Microsoft restarts the waiting game with Windows Phone 8.1

by Volker Weber

lumia 930

Nokia announced four new smartphones today: Lumia 630 with single and dual 3G, Lumia 635 with LTE, and Lumia 930. The 63x devices will roll out across the world early May, first in emerging markets, the 930 starts rolling out in June. All of these come with Windows Phone 8.1. Updates for devices already in the market will roll out "in a few months", certainly after the new phones. The Lumia 63x start well below the initial 520 price range, so they will be really affordable. The Lumia 930 will be the new flagship 5" device. Orange is the new yellow.

Windows Phone 8.1 will bring a lot of new features, among them a notification center. The Cortana personal assistant will initially be only available as beta in the US. Don't hold your breath ... WP 8.1 will also bring new versions of the HERE suite, now to all WP devices, with free voice guided navigation across 97 countries.

The most significant and largely invisible change is a new runtime that lets you run apps across Windows Phone and Windows. WinRT is not dead at all.


Will the 930 replace the 1020?

Karl Heindel, 2014-04-03 08:15

No, it replaces the 920/925. It's basically a smaller version of the 1520.

Volker Weber, 2014-04-03 08:17

Nomen est omen ... I think the 930 looks fantastic, and the specs sound great, too. This could be my next device one day. I've never owned a Windows phone though, and what I am struggling with is its capabilities as a working machine. As I grew very fond of BlackBerry 10's Hub as a notification centre and the integration with MS Outlook from my PC, does WP 8.1 have something comparable? Since it's Windows it should, shouldn't it?

Jochen Kattoll, 2014-04-03 13:30

Frankly, I don't know. Integration with Outlook on your PC, does that mean local sync? The BB Hub is quite unique. I have not seen anything that compete. The same can be said about the WP home screen. I just love that.

Volker Weber, 2014-04-03 13:34

I couldn't help but think of the presentation of WP8. To promote the new OS, Microsoft invited Jessica Alba as model entrepreneur soccer mom and the heavily demoed hero features were Kids Corner and Rooms. Never heard of that again? Me neither.

Yesterday the feature focus was on 'cool new lock screen features', 'cool new start screen pictures and parallax effects' and of course Cortana. Which will be at first available only in the US. The phones they introduced won't be available at first in the US - because Windows Phone is actually more successful in other markets. Find the error....

Max Nierbauer, 2014-04-03 20:47

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Ceci n'est pas un blog is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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