After a slew of bad years, Nokia still hasn’t found their footing yet. Once one of the dominant handset and wireless hardware firms, the Finnish firm has struggled in the changing landscape. 2 years after dumping their Lumia and handset business on Microsoft, the company looks to be cutting more of its staff. The cuts come as part of the massive $16.6 billion Alcatel-Lucent acquisition, with up to 14% of staff from both firms being cut.
According to the source, Nokia is set to cut 10,000 to 15,000 jobs in total out of their global workforce of 104,000. The cuts come as part of the $1 billion in cuts due to the overlap between Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent. These cuts will occur in over 30 countries but will heavily impact Germany and France but Finland will be the hardest hit. This comes as the multinational refocuses their attention away from the mobile device and infrastructure market and more into their telecommunications side of their business.
In order to find more growth, Nokia is turning to software and service contracts as they are generally more lucrative. What this all means for future Nokia handsets, their supposed mobile comeback and other hardware ventures like the OZO Camera remains to be seen. I for one hope the company re-enters the smartphone market.
Even as Microsoft continues to work on their Windows 10 Mobile OS, the hardware side has been lagging behind. After acquiring Nokia’s handset business for a massive sum 2 years ago, Microsft really hasn’t done much with it. In fact, according to the latest rumours, it looks like the first set of new Microsoft phones won’t be coming till 2017. This also comes as Lumia, Nokia’s brand, has seen new handset releases grind to a halt.
According to the source, the new Windows phones coming in 2017 will take up the Surface branding from their popular line of tablet PCs. Microsoft is trying to take the time to get the hardware right and re-enter the phone space with a fresh lineup. The 3 new Surface phones will target the Consumer, Enterprise and Prosumer market segments respectively. This is in line with Microsoft’s simplification of their hardware to better target customers.
For now, Windows 10 Mobile fans will have to content themselves with OEM handsets. The delay will give OEM partners a chance to test out the waters without any first-party hardware to worry about. On the flip side, if OEMs don’t jump into the game, Microsoft may lose even more marketshare and face a much tougher jump back into the market.
Microsoft has been keen on promoting their “one platform for all premise”. This meant that no matter what device you were using, be it your computer, a tablet or a phone, you would experience the same system. The concept of Windows Phone has recently been put in doubt, with major projects such as the porting of Android Apps to the platform being stopped and sales constantly decreasing. It would seem now that Windows Phones won’t be making any big steps anytime soon as the system is declared all but ‘on hold’.
Microsoft held their Build keynote on Wednesday, explaining all their big steps and their phones didn’t even get a mention. The reason it would seem is that, according to Windows chief Terry Myerson, it’s just not the right time for the “4-inch screen”. In his explanation, Myerson goes to say that “there will be a time for it to be our focus” and saying that while it is “a part of the family” the phones are not “the core of where I hope to generate developer interest over the next year”.
Are you a Windows Mobile user? Were you thinking of getting a Windows Mobile at any time? Having previously used one, I enjoyed it until the lack of support and apps meant that the experience was all but as thrilling as first advertised. Leave us your thoughts in the comments below about what Microsoft needs to do to make their mobiles as catchy as their PC’s and laptops.
What does this mean? If you are one of the unlucky ones you will end up with a phone that will permanently stuck on Windows Phone 8. If you own one of the following phones, you will be given the option to update to windows 10 sometime soon on your phone:
Lumia 635 1GB
Lumia 636 1GB
Lumia 638 1GB
While the age of some Lumia phones may seem like a good reason to stop supporting them, the pressure to get their mobile platform correct seems to be building with expectations that Windows 10’s united platform would help save a platform that many consider almost invisible on the modern market.
The real problem people have is the broken promises that seem to be spewing from Microsoft. Firstly there is a long list of phones running Windows Phone 7 which were never upgraded to 8, leaving them with a broken and unsupported mobile OS and doing the same to Windows Phone 8 users question if the mobile system is as dead as it’s been reported.
Whether Windows 8 mobile users have waited patiently for the update to Windows 10 or not is something the upgrade numbers will show, but up until now they haven’t had any other choice than wait. At least, if they wanted to keep their current Lumia phones powered by the older operating system. At first the update was promised to arrive in December last year, then it was January before being pushed to February, only to be postponed again.
The newest reports indicate that those were the last delays and that Windows 8 users will get the ability to upgrade to Windows 10 this month, after the monthly service update is completed for the Lumia 950 models. I should, however, point out again, that this isn’t officially confirmed information, at least not yet.
Microsoft plans to roll-out the update as an opt-in upgrade, allowing the users the choice to upgrade or not. At least at first. Once it has been verified that there aren’t any critical bugs or trouble with the upgrade, it will be pushed to compatible phones automatically.
With smartphones being as vital a component in people’s live these days, it is good to see that Microsoft takes its time to polish the operating system and make sure that everyone will get a great experience out of it instead of trying to stick to deadlines and then release a buggy product. It’s not something they can afford to do and the won’t.
It is an update that is well worth waiting for as I can say first hand that Windows 10 is an awesome mobile operating system. It takes a little time to get used to, as any change, but after a day, you won’t be missing any previous system. That is at least if you use your phone for communication where you’ll find all the popular instant messengers and similar things, but you might not find your favourite game on there yet.
Microsoft has struggled to compete in the highly competitive mobile sector and encourage large app developers to create Windows Mobile versions. For example, approximately seven months ago, Snapchat’s support team promised the creation of a Windows Mobile app on Twitter. However, the tweet in question has been deleted, and this doesn’t evoke any confidence in the app coming to Windows Mobile. It’s a crying shame because the operating system is excellent. Hopefully, the transition to Windows 10 Mobile will help matters, but that’s a pretty optimistic viewpoint. In an interview with ZDNet, Microsoft outlined the current Windows 10 Mobile update cycle and said:
“This November we introduced Windows 10 to phones including brand new features such as Continuum and Universal Windows Apps with the introduction of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. The Windows 10 Mobile upgrade will begin rolling out early next year to select existing Windows 8 and 8.1 phones.”
This means the original fall 2015 date will be missed and it’s unclear why the roll-out has been delayed. Perhaps, there’s a few teething issues on some of the handsets or bugs in the operating system which needs addressing. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a major problem since the current operating system works nicely. Additionally, it’s better to release Windows 10 Mobile as a polished product later on than rush it out for Christmas and receive negative publicity.
Microsoft has accidentally preempted the upcoming announcement of the flagship Lumia 950 and 950 XL. According to a listing on Microsoft’s UK Store, both devices will feature a WQHD display and 20-megapixel rear camera with ZEISS optics. The 950’s 5-2 inch panel offers an enhanced pixels-per-inch rate and comes in a sensible size.
In contrast to this, the 950 XL is extremely large with a total display size of 5.7-inch. Additional information regarding the storage limits was divulged and it looks like both handsets will include 32GB as standard with a microSD slot allowing for up to 2TB of expansion. Early reports indicate the 950 series will utilize a USB-Type C connection and support fast charging. Microsoft is also bundling the handsets with their latest operating system.
The mid-high end market is awash with a number of exceptional value-for-money handsets including the One Plus 2 and Hauwei Honor 7. It’s been quite a while since Microsoft launched a top-tier handset and the specifications are usually more modest on Windows Phone due to the light resources required by the operating system. Microsoft is hoping to bring more customers to Windows Mobile as their current market share leaves a lot to be desired.
What do you think of the Windows Mobile platform?
Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.
Microsoft’s latest hardware event will commence on October 6th and there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding the possible announcements. Invites have already been sent out to members of the press, but little is known about what will be revealed. We might see a glimpse of the Surface 4 or Microsoft’s latest attempt to infiltrate the highly-competitive smartphone market. Previously, there was a leak which suggested two new handsets are being readied to compete at the higher-end.
The 5.2-inch Lumia 950 supposedly features 3GB RAM, a 20-megapixel rear camera, QHD display and 32GB of storage with a microSD expansion slot. Another model dubbed the 950 XL is fairly similar but opts for a 5.5-inch display, faster Qualcomm 810 processor compared to the 950’s Qualcomm 808 and support for Microsoft’s pen technology.
Both devices are rumoured to implement USB-C charging ports in a similar vein to the One Plus 2. On another note, the Microsoft Band could receive an update but details are fairly sparse. The event is located in New York City and begins at 10 a.m EDT. Hopefully, Microsoft can create an enthusiastic reaction to their latest mobile announcements and try to improve Windows Mobile’s poor market share.
Thank you The Next Web for providing us with this information.
Rumour has it that Microsoft could be set to write off the majority of its Nokia acquisition this week. In 2013, Microsoft purchased Nokia’s smartphone division, taking over development of the Windows Phone-running Lumia handsets. The deal seems to have been in peril of some time, with Microsoft warning investors that the smartphone division was at an “elevated risk of impairment” – meaning that its market value is less than the money invested in it – back in April this year.
Microsoft filed the following statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on 23rd April:
“Declines in expected future cash flows, reduction in future unit volume growth rates, or an increase in the risk-adjusted discount rate used to estimate the fair value of the Phone Hardware reporting unit may result in a determination that an impairment adjustment is required, resulting in apotentially material charge to earnings.”
The Nokia acquisition was one of the last actions conducted by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer – an effort to keep the company entrenched in the mobile market – but the move was known to have been opposed by current CEO Satya Nadella.
Reports suggest that Microsoft could write-down the Nokia deal, which cost the company $7.9 billion, as early as Wednesday (1st July). When Microsoft finalised the Nokia deal in 2013, it carried $5.5 billion in goodwill – effectively the difference between purchase price and tangible assets – which seems to be the likely figure to be written down.
A write-down of such a massive amount is a huge admission of failure on the part of Microsoft. Winding up its mobile division entirely, or selling its remains on again, is certainly not unforeseeable.
Well, this is new. We all know how frustrating it is to wait for carriers to get the latest phone updates and then roll them out in each country. This leads to some people getting the update sooner than others and some may not even get the updates at all. But this is about to change for Windows Phone users.
Microsoft said that all Windows 10 Mobile users should expect to get the updates as soon as they roll out. This is because Microsoft confirmed it will solely handle the updates pushed to all active Windows 10 Mobile smartphones in the world. Pretty neat, huh? This means that even the low-end devices that carriers may consider obsolete in the past will receive the latest software updates.
The company’s approach is similar to what Apple uses to push out software updates to all its devices, independent of all carriers. Now all that remains to be seen is when Android users will see a similar option on their OS’ too, but I think it will take a lot more time for the latter OS to pack everything up to a single distribution (if ever). So are you a Windows Phone user? How excited are you to know you will get updates as soon as they roll out?
Thank you ZDNet for providing us with this information
Windows Phone fans, Rejoice! It has been reported that Microsoft is working to bring two new High-end Lumia Windows Phone devices. These will be running on Tech Giant’s new OS called ‘Windows 10’ with ‘Continuum’ feature baked in.
The more premium Lumia device is codenamed ‘Cityman’. It is supposed to be powered by Qualcomm octa-core processor (possibly Snapdragon 810 chip) coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB on-board storage which can be expanded using MicroSD card. It will be shipped with 5.7″ Quad HD display and 20 MP rear camera and 5 MP on the front. All of it is backed up by a big 3300 mAh removable battery.
The other Lumia device is codenamed ‘Talkman’. It is supposed to be powered by Qualcomm hexa-core processor ( like Snapdragon 808 on LG G4 ) and backed up by 3000 mAh removable battery and the rest of the internals are same as what ‘Cityman’ is to offer. This device might be slimmer than Lumia 930 ( 9.8 mm ).
Both the Lumia devices will carry a Triple-LED flash, each LED will have different shade or ‘tone’ which will allow the camera to take pictures which are much more natural to look. Although there aren’t many details of what’s special feature these devices have to offer but we will keep you posted as soon as we do.
The market has been full with Apples and Androids lately, so something new is definitely required. What do you think about this move, should they just move on by dropping the Windows platform or do you think its a good OS? Let us know about your views in the comment section.
Microsoft has stated in a blog post that its Windows 10 for phones Technical Preview released last month was available for “very limited” devices. The decision was made due to the partition size, having the company select just a few devices that matched its requirements.
The upcoming Technical Preview for Windows 10 for phones is said to be available for more devices this time, having Microsoft coming up with a process by the name of “partition stitching”. The latter process is said to essentially resize the partition dynamically, a process that would allow previously unsupported handsets run the upcoming Technical Preview distribution.
The company states that it requires one more week of engineering before releasing the new build, but the device list looks to be promising this time. Microsoft appears to be releasing the new Technical Preview for the following devices:
Lumia 530 Dual Sim
Lumia 630 Dual Sim
Lumia 730 Dual SIM
Microsoft Lumia 430
Microsoft Lumia 435
Microsoft Lumia 435 Dual SIM
Microsoft Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 532 Dual SIM
Microsoft Lumia 640 Dual SIM
Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM
Microsoft has also stated that the above list is not guaranteed, having the company remove devices that would encounter any sort of bug during the final tests.
Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information
Joining a trend of companies leaking their own products this week, Microsoft has just accidentally leaked two new Lumia phones due to be revealed at Mobile World Congress. Fortunately for Microsoft, they only leaked the names of the new devices in a blank post on their News Center website.
The post, which has been pulled (still viewable in a cache here) had the title “Microsoft Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL: keeping you prepared for anything” – revealing the Lumia 640 and the Lumia 640 XL, two brand new phones under the former Nokia brand. While we can guess that the 640 XL will be a bigger variant of the 640, we currently have no further details on the devices, other than specs previously leaked by Nokia Power User. They said that the new phone will have 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, a Snapdragon 400 processor and a 8-megapixel camera. the 640 is also to feature a 5-inch screen.
While we know the names for sure now, we’ll have to find out whether the specs are right when Microsoft officially unveils the devices this week.
We live in an era where our smartphone and/or tablet battery is one of our top priority for the day. Often we forget to plug them into a charger while at home or at the office, only to notice we can barely unlock them to see a notification once we are outside.
Ikea seems to have been thinking about the same problem and appears to have a rather high-tech solution, offering its customers a range of lamps and tables that come with wireless charging technology. Floor, table and work lamps are just a few of what Ikea offers in terms of lighting solution, along with a pair of bedside tables that come with individual pads which would add more charging locations to homes.
It seems that the furniture supports the Qi wireless standard, which is the leader in the wireless charging standard around the world. Since one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers which sell their handsets with built-in Qi wireless charging technology is Microsoft and its Lumia series, Ikea is also offering to sell charging covers for Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S handsets in order to use them with its furniture.
Ikea is said to start selling the furniture in the US and UK in mid April, having a starting price of around £40 in the UK. Pricing in the US is still to be confirmed.
Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information
Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 (GDR2) for Microsoft Lumia devices will be released within the next few months, it has been revealed, meaning that it will arrive before the release of Windows 10, due later this year.
Unfortunately, the incomplete changelist made available makes no mention of any revisions to the consumer version of Windows Phone 8.1, instead listing details on OEM, the enterprise client, and carrier changes, though supported languages for Asia and Africa are listed.
The current changelist includes the following items:
Updated VPN settings setup/configurator tool
PolicyManager — new options (mostly relating to OEM or enterprise locks):
Video Over LTE
Allows carriers to, among other things, block video calling over LTE, when the customer is on a capped connections with a low data allowance
Kiswahili (East Africa)
OEM Tile Restore
Allows specific tiles to be set so that even if you restore to a previous build, the OEM’s tiles will be appended to the end of your list (as if the device was new).
Emergency calling restrictions
OEMs can now set a configuration value to restrict emergency service on unregistered devices in some regions.
SIM Card/Keying updates
Allows you to disable languages on a specific SIM card and allows carriers to better set default language options (via keying)
New Tracing Features
Field Medic for modem failures
location-based services (LBS) test library API
If more consumer-friendly updates are to be forthcoming, they will likely be announced at the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC), which runs 2nd-5th March in Barcelona, or even the Microsoft BUILD 2015 event in San Francisco on 29th April, through to 1st May.
Photos of what appears to be a prototype Microsoft Lumia phone have appeared on a Chinese auction site.
The unconfirmed prototype has a very large camera in the back, somewhat akin to the Lumia 1020 with its crazy 41-megapixel camera. The device purportedly has 2GB of RAM and a 1080p 5-inch display. The phone is only referred to as the “Nokia RM-1052” on the casing, along with a plastic strip interrupting its aluminium rear.
The Verge points out that the device could be one of the remnants of the cancelled ‘Nokia McLaren’. This device was to feature Microsoft’s Kinect technology, with ‘3D Gestures’, so you could interface with the phone without touching it. So far there’s no confirmation of whether it really is a Microsoft Lumia prototype, but it certainly looks like one.
Microsoft has announced that its existing Lumia handsets running Windows 8 will update to Windows 10 when it becomes available. It made the pledge on its official Twitter account, in response to a customer question, tweeting, “We plan to upgrade all Windows Phone 8 devices to Windows 10 in the future.”
Though not exactly a press announcement, such a public declaration on an official social media account suggests the statement can be taken as concrete. Two years ago, Microsoft displeased Lumia users when they revealed that Windows Phone 7 devices would not be updated to Windows 8 due to a kernel problem. The company seems to have made plans to avoid undermining customer satisfaction a second time.
No release date for Windows 10 has been confirmed, but it’s expected to be available in 2015.
Microsoft has announced it’s first non-Nokia branded Lumia phone. The Microsoft Lumia 535 is the first to carry the new Microsoft branding since their $7.2 billion acquisition of the Finnish company’s devices unit closed earlier in the year.
The new phone is a low-cost Windows Phone (obviously) that is billed to resemble where Microsoft is taking their mobile phone business over the coming years. The device features a 5-inch 960 x 540 pixel display, 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, and 1GB RAM, 8GB of internal storage (with a MicroSD card slot for expansion). The device also comes with front and rear 5-megapixel cameras.
The device will go on sale for around $130 in December.
The brand the world over once knew as the biggest mobile phone manufacturer on the planet is gone. After Microsoft’s recent acquisition of the company, reports are swirling that Redmond is about to make the death of the Nokia brand official. ‘Nokia’ mobile phones will be replaced with ‘Microsoft Lumia’ moving forward. Technology site The Verge is reporting that process will start in France, with localised social accounts renaming through to the new moniker first and then a transition period over a few weeks for the rest of the globe. One things not for absolute certainty yet – we’ll have to wait for the official word before we know if Microsoft will be dubbing the Windows Phone devices to just ‘Lumia’, ‘Microsoft Lumia’ or ‘Microsoft’.
Back in 2013 when Microsoft finalised the acquisition, the then CEO of Nokia had stated that he didn’t expect Microsoft would be pushing the Nokia brand for an extended period of time. It would seem that this is indeed going to be the case, as it should be noted that many Windows Phone Store applications have in fact already removed the ‘Nokia’ branding from their application titles in recent months. The juggernaut that once was Nokia Mobile is after many decades finally coming to a close.
Thanks to The Verge for providing us with this information.
With Apple and Android news barraging the internet currently, maybe you’re looking for something a little different? Windows OS phone; the Microsoft Lumia 830, is coming to AT&T as announced recently.
Sometime later this year, you’ll be able to get your hands on this piece of kit through the phone company, which it is said to have brought in due to public outcry on their lack of options currently available. What does the Lumia offer? We’re glad you asked. Alongside a 10 megapixel rear facing camera, you’ll get a 5-inch screen running at 720×1280 resolution, a total thickness of 8.5mm, 1GB of RAM and a 14.8 hour 3G talk time in battery life – compared to 14 hours offered by the iPhone 6.
Unfortunately, we don’t have an exact date or time for you yet, but we’ll make an article about it when we do.
Are you a Windows phone user? What made you go this route rather than popular Android or Apple run devices?
Microsoft’s Cortana has been very well accepted in the US and UK where it’s already rolled out in beta state. Now Microsoft is ready to remove the beta tag from the assistant as well as add it to more markets. The next ones to get access to Microsoft’s voice based assistant are Australia, India and Canada as part of the Windows Phone 8.1 Denim update.
The new update will allow it to tie more tightly to apps, giving Cortana the ability to “Skype Peter” or order up an Audiocloud music stream and more, and all this without having to unlock the phone and press a button. The new version will also feature an Always Listen feature, something it seemed many users have requested. A similar function is already available in the Moto X with Android World. When enabled, the device will always listen for the phrase Hey Cortana and then perform it’s action upon that.
While this sure will drain your battery faster, it can be very useful. You can sit across the room from the phone, speak the trigger phrase and let it record a reminder, ask a question or launch an app.
Microsoft also presented 2 new phones, the new Lumia 830 and Lumia 735, to address holes in Microsoft’s product offerings. The 830 is labeled as the affordable flagship and the 735 is a selfie phone. Indirectly they presented three phones, as there’ll also be a dual-SIM version of the 735 that will be called Lumia 730. They are set to roll out this month, so you don’t have to wait long if you’d like one of them.
The Lumia 830 is priced at €330, but doesn’t lack in specifications. It has a 5-inch, 1280 x 720 display, a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB storage, and a removable 2,200 mAh battery. The phone measures 139.4 mm x 70.7 mm x 8.5 mm and weighs 150 grams. Microsoft’s SensorCore is also built in, providing a pedometer sensor for tracking your steps via the Bing Health and Fitness app. It has a 10 MP PureView camera with optical stabilization on the rear and a 1 MP front-facing camera, which seems somewhat underwhelming.
The new Lumia 735/730 is a so called selfie phone that is growing in popularity at the moment. It has a 5MP front-facing camera and features to improve the quality of images and Skype calls. Microsoft even throws in a promotional three-month Skype Unlimited World subscription to get you used to making Skype calls on the go instead of regular ones. The rear facing camera doesn’t have a much higher resolution then the front with 6.7 MP.
It has a 4.7-inch, 1280 x 720 OLED screen with sunlight readability enhancements and a high brightness mode, 1 GB memory and 8 GB of storage. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core chip that runs at 1.2GHz. Again Microsoft used a 2,200 mAh removable battery. The phone weighs slightly less then the 830 does with just 134.3 grams. It measures 134.7 mm x 68.5 mm x 8.9 mm. The 753 is expected to be priced at €219.
Both phones offer wireless charging as well as traditional. Remember, these phones aren’t meant to be the flagships, they are meant to fill a gap in the product lineup, and I think they do that pretty well.
Thank you PC World for providing us with these information.
There have been reports that some Windows Phone users were experiencing BitLocker issues after upgrading their handset to the latest Cyan update, but a clear confirmation of who was experiencing it and how could not be made. It now seems that the users being affected are Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developer users who are using BitLocker full disk encryption through their companies, having their devices bricked after updating to the latest Cyan update.
Microsoft is said to have issues an official statement and recommends users to downgrade from the preview version of WP 8.1 to the commercial software before attempting to upgrade to the latest Lumia Cyan update. Along with the latter, the company has also suspended the preview program, which includes the 12400 build as well.
“We are currently investigating the issue. We have paused delivery of the update to customers using the Preview for Developers, and will resume once a fix is in place. Customers whose phones have been affected should use the Nokia Software Recovery Tool to return your Lumia to a normal commercial software state before downloading the Lumia Cyan update.”
Users who are still running on the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developer software and noticed that the Cyan update is not available for them should know that Microsoft has postponed the Cyan rollout for the given preview software until a fix is available. For those affected by the BitLocker issue, Microsoft recommends using the Nokia Recovery Software Tool in order to return the handset to a commercial software in order to regain functionality of the device.
Microsoft 3D Touch UI is an interesting new gesture and touch based UI that is supposed to respond to various things, for example it is rumoured to end a call when you put the phone back in your pocket, answer a call when you lift the phone up to your head and mute the phone when you cover the speaker area with your hand. Apparently the new UI will be reserved for two fairly high-end Windows phones, both slated for this year. The first is codename “McLaren” and it boasts a 1080p 5.2 inch display, 20MP camera and 64GB of storage. There is also expected to be a second larger model, boasting a 6 inch screen size. This could possibly be replacing the current Nokia Lumia 1520.
Below is a video on how Microsoft’s 3D Touch UI technology works. The technology is set to be used by Microsoft as a differentiating feature for high-end Lumia devices, this is because currently the consumer base has a hard time seeing why a device like the Nokia Lumia 925 is better than the Lumia 520 for example. The differences may seem obvious to the tech-savvy user, but to your average smartphone user the line isn’t so clear cut.
Despite Microsoft buying out Nokia’s handset division with the specific intention of making it “their own” it seems Microsoft now wants to continue with the Nokia and Lumia brandings. Earlier rumours even suggested Microsoft would axe its Surface brand and replace it with the Lumia brand. Instead of axing it Microsoft will integrate their brand with Nokia by branding handsets “Nokia by Microsoft”. Microsoft’s first use of the “Nokia by Microsoft” branding will be Android powered handsets. EVLeaks reports that an Android powered “Nokia by Microsoft” Lumia device is “incoming” be there’s no exact date as to when. For those of you who don’t know Nokia has already released Android powered smartphones under the Nokia branding, pictured above. The Nokia X smartphone series does not make use of the Lumia branding at all so integrating Lumia and the new “Nokia by Microsoft” branding with Android OS could be a game-changing move for Microsoft.
Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update has been long teased and awaited by users of the latter operating system. The majority of users however are stated to be on Lumia handsets, having the Nokia devices engulfing the majority of WP market.
Lumia users also have some additional and exclusive features for their handsets, including Miracast support and Dolby Digital Sound Capture, amongst others. This is why they will be getting the WP 8.1 update under the name of Cyan, a special update designated for Nokia Lumia handsets.
There have been numerous reports from Spain, Finland and Taiwan regarding the Cyan update being released for their Lumia handsets. This is an unofficial announcement that Microsoft has started the world-wide release of its Cyan update, having it be released in select parts of the world in order to make sure no issues arouse before a full-scale release.
The first device stated to have received the update is the Lumia 625, having Microsoft breaking tradition from previous releases where the first devices to receive a new update were high-end Lumia handsets.
In addition to the release, an official Microsoft tweet stated that a widespread release of the Windows Phone 8.1 is set for the second week of July, having it now been backed up with the unexpected and silent release on the above mentioned markets.
Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information Image courtesy of Nokia
Some very interesting information about Microsoft’s Surface brand emerged recently via the infamous leakers EVLeaks. Their leaks suggest that Microsoft is finalising the licensing of the Nokia brand in preparation for ditching their own branding. On the smartphone side Microsoft will sell Windows Phone handsets with the branding “Nokia by Microsoft”, with regards to tablets is where it gets interesting. Microsoft is rumoured to be ditching the Surface branding in favour of using Nokia’s Lumia branding. This certainly seems like a very bold move by Microsoft especially if you consider the millions they have already poured into the Surface brand.
I suspect that EVLeaks are a little off the mark: there is just no way on earth Microsoft would ditch Surface now, it would be too costly to do so and the Surface brand is just starting to gain traction and recognition among consumers. I believe that Microsoft may be considering the Lumia branding for its Windows RT tablets and the Surface brand will end up being reserved exclusively for full Windows tablets. Only time will tell if these rumours materialise into anything but EVLeaks have a good track record with getting things right so stay tuned for more details.
There are more rumors surfacing that Windows Phone 8.1 update will bring the voice of Halo’s well-known AI, Cortana, to its personal assistant feature. Cortana’s real-life voice belongs to Jen Taylor, an US actress.
Microsoft will officially announce Cortana in April at BUILD. Though, Halo fans will already start to be very excited about more information surfacing on this matter. There is even a petition available on Microsoft’s user voice forum encouraging Microsoft to keep the name Cortana as the name of the upcoming personal assistant feature (like Apple’s Siri).
Adding a back-story to the personal assistant would skydive Microsoft’s personal assistant well above Apple’s personal assistant, Siri, since the Halo games already made Cortana famous. Having it in every Windows Phone powered handset and tablet will turn heads, and if the voice search and features work at least as well as the currently available Siri, things will really look bright for Microsoft and its Windows Phone. Study also shows that adding a back-story, especially a well-known back-story, to anything spanning from objects, to features, ideas and so on, will drastically raise value and appreciation.
MSFTnerd reports that the feature will also extend to the Bing search engine and should be activated with the key-phrase “Bing Tell Me”, similar to how Google planned its “OK, Google” launch of the voice search engine. “Cortana will be voiced by Jen Taylor & will launch first in beta on Lumia this April for US developers,” MSFTnerd reported, in addition to expanding the feature for iPhones in the U.S. planned this fall and extending it to Xbox One and Windows users in 2015.