After completing the takeover of the mobile division of Nokia, Microsoft Corp finally launched their first smartphone and surprisingly, the device is powered by the Android operating system instead of Microsoft’s own. Android is seen as a rival of the Windows Phone OS as it is developed by the company’s competitor, Google Inc. The software giant said that with Nokia X2, the company had an opportunity of luring users to its cloud based services, which have been pre-installed in the device. Some experts criticized the move and said that it would have been better to just hand over the money to the rivals.
Others appreciated the move and said that even though it was astounding, it showed that Microsoft was determined to take an open approach, not just for the Windows phone platform, but for the good of the whole company. They said that if Microsoft doesn’t use this approach, someone else is going to beat them to it. Moreover, it also reflected the fact that the budget Asha phones launched by Nokia had been unable to compete with the entry-level Android phones in the market. The takeover of Nokia was completed by Microsoft of 25th April, 2014 at a cost of $7.4 billion.
The new device X2 is a successor of the original X smartphone that was launched by the company in February before the handset division had been sold by Nokia. This device became the best-selling handset in Pakistan and the third best-selling model in India. Apart from that, strong sales were also seen in Nigeria, Kenya and Russia. The features that have been added to the new device include a slightly bigger screen, a more powerful battery, 1 GB of RAM, which is twice more than the previous device and a front camera to help individuals take selfies. The release date of the device falls in July and its price tag is $135.
The major apps of the company such as Outlook email service, video chat app Skype and OneDrive storage app are already pre-loaded in the device. Some of the company’s other apps are also being promoted, which includes the business-focused social network called Yammer, Bing search and the jotting service called OneNote. These applications are being offered for free download to the users. Microsoft said that the core of this strategy was to lure more people into the Microsoft Cloud service. It added that Lumia phones remained the primary smartphone strategy of the company and X handsets were only a stepping stone.
The user interface of the Windows Phone has been used in the X2 as well as it has a tile-based home screen. The purpose of using the same interface is to lure consumers into making the leap to the more expensive and high-end Lumia range of Microsoft. However, there is also a risk as users might choose to switch to other Android devices because the software giant is still far behind in terms of the third-party software offerings. But, the company has to take this risk if it wishes to go further.