Windows Phone (WP) is a family of mobile operating systems developed by Microsoft for smartphones as
the replacement successor to Windows Mobile and Zune. Windows Phone features a new user interface derived from Metro design language. Unlike Windows Mobile, it is primarily aimed at the consumer market rather than the enterprise market. It was first launched in October 2010 with Windows Phone 7. Windows Phone 8.1 is the latest public release of the operating system, released to manufacturing on April 14, 2014.
Windows 10 Mobile will succeed Windows Phone 8.1 in 2015; it emphasizes a larger amount of integration and unification with its PC counterpart—including a new, unified application ecosystem, along with an expansion of its scope to include small-screened tablets.
Work on a major Windows Mobile update may have begun as early as 2004 under the codename "Photon", but work moved slowly and the project was ultimately cancelled. In 2008, Microsoft reorganized the Windows Mobile group and started work on a new mobile operating system. The product was to be released in 2009 as Windows Phone, but several delays prompted Microsoft to develop Windows Mobile 6.5 as an interim release.
Windows Phone was developed quickly. One result was that the new OS would not be compatible with Windows Mobile applications. Larry Lieberman, senior product manager for Microsoft's Mobile Developer Experience, told eWeek: "If we'd had more time and resources, we may have been able to do something in terms of backward compatibility." Lieberman said that Microsoft was attempting to look at the mobile phone market in a new way, with the end user in mind as well as the enterprise network. Terry Myerson, corporate VP of Windows Phone engineering, said, "With the move to capacitive touch screens, away from the stylus, and the moves to some of the hardware choices we made for the Windows Phone 7 experience, we had to break application compatibility with Windows Mobile 6.5."
Partnership with Nokia Edit
Main article: Microsoft Mobile
On February 11, 2011, at a press event in London, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Nokia CEO Stephen Elop announced a partnership between their companies in which Windows Phone would become the primary smartphone operating-system for Nokia, replacing Symbian. The event focused largely on setting up "a new global mobile ecosystem", suggesting competition with Android and iOS with the words "It is now a three horse race". Elop stated the reason for choosing Windows Phone over Android, saying: "the single most important word is 'differentiation'. Entering the Android environment late, we knew we would have a hard time differentiating." While Nokia would have had more long-term creative control with Android (note that MeeGo as used by Nokia resembles Android more than it does Windows Phone 7 as both Android and MeeGo are based on the Linux kernel), Elop enjoyed familiarity with his past company where he had been a top executive. The pair announced integration of Microsoft services with Nokia's own services; specifically:
- Bing would power search across Nokia devices
- integration of Nokia Maps with Bing Maps
- integration of Nokia's Ovi store with the Windows Phone Store
The partnership involves "funds changing hands for royalties, marketing and ad-revenue sharing", which Microsoft later announced as "measured in billions of dollars." Jo Harlow, whom Elop tapped to run Nokia's smartphone business, rearranged her team to match the structure led by Microsoft's VP of Windows Phone, Terry Myerson. Myerson was quoted as saying, "I can trust her with what she tells me. She uses that same direct and genuine communication to motivate her team."
The first Nokia Lumia Windows Phones, the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710, were announced in October 2011 at Nokia World 2011.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in 2012 Nokia announced the Lumia 900, featuring a 4.3-inch AMOLED ClearBlack display, a 1.4 GHz processor and 16 GB of storage.] The Lumia 900 was one of the first Windows Phones to support LTE and was released on AT&T on April 8. An international version launched in Q2 2012, with a UK launch in May 2012. The Lumia 610 was the first Nokia Windows Phone to run the Tango Variant (Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh) and was aimed at emerging markets.
On September 2, 2013, Microsoft announced a deal to acquire Nokia's mobile phone division outright, retaining former CEO Stephen Elop as the head of Microsoft's devices operation. Microsoft managers revealed that the acquisition was made because Nokia was driving the development of the Windows Phone platform to better match their products. The merger was completed after regulatory approval in all major markets in April 2014. As a result, Nokia's hardware division is now a subsidiary of Microsoft operating under the name Microsoft Mobile.
In February 2014, Nokia released the Nokia X series of smartphones, (later discontinued) using a version of Android forked from the Android Open Source Project. The operating system was modified; Google's software was not included in favour of competing applications and services from Microsoft and Nokia, with a user interface is highly modified to resemble Windows Phone.
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