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Microsoft makes Opera default browser for budget devices


News by Luke Jones on Thursday August 21, 2014.

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Asha 210
Asha 210

Microsoft's full Windows Phone devices running WP 8.1 have had plenty of attention this weeks as the HTC One M8 launched on the platform. However, the company has some news for those rocking its existing Nokia feature phones by revealing that an agreement has been reached for Opera to become the default web browser on those devices.

The licensing agreement encompasses Nokia feature phones and the Asha range of devices from the 30+ series and 40 series. The current browser on these phones is Xpress, but as part of the new accord users will be prompted to update their browser to the Opera Mini browser. Handsets from those series' sold as new will now have the Opera browser baked in as the pre-installed and default option.

Microsoft acquired Nokia's devices division earlier in the year and with the Lumia smartphones and juggernaut flagships the company also inherited Nokia's feature phones. Believe it or not, it is Nokia's feature phone business that has kept the company ticking through several tough times. The devices are hugely popular in emerging markets where particularly the Asha range blurs the lines between feature phone and smartphone.

The hugely affordable devices will now be getting one of the most popular mobile browsers in the world by default. Opera Mini is on 250 million devices worldwide, 100 million of those on Windows Phone's big rival Android. You may be thinking that Microsoft has its own web browser, Internet Explorer, so the company should just use that. However, the latest versions of IE are too expansive for the feature phone products Opera will be reaching, while re-tooling an older IE version is not in Microsoft's plans the company told us.

Microsoft revealed recently that it would be killing off Nokia's feature phone business over the next 18 months, but for the time being the company is still pushing the devices it seems.

source: Opera

 
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Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at Glamorgan University before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news.

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