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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

February 27, 2012 at 12:26 AM

Nokia expanding Lumia Windows Phones to China, other countries; new Lumia 610 announced

Nokia’s Lumia 900 Windows Phone, announced for release in the U.S., will soon be released in many more countries, including Canada in April, according to Nokia execs during a press conference today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The Lumia 900, a high-end smartphone, is expected to roll out in the second quarter for a price of 480 euros (about $645 U.S. That price does not include the subsidy that carriers in the U.S. usually provide, which lower the initial price of the phone to consumers).

Lumia610.jpgIn addition, the company announced a new Lumia phone: the Lumia 610, a lower-priced phone, which will come in white, cyan, magenta and black. It is expected to roll out in the second quarter with a retail price of 189 euros (about $254 U.S. dollars — again, that’s the unsubsidized price.)

It’s all part of Microsoft’s plan to have lower price-point Windows Phones. As part of that plan, Microsoft is lowering some of the system requirements for Windows Phones, including allowing the OS on devices with 256 MB of memory, Windows Phone division head Terry Myerson said during the Nokia press conference in Barcelona.

[Update: Announced as part of the lower-priced line-up by Myerson in a Windows Phone blog post is the ZTE Orbit, which will roll out in the second quarter this year.]

In addition, Windows Phone is expanding its geographic reach. Windows Phone has been made compatible with mobile operators in China and Nokia plans to introduce the Lumia line to China.

Between the lower-priced phones and expanded geographical reach, “the total addressable market of Windows Phone has now expanded 60 percent,” Myerson said.

Myerson also said during the press conference that the beta of Skype for Windows Phone is now available in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said the Windows Phone Marketplace has now exceeded 65,000 apps. He acknowledged the big challenges faced by Nokia this past year. But he also hit hard on his theme of “what an incredible amount of things can happen in one year,” referring to last year at Mobile World Congress when Nokia and Microsoft first announced their partnership on Windows Phone.

(Photo of Nokia 610 from Microsoft)

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