1. rodan01's Avatar
    Windows Phone 8 runs beautifully in low end hardware, but NO in "ultra"-low end hardware. WP8 requires 512mb of ram and a dual-core processor.

    The next 4 billion smartphone users are mostly low end and ultra-low end users. Should Microsoft optimize WP8.1 and WP9 to run in ultra-low end hardware? I think that's not a good strategy, better set higher minimum requirements for WP and concentrate in improving the user experience of the OS. Use other OS for the ultra-low end ($25-$75 off contract) that will replace the dumb phones in emerging markets.
    Microsoft bought the Asha line thinking in promoting their services and using those phones as an entry path to WP. But the Asha line is not attractive to consumers because has similar hardware requeriments than Android, so can't compete in price, and the platform has the ecosystem problem.

    So, I think Microsoft should continue with the 'Normandy' project, and build phones running a forked version of Android, simplified for first time smartphone users, optimized for ultra-low end hardware and taking design elements from Modern UI. Microsoft has to develop their own app store for this phone, and pre-install their own services (Bing, Skype, Skydrive, Office, etc.,.. ZERO google).

    Microsoft has some advantages to compete in price with Android OEMs for first time users.
    1)The licence fee that other OEMs pay to Microsoft.
    2)Android OEMs are forced to use Google services so they can't earn money from services. Android OEMs are forbidden of forking Android so can't build a phone with their own brand a install their services. Microsoft could earn form services, ads, and subsidize the hardware, and even run the business only at break even or at loss just to take users from Google.

    Of course Google Play would be order of magnitude bigger than the Microsoft 'Normandy' app store. But for first time users with such a limited hardware and occasional internet connection, apps aren't the more important factor, price of the hardware is EVERYTHING.

    If WP and Asha OS can't compete with Android in the "ultra"-low end segment, why give those users to Google so easily? Microsoft has to be aggressive and use all the tools available.
    01-09-2014 11:16 AM
  2. anony_mouse's Avatar
    For cheap phones, and maybe other markets, Microsoft should create a basic 'smart' platform. This could be based on Windows NT, Linux, even Android or just HTML5, but there should be some clear upgrade path, at least, to Windows Phone (etc). They should set no minimum hardware requirements - the user experience will not be great on very cheap phones, and it's better to let each market decide what is acceptable.
    I would strongly recommend making this platform open source and charging no licence fee. The business model should indeed be based on advertising, apps, etc. This would allow anyone to take it and fit it into their product, which might be something quite different to what Microsoft, and we, can think of right now. We saw some interesting announcements about Android being adopted in new markets at CES. Microsoft have nothing to offer right now, unless you want to make a smart phone or tablet based on a small number of chipsets and screen resolutions, or a PC.
    01-10-2014 09:56 AM
  3. WanderingTraveler's Avatar
    Should've kept Symbian for this purpose.

    Symbian Belle ran on ARM11 processors quite well, and that was in 2012!
    LumiaWorld and hilga007 like this.
    01-10-2014 10:02 AM
  4. anony_mouse's Avatar
    Actually I think there are two things Microsoft needs (and probably more):
    - Low end platform for basic smart devices (including smart phones).
    - Flexibile advanced platform for mid/high end devices that are not supported by Windows Phone, RT or 8.
    Both need to give device makers the freedom to take them and use them as they see fit without Microsoft approval beyond a lightweight licence agreement (while offering the option of compatibility with an MS app store, advertising service, etc).
    Ideally, the same platform could be used for both, and for WP, RT and 8, but as WP, RT and 8 are all different that's probably too much to ask.
    01-10-2014 10:32 AM
  5. rodan01's Avatar
    Even a high end Microsoft-Android phone make sense. Recently Kantar reveled that 50% of the WP users adopt Bing as their search engine. If MS can get similar numbers with a Microsoft-Android phone, that only metric could help to subsidize the phone heavily. Add to that Xbox Music and Video, Skype, Cortana, etc.

    What would be the effect of Microsoft-Android phone priced as low or even lower than the Nexus 5 or the Moto G? Google would have to push even harder with their subsidized hardware, alienating OEMs. This could be the seed to destroy the open handset alliance. The operating system and the hardware have negative margin, only companies that can use them as a platform to sell their services can survive. How would Samsung react? I guess they would fork Android and build their own app store.

    Of course all this can only happen if Microsoft is able to build a great Android phone with a metro ui, and take a significant market share in developed markets . If Microsoft can't build good products then they deserve their irrelevance. Xiaomi, a small company compared to Microsoft, is having great success with this model and they are planning a worldwide expansion.

    If WP doesn't take off in 2014 I have not doubt Microsoft will adopt Android. What would be the alternative? Scrap the several billion dollars they have invested in the development of consumer oriented services? Or sell the assets and concentrate in being a glorified low margin hosting service (azure)?
    01-16-2014 10:00 PM
  6. Cleavitt76's Avatar
    In my opinion, the strategy you are proposing is awful in a number of ways.

    First, today's "low end hardware" is tomorrow's "ultra low end hardware" anyway. Therefore, there is really no reason to try to lower the bar any further. The Lumia 520/521 are already selling for under $50 off contract and that price will only continue to drop over the coming months. At a certain point, it's not worth it for any company to try to manufacture anything cheaper. Smartphones are reaching that price point very quickly and in a couple more years "dumb phones" will no longer be made because they won't be economically feasible to manufacture.

    Second, Windows Phone runs much better on low end hardware than Android. Androids "minimum requirement" hardware standards are lower than Windows Phone, but having lower standards isn't the same as actually working better on that hardware. Android is notorious for crashing and running poorly and most of that reputation comes from the low end Android phones. Everyone I know that has a low end Android phone HATES it with a passion. In contrast, the Lumia 520 is extremely well liked and runs very smoothly.

    Third, MS has spent years building up the Windows Phone store and they are only now starting to really gain momentum. Starting from scratch with their own Android app store would be insanity.

    Forth, a customized Android fork would have zero compatibility with the development tools, programming languages, and frameworks that MS shares with ALL of it's other products. Developers have years of their lives invested in these things. Many of them have their entire career as a developer tied to this collection of technology. A forked Android is not going to fit into this programming model without being almost entirely re-written from the ground up. At that point it's not really Android anymore.

    Finally, the main thing going for Windows Phone is that the underlying technology and the UI is used in all of Microsoft's current platforms including desktop, laptop, tablet, hybrid, Windows RT, Xbox One, most of their own programs, and many third party programs. Most of those products are dominant in their respective categories. Creating an Android product and trying to shoehorn it into the MS ecosystem is just putting lipstick on a pig. It will guarantee that users won't have a clean upgrade path and it would be a massive obstacle to Microsoft's goal of getting their consumer products more integrated.

    If WP doesn't take off in 2014 I have not doubt Microsoft will adopt Android. What would be the alternative? Scrap the several billion dollars they have invested in the development of consumer oriented services? Or sell the assets and concentrate in being a glorified low margin hosting service (azure)?
    Sorry, but this makes very little sense to me. Why does WP have to "take off" in 2014? What is so special about 2014? Even if there was some sort of deadline in 2014, why would MS have no other alternative than to scrap their other very successful consumer products such as Windows, Office, and Xbox and be left with only Azure? I won't even bother to name all of the highly successful enterprise products and services that MS has. How would selling super cheap low margin Android phones save MS if they were in such a hopeless situation that all they had left was Azure?

    I would love to see MS give more attention to WP. However, in my opinion MS is playing a long game with Windows Phone. For the most part, they can afford to do that because WP is already a good product as-is for most consumers and because the end goal is to blend into an ecosystem that is more complete than what any of their competitors will be able to offer.
    a5cent likes this.
    01-16-2014 11:23 PM
  7. squire777's Avatar
    I fail to see why MS being the software giant that they are, would choose to use a rival's product (Android) in the first place. It makes zero sense at all aside from driving users away from WP and making them eventually go to full Android.
    N_LaRUE likes this.
    01-17-2014 12:26 AM
  8. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    I fail to see why having an Android phone by MS makes any sense at all. If Nokia was still their own company, then yes, an Android phone was a feasible idea for them cause that made sense from a business perspective.

    MS and Google don't get along. MS runs the Scroogled campaign, they're in competition with one another. It makes zero sense from a business perspective.

    As for low end phones, as has already been indicated, the 520/521 are pretty low end but good phones. I think once WP8.1 comes out we'll have a clearer picture of WP and where it might go in the future.
    01-17-2014 03:50 AM
  9. snowmutt's Avatar
    Does anyone but me see this Nokia Normandy device as one of the reasons why MS had no choice but to purchase Nokia? After a 5 Billion investment, allowing access to their core programming, and Nokia accounting for nearly all of Wp's growth, just Nokia floating this Android device shows that Nokia as a handset maker was going to diversify their OS offerings. MS just couldn't risk that.

    So, if I am even 10% right about Nokia's threat of releasing an Android phone being the reason Microsoft had to buy them, why in the name of a Steve Ballmer pep rally would they continue to release it?

    Kick this thing to the curb. Bring on the 53X series.
    01-17-2014 07:52 PM
  10. FinancialP's Avatar
    .
    2)Android OEMs are forced to use Google services so they can't earn money from services. Android OEMs are forbidden of forking Android so can't build a phone with their own brand a install their services.
    Sorry, but none of this is true. None of it.
    snowmutt likes this.
    01-17-2014 08:15 PM
  11. paulm187's Avatar
    The phone is a result of Nokia's contingency plan if the Microsoft deal didn't go through, that's it! It will never see the light of day now.
    snowmutt likes this.
    01-18-2014 05:17 AM
  12. hilga007's Avatar
    Should've kept Symbian for this!
    They already developed Office apps for Symbian... Wouldn't hurt. But the UI would need to be brought in line.

    The other thing that could work is use Windows Phone 7 base on the Asha which works fine with 256MB RAM. Then, use Windows Phone 8 as a base on Asha once WP9 is released. Tweak the UI just a little bit to make the distinction between Asha and the main Windows Phone OS.
    01-18-2014 06:25 PM
  13. QwarkDreams's Avatar
    This phone is predestined to fail!
    One amongst dozens of well-known OEMs (Samsung, Sony, LG, Motorola, HTC,..), all offering a wide range of different phones - from low budget to high end.
    And then there's Nokia, new to the Android experience, with ONE!!!! low budget phone.
    Plus, to lower Nokias chances of competing with the other OEMs even more, the Normandy will have NO Google Play Store, NO Google Maps, NO Play Music. Of course, Nokia and MS will provide some alternatives (like MixRadio and Here Maps) but, come on! Android an iOS fans are always pointing out that WP lacks the masses of apps and now that Nokia builds an Android phone they leave out the Play store.
    Sorry, but this just can't end well for the Nokia/Android experiment.
    02-13-2014 09:43 PM
  14. maclancer's Avatar
    This phone is predestined to fail!
    One amongst dozens of well-known OEMs (Samsung, Sony, LG, Motorola, HTC,..), all offering a wide range of different phones - from low budget to high end.
    And then there's Nokia, new to the Android experience, with ONE!!!! low budget phone.
    Plus, to lower Nokias chances of competing with the other OEMs even more, the Normandy will have NO Google Play Store, NO Google Maps, NO Play Music. Of course, Nokia and MS will provide some alternatives (like MixRadio and Here Maps) but, come on! Android an iOS fans are always pointing out that WP lacks the masses of apps and now that Nokia builds an Android phone they leave out the Play store.
    Sorry, but this just can't end well for the Nokia/Android experiment.
    agreed, unless the phone cost like $30 or $40 bucks for the full price of the phone... It will not going to succeed
    02-13-2014 09:50 PM
  15. QwarkDreams's Avatar
    agreed, unless the phone cost like $30 or $40 bucks for the full price of the phone... It will not going to succeed
    Yes, and even if it will be under 50 bucks, it's neither fish nor meat - neither WP nor Android. The only thing positive about it will be the Nokia design.
    The competition will always be better, even if people will have to pay some 10 bucks more. And people who don't want such a fancy, feature-loaded phone can still choose from lots of Asha phones.

    But, to hell with all the speculations. We'll see how it goes when it's released.
    snowmutt likes this.
    02-13-2014 09:59 PM
  16. dalydose's Avatar
    Nokia's own 52x series is already a better option. Microsoft has no incentive to keep this going. The benefit for Nokia was cost reduction by not paying licensing. Microsoft would now only be charging themselves licensing and that's as ludicrous as it sounds.

    This experiment will be a one shot failure. These devices well get the Kin treatment and bargain basement clearance.
    snowmutt likes this.
    02-13-2014 10:04 PM
  17. etad putta's Avatar
    $100 phone with kitkat? I would think about it...Yahoo!
    02-15-2014 11:18 AM
  18. jmshub's Avatar
    Nothing good comes to Microsoft by adopting android in any capacity. They are in direct competition to android by way of being in competition to Google. Microsoft can only kill this project as soon as they are in direct control of Nokia.
    02-16-2014 11:12 PM
  19. rodan01's Avatar
    BGR India also reports that Nokia is building its own App Store, called “Asha on Linux (AoL)", and it has brought in most of the top 100 apps from the Play store. According to a source who spoke with the aforementioned website, porting the apps to AoL has been pretty easy. “The only thing developers have to ensure is there are no Google services callouts in the app. If the app does not call out any Google API, one can even sideload the same app APK that is available on the Play store”.
    Having most of the top 100 apps of the play store is a great achievement, this phone could be a hit in emerging markets.

    Nokia reportedly sends Nokia X Normandy Phone to Indian developers
    02-17-2014 11:44 AM
  20. sleeve22's Avatar
    I don't know if anyone on this thread suggested this, but I think having an android device might be a good idea because it would provide an opportunity for android users to experience Nokia build quality. Could open for potential switch in the future.
    02-17-2014 11:50 AM

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