Microsoft acquired Nokia’s phone business recently, and now that the deal is done the company is reportedly preparing to stop using the Nokia name to describe its Lumia smartphones.
That’s not a big surprise. When Microsoft announced the Lumia 730 and 830 this month the promotional materials barely mentioned Nokia by name.
What’s a little more surprising (but just a little) is that Microsoft also plans to stop calling its mobile operating system Windows Phone. Instead it’ll just describe future phones as running Windows.
If the report is accurate, Microsoft will shift its smartphone branding strategy before the 2014 holiday season.
When Microsoft bought Nokia’s phone business the company got the rights to continue using the Nokia name for a few more years… but Nokia continues to operate as a standalone company based in Finland. It makes more sense for Microsoft to put its own names on its phones… although it could be a risky move since Nokia has a long history in the smartphone industry and it’s possible some shoppers might not be aware that a phone with the Microsoft Lumia name on it is built by the same people responsible for Nokia Lumia devices.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has been taking steps to bring its mobile and desktop operating systems closer together. Not only do they both support start screens with live tiles, but Microsoft is encouraging developers to create Universal Windows Apps that will run on phones, tablets, notebooks, desktops, and eventually even Xbox One game consoles.
Still, if this move goes through, it could be a recipe for brand confusion. You can run iTunes on a Windows laptop… but you can’t run it on a Microsoft Lumia phone with Windows.