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Report: Microsoft to release a new Windows phone in 2017 with Redstone 3 update

surface phone concept
Windows Phone Area

The new phone may precede the Surface Phone

Microsoft is currently testing early builds of the Redstone 3 update on the Lumia 950 line, and the company is planning to roll out the software actualization to existing phones in Q4 2017. With this update, all current phones will be getting improvements in Continuum thanks to the new C-Shell that is part of the unified Windows 10 OS for all devices.

We already reported from our sources that Microsoft is planning four key steps for the transition from Mobile to unified Windows. And while the legacy phones will definitely progress from Anniversary Update to Creators Update and even to Redstone 3, the next updates won’t reach phones like Lumia 950 whose hardware is just not powerful enough to run the full unified version of Windows 10 (codenamed Andromeda).

According to a new report from WindowsUnited in Germany, Microsoft might be releasing a new phone sooner than expected. Instead of focusing exclusively on the overly-discussed Surface phone (expected in late 2018 and even in early 2019), Redmond might launch a hardware upgrade of the existing models. Such a phone would be running Windows 10 Mobile with the Redstone 3 update, demonstrating the new mobile features such as windowing in Continuum, pinned apps on the taskbar and more.

Now, here are some speculations based on the information we know, including info from our own source about the future of Windows on phones.

A possible high-end phone in 2017 will likely include an ARM processor that supports full Windows 10, such as Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. A device with improved hardware may have a similar design philosophy to the Surface phone. Microsoft may want to have a fresh new device to test the unified Windows 10 (OneCore OS) with Composable Shell, including Win32 emulation in Continuum.

Microsoft’s Andromeda OS and the evolution of Windows Phone

This rumored phone is likely to be the only one receiving feature updates after the Redstone 3 actualization. That could be the main reason for launching a device between the Lumia 950 and the Surface Phone. Without a new model on the market, Microsoft may not have a single device (nor any Windows insider) to test future builds of Windows 10 on phones.

What do you think about the prospect of Microsoft launching a new phone in 2017?