Lenovo is finally launching a Windows-powered smartphone. Microsoft unveiled the Chinese giant as a new partner at the WinHEC conference in Shenzhen, China today; CNBC reports that the devices will be offered through China Mobile later this year.
It's unclear, however, whether the Lenovo phones will run Windows Phone, Microsoft's current mobile operating system, or Windows 10, which will launch this summer and can be scaled across PCs, tablets, and smartphones. The text in a presentation slide (below) would suggest the former, but launching a last-gen Windows Phone device amid the Windows 10 release would risk confusing consumers.
Lenovo is going to launch its own Windows Phone product this summer @tomwarren pic.twitter.com/8GqBz1SVJa— 杜晨(光谱) (@LichtSpektrum) March 18, 2015
Speaking of giant Chinese manufacturers letting you run versions of Windows on phones, Microsoft also announced a partnership with Xiaomi. A "select group of Xiaomi Mi 4 power users" will be able to test the technical preview build of Windows 10 on their devices, though it doesn't sound like Xiaomi is committing to creating retail devices just yet.
It would be surprising if Xiaomi did produce an actual Windows Phone — the company leans on various software and services it offers through its heavily customized version of Android, and if Windows 10 on mobile is anything like prior Windows Phone devices, it won't offer much scope for altering the stock OS.