The next Surface tablet you see from Microsoft might instead be rebranded as a Lumia device, as the Redmond company looks to streamline its tablet lineup. That’s the report coming out of Evleaks, and it doesn’t really sound all that crazy seeing as Microsoft is the proud owner of one very popular and respected mobile company. It’s not like Microsoft’s Surface RT tablets were lighting the market on fire, so the timing is right for a small shakeup. There’s also another part to this story. “This is pretty exciting: Microsoft is reportedly in the final stages of licensing the Nokia brand, for the purpose of calling the handsets “Nokia by Microsoft,” Evleaks wrote.
Branding is hard. Branding is expensive. And changing brands mid-stream is hard, expensive and sometimes (often?) ill-advised. But according to known leaker @evleaks, Microsoft may be doing just that. According to his unnamed sources, Microsoft may be moving toward rebranding its Surface tablets as “Lumia” devices. @evleaks also claimed that Microsoft may be negotiating to keep the Nokia brand longer than originally planned so that it can use it for future phones and possibly other devices. Earlier this month, @evleaks published what looked to be some kind of Microsoft “technical branding” guidance document, which indicated that Microsoft planned to phase-out Nokia branding on a very specific schedule: 18 months post close of the Microsoft acquisition of the Nokia handset business for Lumia devices; through December 31, 2015 for Nokia X Android phones; and 10 years for Asha mobile phones. (From the way that planning document is phrased, I would guess it predated the close of the Microsoft acquisition of Nokia’s handset business in April 2014.)