We reported at the end of 2013 that Sony was rumoured to be in talks with Microsoft over its manufacturing Windows Phone 8 handsets in future, breaking its tradition of making solely Android smartphones. Now sources have told Digitimes that the deal is confirmed and Sony plans to release one or two WP8 phones this year.

The co-operation deal, says the site, will benefit Microsoft in that, through Sony, it will be able to tap into the lucrative Japanese market with Windows Phone 8 products. Sony Mobile will also feed its new handsets to US networks.

Taiwanese manufacturer ODM Compal Communications is said to have won the order from Sony for the first one or two phones, with an additional two to three models being under discussion. Sony is just testing the water at present, however, with the source claiming that the orders are for only tens of thousands of units initially.

Interestingly, if the company does press ahead with a Windows Phone 8 phone release, it means that Sony will be putting its name to a device where the music, games and video stores will be Xbox branded.