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(Pocket-lint) - "Our hardware partners are doing some really cool things for the Windows Phone 8 launch."

That's the word from Greg Sullivan, Senior Product manager for Windows Phone at Microsoft, having seen what's in store for Windows Phone fans later in the year.

"We are really excited by the hardware we are seeing from our current partners. We are big believers in them," added Sullivan to Pocket-lint in a behind-closed-doors interview.

That confidence in what third-party smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, and Nokia are doing probably means that Microsoft is unlikely to look to build its own dedicated Windows Phone smartphone in the same way it has with the Surface tablet for Windows RT announced in June.

Speculation had risen shortly after the Surface launch that Microsoft might look to do the same for a phone as it has with a tablet, but Sullivan suggested that's not the case.

We put the question of whether the Surface had been created because the industry has so far failed to come up with anything exciting as yet to Sullivan.

He tells us he suspects that it is a "reasonable conclusion" although is keen to not be drawn into a discussion about a topic that he is not involved in. The Windows Phone and Surface teams are separate, but points out that Microsoft needed, as it has in the past, to accelerate the market to show what was possible.

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"We did it with mice, soundcards, and lots of other products in the past," explains Sullivan.

HTC, Samsung, Nokia and others have confirmed that they will be launching new Windows Phone 8 hardware later in the year to take advantage of the new features Microsoft is adding to the mobile OS.

The company is hoping new features like VOIP support throughout the operating system, NFC, new processor support and new screen resolutions will help it gain the much-needed edge over current Android offerings.

Windows Phone 8 and the Microsoft Surface are expected to be available some time in October and certainly before Christmas. 

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Writing by Stuart Miles.