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Microsoft working on own branded phone

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Two months after acquiring Finnish handset maker Nokia for $7.2 billion, US-based software giant, Microsoft, is planning to launch its own Microsoft-branded Windows phone soon.

Confirming speculation of Microsoft’s first handset launch, a Mircrosoft senior executive speaking on condition of anonymity said that this was part of the company’s strategy to become a devices and services company, from an erstwhile Rs only-software’ company, which it declared at the time of Nokia’s acquisition.

However, the date of launch was not yet confirmed, he said.

Vineet Durani, director - Windows Phone Business Group, Microsoft Corporation India said, “We are waiting for regulatory clearances on the Nokia deal to merge the devices and hardware business, with Microsoft’s software business. The Microsoft-branded phone is under review, but in the meanwhile we continue to work with our partners like Huawei, Samsung and HTC for Windows OS handsets.”

According to media reports in September, the Microsoft-Nokia deal transfers the name
“Nokia” over for mobile phone use to Microsoft for ten years, along with the ‘Lumia’ and ‘Asha’ brands, which will be owned by Microsoft. One report added that Lumia handsets would no longer carry the Nokia tag in the near future.

On how Microsoft’s Windows phone would perform, considering Nokia’s inability to withstand growing competition from Samsung and Apple - which experts say prompted Nokia’s sellout to Microsoft – Anshul Gupta, principle research analyst at Gartner said, there are many players who have come into the handset market , a few succeeded in beating competition, while others have not.

“While it is difficult to comment on how Microsoft would perform with its own branded handset, considering that we haven’t seen much  from them as a hardware player. By taking
over Nokia, they will gain the device assets and manufacturing capabilities of an experienced global player, that puts them on par with other global players, and therefore in a better place than they were earlier.”

Cracking the handset code

A company branded phone is part of Microsoft’s strategy to become a devices and services company, from an erstwhile ‘only-software’ company.

The Microsoft-Nokia deal transfers the name “Nokia” over for mobile phone use to Microsoft for ten years, along with the ‘Lumia’ and ‘Asha’ brands.

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