Forget about all this talk of Windows 9, Microsoft chose an intimate event today to unleash the newest version of its desktop platform, Windows 10. Yes, the company chose to skip a number, but this is the brand new version that the company hopes will not only carry its computing to the next level, but also its mobile devices such as Lumia smartphones and Surface tablets.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has held a recent meeting with the CEO of Chinese brand Xiaomi, Lei Jun, about the possibility of the company building a Windows Phone device. The meeting was held last week and while no details of the chat have been revealed, reports are pointing towards the two bosses discussing a Xiaomi Windows smartphone.
Microsoft had a big vision for the Bing brand, it was going to build a whole ecosystem around it with multiple apps and features, much like Google actually. The company will still keep the general ethos behind the Bing apps, but has now decided to change the name for something more familiar and arguably more serious.
We have seen recently that Apple iOS 8 is seeing some solid adoption rates and will likely encompass most iOS device users by the end of the year. We have also seen how Google's Android 4.4 KitKat is making its presence felt, with over 25% of all Android users adopting the software. So, what about the third player in the mobile market, what about Windows Phone? Well, Microsoft has kindly answered that today.
Yes, we are a mobile oriented website, but we are breaking from our remit a bit to talk about Windows 9. That?s simply because versions of Microsoft's desktop operating system these days are the ones that are likely to be uniform across the mobile space too. With that in mind, when Windows 9 lands we can safely assume that a version of it will arrive on tablets and smartphones in due course.
Microsoft has become a hardware brand these days. Sure, the company still generates most of its income from Windows and other services such as Office, but the company also has its own Surface tablets and Lumia (bought from Nokia) smartphones. So, Redmond is now a member of the hardware gang, but does that mean the company has the clout to sell its gear in a dedicated retail space, a-la Apple?
We discussed last week why Microsoft had decided to ditch the Nokia branding from future smartphones, while the company is also getting rid of the Windows Phone branding. Microsoft is instead changing the smartphone brand to just Windows, a bid to unify the whole Windows ecosystem.
Microsoft's struggles to grow the Windows Phone platform have been myriad, but one of the main problems has been giving the consumer choice. Nokia did an amazing job in every aspect, delivering smartphones of different styles and price points, but in the past if you wanted a Windows Phone you were limited to the Finnish company and the odd effort from elsewhere.
Skype is one of the jewels in Microsoft's crown at the moment and its Windows Phone version of the service got a nice update today. The Windows Phone Skype app now has location service baked in that allows users to share their position with whoever they are talking with. The update also gives the ability to switch off notifications, nice if you have a bunch of contacts talking at once.
As expected, Microsoft launched the Nokia Lumia 730 today alongside the 735, a LTE packing variant of the main device. We have seen this handset plenty of times over the weeks leading up to IFA and knew it would be billed as a selfie phone.