Microsoft’s Unveils New Devices to Take its Hardware Business to the Next Level

Microsoft’s event from last has gotten the Internet talking about it. From laptops to tablets to smartphones and even a smartwatch, it was a bucketful of surprises for the tech enthusiasts. And while Microsoft continues to be one of the most valuable brands in the world it owes most of it to its software business, 84% of PCs worldwide use various versions of Windows OS.

Even with its Surface tablets bringing in business, the company is not yet known for its hardware capabilities like Apple and Google, but with this new range of devices it might be able to turn the tables around. Have a look.

New Microsoft Lumia Smartphones  

Windows Phone experienced a QoQ decline of 4.2% with a total of 8.8 million units shipped in Q2 2015 - IDC

Windows Phone experienced a QoQ decline of 4.2% with a total of 8.8 million units shipped in Q2 2015 – IDC

Microsoft had acquired Nokia’s handset business back in September 2013, and an year down the line in September 2014 it decided to drop Nokia’s branding from its Lumia range of smartphones. Now another year has passed, and according to statistical data by IDC, Microsoft doesn’t even stand in the top 5 smartphone makers in the world, and its Lumia phones shipments have been declining.
In order to uplift its smartphone sales and shipments, the company has unveiled 3 new Lumia smartphones – 950, 950 XL and 550, all running Windows 10 OS.

Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL

Microsoft-Lumia-950-and-950-XL

Lumia 950 and 950 XL to cost $549 and $649 respectively

Microsoft has unveiled its flagship phone Lumia 950 along with its bigger version Lumia 950 XL. The 5.2″ big Lumia 950 comes with a 1.8 GHz Hexa core Snapdragon 808 processor and 3 GB RAM. Powered by Windows 10 OS, it has 32GB in built memory with an expandable card slot. It comes with a 20MP rear camera and Full HD 5MP wide angle front camera. It will be launched in November for $549.

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Lumia 950 XL comes with a 5.7″ display and a 2.0 GHz octa core Snapdragon 810 processor. The other features are pretty much same as 950. It will be released in November for $649.

Both phones come with Windows Hello, USB-C type connectors and liquid cooling technology.

Microsoft Lumia 550

Microsoft's budget smartphone Lumia 550 will be launched in December for $139

Microsoft’s budget smartphone Lumia 550 will be launched in December for $139

Along with the previous two smartphones, the company has also launched a budget friendly Lumia 550. The phone has a 4.7″ display and comes with a 1.1 GHz Quad core Snapdragon 210 processor and 1 GB RAM. Powered by Windows 10 OS, it has 8GB in built memory with an expandable card slot. It comes with a 5MP rear camera and  2MP front camera. It will be launched in December for $139. 

One of the biggest reasons behind Android OS over taking the market was its availability on budget smartphones, with this new entrant, Microsoft aims at pleasing the masses who would consider exploring Lumia as an option too. However it can’t be said how will it fare just yet.

Microsoft Surface Book and Tablet

The Surface Book – An Actual Laptop from Microsoft


Till now Microsoft had been trying to crack the market with its tablet cum notebook range of Microsoft Surface. And it has been doing well with Surface 3 and Surface 3 Pro doing well globally. The company has now launched Surface Notebook, which is also a laptop cum tablet, but this time more of the former than the latter.

Surface 3 is pulling up Microsoft's tablet sales - TrendForce

Surface 3 is pulling up Microsoft’s tablet sales – TrendForce

The Surface Book comes with a 13.5 inch touch display, that can be detached from the from the keyboard to become a stand alone tablet. It comes with a high-end Intel processor, up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage and 12-hour battery life among other features. A good set up for hardcore gamers?

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Microsoft has introduced an innovation to the hinge between laptop screens and the remaining body that it is calling a ‘Dynamic Fulcrum Hinge’. While tablets with an optional keyboard might make sense to many, it is not clear how many people would prefer a laptop with such a set up.

The Surface Book will be available from October 26th and the range will start from $1,499.

Surface Pro 4 – A Laptop like Tablet?

Microsoft has launched an enhanced version of its Surface Pro 3 tablet, which it announced as “The tablet that can replace your laptop just got thinner, lighter and faster.” It is a 12.3 inch tablet, slightly bigger than its predecessor, and has a better resolution.
The device will come with up to 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD, along with Intel’s Skylake processors. With a new customizable Surface Pen, Microsoft aims to compete with Macbook Air with this new release. The Surface Pro 4 is also available from October 26th, starting at $899.

Microsoft Band 2 – An upgraded Smartwatch by Microsoft

Along with a curved display, Microsoft's upgraded wearable comes with 48 hours of batter life

Along with a curved display, Microsoft’s upgraded wearable comes with 48 hours of batter life

Why should Microsoft stay behind in the race to create the best smartwatch? A little was heard after the launch of its first smartwatch Microsoft Band, and now the company has improved upon it and launched its successor Band 2. It comes with a curved, touch-sensitive OLED display with Gorilla Glass 3. The band offers GPS, heart rate, calorie monitor and sleep tracking, guided workouts and smart notifications. Also, it comes with Cortana integration to make it even smarter.

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It can work with Windows, Android and iOS powered smartphones. It will be available from October 30th for $249.

And More…

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella steering the company to a new direction

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella steering the company to a new direction

Along with these, the company also had several other things in the pipeline. A dock to let the new Lumia phones connect to display screens, with a USB Type-C cable, providing ports for HDMI, DisplayPort, and three full USB ports. Xbox will be getting a Windows 10 update to get on the same page as other Microsoft products.

With the depth and breadth of Windows 10 devices coming this holiday and beyond, from low cost budget PCs to premium and elegantly designed high performance hardware, we hope you’ll consider a Windows 10 device from Microsoft or our partners.” says Terry Myerson Executive Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group (WDG). The company admittedly hopes that these devices will be a game changer, it appears that under Satya Nadella’s leadership, the company is going on a new path. But will these products be enough for challenging Apple and Google whose new devices have also created a buzz? A shift in smartphone and tablet shipment trends by the end of this financial year would be interesting to see.

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