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It’s not a new story – a prototype device running unreleased software on innocent looking hardware gets lost by a company field tester, it finds its way around the world and into the hands of some tech fanatic who knows its worth, and photos and information originating from the prototype device make their way onto the net. Thus is the tale of Reddit user Jeremiah Wong who bought a normal looking Nokia Lumia 920 off of eBay, only to find that the device was running an as of yet unreleased version of Windows Phone 8, codenamed “Blue.”

The Lumia 920 scarcely gave off the impression of such a secretive device, looking almost identical to a standard retail model with the exception of the letters “MSFT” etched into the back of the device; the Lumia even had standard AT&T carrier logos on the front of the device. But as soon as Mr. Wong turned on the device, he would have realized that something was very special about his new Lumia – the new version of Windows Phone 8 came complete with a brand new Notification Center, seemingly updated versions of the OS’s built in “Battery,” “Power,” “Wifi,” and Windows Store apps, as well as a redesigned Calendar application. Also included was the ability to force close running applications in the operating system’s multitasking view, a feature not present in current versions of Windows Phone 8.

lostlumia920

As it turns out, the specific build installed on Mr. Wong’s phone identified itself as 12084.WPMAIN(wpbldlab).20130509-1407, a relatively new build of Windows Phone 8 that was compiled only a month ago on May 9th.

Microsoft was obviously not to keen on having a device such as this floating out there wily-nilly, and The Verge is now reporting that the company has contacted Mr. Wong requesting their prototype Lumia 920 phone, which they claim was lost by an engineer on a city bus. Microsoft has reportedly offered to repay Wong the full amount paid for the device and has also given him a brand new replacement phone for his troubles – one with a more standard copy of Windows Phone 8 preinstalled, we can only assume.


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