Microsoft’s new budget Lumias are all about the services

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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has unveiled a couple new handsets, the Lumia 640 and 640 XL, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The phones themselves are pretty low-priced for their decent specifications, but what’s particularly interesting about them is the degree to which they’re delivery devices for Microsoft’s services.

Both the 5-inch Lumia 640 and the 5.7-inch Lumia 640 XL, which cost from €139 ($155) and €189 respectively, come bundled with the [company]Microsoft[/company] Office apps and a year’s subscription to Office 365 that can be used across the phone itself as well as one PC or Mac and one tablet. That includes a terabyte of OneDrive storage and 60 Skype World minutes per month.

Bearing in mind that the same bundle of services usually costs €69/$69 per year, that’s a pretty sweet deal, and it may tempt quite a few budget phone buyers into using Microsoft’s subscription services.

What’s more, Microsoft also announced a “Universal Foldable Keyboard” – a fairly thin Bluetooth affair – that will work with not only Windows devices but also iOS and Android devices. Microsoft has been putting out some decent Office apps for those rival platforms of late, and the keyboard is just one more way for it to keep users of almost any device thinking of the Microsoft brand and heading for its services.

Sure, the company didn’t unveil any new flagships on Monday – these will probably appear closer to the release of Windows 10 – but it did demonstrate how its mobile hardware and software strategies are coming together nicely as the Nokia handsets acquisition shrinks in the rear view mirror.

Here are the specs for those new Lumias, by the way: The 640 and 640 XL are both based on a 1.2 quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and a gig of RAM. The XL has a 3,000mAh battery as opposed to the smaller phone’s 2,500mAh affair, and a beefier camera too at 13 megapixels versus eight megapixels. Both devices have a dual-SIM option.

The 640 will cost €139 for the 3G version and €159 4G version, and will ship in April. The 640 XL will cost €189 for the 3G version and €219 for the 4G version, and will appear first in March.

MWC-2015-ticker

4 Comments

jjj

The hidden message here is that they have failed to get the OS running on A57/A53 cores and WP sales should be crippled by that.
IDC had Windows in 2014 at 34.9 mil units and 2.7% smartphone share and i was expecting a minor share gain in 2015 from the new small partners that are pushing WP devices.That was until they announced these new devices and i noticed the outdated A7 based SoC. As of now my expectations for minor share gains are gone and poor sales caused by outdated hardware might alienate those new partners and make it increasingly difficult for Microsoft to become relevant in the smartphone OS market.
As for cloud services, M$ keeps trying to lie and deceive with their marketing (like “affordable flagship” and many other recent examples where they take us as fools ) and that’s counterproductive when it comes to building trust . They didn’t had our trust even before the NSA scandal and they don’t seem to understand what they need to do ( not make us fell like they about to slip something into our drink lol).
Even today they made me literally lol when in the presentation Elop said ‘it’s thin at just 9mm” , 9mm has stopped being thin a few years ago and everybody knows it so all they did with that statement is undermine their credibility and lose a little bit more trust. Couldn’t be all that hard to find some marketing folks smart enough to do much better than this.

just-d

Bias much?

“Even today they made me literally lol when in the presentation Elop said ‘it’s thin at just 9mm” , 9mm has stopped being thin a few years ago and everybody knows it so all they did with that statement is undermine their credibility and lose a little bit more trust. ”

I guess, until they pick up the Android powered Motorola, a direct competitor, and see that it is 11mm “thin.” Or they pick up the far more costly Note 4, with the same screen size, and feel that it weighs the same.

“As of now my expectations for minor share gains are gone and poor sales caused by outdated hardware might alienate those new partners and make it increasingly difficult for Microsoft to become relevant in the smartphone OS market.”

The hardware isn’t outdated, these are mid-tier devices and run the same internals as most others in their tier. BUT, these devices have better cams and a more cohesive UI across the entire range. LOL, poor sales might alienate partners? You’re joking, Android has 80% of the market and profits slid by more than 1 billion dollars in 2014, THAT’S what alienates partners.

“As for cloud services, M$ keeps trying to lie and deceive with their marketing (like “affordable flagship” and many other recent examples where they take us as fools ) and that’s counterproductive when it comes to building trust . They didn’t had our trust even before the NSA scandal and they don’t seem to understand what they need to do ( not make us fell like they about to slip something into our drink lol).”

If they’re taking you for a fool I submit they have you pegged right. MS cloud services are among the best in breed. NSA, LMAO… I remember the good ole days when it was the CIA that was “about to slip something into our drink.” What the NSA and MS… sorry M$, mid-tier smartphones have to do with anything is beyond me. Go buy a Chinese made smartphone, those surely aren’t being tampered with or corrupted by the government. LMAO.

jjj

lol, would help if you made any sense
1. the thinnest phones are bellow 5mm , 9mm is fat and the problem is that they make the claim that it is thin, it’s a flat out lie that nobody but you doubts.
2. the SoC is outdated and these devices are not midrange anymore, they dropped bellow. The 2015 mid range is 1080p and A53 with 720p and A53 as the lower midrange.. As for partners, developing devices costs money and M$ is buying partners but they can’t convince them to keep going if those devices don’t sell at all just like they lost the big phone makers,even when paying them to use WP because it just was not worth it. As you say people don’t make much money as it is, investing in devices that don’t sell doesn’t make sense and Android does sell, Windows doesn’t. So how much worse is Windows compared to Android?
3. You not only make no sense but you are being beyond rude instead of behaving like a decent human being that wasn’t raised by rats, guess not everybody has parents and teachers able to reach them.

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