Microsoft is expanding its relationship with Windows Phone hardware partners to make cheaper Windows-based smart phones. The company announced it has joined hands with nine new hardware partners for its mobile OS. The list of vendors which includes some familiar names is primarily made up of Chinese and Indian manufacturers, from the lesser known Gionee, JSR, Karbonn, Lava, Longcheer, to some popular brands like Foxconn and Lenovo.
Nick Parker, corporate vice president of the OEM Division at Microsoft said,
“We are pleased to add these new partners to our expanding Windows Phone ecosystem. They will be key contributors to continued growth across price points and geographies for Windows Phone,”.
The move from the software giant comes after it decided to ease few essential mandated requirements for the Windows Phone platform, only to ensure more flexibility for device makers. For instance, the requirement to include specific buttons has been omitted.
Brands like LG have worked with Microsoft in the past, share a cordial relationship and therefore see no harm working together, again. LG Quantum and Optimus 7 were Windows Phone’s initial rollout in 2010 by LG.
Absent from the announcement was Sony-Microsoft partnership, something many of Sony and Microsoft lovers were hoping to see. This however, doesn’t rule out the possibility of future tie-up between the two although it pushes prospects of a Sony Windows Phone further down the road.
Microsoft announced its Windows Hardware Partner Portal would provide access to all the tools and content needed to build Windows Phone devices to absorb maximum number of new vendors possible.
Moreover, the brand has pledged to support Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 200 and 400 processors in the existing architecture to allow hardware manufacturers create smartphones for a broader array of consumers. In addition, Microsoft confirmed it will add support for soft keys – virtual buttons instead of the traditional hardware buttons currently found on Windows Phone devices – as well as dual SIM ports.