The secrecy surrounding Windows Phone 8 continues to mount, despite the leaked SDK and a few device announcements. With the OS launch just under a month away, everyone is wondering just what – if anything – Microsoft might have up its sleeve. Has a killer feature been hidden from the SDK, preventing it from being leaked online? Is the company trying to hold an Apple-like event, where features are announced just days before device availability? Could it be something else?

The rumor that just won’t die – that Microsoft plans to manufacture its own Windows Phone handset under the Surface brand – is back, this time claiming that the device is supposedly “in the late stages of development” and set for release “in the coming months.” More specifically, in the first half of 2013. Surface, of course, is Microsoft’s line of first-party devices, most notably the upcoming Windows 8 and Windows RT tablet. We are, of course, still awaiting further details on the tablet, which is just over four weeks away. Could Microsoft actually be working on its own smartphone too? After the surprise Surface tablet announcement, I guess it’s as likely as anything else.

But with the rumored release date more than a few months out, announcing a Surface device at the Windows Phone 8 launch event seems unwise. Revealing it too far ahead of general availability would only kill sales for its partners. Nokia, HTC, and Samsung are releasing some great devices this fall, but I’d be tempted to hold out for the Surface phone if I knew it was actually on the way. Do you want a high-end Surface smartphone, or are you happy with the current slate of devices?

[China Times | BGR via All About Microsoft]