Microsoft is reportedly talking with suppliers in Asia about making a company-branded smartphone.
The Redmond, Wash., company already has its own mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8, but much like with its computer business, it leaves the production of hardware to other companies. In the case of Windows smartphones, Nokia leads the way, followed by HTC and Samsung.
The report says that for now Microsoft is simply testing a design. The company isn't sure whether it will take the phone into mass production, the Journal says, citing unnamed sources.
No specifics about the phone were published other than it might have a screen in the 4- to 5-inch range.
The Journal interviewed Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Monday, but neither he nor the company would comment on the possibility of a Microsoft-made phone.
"We're quite happy this holiday [season] going to market hard with Nokia, Samsung and HTC," Ballmer said, according to the Journal. "Whether we had a plan to do something different or we didn't have a plan I wouldn't comment in any dimension."
[For the record, 8:20 a.m., Nov. 3: An earlier version of this post incorrectly referred to Redmond, Ore. That city is in Washington.]