC. Previous, it focused just on software writing for the hardware manufactured by its partner manufacturers like Acer, Asus and Lenovo.
But, the Redmond firm eventually concluded that it must have a tablet of its own to compete with one of its biggest rivals - Apple, which produces hardware as well as software for the iPad tablet on its own.
Now, analysts believe that the strategic importance of smartphones will prompt Microsoft to bring its Windows-based handsets to market sometime next year.
Speaking on the topic, Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund said, "We wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft were to decide to bring their own handset to market next year given that Microsoft has decided to bring to market their own Windows 8 `Surface' tablet/PC products."
However, Microsoft denied any such plan, saying, "We have a strong ecosystem of partners that we are very satisfied with."
But as many expect Microsoft to acquire a part or whole of struggling handset maker Nokia, the Redmond firm may really end up manufacturing its own phone.