Microsoft might be light-years away from actually turning a profit on the struggling Windows Phone software platform and Lumia hardware lineup, but short-term strides are clearly being made. The WP 8.1 upgrading pace is outstanding, more and more device manufacturers want a piece of the tile-laden action, and Sprint just rebooted its MS partnership.
Even though the 2015 Mobile World Congress is still more than a couple of months away, multiple names of Barcelona exhibitors are already set in stone. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has been eager to blare it will take part in the show, having lots to prove in the wake of Nokia’s handheld division acquisition.
Even with Chromebooks on the offensive, and Microsoft more focused than ever to reverse the fortunes of struggling Windows PCs, finding a decent sub-$400 laptop remains no easy feat. Especially one capable of squeezing every drop of productivity out of Windows 8.1 with a touch-enabled display.
We weren’t expecting much from Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals Christmas promotion so close after Redmond’s wicked Black Friday sales, but a third into this celebration, the entry-level Asus Transformer Book is sold at a pretty big discount.
While some may have forgotten the HTC 8XT ever existed, Microsoft, HTC and Sprint reportedly plan to show their appreciation and devotement to the phone’s handful of owners by bringing it to 2014. Software-wise, that is, since there’s really no way to upgrade the 4 incher’s underwhelming hardware over-the-air.
Just when you thought there was no conceivable way for Nokia Lumia 520’s no-contract price tag to slip any further, Amazon and Microsoft joined hands and shaved an extra 30 bucks off the entry-level Windows Phone.
As so often happens with financially struggling companies going through management shifts, the erstwhile Nokia-owned handheld business is undergoing a transition of sorts. The new proprietors, Microsoft, will spare no effort to make the Lumia name relevant once again.
After BLU, another little known US-based gadget manufacturer seems to have boarded the Windows Phone 8.1 bandwagon with little to no fanfare. Yezz is perhaps an even lower-profile OEM than BLU, although the company’s been producing Android handhelds for years now.
Microsoft has long been rumored to have a revolutionary Lumia smartphone in the pipeline, endowed with some sort of Kinect-like “3D Touch” technology. But all recent signs seem to point to Redmond having abandoned the “McLaren” project.
Microsoft has only recently started taking Google-endorsed Chromebooks seriously, but the number of highly competitive low-cost Windows contenders is already remarkable. HP is leading the charge on Chrome OS laptops, and the company’s Stream line is expected to become even more attractive after Black Friday discounts.
Microsoft is the latest big name in retail to get a jump on holiday promotions, with an exceptional early deal for Windows Phone aficionados. For a limited time, the cheapest 2014 member of the Nokia Lumia family is available even cheaper, at an incredibly low $39.
With only five million wearable devices in total shipped worldwide during the whole last fiscal quarter, it’s hard to imagine one activity tracker would be so in-demand that a giant like Microsoft couldn’t keep it available for sale a lousy few hours.