Since introducing its own Surface tablets Microsoft has been redefining the PC to include devices that haven't been considered PCs before, and it's taken that trend one step further.
In the Nokia Conversations blog, Microsoft Vice President of the Operating Systems Group Terry Myerson says that in emerging markets, the cell phone can be considered a PC.
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“In many cases, these customers are new to Microsoft, and their first personal computer will be a phone,” Myerson says in the blog.
“These customers” are Nokia feature-phone owners who will be herded into the Microsoft tent when the agreement for Microsoft to buy the company goes through sometime next year. Meanwhile, Microsoft has taken over the blog.
Myerson refers to Nokia’s mobile phone business that includes a vast number of low-end phones running an operating system more than a decade old. These are not smartphones, but the company sells a lot of them. With the feature phones included in the count, 1.3 billion people use Nokia phones, the blog claims.
An impressive number even if it’s boosted by sales of legacy technology, but if Microsoft can latch onto these customers and shepherd them along to using Windows Phone 8 devices, buying Nokia could turn out to be a smart move, eventually.
“With Nokia’s Mobile Phones starting at $20, more people will be introduced to Microsoft services earlier in their lives than ever before,” Myerson blogs. “In some geographies, Windows Phones are not available. Again, Nokia’s Mobile Phones will introduce more people to Microsoft services in more places than ever before.”
Of course calling feature phone a PC is still a bit of a stretch.
Nokia, Microsoft worked at cross purposes
In the lead-up to Microsoft saying it would buy Nokia, both companies were working against each other, with Microsoft building its own Surface phone and Nokia developing an Android smartphone, according to published reports here and here.
The companies were partners, with Nokia building the bulk of Window Phone 8 smartphones, but apparently Nokia decided it needed a fallback option. Meanwhile the deal implied Microsoft would rely on Nokia for those phones but was actually creating its own hardware to run the platform, the reports say.
If the purchase goes through, the entire issue will evaporate.
70-inch Windows 8 tablet
InFocus has built a Web page for a new Windows 8 device – a 70-inch touchscreen with 1080p resolution.
Big Touch comes with Windows 8 Pro, an Intel Core i5 processor and a wireless keyboard and mouse, so it’s not reliant on the touchscreen for navigation, but the site advertising Big Touch says it will amplify the Windows 8 fun of a tablet and productivity of a PC.
No word on how much it costs.
More Surface deals
On the heels of Microsoft reducing the price of its Surface RT and Surface Pro, tablets deals have popped up on eBay advertising a continuation of the discounts.
With the announcement of Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets set for next week, it seems parties with oversized inventories are looking to unload them while they can.
Microsoft itself has knocked $100 off the price of Surface Pros to a base price of $799 and cut Surface RT’s price $150 to $349.
Dump your iPad – please!
Microsoft is offering a Microsoft Store gift card worth at least $200 for people trading in an iPad 2, 3 or 4. For those looking for a new tablet, the company notes the new base prices of the Surface RT and the Surface Pro. Microsoft calls moving from an iPad to a Surface an upgrade.
The offer expires Oct. 27, which may be in time for customers to consider trading in their iPads and buying a Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2, which might be out by then but Microsoft hasn’t said yet for sure.
The Microsoft site promoting the offer doesn’t say how the company decides how much an iPad is worth or what the maximum offer is.
Tim Greene covers Microsoft and unified communications for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter@Tim_Greene.