Wall Street Journal echoes Microsoft phone rumors

About a month ago, we quoted a handful of reports all citing evidence of an upcoming Microsoft phone. Now, the Wall Street Journal has chimed in, and it says a home-brewed Microsoft handset is indeed in the works—but it's not clear whether the device will actually be released commercially.

According to the Journal, Microsoft has been working with "component suppliers in Asia" to test the phone but "isn't sure if a product will go into mass production." Word comes from unnamed officials at some of those Asian suppliers, so the report seems solid. Too bad there isn't much in there about the device itself—all the Journal says is that the phone will have a screen size "between four and five inches." (I hear the device might have a rectangular shape and the ability to play ring tones, too. Shh!)

Interestingly, the Journal suggests Microsoft's partners may be more open to a Microsoft phone than they have been to the newly released Surface tablet. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop reportedly stated a couple of weeks back that a Microsoft handset would spur sales of all Windows Phone devices—which would, of course, be beneficial to Nokia, since that company seems to have bet its future on the platform. PC makers, on the other hand, reportedly haven't been thrilled about Microsoft undercutting them with the Surface.

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