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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.

Topic: windows phone

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December 2, 2014 at 7:00 AM

IDC sees Windows Phone share doubling, but behind Google, Apple

IDC has good news and bad news for Microsoft’s smartphone ambitions.

First, the bad news: four years from now, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS will still be eating Microsoft’s lunch in the smartphone market.

The Windows Phone operating system will account for just 5.6 percent of global smartphone sales in 2018, IDC said Monday in the data researcher’s latest forecast. That’s well short of the 15 percent share Microsoft executives said they were shooting for when they bought Nokia’s handset business last year.

The good news: 5.6 percent represents a near doubling from the 2.7 percent share IDC currently estimates for Microsoft. Getting there assumes an annual growth rate of north of 3 percent every year.

The question is whether that growth will be enough to push the phone hardware business from a cash-burning former acquisition to a profitable unit with a long-term place in Microsoft’s lineup of products. Microsoft executives have said they hope to have the phone business, the target of hefty cost cuts and layoffs this year, at least breaking even in the fiscal year that starts next July.

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Comments | More in Mobile | Topics: idc, microsoft, smartphone

November 25, 2014 at 11:11 AM

India on tap as first market for Microsoft Lumia 535

Microsoft is poised to use India as the launch pad for its first post-Nokia smartphone, the budget-priced Lumia 535.

The company’s Indian unit teased a Nov. 26 event, featuring copious references to the number five –a key piece of its branding on the device announced earlier this month. The Lumia 535 will be the first phone to carry the Microsoft Lumia — rather than Nokia — name after Microsoft bought Nokia’s handset business earlier this year.

Some in the tech blogosphere have criticized Microsoft for not featuring an obvious flagship Windows phone device to go toe-to-toe with the newer high-end phones running on Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android operating system.

The Lumia 535 (Photo: Microsoft)

The Lumia 535 (Photo: Microsoft)

In making its first Microsoft-branded smartphone relatively cheap ($137 before market- and vendor-related adjustments or discounts), the post-Nokia strategy may instead be to try to capture the new smartphone consumers in emerging markets. It also could be a play to defend market share in one of Nokia’s historic strong points: among international buyers of budget phones. 

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Comments | More in Mobile | Topics: Lumia 535, microsoft, windows phone

July 30, 2014 at 8:04 AM

Windows Phone 8.1 gets an update; Cortana goes to China and UK

Windows Phone 8.1 is getting an update that includes live folders — essentially groupings of live tiles on the Start screen — while digital voice assistant Cortana is now headed to Windows Phones in China and the UK.

The Windows Phone 8.1 Update will add the Live Folders feature. (Screenshot of photo from Microsoft)

The Windows Phone 8.1 Update will add the live folders feature. (Screenshot of photo from Microsoft)

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: cortana, windows phone, windows phone 8.1

February 24, 2014 at 12:51 AM

Nokia launches its first Android-based phones [updated]

[This post has been updated to include comment from Microsoft]

Nokia, whose phone business is soon to become part of Microsoft, introduced its first Android-based smartphone today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The Nokia X line of phones — which include the Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL — is based on Google’s Android operating system, meaning the phones will run Android apps and that it should be relatively easy for developers to port their Android apps to the Nokia Store.

The Nokia X (Photo from Nokia)

The Nokia X (Photo from Nokia)

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: android, nokia, nokia x

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