Asus finally ready to build a Windows Phone, but with Windows 8 not WP8

Asus is reportedly in talks to enter the Windows Phone market, almost a year after first saying it would. However, instead of bringing out an Asus-branded Windows Phone 8 device, it seems the manufacturer would favour a smartphone loaded with Windows 8.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Benson Lin, Asus corporate vice-president of mobile communication products, explained that Windows 8 would be a good match for the company's Padfone concept. "With our Padfone concept, the phone plus tablet, I think it makes sense for Windows 8," he said. "There is no target timeline… but we are interested in making Windows phones."

The Asus Padfone and, more recently, the Padfone 2 are Android smartphones which, when plugged into the back of a tablet, offer a full Android tablet experience. As Microsoft guidelines currently don't allow for a Windows Phone 8 tablet - there is nothing over 4.7-inches that runs on the Windows Phone OS (the HTC Titan, which is loaded with WP7) - Asus is looking to work the other way and scale down Windows 8.

According to The Verge, Microsoft is working on an update for Windows 8 - codenamed Windows Blue - that would allow the operating system to work comfortably on devices smaller than 7-inches. It is coming in mid-2013, in plenty of time for Asus to implement in future phone concepts.

Indeed, it is not expected that the first Asus Windows 8 phone will appear in 2013, with Lin telling the WSJ that the phones it is working on are scheduled for next year.