The Windows Phone 8 party could soon welcome a new member. Computer maker Acer is said to be gearing up to launch a Windows Phone 8 smartphone next year.

Acer’s last Windows Phone came with the Mango update to the platform, way back in 2011.

But the company has already confirmed plans to launch Windows Phone devices in the first half of 2014, saying that this would be a strategic play from its part. This is probably the company’s bid to offer an option for users that are interested in using both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

As reported, Acer previously launched a Windows Phone 7.5 handset, the Allegro, late last year as an entry level smartphone. The 3.7-inch device was also known as W4 and M310.

Since then, the company has focused exclusively on its Android handsets, but the company is now planning a return to the Windows Phone camp.

A leaked image of a slide reveals that while the main focus still remains the Android platform, the company is ready to add Windows Phone devices to its portfolio as a strategic play. Samsung currently dominates the Android market, and Acer obviously plans to diversify its smartphone offerings.

The slide also reveals that the target is to provide a unique experience across Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The company recently announced its first 8-inch Windows 8 tablet, the Iconia W3 which comes with a free version of Office 2013.

Now whether the hardware vendor is planning a new Windows Phone smartphone or a family of devices powered by Microsoft’s mobile platform remains to be seen.

Obviously, Windows Phone Blue should be out by then, and will provide the company the opportunity to bring some powerful devices to the market. The targeted launch in the first half of 2014 will reveal exactly what is in store.

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