What will Microsoft call its upcoming in-house Windows Phones?

Microsoft is going to buy Nokia's smartphone hardware business (assuming it gets all of the approvals in order) in the first quarter of 2014. That much we know for certain. What we don't know is that once the deal is done, what will Microsoft call its new in-house created phones that will run on Windows Phone.

In a conference call with the press early this morning (and transcribed by Microsoft later in the day), Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer seemed to hint that the company is looking for one unified brand for all of its hardware products. He stated:

.... we talk about one brand and the unified voice to the market. I will say that I think we can probably do better for consumer name than the Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 1020. And yet, because of where both companies are and the independent nature of the businesses, we haven't been able to shorten that. Just take that as a proxy for a range of improvements that we feel we can make, we can simplify, the way in which we work with operators and the overall consumer branding and messaging gets much simpler. That is an efficiency of being one company.

So the question is, "What will Microsoft call its own smartphone device?" There are several options on the tablet that could be considered:

Just keep using Lumia

Nokia launched the Lumia brand in 2011 when it released its first Windows Phone device, the Lumia 800. The company has worked hard to establish the Lumia brand name around the world and it's by far the most successful of all of the Windows Phone devices. Microsoft might think it is a wise idea to just keep using the brand for its own phones, but on the other hand it may want a clean break once the Nokia deal closes. It may see the Lumia brand as a Nokia one and not as a Microsoft brand.

Simply Use "Windows Phone"

Microsoft has been promoting the Windows Phone brand name for its OS for nearly three years now and the company could simply call its own devices Windows Phones. It's easy to remember and it's an established name. On the other hand, it's also a bit dull just from a marketing standpoint to slap on the old "Windows" brand to a hardware product that is aiming to go after Apple, Samsung and other phone makers.

Call the devices "Surface Phones"

The idea of Microsoft releasing phones with the same brand that it has given its tablet products has come up before and consolidating both of Microsoft's tablet and phone products under one name sounds good in theory. However, sales of the Surface tablets have been less than successful and Microsoft may not want to stick its own phones with a brand that has yet to prove itself in the marketplace.

Stick the "Xbox" brand on the phones

Without a doubt, the Xbox brand is one of Microsoft's most successful, and it is attached to a hardware product. However, it's also known mostly as a video game and entertainment brand and, unless Microsoft is planning to make a Windows Phone with a gaming focus, it would be a bit awkward to call your new smartphone from Microsoft an "Xbox" phone.

Come up with an all new name

Microsoft may be forced to create an all new brand for its Windows Phone devices, in order to make a clean break from both Nokia and Microsoft's previous products. It's risky but if Microsoft doesn't believe it can use its other brands, it will have to come up with a memorable name that is as easy to remember as the iPhone or the Galaxy.

What name would you want to give Microsoft's own in-house smartphones that will use Windows Phone? Let us know in the comments and we may use some of them in a future feature.

Source: Microsoft | Images via Microsoft

Poll

What name should Microsoft use for its upcoming in-house Windows Phone smartphones?

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Amazon's Kindle MatchBook lets you buy physical, read digital

Next Story

Microsoft: Xbox One won't be a Windows Media Center Extender

105 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

To unify brands maybe they should try:

Lumia = Microsoft Phone
Lumia Surface = Surface RT
Lumia Surface Pro = Surface Pro

This way they can try to wash away some of the bad press the surface has been getting.

Under MicroSoft One, for unifying the brand names of its own, below are the best suggestions.

Operating Systems:
Windows - For Desktops and LapTops (large-form factors)

Windows RT, should be totally stopped and needs to be merged into Windows Phone, emerging into a new name i.e.

WiMo (Windows Mobile) - For Tablets and Phones (small-form factors)

For Tablets, Microsoft called them "Surface", so for phones they can call them shortly "Surfer" or any other compelling name that can sound as good as iPhone, Galaxy, or Xperia.

FalseAgent said,
I still think the new phones should be called Nokias. Blah, I voted for Lumia anyway.

Ain't voting until they have Nokia in the name.

lmao. don't really give a flying monkey about the fracking name. more the reason to save up for the next ipad or iphone.

My bet is they will keep calling them Lumias, but drop the numeric model designations and use word-based model names instead.

I expect Microsoft to keep the Lumia branding for the current series of phones. Hopefully they'll come up with a new name when they a design switch happens but not sure if that would help or hurt. Surface should remain the Tablet/hybrid device even though I like the name and think "Surface Phone" would be cool.

If Microsoft wants the Teen Market, then I would go with the Xbox Phone. Teenagers are going through Phones like mad right now, and it would help sells.

Personnaly I would drop the Microsoft Name. Just market each Device.... By their Names.

Phone - Lumia
Gaming - Xbox
Tablet - Surface

Seriously, who says I have an Apple iPad, or Apple iPhone, or Google (fill in blank)

edit - Screw HTC and Samdung. they were not trying anyway.

MikadoWu said,

Phone - Lumia
Gaming - Xbox
Tablet - Surface

This!

MikadoWu said,

Screw HTC and Samdung. they were not trying anyway.

Well I'd say if they are successful at buying Nokia their won't be any HTC, Samsung or Huawei devices anyway…

My gut says Microsoft will drop Surface and adopt Lumia for smartphones and tablets. Lumia phones and Lumia tabs will create a more synergistic brand that can actually continue where Nokia left off.

If they can keep the nokia name on the phone it would be good because people can identify with the nokia name and know its going to be a good phone and built like a tank. Its probably the main reason why people buy nokia, if they cant then i dunno what there going do. Other thing is nokia have done a lot of there own advertising around the lumia brand so dunno how MS can switch it up to show its know theres, and they are not good with PR so prolly going be a disaster tbh

psionicinversion said,
If they can keep the nokia name on the phone it would be good because people can identify with the nokia name and know its going to be a good phone and built like a tank. Its probably the main reason why people buy nokia, if they cant then i dunno what there going do. Other thing is nokia have done a lot of there own advertising around the lumia brand so dunno how MS can switch it up to show its know theres, and they are not good with PR so prolly going be a disaster tbh

YES YES YES

Please just drop 'Windows Phone'.

For the average person on the street attaching the word Windows to it probably makes them think it's a bloated Phone with malware, blue screens, and a taskbar.

How about taking the first letter off Lumia, and combine it with a previous Microsoft smartphone brand . . .

Presenting ... The Kin L ... !

keep using Lumia as brand its starting to get good recognition from customers
Lumia for smartphones and surface for tablets

I like Surface but it's going to be Lumia.
Question is what logo will replace the Nokia Branding on the front of the phones?

wetworker said,
I like Surface but it's going to be Lumia.
Question is what logo will replace the Nokia Branding on the front of the phones?

The best thing to do is just put Lumia where it says Nokia and leave it at that.

GP007 said,

The best thing to do is just put Lumia where it says Nokia and leave it at that.


Nope, do it like on the Surface: just have the Windows logo on the front and "hide" the MS logo somewhere at the back.
E.g. the "Microsoft Lumia 920" should simply remove the "Nokia" from the front and have "Microsoft" instead of "Nokia" on the back (next to the camera). Just like the Surface the device should be identifiable on it's own and should no have × times a logo on it.

(Just as Steve Jobs thought that the Apple logo was overused [http://www.folklore.org/StoryV...tory=Swedish_Campground.txt])

Microsoft Lumia is the obvious choice since it'll still emphasize the connection to Nokia (even without the Nokia brand). I don't particularly like the name 'Lumia' but it's not a terrible name. There's really no other option that makes sense at the moment.

scumdogmillionaire said,
"Surface" name is too tainted so it's not happening there. They need to stick with Lumia or just "Windows Phone"

Why is Surface tainted?

scumdogmillionaire said,
It's largely seen as a failure amongst consumers and "analysts"

Don't get me wrong, I love my Surface RT. Unfortunately it took a media beating.

Consumers? That's still undecided. "Analysts" be damned.

I think they need to create one in a magnesium allow case, in black, and call it Lumia Surface or Surface Phone. High end, deluxe, with flush kickstand like the tab.

I think the Surface is a cool brand and I don't think it has failed. Software just isn't there yet.

Lirodon said,
Windows Phone Lumia 8 by Microsoft

Yeah, that's just as bad as "Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 1020" - which nobody called that way as the device was called "Nokia Lumia 1020"…

It's not the right way to call it Lumia. It was Nokia's name, it's part of Scandinavian design language. Microsoft using that in the future doesn't make sense. It's very alien for Microsoft's brand. None of the other products are named this way, so it would look very disconnected. It was great for Nokia's brand. Windows Phone is the most logical name.

agtsmith said,
It should remain "Nokia Lumia", sadly, that's not an option.

I keep hearing that this is the case because of the terms of the deal but can't see that anywhere in the press
a) Please tell me it isn't so
b) Point us to some proof of this
c) Get ready to see a decline in marketing recognition

Is it just me or has everyone just missed one of the biggest benefits being the Nokia name?

I like Lumia and Surface. It would be awesome if down the road they could unify the phone and surface line under a common brand and common design language.

A340600 said,
Microsoft Windows Phone Lumia Home Premium.
Will there be a skew for the Ultimate Edition? I want the special add-on apps.

Like others have said, it will be called Microsoft Lumia (insert model number). They built the brand around the Lumia name and changing it will just confuse people.

'Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 1020'

That's not what it's called on the street. People have 'one of those Lumia's from Nokia'. The 1020 is a statusindicator and people do understand that the 520 is an affordable phone while the 1020 is a luxury phone.

But I do understand that Microsoft doesn't want to carry around two brands (Surface and Lumia) for their devices. But Lumia is getting established. A suprising amount of people do know about it. Whereas Surface has a somewhat negative reputation. If they have to kill a brand then kill surface. I personally love my surface and I love the branding but it seems the better option when I'm unbiased.

Ronnet said,
'Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 1020'

That's not what it's called on the street. People have 'one of those Lumia's from Nokia'. The 1020 is a statusindicator and people do understand that the 520 is an affordable phone while the 1020 is a luxury phone.

But I do understand that Microsoft doesn't want to carry around two brands (Surface and Lumia) for their devices. But Lumia is getting established. A suprising amount of people do know about it. Whereas Surface has a somewhat negative reputation. If they have to kill a brand then kill surface. I personally love my surface and I love the branding but it seems the better option when I'm unbiased.

Although I like the "Surface" name I tend to agree with your reasoning.

Ronnet said,

But I do understand that Microsoft doesn't want to carry around two brands (Surface and Lumia) for their devices.

Why? Even the very company they are currently trying to copy/outmatch is using two different brand names: iPhone and iPad - nobody in their right mind would call it "iPhone Tablet", so why is it that hard for MS to use 2 names: "Surface" for tablets and "Lumia" for phones…

MFH said,

Why? Even the very company they are currently trying to copy/outmatch is using two different brand names: iPhone and iPad - nobody in their right mind would call it "iPhone Tablet", so why is it that hard for MS to use 2 names: "Surface" for tablets and "Lumia" for phones…

So let me get this total madness right!

First they AREN'T going to use the name NOKIA!
Then they are going to add a name that is universally associated with a $900million write down failure

It would be like VW buying Rolls Royce and calling it a VW!

Why don't you just set light to your $7.2billion investment now and save everyone a lot of time!

MFH said,

Why? Even the very company they are currently trying to copy/outmatch is using two different brand names: iPhone and iPad - nobody in their right mind would call it "iPhone Tablet", so why is it that hard for MS to use 2 names: "Surface" for tablets and "Lumia" for phones…

iPad, iPhone, sounds familiar. Their branding is 'iDevices'. It's quite clear that the two belong together. So if you have an iPhone you are more inclined to buy an iPad over a Galaxy Tab or Surface.

So there is are benefits to carrying one brand name. And at the moment the Surface brand isn't doing too hot. Naturally they would have continued to invest in it if they hadn't purchases Nokia. But now they have the Lumia brand as well. Lumia is getting much more recognition. I'm certain the people at Microsoft are considering the option to drop the Surface brand.

I don't see why you couldn't have a family of phones.
A gaming orientated "Xbox" phone (with Xbox colors and styling, maybe some other differentiating factors but I'm not a phone designer :-\), a "Surface" phone, with vaporMG casing and hard edges, expensive and high end, "Lumia" for all-purpose phones (could be considered like the Nexus line for WP8). I wouldn't call it just "Windows Phone" because there's more than just the Microsoft phones.

I would LOVE a VaporMG phone, and it would make sense to use the Surface branding for it.

smot said,
It'll be Lumia. They paid money for the brand. It will get used.

Tend to agree even though I've always found the Lumia name a bit crap.

Trollercoaster said,

Tend to agree even though I've always found the Lumia name a bit crap.

Agree that they will keep the name also but Lumia sounds like a s s.

I reckon they'll come up with a new name but still trade on it's other names.

So they release a 'Microsoft [insert brand] XBox Phone' or 'Microsoft [insert brand] Surface Phone' etc etc

If they are smart they would keep the Lumia name and even the Nokia logo on the phones. They would lose a LOT in the marketplace if they were to put their name and/or rebrand the handsets. Consumers right now aren't too fond of the Microsoft brand (with the exception of the XBOX) so it would just be too risky.

LogicalApex said,
If they are smart they would keep the Lumia name and even the Nokia logo on the phones. They would lose a LOT in the marketplace if they were to put their name and/or rebrand the handsets. Consumers right now aren't too fond of the Microsoft brand (with the exception of the XBOX) so it would just be too risky.

what are you doing posting on a message board and not being paid millions to consult with the top companies of the world about this incredible information you have gathered from most of the population.

Lord Method Man said,
Pretty sure that in the deal they are only allowed to use the Nokia branding on feature phones and not for smartphones.

Where does it say that!? Because if it is true you can start dancing on the grave of Windows Phone. Dropping Nokia is like dropping a H Bomb on what you just purchased.

How can you buy a brand as iconic as Nokia and then drop the name. Its like buying SKYPE and calling it MS Messaging - Just plain stoopid!

vcfan said,

what are you doing posting on a message board and not being paid millions to consult with the top companies of the world about this incredible information you have gathered from most of the population.

Made me laugh.

Mr. Dee said,
Obviously it will be called Microsoft Lumia. Just like Microsoft Surface is a brand.

Agree. Much like there's an Apple iPhone and an Apple iPad to differentiate tablet and phones.

Mr. Dee said,
Obviously it will be called Microsoft Lumia. Just like Microsoft Surface is a brand.

I think it'll just be called a Lumia, and then in small print at the bottom of the manual and retail box you'll see the Microsoft logo. Just look at Skype as an example.

PLEASE STOP THIS MADNESS MS.

Get rid of the most recognizable part of your recently acquired brand and you decimate the value.

KEEP THE NAME NOKIA you FOOLS!

It would be good for Microsoft to try to unify their tablet / phone worlds under a common name like Surface. The start menu's for both platforms look alike, and I can envision Microsoft creating API's to allow a single package that's installable on both platforms like how iOS can have app's that support both the iPad and iPhone platforms in a single package.

Edit: FIRST to comment + first to vote!

The Lumia is already (sort of) well known and established. That's a lot of marketing effort they'd throw away to come up with another name. So I think they'll stick with it.

Mickez said,
The Lumia is already (sort of) well known and established. That's a lot of marketing effort they'd throw away to come up with another name. So I think they'll stick with it.
It is not well known and established. Only to people who follow tech or already own a Lumia. I believe Microsoft can call it whatever they want.

JHBrown said,
It is not well known and established. Only to people who follow tech or already own a Lumia. I believe Microsoft can call it whatever they want.

While I don't disagree that 90% of the general public has no clue what a "Lumia" is compared to an "iPhone" or "Galaxy S", it's still the most established name in the Windows Phone ecosystem, so I agree that changing the name wouldn't be the best decision. If anything they need to keep the name so that people know that they are continuing the same line of phones. As long as the overall design language stays the same, the name should as well.

JHBrown said,
It is not well known and established. Only to people who follow tech or already own a Lumia. I believe Microsoft can call it whatever they want.

People know what a Lumia is. Everyone I talk to or asks about my phone recognizes the name.

Dot Matrix said,

People know what a Lumia is. Everyone I talk to or asks about my phone recognizes the name.


People knows that Lumia is a Nokia device. Not so sure about Lumia without Nokia.

Fritzly said,

People knows that Lumia is a Nokia device. Not so sure about Lumia without Nokia.
This^
I can walk down any busy street asking about the Lumia and 9 out of 10 people will ask, WTF is a Lumia?

Fritzly said,

People knows that Lumia is a Nokia device. Not so sure about Lumia without Nokia.

I think Lumia can go on it's own without Nokia in front of it. Lots of people know about Galaxy and I bet they call it a Galaxy S or a Galaxy Note and not a Samsung Galaxy Note.

GP007 said,

I think Lumia can go on it's own without Nokia in front of it. Lots of people know about Galaxy and I bet they call it a Galaxy S or a Galaxy Note and not a Samsung Galaxy Note.

But you're comparing a brand that's well established and has been around for awhile. The Lumia is not that yet. People would think the Lumia is some new lightbulb or the illuminati conspiracy.

JHBrown said,
But you're comparing a brand that's well established and has been around for awhile. The Lumia is not that yet. People would think the Lumia is some new lightbulb or the illuminati conspiracy.

It's all relative, you're thinking about it in the US mostly when the Lumia is established just fine as a brand in the EU for example and other places.

GP007 said,

It's all relative, you're thinking about it in the US mostly when the Lumia is established just fine as a brand in the EU for example and other places.

Good point.

Mickez said,
The Lumia is already (sort of) well known and established. That's a lot of marketing effort they'd throw away to come up with another name. So I think they'll stick with it.

Agreed. I think it could stand to be shortened, but with the OS still available for other OEM's to use, I think it necessitates a more descriptive name than you can get away with for the iPhone for instance...

JHBrown said,
It is not well known and established. Only to people who follow tech or already own a Lumia. I believe Microsoft can call it whatever they want.

So predictably biased... lol Must be interesting to go through tech with such blinders on all the time... lol

GP007 said,

I think Lumia can go on it's own without Nokia in front of it. Lots of people know about Galaxy and I bet they call it a Galaxy S or a Galaxy Note and not a Samsung Galaxy Note.

Nokia was an established, actually the largest, name in cellular phones way before Samsung, HTC, Apple etc. etc. even considered to enter the market. The Lumia was successful because it was a Nokia, not the other way around. Of course this does not mean that,at this point, Lumia cannot stand by itself but take a look at the devices boxes, Nokia name is allover.

Mickez said,
The Lumia is already (sort of) well known and established. That's a lot of marketing effort they'd throw away to come up with another name. So I think they'll stick with it.

Its true but unfortunately lumia specially 7.x series did not leave good impression on users. I would rathur say microsoft use lumia for low end series and surface for high end series.

Fritzly said,

Nokia was an established, actually the largest, name in cellular phones way before Samsung, HTC, Apple etc. etc. even considered to enter the market. The Lumia was successful because it was a Nokia, not the other way around. Of course this does not mean that,at this point, Lumia cannot stand by itself but take a look at the devices boxes, Nokia name is allover.

I have no doubt that seeing Nokia on it plays a part but if not much changes and where it said Nokia it now just says Lumia will people, not the ones who follow tech news day and night, notice? Only time will tell but I think it'll be less of an issue in the long run.

I can say for sure that most people still can't tell you a Nokia 3310 from Nokia N9. All they know is Nokia phone. But there sure is a huge difference now when you ask most folks who own a smartphone, they know what a Nokia Lumia (often called Lumina) is, rather than a Nokia Windows Phone.

GP007 said,

I think Lumia can go on it's own without Nokia in front of it. Lots of people know about Galaxy and I bet they call it a Galaxy S or a Galaxy Note and not a Samsung Galaxy Note.

Yeah, all they need to do is sell about 120 million more handsets, and the name is BOUND to stick! /s

Galaxy got it's recognition by being the number 1 selling phone over multiple years...it didn't get that recognition with 8 million handset sales in a quarter. (worldwide)

M_Lyons10 said,

Agreed. I think it could stand to be shortened, but with the OS still available for other OEM's to use, I think it necessitates a more descriptive name than you can get away with for the iPhone for instance...

So predictably biased... lol Must be interesting to go through tech with such blinders on all the time... lol

No blinders here pal. I probably have more gadgets from different manufacturers in my house that would make you say "oh scht". I just speak my mind just like you speaks yours. Give me the closest major city to where you live and the next time I'm there I will do my own poll. I will survey people walking down your street and ask them if they know what a Lumia is. We will then see who has blinders on.

JHBrown said,
No blinders here pal. I probably have more gadgets from different manufacturers in my house that would make you say "oh scht". I just speak my mind just like you speaks yours. Give me the closest major city to where you live and the next time I'm there I will do my own poll. I will survey people walking down your street and ask them if they know what a Lumia is. We will then see who has blinders on.

I second this. The blinders are on the people who think the Lumia name is a well known brand. If you pick a group of random people off the road and ask them if they know what a "Lumia" is, I guarantee it would be a fraction of the number of people who know what a "Galaxy S" or an "iPhone" is, which would probably be close to 100%. I recognize that they are more popular in some parts of the country or world, but those are outliers.

That said, to those that do know Windows Phones, Lumia is definitely the most recognizable name in the group, which is why they need to keep the name as is or risk weakening an already weak brand.

AJerman said,

I second this. The blinders are on the people who think the Lumia name is a well known brand. If you pick a group of random people off the road and ask them if they know what a "Lumia" is, I guarantee it would be a fraction of the number of people who know what a "Galaxy S" or an "iPhone" is, which would probably be close to 100%. I recognize that they are more popular in some parts of the country or world, but those are outliers.

That said, to those that do know Windows Phones, Lumia is definitely the most recognizable name in the group, which is why they need to keep the name as is or risk weakening an already weak brand.

Well said.

John Nemesh said,

Yeah, all they need to do is sell about 120 million more handsets, and the name is BOUND to stick! /s

Galaxy got it's recognition by being the number 1 selling phone over multiple years...it didn't get that recognition with 8 million handset sales in a quarter. (worldwide)

So, because it's not selling like the Galaxy it's brand name isn't known to some degree? My whole point was that it's known better in some parts of the world than others, and the sales in those parts show that. If all you and others want to do is look at the US market as the be all of the mobile world then fine.