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Nokia X2, proof that Microsoft doesn't believe in Windows Phone

Dale Davies |
Nokia, read: Microsoft, presented X2, a budget mobile phone based on Android operating system which is trying to prove many point but is successful in just one: It shows that Microsoft doesn't believe in its own operating system.

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Let's first take a look at some technical data. The Nokia X2 has a dual-SIM support and costs $135 (99 euros) without a contract. The 4.3-inch device features a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera, and 4GB of storage memory, further expandable via MicroSD memory cards.

There is a 5MP camera at the back and front camera for Skype. There is also a free HERE Maps subscription with voice assistance, while the notification drawer consists of a refreshed shortcut menu. The device comes, or more precisely will come in all countries in July, in different color options of glossy green, black, orange, yellow, and white.

Since it comes from Microsoft, the main screen is loaded with Microsoft services including OneDrive, OneNote, and Outlook, and the phone is clearly re-skinned with a Windows Phone-like feel.

So far so good, but what the new Microsoft's device mean for the customers and, even more important, for the company? From the customer's point of view, Nokia X2 is a nice little device, especially for those who want a cheap mobile phone and are more accustomed to Microsoft's services than Google's.

From the company's point of view, one must ask what were they thinking? These days all manufacturers would like very much to take a part of emerging markets with cheaper device and every one of them would like to sell its own services. This is good thinking but Microsoft forgot one thing: It already has a mobile operating system that outsells even iPhone in many markets, a system that's very well connected to Microsoft's services. Windows Phone has small market share but it's here and it doesn't sell so poorly to be thrown away.

Then, to have an Android phone that looks like a Windows phone is... well, it's funny. Everybody can have an Android phone with Microsoft theme and use Microsoft's services with it. So, it's like "I'm Android, and I'm not" kind of thinking. This is a bad move toward developers who are now left in doubt should they write apps for Windows Phone or MS Android. By the way, Windows phone works very well on slower hardware and that's not always the case with Android phones.

The story doesn't look brilliant for Microsoft so far but there's more: Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL, won’t be updated to X Software Platform 2.0, which was introduced with the new Nokia X2 yesterday. To remind you: Those devices are just several months old. Indeed, they will get some new features, says Microsoft, but not the new platform. If you have one of those "old" devices, it may sound a bit like cheating.

What about services? We see "Cheap Android to attract users to Microsoft's services" as bad argument. Instead, we see Microsoft as a company that doesn't trust it's own operating system, something the company developed spending an enormous amount of money, people, and time. And when it finally made a decent mobile operating system that started to gain users around the world, the company decided to introduce a cheap Android phone.

The only reason for that could be "OK, we made some devices, let's sell them to cover manufacturing costs" but that may be good reason just for Microsoft's sales department. Add to that that Windows Phone OS is available for free on phones and tablets with screen sizes of under nine inches - a very good move for all developers and manufacturers - and you'll come to the conclusion that the company is not sure is its own OS good or not.

Microsoft maybe counts on profit from services but the message it just sent to the public is very dangerous for the company.

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