The Microsoft brand will soon be stamped on smart phones at a wireless store near you.
It’s not unexpected after the company bought the handset division of Nokia earlier this year, but in a blog this week Tuula Rytilä, Microsoft’s senior vice-president of marketing for phones said the Microsoft Lumia name will be appearing more.
The Nokia brand will be kept, though, but for entry-level handsets.
Nokia Lumia devices running Windows Phone 8x can be found at Rogers Communications and its Fido stores (the 5-in. Lumia 830, and the 4.5-in Lumia 635), Telus Corp. (the 830 and 635 and its Koodo stores (the 635).
A new Microsoft Lumia device will be released “soon,” Rytila said. “Microsoft remains committed to bringing amazing Lumia experiences with a strong portfolio of phones that offer something for everyone.”
Not only will the names of the handsets change, but the Microsoft Lumia brand will be on corporate Web sites and social channels.
Once dominant in cellphones, Nokia had to sell its handset division after making the same mistake as BlackBerry — not moving fast enough to shift to smart phones buyers wanted. Since taking over the unit, Microsoft has moved to get its finances in order by laying off thousands of staff. New devices will be its next order of business.
Like BlackBerry, Microsoft faces a long fight against the only two profitable names in the business, Apple and its iPhone, and Samsung and its Galaxy S line. Buyers want iOS or Android devices. Despite its praised tile interface, they aren’t being lured by Windows.
There are only a few features a handset maker can play with to differentiate themselves besides price: Making a premium body, crafting superb high definition screen, improving camera imaging. better voice command response. LG and Samsung hope curved handsets will set them apart from iPhones, while BlackBerry has the larger screen Passport with a physical keyboard.