From Russia with a pinch of salt: another death knell for the Lumia brand

Yet more fuel has been added to the fire that the Lumia brand's days are numbered. The news comes out of Russia, which claims that the Lumia brand and ARM processors will no longer be used for Microsoft's mobile strategy going forward.

It had already been hinted that the Lumia 650 would be Microsoft's last Lumia, but so far the company has been tight lipped on the matter. However, Russian journalist and market observer Eldar Murtazin claims to have spoken with hardware partners who attended a recent Microsoft partner event in the country, where the company is said to have outlined its plans going forward.

According to Murtazin, the Russian branch of the US software company supposedly declared in briefings to its partners that Windows 10 Mobile on ARM would be a thing of the past soon. Instead, it's said that the mobile operating system will be based off a x86 version of future Windows 10 Editions.

But even if Microsoft switches development of all of its own future smartphones to x86, it will still need to offer a user experience for the smaller screens on mobile devices (a point that Murtazin himself implicitly acknowledges) - and we already know that the company has worked on x86 support for Windows 10 Mobile.

On top of this, it will soon begin upgrading its own Lumia handsets, which run on ARM chips, to Windows 10 Mobile, while its partners continue to launch ARM-based phones - so it seems very unlikely that it is now planning to completely kill off support for ARM devices with its new OS, even if it no longer intends to launch further devices using those processors itself.

Furthermore, Microsoft is quoted by Murtazin as having stated that the development of "all Lumia smartphones" will be stopped as well, and that in September 2016, the heavily rumored "Surface Phone" powered by an Intel processor will be unveiled by Microsoft. It's already known that the Lumia team is transitioning over to the Surface Division, fueling the possibility of a "Surface Phone" actually happening.

Although these are just rumors, it's no secret that both the Lumia 950 and 950 XL were promoted as a 'PC in your pocket' when launched last year, so it makes sense that Microsoft may want to continue along those lines, offering their customers a true PC-like experience with Continuum across their devices. To fully realize this vision, 32-bit Windows apps will need to work as well.

Source: Mobile Review (Russian) via WinFuture (German) | Thanks for the tip FrankB!

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