Despite Steve Jobs teasing Bill Gates about the benefits of software lovers wanting to make their own hardware, and Gates rage-laughingly retorting with PC market share numbers, Microsoft has often flirted with the integrated device model. From Xbox to Zune, Kin to Surface, they've done their fair share of melding atoms to bits. And according to Daniel Rubino over at WPCentral they may be ready to do it with phones. Again.
Information has come forward to Windows Phone Central that demonstrates Microsoft does have their own Windows Phone hardware in the works; in fact, we’ve heard it already exists and is in testing.
Daniel has several theories on why Microsoft might be doing this, including strategic angles like Google with Nexus, and between Nokia, HTC, and other Windows Phone partners. Microsoft has been successful with the integrated model with the Xbox, but not with the Zune or their original integrated phone, the Kin. They'll be trying again with tablets this fall and the Surface.
I'm not sure how this changes their story, though. Right now, carriers have to sell the iPhone because it's what the mainstream market wants. Carriers also want to sell Android because it lets them do what they want. Microsoft and Windows Phone offer neither massive consumer adoption nor open carrier configurability, and a first party Windows Phone doesn't seem to move that needle much in either direction.
Still, I like Microsoft being gutsy and taking risks. And on that note, if Microsoft does this and they don't call it Xphone and have a Halo Special Edition on the shelf on day one, the lot of them should be fired.