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Samsung already took a stab at the Windows Phone 8 market with the ATIV range, and is now back with a bigger, badder model for Windows Phone 8.1. According to a snap posted by the ever-reliable Evleaks Twitter handle, the device is codenamed "Huron" (model SM-W750V), and as well as looking very much similar to the Galaxy S4 (as the ATIV S rather did the Galaxy S3), it will also be carried by Verizon Wireless in the United States.

It’s been a full year since the Korean outfit came through with the ATIV Odyssey, and with Windows Phone continuing to struggle, it’s hard to gauge how much value Samsung will see in churning out these WP devices. Even though the company has a reputation for offering great variety to its consumer base, if the ecosystem continues to play a very distant third to the likes of Android and iOS, Samsung may instead focus its attentions on Google’s ubiquitous platform, through which it sells millions of devices each year.

With Nokia in the process of being acquired by Microsoft, it’s very clear that the Redmond is in the smartphone war for the long haul, but at present, it’s very difficult to see things being turned around. Developers seem to be avoiding the Windows Phone Store like the plague, and with Samsung hardly appearing to invest much beyond a bunch of re-jigged version of flagship Android handsets to the cause, one strongly suspects that codename Huron will be the final release for Windows Phone from the company.

The Mobile World Congress kicks off later this month in Barcelona, Spain, which is the likely venue for Huron’s unveiling. We’d expect a fairly high-end hardware experience à la GS4, but until either Samsung officially offers the details or a further leak provides us with this info, it’s just an educated guess based upon previous releases.

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Incidentally, MWC is also expected to play host to Nokia’s first Android handset, which, given the circumstances of Microsoft’s looming acquisition, could also be its last. Various leaks have pointed towards an interface blending elements of Nokia’s Asha and the tiles of Windows Phone, but even with substantial evidence that the device (Nokia X, Normandy) is in existence, there’s still a consensus that Microsoft will intervene and shelve the idea completely.

What do you think – is there any value in Samsung releasing a Windows Phone 8.1-ready device? And likewise, should Nokia be pulling such a move on Windows Phone by catering to Android? Do share your thoughts below!

(Source: Evleaks [Twitter])

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