Microsoft is making its case for Windows 10 on mobile at this week's Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona. In addition to releasing two low-end smartphones, the tech giant promised that a Windows 10 flagship device will debut later this year.
Much of Microsoft's announcements revolved around the upcoming Windows 10 OS, which is currently being tested by 2.8 million Windows Insiders. Now that Microsoft has been making its software and services widely available to iOS and Android users, it needs to emphasize the offerings inherent to its Windows Phone.
To do this, Microsoft showed off a number of new Windows 10 mobile features, including an updated version of Cortana and a mobile demo of the Spartan browser. The new browser contains a Reading View capability that allows users to send content from a Windows 10 PC to a Lumia device.
Side note: Windows Insiders testing the desktop version of Windows 10 will be pleased to learn that Microsoft has also confirmed its Spartan browser will be included in the next Windows 10 preview build. Timing for that has not been announced, but rumors suggest the next preview could launch later this month.
Microsoft also added to its affordable smartphone lineup with two new devices, the Lumia 640 and the Lumia 640 XL. The 640 has a 5-inch Gorilla Glass display, an 8 MP rear camera, a 2500 mAh battery, a 1 MP front camera, and 8GB of internal storage. The 640 XL boasts a 5.7 MP screen, a 3000 mAh battery, and a 13 MP front-facing camera.
Prices for the 640 will start at 139 euro ($156) for the 3G and 159 euro ($178) for 4G LTE. The larger 640 XL will sell at 189 euro ($212) for 3G and 219 euro ($245) for 4G LTE. As an added bonus, all 640 and 640 XL sales come with one free year of Office 365.
Stephen Elop, head of the devices and services unit at Microsoft, indicated that its newest mobile devices are geared towards business users.
"It makes these devices great for business users, it has Microsoft services built in that you need for work: Office, Outlook, OneDrive, already built in," he said, as reported by ZDNet. Elop continued, "It fulfills the needs of business IT decision makers with things like enterprise grade security, seamless integration with business IT, platform convergence."
The 640 will be available starting in April; the 640 XL in March. Both devices will ship running Windows 8.1 with eligibility to upgrade to Windows 10 later this year.
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