The Surface Phone has become something of a mythical device in the Windows Mobile world. This much rumoured half-phone, half-PC is coming to bring the good fight to Android and iOS.
I believe I have heard that one before.
I fear that Microsoft has no customer loyalty - or credibility - to allow it to re-launch a Windows phone back into the market. A few loyal enterprise customers may retain Windows 10 phones but sales aren't going to be troubling the bean counters any time soon.
However, the successful launch of the Nintendo Switch shows that there remains some demand for a mobile console, even as Sony abandoned the PS Vita. Maybe now is the time for a mobile Xbox. One that packs smartphone capabilities.
One of the promises that Microsoft made when Windows Phone 7 launched was that it would be the Xbox phone. That never happened in any useful way. It was a missed opportunity then, but the idea was a little ahead of its time. Even so, Microsoft failed to bring any blockbuster games tie-ins or unique content to any Windows phone until Halo arrived, too late to make any difference.
A real Xbox phone would need to have real Xbox games - even if that means Xbox 360 games. Real games for real gamers. The shortcomings of Windows Mobile would be less important in that case.
A console phone based around Windows 10 but strongly focused on Xbox could be the perfect foil for a Surface Phone and allow Microsoft to retain at least a toehold in the smartphone market.