Microsoft's October Event: Surface Pro 4, New Lumia Phones? - InformationWeek

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8/20/2015
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Microsoft's October Event: Surface Pro 4, New Lumia Phones?

Reports suggest Microsoft is planning a large-scale October launch event with a focus on new hardware that may include the Surface Pro 4 and new Lumia smartphones.

Windows 10 Mobile: 5 Questions We Want Answered
Windows 10 Mobile: 5 Questions We Want Answered
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The Microsoft rumor mill suggests we keep our October calendars free, as a massive hardware launch is in the works.

While Microsoft has not yet released the details of its October press agenda, it will make an appearance at the upcoming IFA conference in Berlin and host a hardware event related to Windows 10. However, we're not expecting to see any new hardware at IFA.

Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans, which were first reported on Chinese website WPDang, and later confirmed to The Verge is that there will be an October hardware launch. It seems Redmond has quite a few surprises up its sleeve and plans to unveil a bundle of products during the event.

[Windows 10, Windows Server 2016 Preview Released]

The Verge hints the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Mini are two devices we could see come October. Microsoft had planned to debut the Mini when it launched the Surface Pro 3 last year, but changed its mind shortly before launch day.

The Surface Pro 4 is expected to be a core focus of the new hardware lineup. It's unlikely the hybrid device will look very different from its predecessor, but minor upgrades could include a larger display, thinner frame, better resolution, and fingerprint scanner support.

Microsoft's October event will also set the stage for new smartphones. This could be a sign we'll see Windows 10 Mobile launch in full beforehand, as Microsoft will likely want to release its new phone hardware with a new OS.

Upcoming mobile devices include the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, both of which have been the center of Microsoft gossip for a few months. Industry watchers are expecting to see the high-end Lumias make an appearance, as Microsoft has been focusing on lower-level smartphones for a while now.

It's no secret Redmond is struggling in the mobile space. The company's June reorganization resulted in the departure of former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, and its most recent financial quarter was tarnished by a $7.5 billion write-down of last year's Nokia acquisition.

Can the newest Lumias, running on Windows 10 Mobile, help Microsoft regain some of its smartphone market share? It's still early to tell, but we're eager to see the full release of Windows 10 Mobile and how it runs on Lumia 950 and 950 XL.

Microsoft is also reportedly planning to release an updated model of the Microsoft Band. Few details have leaked about potential updates to the wearable, but given the company's strategy of considering user feedback, it's expected to bring welcome changes from the original Band.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
8/21/2015 | 9:59:44 PM
Re: Competition
@mak, I agree. Co mpetition is a good thing, especially for the consumers. I didn't see any pics of the new Lumias. I can't wait to see it!
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
8/21/2015 | 9:11:11 PM
Expansion
According the data from Gartner, 43.3% of the smartphone hardware market is controlled by the "others". The "others" do not include LG, Huawei or Lenovo. 43.3% is larger than, the combined share of Samsung and Apple that is 24.7% and 15.4%, respectfully. I think that Microsoft might be able to expand if it researches the operations of this segment.

As for the software part, Windows only has 2.8% of the market share. It will be interesting to see if Windows 10 manages to change the equation.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
8/21/2015 | 8:36:10 PM
Re: Competition
It is an interesting idea, I feel that employing the name Nokia and Windows (not Microsoft) will enable it to capture a small part of the smartphone market and it will also be able to convert the feature phone market (the little that remains of it).

Any value that can be extracted through branding should be employed. However, at the end of the day the battle will take place on the spec and price point.
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
8/21/2015 | 1:51:59 PM
Re: Competition
I agree.  I personally love the Lumia devices, especailly in the past where we saw some great technology around imaging, especially for the cameras.  Does it make sense to keep Lumia as the name vs Microsoft?  I think so, since often the OS and the device are viewed as separate by the smartphone market, especially with so many different manufacturers building devices for mainstream platforms like Android and Windows Phones.  By removing the Microsoft "package" and simply saying "Lumia is powered by Microsoft" it won't lose out on folks looking for a Windows device, but Microsoft can still differentiate itself from the hardware since they seem to want to keep that one step removed.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
8/20/2015 | 11:49:34 PM
Competition
Can the newest Lumias, running on Windows 10 Mobile, help Microsoft regain some of its smartphone market share?
I hope so. Competition is a good thing. But the way. I checked some pics of the new Lumias, they look neat. Nonetheless, I think Microsoft should put Nokia as a brand name on the frame, and not Microsoft.

Anyone agrees with that?
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