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Microsoft Lumia line may end, Surface replace it

The Microsoft Lumia line just seems to be reminiscent of the sale of Nokia’s line to Microsoft in order to keep Windows Phone OS alive, and that’s what I think of each time I hear Microsoft Lumia. It seems as though the Lumia line has transitioned from the days when the name belonged to Finnish manufacturer Nokia — who once sat atop the smartphone market. The former mobile giant is now out of the smartphone business but looking to return, while Microsoft, the winner of the Lumia name, has used it to lay off practically all of Nokia’s old mobile division that has been responsible for some of the best smartphone cameras the market has ever seen.

The company that has acquired the name did so to remain at the top of the Windows Phone platform and not face any strong challenges, but the Lumia name hasn’t done too well since the Microsoft acquisition back in 2013. Few people are interested in the Lumia line, and Microsoft has done little to promote it.

A new report from TomsGuide says, though, that Microsoft is looking to kill off the Microsoft Lumia line to make room for a new smartphone line that will be more indicative of the company’s future goals and direction in mobile. Microsoft executive vice president Tom Myerson says that the Lumia line is not part of the company’s plans for 2016 and an unidentified Microsoft employee (who, for the sake of his or her job, would rather not be mentioned) says that Microsoft will kill the Lumia line this December. In other words, 2017 will be the first full year that the market will miss the Lumia line (and 2017 is the beginning of the Lumia line’s permanent demise). We’ve heard this rumor before with the Lumia 650 announced earlier this year, and its reiteration here hints that it’s more than just a rumor at this point.

While the Lumia line is nearing its end, though, it’s not the end for Microsoft. The company has brought the “Surface” name to some respectability in mobile, with Microsoft’s Surface tablets getting some recognition from former Windows OS fans who had been long estranged to the aging platform. With the Surface name, Microsoft could create a Surface smartphone line that would function as a hybrid, two-in-one device for those looking for a phone/tablet combo or a phone/tablet/computer replacement that would do it all. We’ve not seen any evidence in the way of a Surface phone, but there’ve been enough random teasers here and there that it’s quite possible.

In any case, we could see the Microsoft Lumia line die this December and the Microsoft Surface phone line appear in a matter of months. We’ll have to wait this one out, but it could very well be the beginning of a new chapter for Microsoft. Meanwhile, Nokia is doing everything it can to rise to prominence in this new Internet of Things (IoT) world in which we find ourselves. Exciting times still exist in mobile.

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