Microsoft plans to drop the Windows Phone and Nokia brands from its marketing materials in the phones’ upcoming holiday campaigns. The website GeeksOnGadgets received an internal document, which was later confirmed to be authentic and accurate by The Verge. The slide showed the company’s plans about its brands. According to the slide, the manufacturer name, Nokia, will be dropped from product references in the company’s Holiday campaign.
The plan to phase out the Nokia brand should not come as a surprise given that the Finnish company was acquired by Microsoft for $7.2 billion is September 2013. The move to drop the Windows Phone brand, however, is a change in the company’s strategy. On the other hand, the move is also unsurprising for anyone who paid attention to the company’s latest commercials for its new phones.
There were no mentions of Windows Phone in the latest commercial for the Lumia 930. The company just uses Windows instead of Windows Phone. Even the company’s promotional videos do not mention Window Phone aside from the latest Cortana 30-second ads where Windows Phone was only present in a small URL at the last part of the video.
This move seems to mark Microsoft’s plan to unify its operating system. The company has been compelled to make a decision on branding an operating system that will run in both phones and tablets as it’s preparing to combine its Windows Phone operating system with Windows RT. Rivals like Apple and Android both have OS that run across phones and tablets.
Microsoft has Windows Phone OS for phones, Windows 8.1 for PCs and tablets, and Windows RT that runs on its tablets. Perhaps, the company realized that it just confuses consumers and it doesn’t matter what brand it uses for its operating system.
More hints about the Microsoft’s plan can be seen as the software company prepares to release Windows Threshold, which will debut as Windows 9. The forthcoming release will put an emphasis on bringing updates regularly instead of coming up with big successors. With the company’s imminent plan to simplify its brand, it can be expected that the new release will just be called Windows, instead of Windows 9.
The combined version of Windows Phone and Windows RT is being referred to as “Windows mobile” internally at the company and it could be a hint that the shift from Windows Phone to Windows is clearly happening.
Microsoft is slowly implementing what at first was just a vision of universal apps working across their devices such as PC, phone, and Xbox. Dropping the Windows Phone brand is one way to execute that vision.
This move does not mean that Microsoft is killing the Windows Phone OS. The company just won’t be using the name for future references like marketing materials.
Microsoft has yet to make a formal announcement regarding its rebranding efforts. A spokesman of the company has said that there is “nothing to share” when asked about phasing out the Windows Phone and Nokia brands.