Microsoft Kills The Nokia X

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Just 5 month after the launch of the Nokia X Lineup, Microsoft decided to pull the plug on the Nokia X Line. In an email floated yesterday by Stephen Elop to employees, Elope motioned that the focus will be by focusing on more affordable a smartphone segments with the lumia range, and particularly focusing their energy into providing cheaper Lumia devices to target the very much growing affordable smartphone market. Select Nokia X devices that are in the pipeline will be shifted to be under the Lumia range and under the Windows Phone platform. The shift is effect immediately while still supporting the existing marketshare of the Nokia X.

I think that this move makes perfect sense and while Microsoft has a very robust operating system that has proved it self as one of the best and faster growing OS in the market today. If you compare the price of a current Nokia X device and a current Lumia devices it makes perfect sense to ditch the Android platform and all the headaches that comes with it and keep working on the Windows Phone platform. eg. Nokia XL is about the same price of the recently released Lumia 630.

Check out below the email form Stephen Elop to employees.

Stephen Elop’s email to employees
July 17, 2014

Hello there,

Microsoft’s strategy is focused on productivity and our desire to help people “do more.” As the Microsoft Devices Group, our role is to light up this strategy for people. We are the team creating the hardware that showcases the finest of Microsoft’s digital work and digital life experiences, and we will be the confluence of the best of Microsoft’s applications, operating systems and cloud services.

To align with Microsoft’s strategy, we plan to focus our efforts. Given the wide range of device experiences, we must concentrate on the areas where we can add the most value. The roots of this company and our future are in productivity and helping people get things done. Our fundamental focus – for phones, Surface, for meetings with devices like PPI, Xbox hardware and new areas of innovation — is to build on that strength. While our direction in the majority of our teams is largely unchanging, we have had an opportunity to plan carefully about the alignment of phones within Microsoft as the transferring Nokia team continues with its integration process.

It is particularly important to recognize that the role of phones within Microsoft is different than it was within Nokia. Whereas the hardware business of phones within Nokia was an end unto itself, within Microsoft all our devices are intended to embody the finest of Microsoft’s digital work and digital life experiences, while accruing value to Microsoft’s overall strategy. Our device strategy must reflect Microsoft’s strategy and must be accomplished within an appropriate financial envelope. Therefore, we plan to make some changes.

We will be particularly focused on making the market for Windows Phone. In the near term, we plan to drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments, which are the fastest growing segments of the market, with Lumia. In addition to the portfolio already planned, we plan to deliver additional lower-cost Lumia devices by shifting select future Nokia X designs and products to Windows Phone devices. We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products.

To win in the higher price segments, we will focus on delivering great breakthrough products in alignment with major milestones ahead from both the Windows team and the Applications and Services Group. We will ensure that the very best experiences and scenarios from across the company will be showcased on our products. We plan to take advantage of innovation from the Windows team, like Universal Windows Apps, to continue to enrich the Windows application ecosystem. And in the very lowest price ranges, we plan to run our first phones business for maximum efficiency with a smaller team.

We expect these changes to have an impact to our team structure. With our focus, we plan to consolidate the former Smart Devices and Mobile Phones business units into one phone business unit that is responsible for all of our phone efforts. Under the plan, the phone business unit will be led by Jo Harlow with key members from both the Smart Devices and Mobile Phones teams in the management team. This team will be responsible for the success of our Lumia products, the transition of select future Nokia X products to Lumia and for the ongoing operation of the first phone business.

As part of the effort, we plan to select the appropriate business model approach for our sales markets while continuing to offer our products in all markets with a strong focus on maintaining business continuity. We will determine each market approach based on local market dynamics, our ability to profitably deliver local variants, current Lumia momentum and the strategic importance of the market to Microsoft. This will all be balanced with our overall capability to invest.

Our phone engineering efforts are expected to be concentrated in Salo, Finland (for future, high-end Lumia products) and Tampere, Finland (for more affordable devices). We plan to develop the supporting technologies in both locations. We plan to ramp down engineering work in Oulu. While we plan to reduce the engineering in Beijing and San Diego, both sites will continue to have supporting roles, including affordable devices in Beijing and supporting specific US requirements in San Diego. Espoo and Lund are planned to continue to be focused on application software development.

We plan to right-size our manufacturing operations to align to the new strategy and take advantage of integration opportunities. We expect to focus phone production mainly in Hanoi, with some production to continue in Beijing and Dongguan. We plan to shift other Microsoft manufacturing and repair operations to Manaus and Reynosa respectively, and start a phased exit from Komaron, Hungary.

In short, we will focus on driving Lumia volume in the areas where we are already successful today in order to make the market for Windows Phone. With more speed, we will build on our success in the affordable smartphone space with new products offering more differentiation. We’ll focus on acquiring new customers in the markets where Microsoft’s services and products are most concentrated. And, we’ll continue building momentum around applications.

We plan that this would result in an estimated reduction of 12,500 factory direct and professional employees over the next year. These decisions are difficult for the team, and we plan to support departing team members with severance benefits.

More broadly across the Devices team, we will continue our efforts to bring iconic tablets to market in ways that complement our OEM partners, power the next generation of meetings & collaboration devices and thoughtfully expand Windows with new interaction models. With a set of changes already implemented earlier this year in these teams, this means there will be limited change for the Surface, Xbox hardware, PPI/meetings or next generation teams.

We recognize these planned changes are broad and have very difficult implications for many of our team members. We will work to provide as much clarity and information as possible. Today and over the coming weeks leaders across the organization will hold town halls, host information sharing sessions and provide more details on the intranet.

The team transferring from Nokia and the teams that have been part of Microsoft have each experienced a number of remarkable changes these last few years. We operate in a competitive industry that moves rapidly, and change is necessary. As difficult as some of our changes are today, this direction deliberately aligns our work with the cross company efforts that Satya has described in his recent emails. Collectively, the clarity, focus and alignment across the company, and the opportunity to deliver the results of that work into the hands of people, will allow us to increase our success in the future.

Regards,

Stephen

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Windows Phone 8.1 Cyan Update starts rolling out today! #Lumia

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The Cyan update with Windows Phone 8.1 and Lumia features starts rolling out today!

You can check more about the availability of the Cyan Update on your phone by heading to this link, i have posted a screenshot of the UAE availability.

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The Lumia Cyan update gives you great new Windows Phone 8.1 features like a more personal Start screen, Action Center and the Word Flow keyboard. We’ve also improved your favourite Nokia imaging apps. Nokia Camera, Nokia Storyteller and Creative Studio have all been updated. It’s the best Lumia experience yet.

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More tiles, more fun. A third column of Live Tiles on the Start screen gives you quick access to more of the things you love about your Lumia. Have a favourite picture? Make it the background for your Live Tiles. Resize, rearrange and reimagine your Start screen – make it your own.

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Action Center is a quick and easy way to stay up to date with the important things that are happening on your Lumia. Your notifications, messages and alerts are now in one place. And customisable quick settings give you easy access to important functions. It’s a faster way to get to the things you use most.

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Discover a better way to type on a smartphone. The Word Flow keyboard is incredibly fast because there’s no tapping. Keep your finger on the screen and connect the letters in a word. You’ll be amazed at how accurate it is. And it’s built into Windows Phone 8.1 – typing is quick and easy, no matter what app you’re using.

The latest version of the Nokia Camera app takes stunning photographs. With fewer buttons on the camera interface, it’s even easier to snap the perfect shot. And now your SmartShots, Refocus pictures and Cinemagraphs come to life directly in the Camera Roll – get ready to capture and share your life in exciting new ways.

Nokia Storyteller creates a unique Story Video with the pictures on your phone. It even adds music and location information. And you can share your Story Videos directly from the app – just tap the share button and pick a social network. Nokia Storyteller is a super-fun way to relive the moments that make your life special.

The Creative Studio app is now directly accessible from the Camera Roll. One quick tap and you’re ready to edit your pictures. Add a new filter, make colours pop or create a collage – amazingly creative images are just a few taps away. And you can always return to the original picture, even after you’ve saved it with a filter.

Microsoft and DreamWorks represent: Dragons Adventure World Explorer for Lumia

Inspired by the new DreamWorks Animation film, “How to Train Your Dragon 2, Dragons Adventure World Explorer is a gaming adventure featuring real time data from sources like HERE Maps, FourSquare and The Weather Channel, transforming the real world into the fantastical Isle of Berk.

Read more: https://conversations.nokia.com/

Lumia 630 and Lumia 635 available in Bahrain

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The most affordable Lumia smartphones deliver an unrivalled value smartphone experience for consumers in Bahrain

14th July 2014, Manama, Bahrain: Microsoft Mobile Devices and Intercol have announced the local availability of the new Lumia 630 Dual SIM and the 4G/LTE enabled Lumia 635 is expected to be in stores this month. The most affordable Lumia smartphones powered with the intuitive Windows Phone 8.1 operating system deliver an unrivalled affordable smartphone experience at only BD 62 and BD 72.

“With high-end technologies and apps, plus the same seamless Windows Phone 8.1 experience that people get with our flagship products, we think the Lumia 630 and Lumia 635 are undoubtedly the best smartphones in its affordable price range,” said Vithesh Reddy, General Manager Lower Gulf, Microsoft Mobile Devices.

Commenting on the local availability of the devices, Mr Dinesh Ramankutty, General Manager from Intercol said, “The Lumia 630 provides the perfect value smartphone experience with Windows Phone 8.1. We feel the dual SIM capability and signature Lumia design and experiences make it unbeatable in its range. For consumers in Bahrain who want a little extra performance, the Lumia 635 with 4G/LTE capability also offers a great user experience.”

The Lumia 630 adds award-winning design and experiences found on high end Lumia smartphones to the leading personalization brought by Windows Phone 8.1.  Integrated features including one swipe notifications from Action Centre, the new Microsoft Enterprise feature pack, Microsoft Office, OneDrive,  Camera, and HERE Maps and Drive+, which work seamlessly to make the  Lumia 630 a great tool for work and play.

The new SensorCore also brings low power motion sensing to help people track their activity all day without using up the large 1830mAh battery – perfect for exercise and exploration using apps like Bing Health and Fitness. A wealth of storage is available, with memory expandable by up to 128GB using a uSD card, allowing people to save and switch locations of pictures, videos, music, maps and apps with ease.

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The Lumia 635, the most affordable 4G Lumia smartphone also packs a wealth of innovation and super-fast connected experiences including the below features:

  • LTE connectivity and a quad-core Snapdragon processor deliver fast, uncompromised social experiences with Word Flow, Internet Explorer and social apps like WhatsApp, WeChat and Instagram.
  • The smartphone showcases a new dual-layered polycarbonate design that glows, with changeable shells.

The Lumia 630 Dual SIM and Lumia 635 come in a range of colours including bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, white and black.


Model Lumia 630 Dual SIM Lumia 635
Operating System Windows Phone 8.1 Windows Phone 8.1
Display 4.5” FWVGA display, ClearBlack LCD, Gorilla 3 4.5” FWVGA display, ClearBlack LCD, Gorilla 3
Battery 1830mAh 1830mAh
Connectivity HSPA+ 21 Mbps/5,76 Mbps, Wi-Fi (b/g/n), BT 4, micro-USB LTE 100Mbps/50Mbps, HSPA+ 42Mbps (dual carrier)/5.76Mbps, HSPA+ 21Mbps/5.76Mbps, Wi-Fi (b/g/n), BT 4, micro-USB
Processor 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
Camera 5MP AF 5MP AF
Memory 512 MB RAM, 8GB eMMC with micro SD card support 512 MB RAM, 8GB eMMC with micro SD card support
Local Price BD 62 BD 72

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

About Microsoft Devices

The Microsoft Devices Group includes award-winning hardware used by over a billion people around the world, including Lumia smartphones and tablets, Nokia mobile phones, Xbox hardware, Surface, Perceptive Pixel products, and accessories.

Microsoft Devices and Boston Residents Put Working From “Home” to the Test Tomorrow #WorkingFromLumia

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Microsoft recently conducted a survey to gauge productivity/distractions while working away from the office. Some of the findings are stated below, and to further enforce the findings of the survey, Microsoft is hosting an event tomorrow (in Boston) encouraging locals to ditch the office and work from “home.”. So if you are living in Boston and happen to be in the vicinity of the Boylston PlazaPrudential Center, you are in for a treat, the event is open to the public and i urge you to head over to the event and experience the awesomeness of the latest Windows Phone 8.1 devices.

  • More than half of respondents (55%) revealed they are more distracted at the office than they are working from home1
  • With the “right tech” 79% of office-based workers would choose to work from home at least some of the time1
  • More than 93% of U.S. computer users work on a Windows operating system2, making it difficult to transition work to their mobile devices

1  Google Consumer Surveys, 2014, n=377 Google Research

2 “Desktop Operating Systems a Market Share” Net Applications, June 2014

Microsoft Devices and Boston Residents Put Working From “Home” to the Test with Hosted Challenges, Prizes and More

Boylston Plaza will be transformed into a fun workspace for professionals to get outside the office without sacrificing productivity

WHAT: Microsoft Devices is taking over the Boylston Plaza in the Prudential Center to put working from “home” to the test. In an effort to demonstrate how the integrated MS Office provides true mobile access—whether it’s at your desk, home or even poolside—Microsoft Devices will be putting real professionals through a fun battery of distracting challenges to see how well they can accomplish work-related tasks while away from the office. Think, completing a PowerPoint presentation while getting a massage. Fast-paced time challenges will earn prizes throughout the day and one grand-prize winner will earn a vacation…away from the office.
WHY: A recent study1 revealed that more than half of respondents (52 percent) are more distracted at the office than they are working from home and with the right tech, 40 percent of office-based workers would choose to always work from home. With more than 93 percent of U.S. computer users working on a Windows operating system2, a vast majority of people aren’t able to bring the programs they know, trust and regularly use to their smartphones. With Microsoft’s suite of mobile devices, office workers can enjoy a truly seamless transition from the office to…anywhere. To put these findings to the test, Microsoft Devices will demonstrate just how productive Boston-local professionals can be while working outside the office.
WHEN: Friday, July 11, 20149:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Boylston PlazaPrudential Center

800 Boylston St.

Boston, MA 02199

*Open to the public*