Microsoft's Windows Phone platform may be losing the operating system war to iOS and Android (by a long way too), but that does not mean it is without interesting features. It is actually a very robust platform and yours truly would love to see it more prominent if Microsoft can solve a few nagging issues. A new piece of software called the Gestures Beta app is now adding even more functionality to the platform.
Microsoft has been treating us to some stellar deals during its 12 Days of Deals promotion, such as a $149 bundle for Office 365 Home, Skype Unlimited World + Wi-Fi, Xbox Music Pass, and Xbox Live Gold. Redmond is outdoing itself with the company?s latest offer though as Microsoft is making 100 albums completely free and available for download.
Windows Phone is a hard platform to predict. The OS enjoyed growth worldwide through 2013 but has struggled in key markets this year while maintaining a solid base in emerging markets. The lack of interest in the US is of particular worry to Microsoft, with the WP market share falling consistently through 2014.
Microsoft has a new high end camera specific smartphone on the way called the Nokia Lumia 1030, the follow up to the Nokia PureView packing Lumia 1020. The device has been known for some time now under the codename McLaren and it is expected to land soon, but the device has had a massive leak today that lays bare the handset for us all to see. There have been 50 images leaked of what seems to show a prototype of the Lumia 1030 McLaren next to Apple's iPhone 6.
There are plenty of people out there using Microsoft's products (Office and Windows) illegally without paying for them. While some would argue that its fair game, Microsoft certainly begs to differ and is ready to go to war with those doing it. Torrent Freak says that the software giant is going to start taking people to court when it detects they are using pirated copies of products such as Office and Windows.
Android 5.0 Lollipop and iOS 8 may have been stealing the limelight recently, but there is another major platform update on the way. Microsoft has been preparing the latest update for its Lumia smartphones and revealed on Twitter today that, "roll out soon following testing and operator approvals."
Microsoft's Band has been with us a couple of weeks now and it has managed to be a dividing device. Microsoft says it has sold well, while some reports say stock was very limited, while the general consensus seems to be that the wearable is very much a first device in an evolution. It feels like a prototype many reviews have said, but after spending some time with it I think it is more of a vehicle for Microsoft's Health suite.
Microsoft was speaking in Germany and had plenty to say about Windows Phone and its newly acquired line of Lumia devices. The giant claimed that 50 million Lumia devices have now been activated, but of course most of those sales are thanks to Nokia and not Microsoft, with Redmond only buying the Finnish company's phone business this year.
Microsoft's first ever wearable (the Microsoft Band) has been available for a couple of weeks now and it went of stock rather quickly. So, does that mean that it was a big success or were there only limited numbers of the product released for sale? Well, that depends on who you listen to.
Microsoft has done well through the quarters this year, but a change of CEO has brought another change of strategy for the company, while the Windows Phone platform has struggled to gain ground in mature markets.