This year’s Mobile World Congress event was a site of wide range of high-end smartphone announcements, beginning with Samsung Galaxy S5 launch to Nokia X, an Android-based smartphone. The move from Nokia was clearly viewed as a departure from the protocol, especially following its acquisition by software giant, Microsoft. Naturally, response to the products ranged from being impressed to highly skeptical.
Mobile World Congress 2014
What brought respite for Microsoft, was a new plan of action from the Finnish giant to increase the adoption rate of Windows Phone and assurance from other manufacturers like Lenovo, LG and Foxconn that readily agreed to equip their upcoming products with the Windows Phone OS, scaling Windows Phone globally.
This event was followed by unveiling of a host of new hardware partners committed to manufacturing smartphones running the Windows Phone OS. The list, included brands like Huawei, ZTE, Longcheer , Xolo, Lava and Karbonn. These new partners are likely to supplement the existing Windows Phone partners- HTC, Samsung and others.
Stephen Elop of Nokia while on stage at Nokia’s press event at Mobile World Congress confirmed the rolling out of BBM service to Lumia devices, soon. Panasonic too spilled the beans on its Windows Phone plans by launching Panasonic FZ-E1, a new Windows Embedded 8 Handheld device oriented towards enterprise users. An avowed tough phone, The Panasonic FZ-E1 can operate in temperatures ranging from -20 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius.
Microsoft was planning to release Windows Phone 8.1 right around the time of its Build 2014 conference, scheduled this April to make the OS available to all developers. Users won’t likely start receiving the new OS preloaded on new phones but delivered as updates to their existing Windows Phone 8 devices.
With Windows 8.1, it woul also add support for Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 and 400 processors, on-screen virtual hardware buttons, and the ability to install apps to microSD card.
Evolving Windows 8
After claiming to have shipped Windows 8.1 in under a year in response to customer and partner feedback, Microsoft says it would continue efforts to refine and improve Windows for delivering delightful experience for all users on all devices. It aims to do so by enhancing support for enterprise customers via a few tweaks, particularly including features that greatly improve IE compatibility in Internet Explorer 11, critical for web-based line of business applications.
Additionally, it is looking to make deployment easier.