Windows Phone Ganging Up for a Hit With Windows 8

A year and a half following the announcement of partnership of Nokia and Microsoft, Nokia recently launched its Windows 8 Lumia smartphones last Wednesday.

But what about Microsoft and Windows 8 phone? Will it be a hit unlike its previous model?

I guess the wait is going to be a little longer, until this time next year, when the firm actually launches its Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices.

On Wednesday, when Nokia launched its Lumia models, Microsoft’s CEO also joined the conference.

Everyone knows how important the success of Lumia is for Microsoft as it will help Windows 8 Phone regain its footing into the market of smartphones.

Windows phone got the firm struggling with sales since its release. The firm is believe to capture just 3.7 percent of the global smartphone market, which is too less as compared to its giant rivals Apple and Samsung.

At Nokia Lumia launch, Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft announced the strategy of Microsoft’s Windows Phone. It’s now pretty clear. The entire plan, it seems, revolves around the ecosystem of the Windows 8.

As Windows Phone 8 runs Windows 8′s core, it will become a lot easier for various developers to dock apps between desktop, tablet, and smartphone as the app store will then be common for both Windows 8 as well as Windows Phone 8.

This, clearly implies that be it Surface or Lumia, developers will get a single platform for their apps.

This unified and simple ecosystem that Microsoft offers is simply awesome and no other firm has offered anything similar for computers and mobile devices.

If we look at Apple, the iOS and Mac OSX, though both look like, are still very different when it comes to building apps.

And Google too has not been successful in making the Android ecosystem attractive for mobile developers who really want to make money.

Windows 8 is not really Microsoft’s try to stab tablets; the operating system also lifts up and truly discriminates Windows Phone for the upcoming year.

It is believe that Windows Phone 8, if marketed as an expansion of Windows 8, could really hit off with consumers.

In late 2010, when Windows Phone 7 was launched, it was admired for its exclusive style. But the phone really didn’t hit off with users as Google Android had already set its footing in the market.

Then in late 2011, Nokia Lumia Windows Phones were launched. Nokia Lumia did hit off in the US market, but then consumers got drifted away as Apple launched in its iPhone 4S model or even the latest Android smartphones.

But now in late 2012, it seems that Microsoft actually knows what to do with Windows Phone. Nokia’s upcoming Lumia 920 smartphone looks good and its Pureview camera technology is also better than what others offer.

And Windows 8 Phone too looks awesome. I am just waiting for the phone to land on Oct. 26th.  Other waiting in line are developers, who will be flocking to build apps, which in turn will make them take a second look at Windows Phone.

Windows 8 finally envelops all Microsoft offers into one united computing experience, be it desktops, smartphones, tablets, and even the Xbox’s new interface.… Read the rest

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Is the Age of Streaming Music Finally Here?

First there was Pandora – a beautiful creation that let us discover brand new music through online streaming. And then, quite a few other websites followed suit, some of the bigger successes among these including Spotify, iHeartRadio and Songza. But with faster mobile browsing features, music streaming turned into apps, both free and paid. However, the world of music streaming just got a whole lot bigger with none other than Apple dropping hints that it could enter the arena too.

Even though confirmation is yet to come by, this news caused Pandora’s shares to take a hit of 16 percent. But just how big of a playing field is the music streaming business? Of course, Nokia tried to get in on the action through Nokia Music features on its smartphones, but its exclusivity limits its business potential. The latest version lets users stream music from over 150 Nokia-created playlists, create their own playlists, and even listen to music offline.

And then there was the recent announcement by prepaid carrier Cricket about including unlimited music from Muve as part of its plans for Android users. Starting from $50 and going up to $70, these plans even offer unlimited talktime and data connectivity options to users. The company states its move came after surveying its users on what they felt was the most vital experience they expected from their smartphones, to which the users indicated the need for music.

Although music streaming for web browsers and more recently, smartphones by way of apps, is ever increasing in popularity as of now, we wonder what will happen once Apple enters and changes the game, just like it has done to so many other aspects of our lives.… Read the rest

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Next-gen Lumia 920, Lumia 820 Uncovered by Nokia

On Wednesday, at a press conference, Nokia made its Lumia 920 official, which on the contrary, resulted in a drop of the firm’s shares drastically.

Already undergoing trouble, launching Lumia smartphones with Windows 8 operating system is a hope for Nokia to sail through its troubled time as the firm faces competition.

But the plunge in stocks by investors has created a shaky situation, with rising doubts weather Nokia will be able to pull it off, particularly with competition in the market as Apple, Samsung and HTC also plan to launch their smartphones.

Nokia shares plummeted as much as 13 percent and were trading nearly 10 percent down for a share price of $2.55 at noon.

Let’s take a look at the smartphone’s specifications:

Starting with Nokia Lumia 920, the smartphone is designed with a PureView camera that can stabilize and decrease blur to offer clear picture. It has a touch screen feature, which works even when users wear gloves.

The smartphone is designed with an inductive charger, which lets users set it on a charging plate instead of fumbling with a micro-USB port.

The Lumia 920 also supports Windows Phone 8 DNA, and users can sync it with SkyDrive and Windows tablets.

Now with Lumia phones, users will also be able to use PowerPoint, Excel, and Word as it comes incorporated with Microsoft Office and Outlook.

The Lumia 920 is 0.4-inch in thickness and has a display of 4.5-inch.

The smartphone will also have a near-field communications (NFC) chip. There will also be a dual-core Snapdragon S4 1.5 Ghz processor and 32GB of on-board memory with 7GB in the SkyDrive.

Nokia Lumia is launched in a range of colors including red, yellow, silver, white, and black.

Second in the line, Nokia also announced the Lumia 820, which is designed with different-colored charging shells and matching headsets in red, yellow, white, blue, purple, gray, and black. So users get a lot of choice in terms of colors and can pick one that suits the best.

This phone has a screen size of 4.3-inch, a little smaller than the Lumia 920.

The Lumia 820 also boasts of a Snapdrgaon S4 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, with 8GB of on-board memory, and 7GB of storage in SkyDrive.

This phone is somewhat thinner as compared to the 920. It has a width of just 0.3-inch.

The pricing or the availability of the devices was not released.… Read the rest

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Nokia Launches Windows 8 Phone: Investors Stay Unimpressed!

Shares of Nokia saw a plunge of 16 percent on Wednesday, following the company’s announcement of its new and latest Windows 8 smartphone. Made with new Windows software, Nokia Lumia was the latest initiative by the firm to recover from loses, but it looks like, Lumia failed to impress the company’s investors.

Nokia and Microsoft partnered to step into the market of smartphones. But the faint remarks about the latest innovation seem to have cast a shadow over the joint venture of both the firms.

A failure to break into the market via Lumia can have serious repercussions for Nokia. The Finnish company, who was once a dominant leader in the smartphone market, is now lagging far behind its rivals.

Nokia and Microsoft came together on 2011 for Windows 8 smartphones. Hoping for Nokia to pick up after the downfall is expecting a little too much as there is lot of competition.

Stocks of Nokia closed at $2.38 per share.

Nokia introduced the Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820 Wednesday at a press event in New York. The smartphone has features such as wireless charging and a camera that minimizes photo blur.

As Apple, Motorola, and HTC are also coming up with their latest smartphones this month, Nokia might not get time to get a place in consumers’ heart.

Microsoft also has a lot at stake, with venturing into Windows operating system that would work on computers, laptops and tablets. Microsoft also launched a new Surface tablet this year.

Showing how much of Lumia’s success depends upon Microsoft and Nokia, Steve Ballmer, chief executive, Microsoft showed up at the unveiling of the Lumia phones, where he talked of how Nokia phones embodies the best attributes of the Windows Phone software.

With latest Lumia, Nokia has entered the competitive market with Apple, Google’s Android software smartphones along with other device makers for Windows software.

Now Nokia can just hope it plunges into consumer’s heart with plethora of smartphones coming up soon.… Read the rest

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Will New Lumia Mark the Entry or Exit of Nokia in the Smartphone Market?

Microsoft Corporation and Nokia are trying their best and perhaps a last shot at knocking the smartphone market, which is hugely dominated by Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android mobile operating system.

Nokia is expected to release its first Windows 8 smartphone- Lumia later this week; success or failure of which would determine Nokia’s future in the mobile market.

However, in case Lumia doesn’t really hit off with users, many analysts believe that Nokia, who was once the leading supplier of mobiles, might just have to sell off its stocks or even the entire firm. This move, analysts believe would be the best for its shareholders.

So it seems that with new Lumia mobile phones, Nokia has a lot on stake. This latest offering by the firm is believed, would determine whether the firm would flourish or just disappear in the market of smartphones, which is on a rise.

The Finnish handset maker suffered an operating loss of more than 3 billion euros in the last 18 months, which forced it to slash 10,000 jobs and follow asset sales.

Nokia’s shares of the global smartphone market took a plunge and went down 10 percent from 50 percent during its heyday before Apple launched its iPhone in 2007.

However, for Microsoft also, the success of Lumia would persuade other handset makers and carriers to support and carry its latest phone software, Windows 8, which offers a faster and better performance. While the failure, could do quite the opposite.

Currently, Windows phones have captured only 3.7 percent of the global smartphone market, which is dominated by Android phones that stands at 68 percent and Apple at 17 percent.

However, various carriers in the US such as Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel Corp, and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile USA are all in favor of Windows Phone 8. AT&T also said it will sell Nokia phones based on the Microsoft software.

The new Lumia phones, which Nokia will offer in various colors, will hit the market soon, just as the world of Android stumbles from a crushing legal blow by Apple, and as RIM’s BlackBerry also continues to go down.

In case the California jury decides to put a ban on Samsung smartphones, the way could be a lot easier for Windows-based phones to enter the market.

As Nokia is expected to unveil two latest models of Lumia phones on Wednesday, Google Motorola also is in talks to launch a new product. Amazon is also expected to unveil new Kindle tablets Thursday, Sep. 6th and Apple can also launch the new iPhone 5 on Sep. 12th.

September seems to be a busy month as these giants plan to launch their latest devices- all with better speed, better performance and better user experience!

Now it’s only a matter of time, until Nokia knows what future it has in store with its latest Lumia phones! Will it attract consumers? Will it hit it off in the market? Let’s just wait and watch….… Read the rest

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Will Microsoft, Nokia Be the Champ in Apple vs. Samsung Verdict?

Apple recently rejoiced its victory over Samsung, with a ruling that declared the latter to copy its iPhone design. Samsung, however, has promised to appeal and look into the verdict.

Apple now seeks an immediate ban on the sales of Samsung smartphones in the US market. However, if this verdict also rules out against Samsung, the Korean manufacturer will come under some serious pressure.

Amidst the legal battle between Apple and Samsung, there is one company that might be secretly smiling in the corner. And yes you guessed it correct. It’s indeed Nokia and Microsoft Corp., both of whom are hoping to increase the sales of their upcoming smartphones in the US market.

The federal jury awarded Apple Inc. more than $1 billion, which Samsung has to pay for infringing six out of seven mobile devices patents as claimed by Apple.

The request to ban Samsung smartphones in the US will be weighed by Lucy Koh, US District Judge.

Samsung is the leading producer of Android phones. And with this ban, it is believed that various Android- equipment makers may look up to other platforms such as Microsoft’s Windows 8 to avoid a similar trip to court.

Nokia is expected to announce the launch of first Windows 8 Phone smartphone early September. Nokia partnered with Microsoft last year after abandoning its aging Symbian platform that had failed to keep up with Apple’s iPhone and Android devices.

Nokia is right now focusing on expanding the entire Windows Phone system. Last quarter, Nokia could sell only 600,000 handsets in North America, whereas Apple sold 5.9 million iPhones.

Apple vs. Samsung has given them a competitive advantage. They can claim their product to be different in a world where Android has copied iOS technology.

What happens now to Android will be an interesting ride to watch.

Following the Samsung verdict, Nokia shares jumped around 12 percent in Helsinki and traded 8.4 percent higher. Earlier, Nokia stocks saw a drop of 34 percent this year through Aug. 24. Microsoft also saw a climb of 1 percent to $30.87 in New York.

Samsung, however, which had increased 21 percent this year before the court ruling, slumped as much as 8 percent in Seoul, which marked the biggest decline the firm saw in more than a year. Apple climbed 2.3 percent to $678.32.

The verdict also made BlackBerry maker RIM gain 3.3 percent to $7.17 in New York. As RIM has nothing lined up for release until next year, it will surely miss a chance to benefit from the verdict.

Microsoft is believed to gain the most as it has already succeeded in patent disputes with Android user Motorola Mobility, now owned by Google. The firm also won orders to ban imports of few Motorola devices in the US and limit sales of some of products in Germany.

However, Google also claimed yesterday that the infringement claims by Apple have nothing to do with the Android software.… Read the rest

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Engage In a Fun ‘Antakshari’ Game on Your Nokia Handset! Find Out How…

Connecting people from all over, Nokia offers good news for all those users, who love to play ‘Antakshari’ with family and friends. The mobile handset manufacturer, Nokia has recently partnered with RockeTalk, which is a mobile social networking application along with Maxus India to launch an exclusive audio game show, named Nokia Mobile Antakshari. This application is the first ever reality game show that users can engage in on their mobile handsets. To indulge in a fun singing completion, all that’s needed is a GPRS enabled Nokia handset.

Once a leading mobile handset provider, this move by Nokia can prove to be a boon for India, which is a country obsessed with music and singing. This game show brings life-like Antakshari experience to users that they find thrilling and fun. Apart from Antakshari, users can also stay engaged in a musical quiz, where they can ask musical questions to each other from all over the country.

Not only this, there’s lot more that this exiting game offers…..

All users who sign in to sing can also play for daily prizes that offer them a chance to be one of the privileged shortlisted players, who get to play and perform in the Gala round to an audience of more than 8.6 million users.

Nokia mobile Antakshari will allow millions of users across the country to connect and indulge in some exciting game play. This move also lets Nokia truly connect with over 2 lakh users who stay deeply engaged in the game.

The core intention of Nokia Asha phones to entertain everyone musically seems to be fulfilled with this audio game show.

Adding light on this latest move by Nokia, Viral Oza, Director- Marketing, Nokia India said that Nokia has always identified with digital music in India. He also added that the company’s handsets have come with pre-installed music. Nokia has launched music albums on mobile phones. There is Nokia Music Unlimited and Mix Radio for Lumia smartphones. He further calls Mobile Antakshari to be an interesting concept that helps the organization connect consumers with Nokia Asha smartphones.

RockeTalk is the designer and host of the show. The brand already supplies Live social features such as groups, communities, talent shows, where users can share content, chat and perform Live using mobile Internet connection. This show offers users a Radio-TV like experience.

Nokia Mobile Antakshari supports all Nokia headsets that are GPRS enabled. This application aims to connect cutting across geographies and the small town-big city divide and offer them a complete entertainment package.

For some, the Nokia-Maxis initiative seems to be in line with the new drifts in the digital space, as per seen from marketing perspective. RockeTalk app allows various innovative promotional tools from its advertising collection to draw in the user from audio-enabled banners to multimedia broadcasts and free program subscriptions.

Considered a definite breakthrough, Nokia Mobile Antakshari aims to offers users long time participation with every visit over a long period of time, where they can sing, ask questions, win, and have fun.… Read the rest

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Nokia Lumia 610: Will it Snatch the Limelight from Android Phones?

Nokia recently launched the Lumia 610, the third addition to its Lumia series of Windows-based smartphones. Priced at Rs. 12,999, it is the cheapest in the series and is aimed to corner a larger share of the smartphone market in the country with its attractive price point. But is the pricing enough to convince more smartphone users to opt for Windows over the ever so popular Android, or Blackberry, which also offer models at a similar price range?

Targeting the “youthful audience”, the Lumia 610 comes in four spunky color options – black, white, cyan and magenta. The Lumia 610 will provide users access to over 1 lakh applications including Xbox Live, Nokia Music, Nokia Drive, and Nokia Maps providing navigation support in even Hindi and Tamil. It will be powered by an 800MHz Snapdragon processor, an Adreno 200 GPU, and 256MB of RAM. While it will be shipped with Windows Phone 7.5 or Mango, Nokia has announced that it will provide an option to update it to 7.8 soon.

In terms of physical appearance, the Nokia Lumia 610 has a plastic body with a glossy finish and feels solid to hold. It has 3 touch sensitive buttons adorning the front bottom of the screen, while the right side has the power button, volume keys and a 2-step camera shutter button. On the back, the Lumia 610 has a 5MP camera, along with the LED flash. The 5MP camera works quite well, but runs into some trouble during use in low light situations. And yes, you can remove the back cover of the phone to access its battery. Speaking of batteries, a 1300mAh battery gives you over 10 hours of talktime, so that you can run the phone for up to 2 days on a single charge with light usage or a whole day with heavy usage.

The Lumia 610 has an internal memory of 8GB, as well as a complimentary 7GB of cloud storage space thanks to SkyDrive. You really couldn’t ask for more space, could you? You can convert your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot or choose to silence this feature with just a flip. A dual microphone lets you take voice calls with ample clarity. The GPS receives works very well and can lock location within seconds of its launch using either Nokia Maps or Bing Maps.

In terms of potential downsides, firstly, you can only use a microSIM card on the Lumia 610. We wonder why Nokia had to make such a strange design. What’s even more disheartening is that a number of apps and games, like Angry Birds, will not run on this phone due to the measly 256MB of RAM on board. Even Live Tiles only work with the phone’s core apps like People and Me. We get that Microsoft and Nokia had to sacrifice on the performance to bring down the price, but competitors like Android still offer adequate performance in the same price range.… Read the rest

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