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Microsoft Reveals a More Aggressive Smartphone Plan

By - Source: Microsoft | B 30 comments

Microsoft is at MWC this week and the company yesterday attended Nokia's press conference to talk about about its smartphone strategy.

Microsoft's New WP7 Plan @ MWC 2012

Terry Myerson, Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone Division, explained Microsoft's new smartphone strategy earlier at Nokia's press conference.

Lumia 610: 800 MHz S1 & 256 MB of RAMLumia 610: 800 MHz S1 & 256 MB of RAM

At the present time, WP7 trails Android and iOS in terms of market share by a decent figure, but Microsoft still has ambitions to be number one or two within the next couple of years. To that end, the minimal hardware specifications for WP7 have been lowered. According to Terry, the requirement is now a SoC with performance greater than or equal to Qualcomm's 800 MHz 7x27A S1 Snapdragon and 256 MB of RAM. This increases Microsoft's potential customer base by 60 percent.

Microsoft's announcement ties in perfectly with Nokia's Lumia 610 release, which is purportedly going to retail for between $100 and $150. However, this won't be the only budget oriented WP7-based smartphone. In our discussions with Microsoft, we were clearly told that more will be launched soon.

This is a better strategy in our opinion. Microsoft can't expect to only play for the high-end smartphone market. In order for WP7 to be truly successful, it must be adopted by the wider public.

Wide Family of 1.0 GHz + WP7-based Smartphones

Lumia 710Lumia 710Lumia 800Lumia 800Lumia 900Lumia 900

Acer AllegroAcer AllegroDell Venue ProDell Venue ProZTE TaniaZTE Tania

Fujitsu IS12TFujitsu IS12THTC RadarHTC RadarHTC TitanHTC Titan

HTC Titan IIHTC Titan IISamsung Omnia WSamsung Omnia W

We're still not sure now feasible this strategy will be in the long term. While the Lumia 610 has an attractive price tag, it also is a little slow when hammered with high processing tasks. For example, input lag exceeds 300 ms if you if you try to scroll an app when it starts up. This is a phenomenon we first noticed on the Lumia 710, but it applies much more to the 610's reduced hardware performance profile.

Hopefully, Microsoft is able to make further optimizations to compensate for the lowered hardware requirements of WP7. While it's appealing to pay less, we don't think that should come at the expense of a snappy and fast Metro interface.

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    cknobman , February 29, 2012 1:07 PM
    Microsoft, my wife and I are joining your camp in the coming months. Android has pissed me off for the last time.

    Keep the controls on your OS so carriers can skin it and keep your phones updated with software and that is all I want.

    We are sick and tired of the broken, fragmented, shoddy supported likes of the Android world.
Other Comments
  • -5 Hide
    drwho1 , February 29, 2012 12:09 PM
    "We're still not sure now feasible this strategy will be in the long term."

    LOL
  • -4 Hide
    alxianthelast , February 29, 2012 12:44 PM
    an awww for effort
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , February 29, 2012 12:56 PM
    I think Microsoft needs to be more swift in updating its hardware requirements, or abandon it altogether. It has been nearly two years since the introduction of WP7 if I'm not mistaken, and this is its first update which is unacceptable. Though I realize WP7 runs a lot smoother on less hardware (read: not a bloatware like Android is) having such an outdated hardware specification is not going to help keep up to the competition.
  • 12 Hide
    cknobman , February 29, 2012 1:07 PM
    Microsoft, my wife and I are joining your camp in the coming months. Android has pissed me off for the last time.

    Keep the controls on your OS so carriers can skin it and keep your phones updated with software and that is all I want.

    We are sick and tired of the broken, fragmented, shoddy supported likes of the Android world.
  • 0 Hide
    long2know , February 29, 2012 1:13 PM
    I remember when I had my TyTn2 (AT&T Tilt) hacked to run Android. The device had a 400 mhz processor and 128MB of RAM. It ran OK, but was unbearable at times. I think if it had had 256MB of RAM and a slightly faster (600 MHz) processor - similar to what is being discussed here - it would have run just fine.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 29, 2012 1:21 PM
    Nothing will come of all Microsoft's talk if they can't get a tolerable Windows Phone on Verizon's network - like it or not, VZW is a huge player in North America, and the current WP offering (HTC Trophy) is truly abysmal.
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , February 29, 2012 1:22 PM
    Win8+Medfield+full (desktop) windows 7/8 integration = MS can have my money, otherwise...i don't know what i'll do, stick with symbian :( 
  • 4 Hide
    tntom , February 29, 2012 1:45 PM
    They need to focus on the value market in my opinion. Why? because that is where WP does more with less hardware. Nobody else can compete there especially Apple because they focus for now on one model and their consumer base demands that things like Siri (requires high-end HW) just work and be ubiquitous. Aside from serious enthusiasts most people will not see the need to drop big cash for top of the line phones. Especially the 50 and up non-enthusiast group. My parents and grandparents represent one of the fastest growing segments and only WP7 really fits usability and price requirements for that segment.
    I have both a WP7 and Android with ICS.
  • 0 Hide
    sync_nine , February 29, 2012 1:50 PM
    Just like to point out some lies in the cards there.
    Nokia Lumia 710 comes with a 1300 mAh battery and Nokia Lumia 800 comes with a 1450 mAh battery.
    On the other hand Samsung Omnia W comes with a 1500 mAh battery and an AMOLED screen (Lumia has a LCD screen) which is far better than the LCD in terms of power consumption. But then how come the Lumia 710 has a talk time of 7 hours, Lumia 800 of 9 hours and the Omnia W of 6 hours?
    It doesn't add up.
    Specs wise those three phones have no big difference hardware wise (except the 16 GB memory of Lumia 800) and the only difference point is the battery which is in my opinion a big factor.

    Here is the proof to back up my claim
    http://www.crazy4cellphones.com/blog/nokia-lumia-710-vs-samsung-omnia-w-8350.html

    "In battery performances the Samsung Omnia W has larger capacity with li-ion 1500 mAh battery, the 200 milliamps doesn’t sound that much but its still better than the Nokia Lumia 710 li-ion 1300 mAh battery. With the web browsing test the Omnia W survived with a whopping 2 hours 40 minutes than the Lumia 710. This is all because of the bigger battery and power saving Super AMOLED technology. Even in video playback the Lumia was underperformer in front of Omnia. The Samsung Omnia W played continuous video playback for 7 hours 49 minutes but the Nokia Lumia 710 only for 3 hours 27 minutes. Again thanks to the Super AMOLED display."
  • -3 Hide
    edlivian , February 29, 2012 2:49 PM
    the projected numbers for worldwide sales for blackberryos and windows mobile seem a little off.

    I do not believe Rim will sell an additional 30% in 2012 compared to 2011.

    Windows mobile I am not so sure about, because there will be plenty of people leaving the android and ios camps in order to try out new software. But relatively few will leave ios and android for blah-berry (been there done that)
  • 3 Hide
    headscratcher , February 29, 2012 3:00 PM
    edlivianthe projected numbers for worldwide sales for blackberryos and windows mobile seem a little off. I do not believe Rim will sell an additional 30% in 2012 compared to 2011.Windows mobile I am not so sure about, because there will be plenty of people leaving the android and ios camps in order to try out new software. But relatively few will leave ios and android for blah-berry (been there done that)

    It's not talked about much, but worldwide RIM is huge. Just losing attention in North America.
  • -3 Hide
    edlivian , February 29, 2012 3:06 PM
    but you are going to try to make me believe than rim will sell 30% more units this year than last, but while apple will only sell an additional 23% more than last year.

    Something is wrong with this projections. I do not even own any apple products, and I am not a fanboy, in fact I am very happy using rooted android devices.
  • 1 Hide
    bystander , February 29, 2012 3:11 PM
    edlivianbut you are going to try to make me believe than rim will sell 30% more units this year than last, but while apple will only sell an additional 23% more than last year.Something is wrong with this projections. I do not even own any apple products, and I am not a fanboy, in fact I am very happy using rooted android devices.


    As your share increases, it's hard to continue to maintain that growth, because you get closer and closer to your full potential.
  • -1 Hide
    edlivian , February 29, 2012 3:22 PM
    bystanderAs your share increases, it's hard to continue to maintain that growth, because you get closer and closer to your full potential.


    It's hard for me to believe that apple has hit their potential, and rimm has not. Rimm has been in this game much longer, and from what I can tell in my office of 50 or so coworkers most have left rimm for android and ios.

    I agree that Rimm is having an easier time growing in emerging markets than North America, but so are Apple/Samsung/Nokia.

    I am just saying if these projections were correct Rimm's share price would not be trading at $14 dollars a share.

  • 5 Hide
    loomis86 , February 29, 2012 3:32 PM
    edlivianbut you are going to try to make me believe than rim will sell 30% more units this year than last, but while apple will only sell an additional 23% more than last year.Something is wrong with this projections. I do not even own any apple products, and I am not a fanboy, in fact I am very happy using rooted android devices.


    I hate to tell ya this, but apple sucks rocks everywhere EXCEPT north america.
  • 2 Hide
    edlivian , February 29, 2012 3:35 PM
    loomis86I hate to tell ya this, but apple sucks rocks everywhere EXCEPT north america.


    I know that, you know that, but the millions of other isheep dont know that.

    You have to accept the fact that most people are sheep, and ios products have all the buzz in the industry.

    Most people are not like us, they dont root their devices, jailbreak, run command line.
  • 0 Hide
    jurassic512 , February 29, 2012 4:48 PM
    "While it's appealing to pay less, we don't think that should come at the expense of a snappy and fast Metro interface."

    Well said.
  • 2 Hide
    bystander , February 29, 2012 5:06 PM
    edlivianIt's hard for me to believe that apple has hit their potential, and rimm has not. Rimm has been in this game much longer, and from what I can tell in my office of 50 or so coworkers most have left rimm for android and ios.I agree that Rimm is having an easier time growing in emerging markets than North America, but so are Apple/Samsung/Nokia.I am just saying if these projections were correct Rimm's share price would not be trading at $14 dollars a share.


    And all those coworkers who have traded their devices in, are they planning to buy a new phone next year? Probably not, as they'll ride out their contracts and those are not going to be new customers.

    Every customer they add is one less customer they can use as growth. Can't you see how that will cause their growth to slow down?
  • 0 Hide
    edlivian , February 29, 2012 5:57 PM
    people with smartphone's tend to upgrade faster than people with flip phones. I remember reading a study on this, I will try to post that link when I find it.

    so figure people with smartphones will upgrade on average every 18 to 26 months.
  • 1 Hide
    bystander , February 29, 2012 6:43 PM
    edlivianpeople with smartphone's tend to upgrade faster than people with flip phones. I remember reading a study on this, I will try to post that link when I find it.so figure people with smartphones will upgrade on average every 18 to 26 months.


    Either way, old customers aren't considered growth, at most you get to maintain those numbers. People who have not upgraded or changed platforms, those are the growth numbers.
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