Microsoft has confirmed that it is not working on a Microsoft-branded smartphone. No one had really even considered such a possibility until the company announced Surface, a first-party Microsoft tablet designed to showcase the power of Windows 8.
After that, some analysts and reporters suggested it might be possible for Microsoft to design and sell its own line of Windows Phone devices as well.
But in an interview with Informationweek.com, Microsoft senior marketing manager Greg Sullivan said there were no such plans, and that the company is satisfied with its existing Windows Phone hardware partners.
The most important, of course, is Nokia. 900,000 Nokia-branded devices were shipped in the fourth quarter of last year.
That is one-third of the total number of Windows Phone units that were sent, which was 2.7 million in total. Because of Nokia, Windows Phone shipments were up 36 percent.
Before Nokia stepped in, the top player in the Windows Phone field was HTC. The most important thing to keep in mind is that by the end of the fourth quarter, Nokia hadn't even begun shipping any Windows Phone devices to the US.
The first Lumia phone to hit the US came out in early 2012, but it was available in other regions late last year.
Of course, being the top Windows Phone manufacturer is kind of like being the best player in Little League - you'll still have a tough time competing in the MLB. In other words, Android and iOS are still dominating the market, and Nokia has a long way to go if it wants to legitimately compete in that field.
So far, Nokia has made quite an impression, and there is the possibility that it could almost single-handedly help bring Windows Phone within striking distance of the two larger smartphone OS players. It will need to continue innovating if it wants that to happen.