Microsoft's BUILD 2014 developer event takes place tomorrow and it is widely expected that Windows Phone 8.1 will be officially announced during the main day one keynote. The keynote and subsequent sessions will be streamed via Microsoft's Channel 9 website starting from 08:30 PST (15:30 GMT, 16:30 BST). Nokia also has its own event tomorrow, taking place at 17:00 PST (0:00 GMT / 01:00 BST), where it is expected to announce its first Windows Phone 8.1 device.
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The latest set of Kantar Worldpanel data, released today, shows mixed fortunes in terms of the sales share for Windows Phone devices in various market. Figures for the 3 months ending February 2014 suggests a slow down in growth in some of the platform's strongest markets (Italy, UK, France), but there are improved figures in the US and Germany.
Microsoft's €5.4 billion acquisition of Nokia's Devices & Services division, first announced back in September of last year and originally expected to close in the first quarter of this year, is now expected to be completed next month. While Microsoft has received regulatory approval "in 15 markets on five continents", it is still awaiting "approval confirmation in the final markets".
Microsoft today announced the availability of Office Lens, a Windows Phone app that its describes as a "OneNote scanner for your pocket". More prosacially, the provides a way to use your phone's camera to get the content from things like business cards, receipts, whiteboards, and douments into OneNote, Microsoft's note taking and information gathering tool.
On Tuesday, February 25th, on the second day of MWC, Nokia is holding a developer day. The main focus is expected to be on the new Nokia X family, but we can also expect to hear about how developers benefit from working with Nokia in general. The event kicks off at 11:00 CET (10:00 GMT). We'll be updating this story with our on-the-scene live coverage as the event takes place.
Today, at MWC, Nokia announced the Nokia X range of affordable smartphones, running on a customised version of AOSP (Android Open Source Project) software. The devices, the Nokia X, X+, and XL, are aimed primarily at "growth economies" and are compatible with generic Android apps, but also run a range of Nokia and Microsoft apps and services.
On Monday, February 24th, in Barcelona, Nokia is holding its MWC press conference, where it is expected to make a number of hardware and software announcements. The event kicks off at 08:30 CET (07:30 GMT). We'll be updating this story with our on-the-scene live coverage at the event takes place. You can also watch a live stream of the press conference event via Nokia Conversations.
In a blink and you'll miss it moment during Microsoft's pre-MWC press conference Joel Belfiore made a brief mention of a number of enterprise features, including VPN and extended MDM support, that will be added to the next version of Windows Phone. The update, which will be delivered in the spring, will be available on a range of new devices and as an update for all existing Windows Phone 8 devices.
At a pre-MWC press conference, Microsoft announced that it is expanding the range of hardware supported by Windows Phone, with a focus on low cost, high volume devices. The most significant addition is that of support for the Snapdragon 200 (8x10 and 8x12) SoC, which will enable the creation of a new generation of low end Windows Phone devices, but other highlights include the introduction of dual-SIM support and improved external memory (microSD) support.
Microsoft has announced that it is now working with nine new Windows Phone 8 hardware partners as it seeks to "scale the platform" to higher volumes. The new partners include industry heavyweights LG, ZTE, Lenovo, and Foxconn, plus a number of smaller OEMs in the form of Gionee, JSR, Karbonn, Lava (Xolo), and Longcheer.