[sc:mobile-category ]Ok, Microsoft seems to have been very busy over the last few weeks, let’s do a bit of recapping!
First up was the Nokia acquisition. I have to admit I didn’t think Microsoft would do this as it does kind of put them in competition with their partners like HTC and Samsung. However with the big re-org at Microsoft being around devices and services, I guess it kind of makes sense.
I think this will be a good thing in some ways and a bad one in others:
- Good: Microsoft will want to focus on the US market, which Nokia didn’t have to do as it wasn’t a US company.
- Good: Microsoft’s design department really showed off what it can do with the Surface, I look forward to that group designing a phone.
- Good: Microsoft is going to want to have a true high-end phone will all the bells and whistles, including an SD slot!
- Bad: With HTC in trouble and now effectively competing against their OS provider, it seems less likely HTC will make a big push in to Windows Phone again like they did at the launch of WP8.
- Bad: Microsoft may decided to bring WP all in-house. That seems unlikely, but a possibility none the less.
Something that might come from this might be that MS decides to give WP away to its partners at no cost. When MS had to make money from the software alone they had to charge for it. Now if they can make money by selling phones themselves it may be a way to push adoption while still making money from the OS.
The rumor is running around that MS has asked HTC to install WP on their android hardware. That seems a little weird until you match it with the rumor that WP 8.1 will drop the hardware back button. If WP needed only one button to function, it would be simple enough to drop WP on any Android device out there assuming hardware support was in place.
That would be kind of cool, I’d love to see Windows Phone on an HTC One…
GDR3 has been rumored for a while, but out of no where it was released today! And it finally brought some much requested features too. Custom ringtones for alerts should have been in WP7, but it’s there now. If only it supported time of day profiles as well 🙁
Driving mode is kind of cool as well, I do have a car mount for my 8X so I will probably use this feature quite a bit.
There’s a lot of stuff in the background of this update for new hardware, which we’ll probably see on the 22nd at Nokia’s big reveal.
At last… Developers Preview!
Back when WP8 was released, MS said there would be early access to updates for those who wanted them before their carrier decided to push them out. Today we finally have it… kind of.
If you are a developer (which I am) then you can download GDR today. The process is easy enough, you have to unlock your phone, download an app from the store and then check for an update. 20 minutes later, you have GDR3.
It’s not quite what MS promised at launch (that was that “enthusiasts” would have access to early updates) but it is a step closer and with the developers access now just $19 a year, it’s reasonable.
If that’s just the last few weeks, I can only imagine what the next few months will bring. With the Nokia announcement on the 22nd, the Nokia deal closing and WP 8.1 on the horizon it should be an exciting time 🙂