Continued Growth of the Windows Phone Ecosystem

This is an exciting time to be in the technology industry! We’re seeing incredible and rapid change, from smaller and more powerful components that enable ultra-mobile devices to immersive computing and blended reality. This week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, it’s all about mobility.  One of the most important capabilities for a mobile device to be always-connected in all markets is mobile broadband (MBB), or more specifically, support for 3G, 4G, LTE. We have an incredible selection of MBB Windows devices from smartphones to phablets, tablets, 2-in-1s and laptops from our partners, with the latest additions being announce this week.

Continuing the impressive growth of the Windows Phone ecosystem we are excited more partners are unveiling Windows Phone devices. In the past year we have worked with 25 partners to bring 31 Windows Phone models to market.

A broader, stronger ecosystem is good for everyone. Customers can count on a consistent Windows experience across any device, while having the ability to choose from a wide range of designs, sizes, price points, capabilities, services and solutions offered by our hardware partners.

We’re welcoming new partners with new devices on new networks with broader global coverage in every region. At MWC in particular, we’ve seen a wave of new mobile broadband devices including phones, tablets and notebooks. This is an exciting time for us and for our partners.

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Click the above image to see larger version!

Kicking off the news earlier this week, our British-based mobile partner KAZAM announced new Windows tablets and Phones. The KAZAM Thunder 450W and 450WL are their two new Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones and they include Microsoft services like OneNote and OneDrive so users can sync files across devices.

Also announced ahead of MWC is the next Windows Phone from XOLO for the India market. The Win Q1000 comes with 1.2 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon Processor and 1GB RAM to ensure quick switching between favorite apps and games without any lag.

We have worked with Philippine-based Cherry Mobile on their previous Windows Phones and we are glad to see their next generation of devices that includes the 5″ Alpha Neon and 6″ Alpha View devices announced during MWC.

We also have the pleasure of working with new Windows Phone partners including K Touch, Coship and Acer.

Microsoft partnered with the Chinese mobile phone manufacturer, K-touch to release two new Windows Phones: K-touch 5757A and K-touch E8. The 4.5-inch 5757A Windows Phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processer and supports TDD-LTE, WCDMA, EVDO, and GSM, and it will also have the FDD-LTE version to meet the international market’s needs.

Microsoft has also been working more closely with ODMs to expand the Windows device portfolio. An example of this work is Coship Mobile who unveiled its first Windows Phone 8.1 device, the BVC X1, a 4G LTE smartphone available in Europe, the United States and Asia for OEM partners. We will help facilitate connections between ODMs, OEMs and retailors to bring this device to market.

Another first and very exciting announcement comes from our long-time partner, Acer.  Today, they unveiled the Liquid M220 Windows Phone for the EMEA market. This 4-inch 233 pixels per inch (PPI) display, 5MP auto-focus main and 2MP front cameras and elegant design will come to market in April.

While smartphones and other small devices are poised to take center stage at MWC, some of our PC partners are also making big news. Today, Lenovo announced the MIIX Windows Tablets for the European market. The Lenovo IdeaPad MIIX 300 offers the extreme portability of an 8-in tablet and proves productivity can come in any size with Office applications (1 year subscription included).

Finally, we are excited to see HP reveal the new Spectre x360 and Spectre Pro x360. These devices bring the beauty of the Spectre line and the functionality of a 13.3” convertible PC together in one amazing device. When asked about the new Windows 2-in-1 device, Mike Nash, vice president, portfolio strategy and customer experience, Personal Systems at HP said, “Customers told us that for a mobile PC to truly be the center of their life, it needs to deliver exceptional quality while combining an uncompromised, powerful experience with tablet capabilities. Starting with an innovative industrial design, we worked closely with Microsoft to curate the hardware and software in the HP Spectre x360 to offer customers the versatility, quality and power they crave.”

It’s great to see the continued device innovation from our hardware partners across the Windows ecosystem. We continue to work closely with our hardware partners to design and build devices, across categories and price points that will take advantage of the new capabilities and experiences that Windows 10 will enable.

For more information on all the devices announced by Microsoft partners, see a slideshow and product images on our News Center.

Acer announces their first Windows Phone 8.1 device

Today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain – Acer has unveiled their very first Windows Phone 8.1 device. The Liquid M220 smartphone will come with Windows Phone 8.1 and be upgradeable to Windows 10 in the future.

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The Liquid M220 has a textured surface design with a fabric inspired pattern – making it easy to grip that helps prevent the smartphone from slipping out of your hand. It looks pretty good too with its silver middle frame that has an interesting square pyramid design. It’s 4-inch display packs 233 pixels per inch (PPI) and it has a 5MP rear (main) camera and 2MP front camera. Its rear camera has an 89-degree wide-angle lens so you can fit more of the scene into photos you’re taking.

HP announces premium HP Spectre x360 ultra-thin convertible PC

Today, HP has announced the new 13-3-inch HP Spectre x360 ultra-thin convertible PC. This is one beautiful PC – it’s built with an all CNC aluminum chassis with polished metal on the sides.

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The HP Spectre x360 has a special geared hinge design that allows it to maintain the same thin profile in tablet mode that it has when it’s closed. It can switch between 4 different modes: notebook (or laptop) mode for work, stand mode for viewing entertainment like watching movies, tent mode for touchscreen entertainment like games, or tablet mode for on the go.

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The HP Spectre x360 also has a stunning Quad HD (2560×1440) display where the touch panel is optically bonded to the display giving it increased brightness and pulling each pixel up to the surface of the display. Because having an amazing Quad HD display can use up precious battery life – HP has built in Panel Self Refresh (PSR) technology into the HP Spectre x360. With PSR, images on the screen are held in place to allow portions of the PC to power down when nothing on the screen is moving. This type of work has allowed HP to deliver up to 12.5 hours of battery life on the HP Spectre x360!

By tuning the wireless driver, HP has also improved Wi-Fi performance on noisy networks and across a wide range of wireless access points for the HP Spectre x360. It comes with 801.11ac wireless capabilities as well as 802.11a/b/n. And it has a new antenna slot design at the top of the display for 2.4GHz and 5GHz tuning in every mode.

On the inside, the HP Spectre x360 comes powered by an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor and up to a 512GB SSD for storage.

It also has three USB 3.0 ports with HP’s USB Sleep and Charge so you can charge your devices on the go even when the HP Spectre x360 is in sleep mode.

The HP Spectre x360 is expected to be available in the U.S. on March 1st at HP.com and then at Best Buy on March 15th. It’ll be available at the following configurations and prices:

  • With an Intel Core i5 Processor, Full HD touchscreen display, 4GB LPDDR3 system memory and a 128GB SSD – $899.99 (U.S.).
  • With an Intel Core i7, Full HD touchscreen, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD – $1149.99 (U.S.).
  • With an Intel Core i7, Quad HD touchscreen, 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD – $1399.99 (U.S.).

Additionally, you’ll be able to purchase accessories such as a HP Premium Leather Sleeve to protect the HP Spectre x360 and a HP Active Pen for handwriting and taking notes.