Microsoft: Not giving up on phones; aims to build profitable portfolio by releasing 'killer' handsets
Has Microsoft given up on Windows Phone? Will there be no new Lumia devices? Microsoft realizes the amount of debate and confusion it wittingly created earlier this month when it announced restructuring of its phone division, in which it showed the door to more than 7,000 employees. At the ongoing WPC event, the company went in-depth to convince people that it is still committed to doing great things with its mobile operating system.
At the event, Microsoft's Chief Operations Officer Kevin Turner made some new announcements. He boldly claimed that Microsoft will continue to make new Lumia smartphones -- and "killer" ones at that. He further noted that the recent restructuring at the company was done to make its phone platform grow profitability and become sustainable.
Windows 10 is free; that much we know. There was initially some confusion about the length of time for which this would be the case, but one of the biggest questions surrounding the giveaway has been 'why?'. Is Microsoft aping Apple? Does the company feel that the operating system was not good enough to warrant a price tag?
The actual reason is rather interesting, and was revealed in an interview between Satya Nadella and ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley. This is not (really) a bid to compete with Apple, nor is it (particularly) meant to encourage as many people as possible to move away from Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8.1 (although this will almost certainly be a happy side-effect). Rather it is a move to boost the profile of Windows Phone.
Something that many Windows Phone users have been asking for is a little flexibility with how apps are downloaded and installed. One particular request is the ability to download apps using a PC rather than with a handset. A new tool leaked by a Microsoft employee makes this possible.
The appropriately-named Windows Phone Assistant is an official Microsoft tool that has been used internally. Nawzil released the software in response to a series of requests from people, granting greater control over apps. The leaked tool is available for anyone to download -- you just need to be running Windows Phone 8.1 GDR 2.
Microsoft announced yesterday that it is slashing 7,800 jobs, mostly from the phone-hardware business it picked up from Nokia. As a result, the software giant is writing off $7.6 billion, which is actually more than the $7.2 billion it paid Nokia in the first place. But, more importantly, the move signifies that Windows Phone, its smartphone operating system, is now being put on the slower release cycle.
Microsoft is scaling back. The software giant is losing money instead of making anything big off its phone division. In the five years of its existence, Windows Phone is yet to get past three percent market share. And that’s finally a reality check to its ambitions.
Just over a week on from Microsoft's announcement that it was getting out of the display advertising business with the loss of 1,200 jobs, the company's CEO is wielding his ax again.
This time up to 7,800 jobs are set to go in the company's phone hardware business as it says that the future prospects for the segment are, "...below original expectations".
Builds of the desktop version of Windows 10 have been released at an accelerated pace in recent weeks, but Windows 10 Mobile users have had far fewer updates to install. A couple of weeks ago, build 10149 was made available to Insiders on the Fast Ring and today it makes its way to the Slow Ring.
Build 10149 has been deemed stable enough to make its way to a larger audience. New features to look forward to include Microsoft Edge, Cortana improvements, updated apps, and plenty of bug fixes.
Skype for Business is Microsoft's new enterprise communication tool, serving as a replacement for Lync in the software giant's business-oriented lineup. It was officially released in April, with new features and improvements coming from its predecessor, but is only now available on Windows Phone.
Windows Phone is actually the first major mobile platform which offers a Skype for Business app, with Android and iOS still having the old Lync 2013 client in their respective app stores. The transition from Lync 2013 to Skype for Business, on Windows Phone, is accompanied by new features.
If you are in the market for a new Windows Phone now is the time to pull the trigger. Microsoft is running an attractive promotion, giving customers a free pair of Nokia headphones with the purchase of any Windows Phone from its online store.
And I mean any Windows Phone. This promotion applies to all Acer, BLU, Microsoft and Nokia-branded Windows Phone devices that Microsoft sells, so you are not limited to a certain brand or, most importantly, a certain price bracket.
As more official apps are available in Store, more consumers will start paying attention to Windows Phone and, perhaps, be willing to switch from their Android smartphones and iPhones. The selection is improving, even if at a slow pace, and it is nice to see new known developers embracing the platform.
So, having Eyefi Mobi finally available on the platform is a major win. While not known by the majority of users, in the sense that Facebook is at least, it is a very important app for photography enthusiasts. here is what you need to know about it.
The Quran, sometimes written Koran, is the holy text of the Islamic religion. It literally translates to "the recitation". Most religions have such books to guide their beliefs and provide some foundation for how to proceed in life.
You can read many such works online, and Microsoft is aiding in this with Islam 360, a searchable Quran app. The software giant has talked it up, though it isn't particularly new. Instead Microsoft wants to alert those who aren't aware of its existence and tout the features it brings along.
Windows Phone enthusiasts, you'll be pleased to know that Microsoft has just released a new Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build -- dubbed 10149 -- for all Windows 8.1 and up powered Lumia smartphones. The new build brings improvements to the user interface, renames Project Spartan to Microsoft Edge, while also offering improvements to Cortana, Photos app alongside plenty of bug fixes.
Build 10149 will be seeded to Windows Insiders on the Fast ring today. The company is finally making it possible to jump to the next iteration of the developer preview of its impending mobile operating system without the need of having to flash the phone again. It notes that users will be able to directly snag updates from their existing builds instead of having to flash back to Windows Phone 8.1 first. Following is a list of new features and improvements you get with the new build.
WhatsApp officially introduced voice calling in mid-March, after a couple of months of private testing. The feature, which was announced a year before, arrived on Android first, making its way to iOS less than a month after. Windows Phone users, however, were left waiting.
But, thanks to the latest update to the Windows Phone app, WhatsApp Calling is now also available for those using the tiled smartphone operating system.
Once people have made the decision to go with a particular mobile operating system, they tend to stick with it. Moving all of your data from one device to another can be a bit of a pain, and it’s made even harder if you’re also switching operating systems, and have to find and re-buy all of your favorite apps.
If you’re thinking of making the move from Android to Windows Phone -- perhaps in anticipation of Windows 10 Mobile later in the year -- the process doesn’t have to be stressful. Here’s what you need to do.
There has been plenty of news about Windows 10 rolling out of Microsoft central in recent months, however the focus has been very much on the desktop version of the operating system. But, of course, Windows 10 is destined for a wide range of devices and today Microsoft starts the roll out of Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10136 to testers who have joined the Fast Ring.
Unlike upgrading from preview builds on the desktop, there's a bit of a quirk with this mobile release. Microsoft is only making the upgrade available to handsets that are running Windows Phone 8.1 -- so if you have installed build 10080, you'll need to use the Windows Phone Recovery Tool to roll it back first. As well as new features and tweaks, there's also an important note to keep in mind.
There is lots of talk surrounding the level of protection offered by leading mobile operating systems Android and iOS. Whether it is about a new vulnerability, or new security features, it does not take you long to find an authoritative comment assessing their security capabilities.
That is, however, not the case with Windows Phone, which is hardly -- if ever -- given similar levels of attention. It can be argued that this is due to the low popularity of the tiled smartphone operating system, which borders on 3 percent market share, making it a significantly less-attractive target. Nonetheless, there is now an assessment of Windows Phone's security that we can rely on, coming from Eugene Kaspersky.