The Times of India reports that Microsoft is in talks with the top 3 Indian smartphone OEMs, who between themselves have 32% of the Indian smartphone market, to release Windows Phones in 2014.
Vishal Sehgal, from Xolo, a subsidiary of Lava, has already agreed to release a device running Windows Phone. "We will come out with a WP device next year. The plan is to launch with Windows Phone 8.1," he said.
Micromax, who is the second largest OEM in India, has also admitted to be in talks with Microsoft, but the company is still haggling about the license fee.
"Talks are on but we need to agree on how we can do that. One of the contentious issues is the licence fee that has to be paid to Microsoft for using Windows Phone. Android on the other hand is free," said a Micromax official. "Given the tough competition, margins are low. If we also pay licence fee, it may make the device too costly for consumers".
Shashin Devsare, executive director of Karbonn, refused to confirm or deny that his company was in talks with Microsoft. But he added Karbonn was a hardware and software agnostic company. "Currently, all our smartphones are powered by Android. But we are talking with other companies and evaluating if their software will help us provide a different experience to consumers," he said.
The Windows Phone license fee is rumoured to be as high at $25, but there has recently been rumours of Microsoft planning make the Windows Phone OS free, and India is certainly one region in which this will make a tremendous difference in adoption, not just by consumers but also by OEMs.
Do our readers think Microsoft simply needs to bite the bullet and make the OS free? Let us know below.
Xbox Video app is finally available to download on your Windows Phone 8 device. You can buy movies, TV shows, etc, and anything you purchase through Xbox Video can be streamed or downloaded to your Windows Phone device.
Xbox Video brings the latest movies and TV shows to your Windows Phone 8 and makes it easy to watch what you love wherever you are. Rent and buy new blockbuster movies and favorite classics, or catch up on last night’s episodes of the hottest TV shows, and watch them on your Windows Phone 8, PC, tablet, Xbox One, Xbox 360, or at XboxVideo.com.
- Get the latest TV shows the day after they air
- Ratings and reviews
- Rent and buy the latest blockbuster movies
- Resume watching from where you left off
- Stream or Download movies and TV
Download it from Windows Phone Store here.
Strategy Analytics analyst Wei Shi yesterday published a report about Microsoft’s competitiveness in the mobile content and services ecosystem. The report was largely positive for Microsoft, thanks to acquisition of Nokia’s assets. The report also highlighted the confusion among consumers among Bing Maps and HERE Maps, poor advertisement services when compared to Google, etc,. Read the full press release below.
BOSTON, Dec. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The multi-billion acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services business sends a strong statement of ambition to the industry that Microsoft is pulling no punches in its renewed vigor to push into the mobile industry. This is being supported by Microsoft’s own industry-leading cloud computing offers and the strong following enjoyed by Skype. App developer sentiment is also shifting in Windows Phone’s favor. However Microsoft needs to improve its assets and offerings in areas related to social and mobile payment, says the report “Handset Vendor Content & Services Strategies: Microsoft” published by Strategy Analytics.
The report is the second of a series published by Strategy Analytics to assess the strengths of mobile device vendors’ competitiveness in the mobile content and services ecosystem, following the report on Apple, published in October. Through a panoramic assessment of Microsoft’s key assets, the analysis recognizes Microsoft’s industry leadership positions in cloud computing and its strengths in communication and search & advertising. It also highlights Microsoft’s weakness in social aspect, and its almost complete absence from mobile payment.
According to Wei Shi, Analyst at Strategy Analytics’ Wireless Media Strategies (WMS) and the author of the report said, “The acquisition of Nokia gives Microsoft a significant boost in hardware, but a new challenge for Microsoft is integrating the new assets gained through the deal while, building on its position as the 3rd mobile ecosystem. If the integration is managed well, the addition of Nokia’s services, such as its highly regarded app developer program, strong imaging applications and competitive music services will give Microsoft a boost. A long term strategic partnership with HERE will bolster the mapping capabilities, although their is potential for consumer and advertiser confusion with HERE Maps being offered alongside Bing Maps. However, in the key apps battleground, while Microsoft remains clearly behind Android and iOS, developer sentiment is growing for Windows Phone with 32% of mobile app developers intending to support the platform in the coming year.”
Source: Strategy Analytics
MyNokiaBlog reports from “a source familiar with Microsoft’s licensing scheme” that Windows Phone’s license fee is $25 per handset, and Windows RT costs $90.
This is somewhat more than the $15 which has been rumoured earlier, and for cheap handsets put Windows Phones at a competitive disadvantage with Android.
There have been rumours recently that Microsoft will be making Windows Phone free, and at those prices we certainly think its a good idea, with Microsoft hopefully making up the difference from the sales of apps, music and other platform services.
Do our readers think a charge of $25 per handset is competitive or justifiable? Let us know below.
Yes, the patent battle between Microsoft and Google’s Motorola is still going on. Microsoft already won in the court that Motorola’s Android devices are infringing Microsoft’s patents. Motorola was trying to persuade the Federal Circuit to reverse lower court’s finding. However, The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today ruled against Motorola’s appeal of an import ban Microsoft won from the United States ITC in May 2012.
From FOSS Patents,
The appeals court found that the ITC’s related determinations were based on substantial evidence. This is a rather difficult standard of review for appellants to overcome. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the appellate judges would have decided the case the same way with the same set of facts before them. It merely means that there were facts based on which one can’t blame the ITC for arriving at its conclusions, but the appeals court might have upheld the opposite decision as well.
Read more from the link below.
Source: FOSS Patents
In a blog post Microsoft revealed that the Windows Phone Store is now host to more than 200,000 apps.
As can be seen from the graph, growth has been pretty slow over the last year, but things are once again starting to look up.
The Windows Phone store has also become busier, with 12 million transactions per day.
While a number of high profile apps have arrived on the system, Microsoft’s own Windows Phone App Studio, which attracted tens of thousands of “developers”, may also in part be responsible for the bump, which would not of course be a meaningful contribution to the store.
For comparison the iPhone App Store crossed 200,000 in May 2010, while the Android Store crossed the same milestone in December 2010.
The Indian authorities have released their hold on Nokia’s manufacturing plants in the Chennai province after the company placed a large $367.17 million deposit into escrow.
The move will allow Nokia to finalize their deal with Microsoft and transfer their factories and other phone assets to the Seattle company.
The Indian authorities are still after Nokia however, with some claiming they owe the Indian tax authorities as much as $3.4 billion, including penalties for non-payment of tax and interest.
Reuters report that the Nokia’s case is one of several high-profile tax disputes involving foreign companies, with IBM, Royal Dutch Shell, Vodafone Plc and LG Electronics Inc. all being pursued.
Currently, Microsoft is licensing Windows Phone OS and Windows RT OS to OEMs at a nominal rates. According to some reports, Microsoft charges around $10 – $15 for each Windows Phone OS license and $35 – $50 for Windows RT license. Today, The Verge reported that Microsoft is planning to offer free versions of Windows Phone OS and Windows RT to OEMs to combat the invasion of Android and Chrome OS.
Licensing Windows for free could lead to potential revenue loss for Microsoft, but they will try to compensate it by selling subscription services like SkyDrive, Office, Skype and more. Also there is a great advertising revenue opportunity, thanks to new Bing apps and Bing Smart Search that comes with all Windows RT devices. According to the report, this plan of offering free Windows licenses to OEMs will happen in the time frame when Microsoft will be delivering the “Threshold” updates for Windows in 2015.
I think this is a right way to take of Google which is offering free Android and Chrome OS to OEMs. What do you think?
Source: The Verge
As part of the 12 Days of Deals promotional campaign, Microsoft is offering Nokia Lumia 1020 under deal today alone. AT&T Nokia Lumia 1020 will be available for just $99 on 2 year contract from Microsoft Stores. Yellow, White and Black color devices are available right now.
Find the deal here and make use of it before it goes out of stock!
If you are not aware of Microsoft’s own social network called Socl, here is the description from Microsoft. Socl offers a set of simple, fun “create experiences” that make it even easier to express and share ideas with people worldwide – from rich visual collages to short animated media and memes, there’s even more ways to create, collect and share stuff you love – on Socl, and other social networks. Today, Microsoft Research released a Windows Phone app for the same.
Socl — pronounced social — lets you create, collect and share stuff you love. From rich visual collages to short animated media and memes, express yourself through posts that take seconds to create, collect and share on Socl, as well as Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.
• Create beautiful collages and funny memes in seconds.
• Share your creations on Socl, as well as your other favorite social networks.
• Create visual responses (“riffs”) to existing content.
• Snap a picture and share it on Socl.
• Receive notifications about community activity on the content you love.
• Organize the content you love in collections.
• Connect with new and interesting people worldwide.
Download it here from Windows Phone Store for free.
You must be aware of the recent promotional campaign from Microsoft Store in which they are selling some great deals on products for next 11 days starting today. In the leaked Microsoft Store information, it was revealed that Microsoft is planning to sell Nokia Lumia 1020 and Nokia Lumia 1520 under such deals.
- On Wednesday, Microsoft will be selling Nokia Lumia 1020 for free for first 20 customers in all its Microsoft Retail Stores across the US. And throughout the day, the device will be available for $99 on contract.
- On 12/17, Microsoft will be selling Nokia Lumia 1520 along with $50 App card for free for first 20 customers in all its Microsoft Retail Stores across the US. And throughout the day, the device will be available for $99 on contract along with free $50 App card.
Spread the word among your friends and family to make use of these deals.
Freddy is a physics-based arcade game that won 1st Place in 2013 Unity3D & Microsoft game contest and also won 2nd Place in Microsoft contest called “Your company – Your chance for success”. This is a simple game with neat graphics and number of levels. Give it a try!
“Freddy” is a physics-based arcade game with great graphics, and fun and original gameplay. Help Freddy the frog through an adventurous world full of multi-colored poisonous balls that he really wants to eat. You need to keep Freddy away from the balls by dropping them into flasks. Collect special items, visit magical places and gain extra points by hitting flying nuts.
Buy full version of “Freddy” in special pre-order.
We now offer only a Beta version, but by the end of year 2013 you will get:
- much more addictive levels!
- great achievements!
- daily bonuses!
- christmas bonus pack!
- many improvements!
- more languages!
- and much, much more!
Download it here from Windows Phone Store for $0.99.
Statements made by Indian prosecutors who are pursuing Nokia for what they claim is a large outstanding tax bill are suggesting Nokia and Microsoft originally agreed to purchase an equity stake in Nokia, versus the later deal where Nokia purchased Nokia’s handset division instead.
The Financial Express writes:
The ACIT has also drawn attention to the fact that the Microsoft-Nokia agreement has undergone two amendments without there being any independent valuation of assets by a third party. "The decision of Microsoft Corporation to not purchase equity shares of Nokia Corporation and to purchase its assets only which are already attached by the department is a convenient coincidence and is an internal collusive agreement”, the ACIT in its application said.
Purchasing an equity stake would have made Microsoft a shareholder in Nokia and would have delivered an infusion of cash, but in all likelihood would have left Nokia intact and largely still in control of its operation and destiny as a phone maker, rather than having the handset division subsumed into Microsoft.
Which outcome would our readers have preferred? Let us know below.
If you specialize in supporting Microsoft technologies and you like to stay up to date with the latest news in your field, besides following this site Microsoft has now also released a cross platform app for Windows, Windows phone and Android, with iOS on the way, to do just that.
The app, called Microsoft Tech Companion, offers news on products, features and upcoming events and features:
- Access news and topics from virtually anywhere using either your Phone or Tablet.
- Stay up-to-date with news and events that interest you.
- Customizable feeds – Define feeds around products, terms, features, and functions. Turn them into live tiles that alert you with updates and customize the tiles with a splash of color.
- Bookmarks – Save a specific news topic, library article or blog in the application to easily find it again in the future (and be alerted when it has been updated).
- Streaming news – Microsoft news, events, you name it; it all streams to the app’s news reader.
- Always with you – Sign in with your Microsoft ID and your settings will sync to every device installed with the app.
- Search Microsoft all at once.
- Search through blogs, wikis, and library topics.
- Filter results by source and/or product and version.
- Save your searches for future reference.
- Stay up-to-date on a specific subject that interests you. Turn your searches into custom feeds.
- Share content with friends and colleagues.
The app can be found at the links below.