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Microsoft devises 4G strategy with 950 series launch

tech Updated: Nov 30, 2015 17:30 IST
Anirban Ghoshal

Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India (left) and Ajey Mehta, Country GM, Microsoft India, launched the company’s flagship Mobile Devices Lumia 950 and 950XL in New Delhi.(Microsoft)

Redmond-based technology giant Microsoft on Monday said that it would focus on 4G-LTE enabled smartphones in the country as it launched its flagship 950, 950XL smartphones.

“We are currently focusing on building brand loyalty for our flagship devices along with a strong 4G focus in India,” Ajey Mehta, managing director, Microsoft devices, said at the sidelines of the launch event adding that the company was not focusing on budget smartphones at the moment.

“All the new devices that will now come to the market will be 4G-enabled and additionally most of the top-end older devices have already been updated to support two 4G bands with software updates,” Mehta added. This means that Microsoft’s older devices may not support all 4G bands in the country. Currently, the 640XL 4G and the two new devices that were launched on Monday will support all the 4G bands in the country.

“We are already working with Airtel to provide 4G connectivity for our users,” a Microsoft spokesperson said adding that Microsoft had no current plans for voice-over-LTE (VoLTE), a feature that makes calls sound better, which Reliance Jio is due to launch in two weeks “We will wait for the technology to come in and then plan our strategy accordingly,” he added.

Interestingly, Microsoft has made little progress in terms of sales or smartphone market share after it took over Nokia’s handset business for $7.2 billion. Also, the company seems to have very few apps, let alone universal apps (apps that can run across all Microsoft devices on Windows 10) compared to iOS and Android platforms.

“The new phones combined with Windows Hello and Continuum are targeted more towards Windows fans and enterprise customers,” Mehta said when asked about the Redmond-based tech major’s strategy to ramp up sales of the new phones.

“Our fans and insiders will help us build loyalty for these phones and we are also looking at promoting more use cases for Windows Hello and Continuum for phones,” Mehta added.

Currently, Microsoft has seven million plus fans globally and over 110 million plus Windows 10 users in the world. “Our aim is to upgrade 1.5 billion Windows users to Windows 10 within two years,” Bhaskar Pramanik, chariman of Microsoft India, said. Also, 250 million and 1.25 billion people are using Microsoft’s cloud OneDrive and MS Office respectively.