You may be wondering what happened to Microsoft's ambitions in the mobile space. The company has been creating a lot of hardware lately, but it's focused on its Surface-branded line of devices running 'full' Windows. A new Windows Mobile handset hasn't been in the rumors for quite some time now.
That changes today, because a new unconfirmed report now claims that Microsoft is testing just such a device. The revelation apparently comes from two different sources inside the company, so it may be accurate. The bad news? The phone is said to be running a "different" branch of Windows Mobile.
This has a UI that is different from what we're used to seeing in Windows 10 Mobile, but it's not set in stone yet because it's still "early days" for the development of this new interface. Yes, you read that correctly. Once again, Microsoft may be looking to "reinvent" the mobile experience, in yet another desperate attempt to set its OS apart from its rivals.
And yes, this could in fact mean a new 'cut' in support for older Windows Mobile apps, which aren't going to work with this new UI. Silverlight apps in particular seem doomed.
Even if all of this is true now, keep in mind that plans change, and they may be altered significantly in the coming months, before that phone that's currently in testing sees the light of day. Speaking of which, it's very unclear when the new handset might become available - it could be as much as a year from now, or "less if it receives good reviews internally and gets fast tracked".
Good question. To date, two such devices have been released, both a few years back.