Microsoft has cleared the last significant hurdle in its mission to acquire the handset division of iconic Finnish company Nokia. Following the US government approving the purchase on Monday, European regulators have also cleared the deal.
Microsoft's planned acquisition of Nokia has been approved by the US Department of Justice and the FTC. With both regulatory agencies approving of the deal, Microsoft needs only the go-ahead from the European Union to make the deal official. Nokia shareholders have already voted in favor of selling its handset division for $7.2 billion dollars. The deal will see the company maintain its networking operations but sell smartphone facilities, patents, and workforce to Microsoft.
The Nokia Lumia 521 is the best-selling Windows Phone device thanks to its low price. Nokia has decided to once again target the low-end market with the release of the Lumia 525, a slightly more powerful version of its most popular phone.
Nokia has yet to release a quad-core, 1080p HD smartphone - until now. With the release of the Nokia Lumia 1520, Windows Phone finally has a device to take on the Android phablet sector.
Redbox Instant, the TV and video streaming service launched by Redbox and Verizon earlier this year, is now available for Windows Phone 8 users. However, the movie rental and subscription service will work only with a Nokia Lumia until the general release of the app in 60 days. Unlike the Redbox app that launched in July, Redbox Instant includes movies that can be viewed on mobile devices at any time and shows inventory for local Redbox kiosks if someone wishes to rent a DVD or Blu-Ray.
It may have taken two years and a dozen or so imitation apps, but an Instagram Windows Phone app is now ready for download. No, I don't mean an Instagram-connected app from a third-party; I'm referring to an almost-fully-featured Windows Phone app developed by the very folks who created Instagram.
Having already been available for Android and iOS for several months, Windows Phone users can share or view short videos depicting jokes, stop animation, or whatever else they can fit inside the six-second window.
The Nokia Lumia 1520 will cost $199 on a two-year agreement when it arrives at AT&T next week. Though we're still waiting on an official word from AT&T or Nokia, the Microsoft store already accepts pre-orders for the phone and lists a November 15 release date. The Lumia 1520 will be available in black, white, yellow, and red. Customers can also purchase the phone for $549 off-contract. The phone has a 6-inch 1080p HD display, a 2GB RAM, a 2.2 GHz quad-core processor, and a 20-megapixel PureView camera.
How well is Windows Phone 8 performing? Well enough that Nokia, the leading manufacturer of Microsoft's mobile operating system, sold 8.8 million Lumia brand devices despite losing money once again.
AT&T and Samsung have jointly announced plans to deliver the Samsung ATIV S Neo beginning November 8. Previously available in the U.S. only through Sprint, the ATIV S Neo will offer AT&T customers a chance to obtain the Windows Phone 8 handset for $99 on a two-year agreement. The ATIV S Neo has a 4.77-inch HD display, a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, 16GB internal and 64GB external storage options, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera. It will be compatible with AT&T's 4G LTE network.