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The future of Nokia seems roughly spelled out, what with Microsoft’s plans to purchase the company’s devices business getting underway earlier this year. While we don’t know exactly how it’s going to work, it makes a fair amount of sense that the largest third-party maker of Windows-powered gadgets will simply become a Microsoft-branded subsidiary. But despite that relative certainty, some questions have arisen lately: for one, there are the rumors of a Windows-skinned Android-based smartphone in production at Nokia, and today, and for another, there’s today’s report that Nokia’s 8-inch Windows tablet, codenamed “Illusionist,” has been canceled.

We’d first heard of Illusionist last month, though there wasn’t much information besides its size and Windows RT operating system. But today a post over on MyNokiaBlog cites “a reliable source close to Nokia” who claims that the tablet has been abruptly canceled, despite being on track for a first-quarter 2014 release. The Illusionist tablet would’ve complimented Nokia’s other products. But a post on Neowin speculates that the cancelation could’ve come down from Microsoft due to fears of competing with an as-yet unannounced 8-inch Surface tablet.  While it’s tough to get too much out of a rumored cancellation for an unannounced product, it may shed a little light on what’s to come when Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia is complete.

That an 8-inch Windows tablet this close to release would get canceled could signal the way Microsoft will be dealing with its future subsidiary in Nokia. Many have wondered how the company would handle owning a gadget maker now that it’s in the business of making hardware. It would make a lot of sense for Microsoft to simply blend its device division along with Nokia’s, but it remains to be seen how or if the two will be able to coexist.

So is this cancellation—if true—a sign that Microsoft will be letting products live or die depending on whether or not it interferes with its own products? Or will the company find a smarter and smoother way to integrate the handset and tablet maker into its corporate structure?

We won’t know for sure until the acquisition’s complete and we see what they put out and how it’s done. Stay tuned.

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