It’s not a secret anymore that Windows phones are going dark, and with Microsoft confirming that nothing major expects us on the software and hardware fronts, it’s all just a matter of time until this happens.

In the meantime, however, the company seems to be dropping hints that there might be a mobile future for Microsoft despite the death of Windows Phone, and most of the hopes are aimed at the Surface Phone and Windows 10 on ARM.

A hint that mobile is still part of Microsoft’s strategy landed today when the company shipped an update to the Windows 10 Messaging app totally out of the blue. Supposed to provide SMS management for Windows 10 devices including phones, the Messaging app hasn’t received any updates since July 2017, at which point it was already clear that Windows 10 Mobile had no future.

Fluent Design for the win

Furthermore, the most recent major update was released in 2016 with the removal of Skype integration from the app, so this new version is certainly unexpected.

Updated to build 3.36.14001.0, the Messaging app now boasts Fluent Design, which is Microsoft’s UI makeover that includes blur and other visual effects for its Store apps.

MSPU speculates that the unexpected update to the Messaging app could be connected to the release of Always Connected PCs, which run Windows 10 on ARM and offer LTE support.

While this could indeed be the case, it remains to be seen if the update will ever be shipped to the production ring, though this does make sense given that only Fluent Design improvements are included in the new version and these help bring Messaging in line with the other apps.

The more optimistic diehard Windows phone fans believe this is a sign the Surface Phone is on its way, though it’s likely this is more of wishful thinking and such a project is still far from getting the go-ahead.