Tag Archives: microsoft

Microsoft Compares Lumia 530 With Other Competing Sub-€100 Smartphones(Video)

Nokia Lumia 530 vs Others

Microsoft today posted a video to promote Lumia 530 Windows Phone 8.1 device. In the video, Microsoft directly compared Lumia 530 with several other competing sub-€100 smartphones in the market.

Microsoft compared the Qualcomm Snapdragon Quadcore chip, internal memory, RAM, built-in Office, MixRadio, ability to run latest OS, etc, to claim that Lumia 530 is the best of its class. What do you think of this ad?

Watch the comparison video after the break.
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Microsoft Updates Display And Network+ App In Windows Phone Store

 

Microsoft today updated two of their system apps for Lumia Windows Phone devices. The Display was updated to v3.1.2.6 with the old change log of improved usability and brightness profile for all Lumia devices in the Store. Network+ app was updated to v2.3.0.0 with the same old change log of support for dual SIM and smart dual SIM feature in the Store.

The latest version of the Network app can be downloaded here and Display app here from Windows Phone Store.

Free Nokia Lumia 930 Wireless Kit offer not Bait and Switch after all

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We posted yesterday that Microsoft was releasing only a limited number of the promised £130 worth of wireless kit that was meant to accompany purchases of the Nokia Lumia 930.

Now it appears that this was not in fact a bait and switch attempt by Microsoft, but in fact a glitch.

If you attempt to access the site now and claim your kit, you will hopefully be met by this message instead:

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We suggest readers still hurry up and claim their prize, which can be done at Nokia here.

Microsoft Is Getting Closer In Finishing Up The Lockscreen App, Getting It Submitted To Store

WP8.1 lockscreen

I know many of you are eagerly waiting for Microsoft to release the lockscreen app for Windows Phone 8.1 devices. Last week, Joe Belfiore tweeted that the app might be released this week. Today, he provided the update on the progress.

Hopefully, the app will pass through Windows Phone certification in its first attempt. If not, we have to wait longer for its release.

Deal: Buy A Nokia Lumia 635 To Get A Case And Portable Charger For $50

Lumia 635 UK Order

Microsoft Store is now taking pre-orders for Nokia Lumia 635 on AT&T and already started selling T-Mobile version. The device will cost $99 on AT&T without contract and $129 on T-Mobile without any contract.

If you visit any of the Microsoft Retail stores in the US, you can now take advantage of the following offers for T-Mobile Lumia 635,

  • Buy a Nokia Lumia 635 and get a Case* and Portable Charger for $50
  • Buy a Nokia Lumia 635 and get a Case* and Microsoft Complete for $50

Find the Microsoft Store listings below,

No Contract Nokia Lumia 635 for AT&T – $99
No Contract Nokia Lumia 635 for T-Mobile – $129

Find details about the deal after the break.

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Microsoft reveals Nokia Lumia 630/635 and 930 “off to a good start” and Q2 2014 Lumia sales up Year on Year

Nokia-Lumia-930-vs-Nokia-Lumia-630

While we have been pretty concerned that Q2 2014 sales were “disastrous” Microsoft revealed in their earnings call that things are not quite as bleak as they appear.

While Microsoft only sold 5.8 million handsets in the 65 days left in Q2 since the merger became official on the 25th April, Satya Nadella confirmed overall that sales were better in Q2 2014 than Q2 2013, saying:

But that said, we are even year-over-year basis seen increased volume for Lumia, it’s coming at the low end in the entry smartphone market and we are pleased with it. It’s come in many markets we now have over 10% that’s the first market I would sort of say that we need to track country-by-country.

That translates into at least 6.9 million shipments (Q2 2013’s volume) and if one merely extrapolate the numbers possibly as much as 8 million.

Satya also confirmed that the new range of Windows Phone 8.1 handsets are doing well, saying:

On phones, we saw a good early start to Lumia 630 and 635 as well as Lumia 930 especially in Europe

As to the future of Windows, he said

…the key places where we are going to differentiate is looking at productivity scenarios or the digital work and life scenario that we can light up on our phone in unique ways.

and

In the year ahead, we are investing in ways that will ensure our device OS and first party hardware aligned to our core.

With the new enterprise focus of Microsoft I suspect in the near term we will see more business-related features coming to Windows Phone, and of course in the medium term Windows and Windows Phone will merge next year.

Via NPU

Satya Nadella confirms the next version of Windows will unify Windows and Windows Phone

The next major version of Windows is expected to be released in Spring to Summer 2015, in  about a year’s time.

There has been many hints along the way, and now Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has confirmed that the next version will be the one that subsumes Windows Phone into Windows.

At the Microsoft quarterly earnings call he said:

“We will streamline the next version of Windows from 3 operating system into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes.  We will unify our stores, commerce and developer platforms to drive a more coherent user experience and a broader developer opportunity.  We look forward to sharing our more about out next major wave of Windows enhancements in the coming months.”

He notes later in the call, collated by Neowin in the video above, that the OS will have a UI which scales across all screen sizes.

The news suggests we may see a radical change in the UI of the next major version of Windows Phone in 2015, and that the artificial differences in functionality between Windows and Windows Phone may go away e.g.  that if Windows supports Bluetooth keyboards, Windows Phone should also.

In some ways the news also telegraphs the death of the traditional Windows Phone however.  How do our readers feel about this news? Let us know below.

Official Lumia shipment numbers confirms a disastrous Q2 2014

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Microsoft has (unexpectedly) released their Q2 2014 Lumia shipment numbers, confirming only 5.8 million Windows Phones were sold, less than 2 million per month, leading to a $692 million loss for the division.

That’s even worse than the $452 million loss of Q1 2014, and given that Nadella has not been stingy with the knife it make us wonder if Windows Phone is next for the cutting board.

A loss of nearly $120 per handset makes us wonder if Microsoft would not have more success simply giving away Windows Phones for free, and actually save money in the process.

Now of course the poor performance in the quarter was predictable – Microsoft/Nokia’s product line was stale, and not very relevant or exciting to the market.

However the release of the NL 630, a terribly underspecced and uncompetitive handset, is hardly going to help, and the Lumia 930 is too little too late.

With the Nokia McLaren being cancelled, and the Surface Mini confirmed also, and Nokia’s ASHA, X and feature phone business also heading to the recycling bin, we have to wonder what’s next.

Update: According to the Verge the period of sales were just for 65, not 90 days, from April 25 to June 30th, meaning sales would be closer to 8 million per quarter, not just 5.8 million.

Not amazing, but at least not as disastrous as it first appeared.

Microsoft Financial Results: Windows Phone Revenue Up 95% And 5.8 Million Lumias Sold

Microsoft New Logo

Microsoft today reported its Q4 2014 financial results. Microsoft posted a revenue of $23.38 billion for the quarter with an operating income of $6.48 billion. Windows Phone business revenue saw a 95% growth mainly because of the conclusion of the commercial agreement Microsoft had with Nokia by paying $382 each quarter.

At the same time, the results of Nokia Devices and Services unit contributed revenue, gross margin, operating income, and diluted EPS of $1.99 billion, $54 million, loss of $692 million, and ($0.08), respectively.

Also, the Lumia Windows Phone devices sales were at 5.8 million units and non-Lumia devices were at 30.3 million.

Source: Microsoft

MixRadio to become standalone Music Service

MixRadio Standalone

Due to Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s devices & services business, we have seen many changes take place around the Windows Phone world. Many of those changes have affected Nokia MixRadio, which recently dropped the Nokia Branding.

The recent layoffs at Microsoft have also affected MixRadio for better or for worse. Jyrki Rosenberg, Vice President of Entertainment at Nokia has announced plans of “spinning off” MixRadio to other platforms. This means that you may see more iOS and Android friends using this service on their phones mixradioQRas well. It will continue to come preloaded to Lumia devices, as it has since the first Nokia Windows Phone device as “Nokia Music”.

You can download MixRadio here.

What do our readers think about MixRadio becoming a standalone service?

Microsoft Removes Nokia Lumia 930 Product Page On Its Indian Website

Lumia930Range-in-line_thumb.jpg

Nokia India’s website listed Nokia Lumia 930 product as coming soon few months back. But recently, this product page was completely removed from the website. Even after so many years, Nokia is struggling to bring the devices on time to the market. In India where the smartphone market is booming these days, you expect a company like Nokia to release new devices regularly to address various parts of the market. But, Microsoft along with its OEM partners have failed to do so. Even when they launch Lumia 930 next month or so, the device will find it very difficult to compete in the market where Samsung Galaxy S5, Xperia Z2, LG G3(announced today), Xiaomi Mi3(it has almost similar specs as Lumia 930 for 1/3rd of the price) and many others are already available in retail with huge marketing effort from each of their owners.

I hope Microsoft Mobile will move fast with their product launches in the future. We have reached out to Microsoft regarding this and will update you accordingly.

Microsoft wants you to talk sweetly to Cortana, not blurt commands

In a meandering CNET article about the creators of Microsoft’s digital assistant, program manager for Cortana Marcus Ash revealed that the reason they gave Cortana a touch of personality was to encourage users to speak to the service in natural language.

"If you don’t tell us natural language phrases, we can’t train the system," Ash said in an interview in April. "If we can’t train the system, then we don’t understand natural language phrases."

The aim was to get people comfortable using the assistant and to encourage users to keep on using it.

"You can’t make this faceless thing and expect people to talk to it," Ash said.

Designer Sogol Malekzadeh noted that Chit Chat, Cortana’s ability to tell a joke or make a snarky remark, was something the team invested in early. She said it was because it was important Cortana sounded human.

Otherwise, she noted people would drop the natural language and revert back to basic search phrase. More critically, the natural language and quick responses help create that emotional bond between Cortana and the user, which was a primary goal for Malekzadeh. "Similar to when you create a piece of art, you like your audience to connect with you through that lens, in their own unique way."

Without that connection Cortana can fall in the same trap as Siri.

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Microsoft Battery Saver App Updated In Windows Phone Store

Microsoft today updated their Battery Saver app for Windows Phone 8.1 devices. This is a minor update with a neat new feature. Previously, this app sorted apps by recent usage and you won’t be able to change it. With this new update v1.0.14131.157, you can filter battery usage of apps for three ways.

  • Show all apps
  • Show apps with usage
  • Show apps that can run in the background

Download the app here from Windows Phone Store.