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Microsoft Makes Windows Phone 8.1 Announcements

    Microsoft is first out of the blocks with its announcements, giving some information about new partners and also software updates.

First news is that Microsoft have announced that LG, Lenovo and ZTE will, amongst others, become partners in making new handsets. So not everyone is abandoning them because of their purchase of Nokia. Maybe Google's partnership with Samsung has something to do with it....

Windows Phone 8.1 should also be available to those currently running 8.0. Amongst the announcements, they include support for a wider range of chipsets, dual sim (for developing markets) and also storage of apps on memory cards.


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So no support for non-Qualcomm chipsets - although it seems they will provide driver support for existing hardware configs on QC chipsets for popular Android phones. This means the 'bring up' is much quicker and less resource intensive.

Camera button is optional - wow big deal!

 

Not exactly a stunning announcement that will send Google screaming to the hills.

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"Soft keys" - in other words, existing Android hardware can now be repurposed by simply re-flashing with Windows Phone - that should help reduce the cost of adding WP for IVHs that are thinking of dabbling in the WP puddle.

The lack of non-Qualcomm support is going to hurt the bottom line, particularly at the budget end.

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I'm torn... on one hand, WP is so efficient that even last-generation hardware will run it smoothly, allowing a quick and dirty way to release new WP handsets. But on the other, that same hardware may struggle when you get away from the OS itself and into Apps and Games, where the experience may take a nose-dive.

 

It doesn't 'feel' like a good move, although Microsot don't have a choice I guess, they need to do anything and everything to get more phones out there.

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Tell me that I am stupid, but does this mean that Windows Mobile 8.1 will flash onto Android spec phones? Carl.

I doubt we'll see Windows Phone ROMS made generally available, but porting Windows Phone to Qualcomm-reference design hardware (which is likely to be a lot of Android devices) suddenly becomes a lot easier now that Windows Phone will be using soft-keys in common with Android.With Sailfish being made available for common Android hardware, could Microsoft take a similar route and offer Windows Phone downloads for flashing on to Android hardware? I don't see why not, at least not from a technical point of view. At some point mobile devices will become commodity hardware just as PCs already are, capable of running any OS the owner wishes to flash on to them. It can't be long before some hardware vendor offers blank devices and a link to compatible operating systems (free, or sold for a nominal fee). However for the time being the real money is in the whole ecosystem, which includes the hardware.Edit: Oops, "which includes the hardware" - unless you're Nokia, who lose money on every device sold so flogging Windows Phone as a software-only download may indeed be the way ahead! :)

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Theere's been talk of dual boot WP/ Android phones a few months back and what Milhouse alludes too is not dissimilar.

 

But honestly it makes no difference at the moment, not enouigh consumers will "choose" to have WP because the app ecosystem is poor, the browser experience is not as good as Chrome, the maps (good though they are) are not as good as Google Maps and there's no YouTube (unless you go through the browser).

 

MSFT just doesn't have enough differentiated consumer assets on mobile to get mass market traction.

It's why they are better off developing or buying or partnering for those assets rather than trying to tuen a sow's ear into a silk purse.

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Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL announced, it's real x3! :)

Android applications on top of Microsoft software (forked Android). Hell freezes over.

The Nokia X will be available immediately for 89 Euros. The X+ early Q2 for 99 Euros, and 5" XL for 109 Euros.

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Look at the state of Elop - eugh! Dressed like a wineo. Probably pee'd himself on stage (to keep warm). :)

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Nokia claiming on Twitter: "Developers, porting your Android apps is easy!"

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I wonder if developers will bother going to the effort of porting when budget-concious buyers are unlikely to spend much, plus nobody knows how popular forked Android Nokia-ex-Nokia will be. It could just be a world of pain for little or no benefit.

"75% of Android apps will run on Nokia X software platform without any modifications." (Nokia X Analyse)

So fewer than Sailfish then? LOL.

No idea if this is a Microsoft or Nokia launch, judging by the comments here from Belfiore I'd say it's the latter, but still a good chance of it being swiftly killed in the near future post acquisition.

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So, Nokia finally launch the platform they should have launched 2-3 years ago, but still manage to bollox it all up by forking Android requiring apps to be ported to the Microsoft platform where compatibility is not guaranteed. Geez, could you make this up? And it will probably be killed post acquisition, so why invest more time/money in yet another Nokia platform failure?

It will no doubt get some traction, but will it be the on-ramp to Windows Phone that Nokia hope it will be? Or will Nokia X punters upgrade to a real Android phone?

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With a bit of luck the X/X+/XL come with an unlocked bootloader, ready for CM11... bet they don't though. :(

If they do, it could make these devices a whole lot more interesting!

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@normal - I'll let you do the announcement/news of this Nokia launch, I'm just taking pot shots in here! :)

(I only posted about it in here as it's vaguely Microsoft related and couldn't justify starting a new thread!)

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Want to make a phone, tablet or internet of things device (screen size less than 9 inches) running Windows? Cost to you: $0.

Microsoft are charging nothing* for Windows. Which is a lot less than Microsoft charges Android manufacturers to use Android.

* OK there are caveats - the Windows licence is free, but patent, service and third-party app fees are not free so the bottom line software cost for a Windows device won't be zero.

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So sick of misfires from MSFT, I didn't even bother tuning in to check out the latest because I felt "what's the point?"

 

Today though, I have to admit I am quietly impressed with the potential of Cortana.

 

 

It's certainly more like Google Now than the shambolic Siri (Shittee).

 

If MSFT can optimise the back-end to really fire on all cyclinders then they may well have somethng worth shouting about.

 

Quite like the new Lumia 930

 

http://youtu.be/kjtrH-tQcCI

 

But it's not out until June, it'll probably be as expemsive as an S5 or Xperia Z2 and I cannot see a reason to choose the Lumia over the other two which are available in the next week or so anyway.

 

Surprised we haven't seen a wearble from Nokia yet.

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$15 at the low end would represent a fairly large chunk of the BoM. Chinese and other Asian manufacturers will welcome the cost reduction and may give Microsoft a shot at bringing additional partners on board having spent the last 2-3 years alienating just about everyone.

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The rather subtle changes to WP8.1 (bar the voice stuff) is still pretty major in terms of making Windows Phone a nicer user experience. Long overdue, and one step closer to making WP an OS that one day a lot of Android users might feel comfortable to switch to.

 

And if Google continues to try and make Android more closed and purely for its own purpose (as I am sure it will) then WP could be a plan B unless Apple does something radical at WWDC this year.

 

Of course there are the other fledgling OSes, but realistically I think any serious threat to Android will have to come from Microsoft, or Apple going against all of its principles.

 

Oh, and there's BlackBerry. (Well at least I mentioned them).

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$15 at the low end would represent a fairly large chunk of the BoM. Chinese and other Asian manufacturers will welcome the cost reduction and may give Microsoft a shot at bringing additional partners on board having spent the last 2-3 years alienating just about everyone.

 

 

I would assume it makes the opportunity of re-using existing hardware designs for Windows Phone much more appealing. Since WP's hardware compatibility is better than it used to be, you may find manufacturers dipping their toes in the water by taking an existing Android / Other OS smartphone and using it for WP, which is a very cost effective way of entering a new market space.

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The rather subtle changes to WP8.1 (bar the voice stuff) is still pretty major in terms of making Windows Phone a nicer user experience. Long overdue, and one step closer to making WP an OS that one day a lot of Android users might feel comfortable to switch to.And if Google continues to try and make Android more closed and purely for its own purpose (as I am sure it will) then WP could be a plan B unless Apple does something radical at WWDC this year.Of course there are the other fledgling OSes, but realistically I think any serious threat to Android will have to come from Microsoft, or Apple going against all of its principles.Oh, and there's BlackBerry. (Well at least I mentioned them).

I think MSFT have missed the boat.It's true that GOOG have alienated manufacturers or become irrelevant to others (eg China internal mkt) but I think MSFT need offer more candy to get critical mass.Also MSFT will now be a handset manufacturer. So maybe they are going to be more happy in a profitable niche a la AAPL?Mind you they have to make profits on devices first!

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