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Brief Mobile

BREAKING: GSMA Calls Off MWC 2020!

Update 1: February 12, 2020

GSMA, the organisation that operates Mobile World Congress, aka MWC, has decided to call off MWC2020 amid the fear of Coronavirus. The event was already facing challenges since the outbreak of Coronavirus in the mid of Jan 2020, which resulted in many tech giants backing off from the event.

“The global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances make it impossible,” said GSMA CEO John Hoffman in a statement to Bloomberg.

Just two days before we wrote about how tech giants, including Amazon, Nvidia, LG, Ericsson, have turned their back to MWC 2020 one after another. You can read more about this below.

January 10, 2020:

Mobile World Congress 2020, aka MWC 2020, one of the world’s largest conference, has started losing its shine much before its kicks off.

Novel Coronavirus, the deadly virus that killed 811 people immediately after following an outbreak in the central city of China, Wuhan has turned out to be a major medical concern since the beginning of this new year. The death toll and the number of infected cases have been seemingly popping up at a rapid pace since its inception. Now, the outbreak has also become the central issue of distress in the global business community.

Mobile World Congress or MWC as it is referred to, is one of the most important corporate networking opportunities between executives belonging from the mobile industry and various government officials. This year, the MWC 2020 is scheduled to be held in Barcelona starting from 24th February but with the growing concern over the Coronavirus outbreak, major companies in the mobile industry have started to withdraw themselves one after another from participating in the exhibition event.

Source: Hindustan Times

As of now, Amazon, L.G., NVIDIA and Ericsson are few of the major companies who have abandoned or withdrawn from the event. But that’s not the only damages that have put MWC 2020 in a tough spot. Many other companies, including Samsung, have reduced the number of executives, as compared to the previous years, that would be participating in the conference. In fact, rumours are also making rounds that executives of many companies participating in the MWC 2020 are also not very comfortable in attending the event due to the fear of Coronavirus.

An email statement from an Amazon spokesperson received by a major tech news outlet stated that it was because of their concerns over the coronavirus and its quarantine efforts that they had to back out from the event at such short notice. Other major companies such as Microsoft has reportedly said that their plans to attend the event remains unchanged as of now but they might just cut back on the number of executives that they plan on sending to attend MCW.

This fatal blow seems to have left the MCW event organizers of 2020 on uneven grounds and has, therefore, led them to take some serious measures by implementing stringent safeguarding policies around the event.

As per GSMA Chief Executive Officer John Hoffman, everyone from the Hubei province of China are banned from attending the event whilst all travellers who have been in China will need to provide tangible proof showing they have been outside of China 14 days prior to the event. The attendants also need to self-certify that they haven’t been in contact with anyone that they think have contracted the virus.

The show organisers said they also plan to clean and disinfect commonly used items such as speakers while making sure the same piece of equipment isn’t used by multiple people. They have also issued a request to refrain from shaking hands at the meet and greet to further eliminate any probability if there remains any to contain the spreading of the virus.

Source: NDTV

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared novel coronavirus to be a global health emergency but has also remarked that there is no evidence at present to suggest that there is a community spread in Europe, so WHO/Europe won’t currently be requesting that large gatherings such as that of MWC 2020 be cancelled.

What will the future of global business communities hold amid the outbreak?

The novel coronavirus is a deadly outbreak with huge outspread potential and therefore it would definitely be a wise call to refrain from any global community meet and greets as of right now as it will assist and ensure the speedy quarantine and elimination of the virus.

Source : Aljazeera

As of today, the death toll has risen to 908 with over 40,171 infected cases as reported by major news outlets. W.H.O has declared they will seemingly accelerate their pace of research and innovation to battle the virus and finally defeat it before it is able to infect and kill any more of the population. Let us know what are your thoughts regarding such a massive outbreak and it’s consequences in the comments below.

All such development has jeopardised the plans of MWC 2020 organisers this year. Not only the security measures have become a serious concern, but the drastic fall in the expected number of attendees is also another challenge to tackle. This will also make companies refraining and showcasing their major innovations and announcements that take place every year. Amid all the fear related to the contagious Coronavirus, MWC 2020 is definitely not going to be a head-turner as it used to be every year.

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Announcements Brief Mobile

India to Host Its Own Mobile World Congress (IMC), With or Without GSMA!

Exactly a month back we informed you about India’s plan to host the first ever India Mobile Congress (IMC) in the country. We mentioned the event would be the governed by GSMA, the body which organises the world’s most popular and largest conference on mobile – Mobile World Congress (MWC). Later GSMA disowned all the claims and released a note stating that GSMA has not associated with any Indian body to bring MWC in India. The statement of GSMA got nothing but an embarrassment to Cellular Operator Association of India (COAI) who apparently jumped the gun and announced the event without taking all the stakeholder into the confidence.

While we thought of it as a lost opportunity, the twist was still left. Today, COAI has again re-emphasized its plan to host IMC, that replicates the model of MWC – without having any association with GSMA, as of now.

Rajan S. Mathew, Director General of COAI, has informed the media that the IMC will be held on stated schedule – from September 27 to 29 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

He also added that the event will be organised by COAI with the support from the Department of telecommunication and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. Besides, all the major stakeholder of Mobile ecosystem in India have agreed to participate in the IMC. National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Indian Cellular Association (ICA), and Internet Service Providers’ Association of India (ISPAI) are some of the major bodies of the ecosystem who have agreed to support the IMC.

The COAI is excepting 8 – 10 countries to participate in the event, considering the growing economy and the size of opportunity window in India. Nearly 8,000 delegates are expected to participate in the three-day event.

Though the IMC would be modelled on MWC, the event would be completely owned by COAI. The GSMA, however, is also in talks to get into partnership.

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Brief Internet Mobile Reliance Jio Technology Telecom

Reliance Jio Collaborates With Samsung to Upgrade and Enhance Its Entire Telecom Infrastructure

Less than 6 months after Reliance Industries Limited (NSE:RELIANCE) changed the face of the Indian telecom industry with the launch of Reliance Jio 4G VoLTE network, Reliance is attempting an encore of their feat. In an uncertain and somewhat volatile time for most of the mobile telecom service provider in India, Reliance Jio is looking to push their advantage and grab the top spot. This has been a big week for Jio, who first announced their aggressive, more-for-less tariff plans for their proposed shift to a paid subscription model. During the joint Samsung-Jio event at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Samsung announced their new “I&G (Infill and Growth) Project” in conjunction with Reliance Jio.

Let’s find out what exactly this means, what it entails for the industry at large, and, more importantly, will Reliance Jio live up to the expectations of users’ after this?

Reliance partners with Samsung For Better Connectivity and Faster Speeds

The primary aim of the “Infill and Growth Project” is to deliver wider LTE coverage for the Reliance Jio service. For all its massive success, Jio has been criticised for its poor connectivity, frequent call drops and poor data speeds. The Infill and Growth project will attempt to mitigate and eliminate this problem by increasing coverage area, improving connectivity inside buildings and dense concrete environments, and providing a consistent high-speed experience regardless of the terrain and geography.

The relationship between Samsung and Reliance is not a new one, going back to 2012 when they signed a turn-key agreement under which Samsung provided the LTE core, base stations, solutions and maintenance services required for Reliance Jio’s VoLTE services. This infrastructure enabled the meteoric rise of Jio as a voice and data service behemoth in the Indian landscape.

With Reliance Jio recently crossing the 100 million subscriber mark in a record time of under 6 months, it remains the fastest growing network service in the world. However, the service has been strained by this extraordinary influx of customers. The I&G project will utilise the 850, 1800 and 2300 MHz band spectrums to upgrade Reliance Jio’s current infrastructure in an ambitious attempt to cover 90% of India’s population, especially in rural areas. Samsung will also be providing Jio with its professional solutions such as Cognitive Traffic Monitoring Optimizer and Quality Monitoring and Analysis (VoMA) to enable for a superior service and end user experience.

Analysts at Credit Suisse, a global financial services company, recently declared Reliance Jio as the biggest data carrier in the world, with data usage of 16,000 TB per day primarily due to video consumption. Jio has been a boon to consumers residing in rural and remote regions of India, with Reliance Jio’s impressive coverage enabling them to remain connected regardless of location. The importance of this cannot be overstated and such coverage can be the nucleus for e-Learning initiatives and in the creation of a truly cashless economy. The partnership with Samsung is a monumental stride in enabling the creation of a “Digital India”.

The Future is 5G

Another important directive of the Infill and Growth project is the rolling out of 5G data services in India in the near future. According to Youngky Kim, President and Head of Network Business at Samsung Electronics, Samsung will create new paradigms for LTE – Advanced Pro and 5G in close cooperation with Jio.

This is a significant announcement which can have far reaching consequences for the Indian telecom Industry. The partnership between Samsung and Jio looks to be a potent one and puts other telecom providers on the clock. In order to compete, they will have to expand and introduce 5G services of their own, lest they risk Reliance Jio significantly eroding their customer base.

Can Jio Do it Again?

Reliance’s outlined plan to shift to a paid subscription model has been met with enthusiasm by the industry and consumer base both. Since Mukesh Ambani’s address on the 21 February 2017, Reliance Jio shares rose in value by 1.36% closing at Rs. 1088.25 while competitor shares depreciated. Now, the collaboration between Samsung and Jio strikes a double blow to their competitors. All of this coupled with Reliance’s significant financial muscle puts them in pole position for the future.

The Samsung-Jio collaboration will be facing its primary competition from a potential partnership between Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Nokia. The two companies are set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 01 March 2017. Similar to the Infill and Growth project, the MoU will aim to improve 5G connectivity across India, with Nokia helping BSNL in creating a network framework for the future. The main objectives will be the eventual transition to a future-ready 5G network with a big focus on Internet of things (IoT).

The Government of India is pushing for digitisation of India with their Digital India initiative in a big way. There is a significant need for universal availability of data services for objectives of e-Governance, e-Learning and the creation of a truly cashless economy to thrust the nation into the future. This has created a void in the market, one which all the major telecom providers are scrambling to fill. As it stands, Reliance Jio looks poised to do just that.

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Brief Google-Plus Social Media Social News

RIP Google+: Google Inc. (GOOGL) Has Started Digging The Grave

Today morning at ongoing Mobile World Congress, Sunder Pichai, Android Head – Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), made an announcement that widely reveals the fate of Google’s social networking aspirations vehicle, Google+. And, it’s definitely not a good sign for the Google+ active users and brands, who sweat to keep the network alive.

“For us, Google+ was always two things, a stream and a social layer. The stream has a passionate community of users, but the second goal was larger for us. We’re at a point where things like photos and communication are very important, we’re reorganizing around that. Hangouts will still exist,” Said, Sundar Pichai.

Message is loud and clear; Google+ is pivoting as it has failed to uproot any of the competitors from the social networking space. Pay attention to one of the words used by Sundar in the above statement – Was. This clearly indicates that the fate of Google+ has been sealed and it’s just a matter of time before Google comes up with an official statement to announce the demise of an ambitious project. For Google it may not be a big deal, though, as the internet giant has a big graveyard of in-house developed products and startups it acquired once; Google Buzz, Orkut, Google Wave to name few.

Many may argue that pivoting is a sign of growth and many successful products have adopted the similar strategy to stay afloat in the market. In fact, there are few who are still not ready to read the writing on the wall. And, why not, killing a network that has nearly 2.2 billion registered users is neither a smart move nor a tranquil decision. But in the same light, It is interesting to learn that less than 1% of its total claimed users base is actually active on the network, compare to 90% of active user base of arch rival Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB). There are over 1.5 billion registered users on Facebook and as per the Q4, 2014 official figure; out of that 1.39 billion are active.

Googleplus user Growth

People call Google+ a social graveyard. Despite, Google is quite confident about few of the features it offers via Google+, especially Hangout. Therefore, the company has apparently decided to carve few of such features into different services before Google+ is officially declared dead. And to make the process smooth, Google has already started the transition of its key product team members. The latest one being Bradley Horowitz, who has been associated with many Google products, including Google+, for seven years now. This morning, Horowitz also indicated about the ongoing tussle on the fate of Google+ and announced he would be heading two new products Photos and Stream. Read his announcement in the context of Sunder Pichai’s latest statement and you would be able to visualize the future of Google+ quite clearly.

What Went Wrong With Google+

In an era of Internet, when Facebook, SpaceX and, also, Google, is talking about bringing as many people as possible on the Internet via Project Loom and Internet.Org, the failure of Google+ is really surprising. While Google is not ready to accept its defeat in social media space – also, it can’t afford to do so – Facebook has learnt the art of winning millions of new users, and keep them engaged and interested from growing economies with each passing month. Mark Zuckerberg has identified the real gaps of social networking and is busy patching those, which is helping Facebook to grow faster than ever before, be it users count, advertising revenue, winning smartphone users or beating YouTube in video content space.

Many analysts believe that despite of having the search ranking advantage Google missed the social media flight. Content engagement is the key to success in social media business, and Zuckerberg has made sure users are served with the content type they like and cherish the most.

There is also one fundamental difference that Google failed to understand; Facebook adopted the split model and segregated image & video content, mobile messaging content and other form of content into three different networks, Google did just opposite to that. Unlike Google, Facebook never tried to ‘force’ users to link all of its services together, as Zuckerberg believes these are three different worlds and can never be clubbed together. Today, besides having 1.39 billion active monthly users on Facebook, Zuckerberg also has 300 million active users on Instagram and 700 million active users on WhatsApp.

Google spokespersons remain tied lipped at this point in time and are not ready to spill beans on how Google+ would be carved into possible multiple services or networks – something similar to the combination of Facebook +Instagram+WatsApp. However, after the latest statement of both Sunder Pichai and Horowitz, along with the announcement of new products, it’s not difficult to predict the future of Google+. All it remains to be seen how brands on Google+, having millions of fans/followers, react to the upcoming disappointment.

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Brief Mobile Smartphones

Chinese Major Huawei Bets Upon Fastest Smartphone In The World: Launches Ascend P2

Today, at the Mobile World Congress, Huawei announced the world’s fastest smartphone–Huawei Ascend P2. The device features ultra-slim body (8.4 mm), a quad-core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 13 MP cameras and a massive 2,420 mAh battery. In addition, it also runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Huawei Emotion UI version 1.5. Undoubtedly, Ascend P2 is the flagship model for Huawei, but its latest announcement at CES last month creates little dilemma around about its flagship smartphones. Last month, the company unleashed Ascend D2, a Phablet that features 5-inch screen with 1080 p resolution. On the other side, Huawei Ascend P2, which has been announced today, features a 4.7-inch screen with just 720p resolutions.

Huawei Ascend P2 Would Be The fastest Smartphone

In France, the Huawei Ascend P2 will be launched by the end of the Q2, with the price tag of 399 Euro (approx US$528). On the other side, the price of Samsung’s Galaxy S3 is also expected to be sliced down to 400 EUR (nearly $529) and releases roughly on the same time. More importantly, Samsung Galaxy S4 is going to be announced in March, and the device will be available for selling by April this year. Just a few days before, HTC has already launched its biggest smartphone model–HTC One–for this year.

This time, Huawei is going to create a benchmark for smartphones in terms of speed. The company has claimed Huawei Ascend P2 would be the the world’s fastest smartphone. The device would be able to achieve the speed of 150 Mbps on the fourth generation high speed mobile networks, being rolled out worldwide. In other words, the device is fast enough to download a two hours high-definition movies in less than five minutes.

Huawei

With a speed of 150 Mbps on 4G LTE network, Huawei Ascend P2 would have upper-hand over iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3, those features top speeds of 100 Mbps on the LTE network. As HTC has incorporated ultrapixel camera in its flagship HTC One model and Samsung is also going to add a 13 Mp camera in its Galaxy S4 model, Huawei has also decided to encompass 13 Mp camera in its Ascend P2 model.

In Q4 2012, Huawei succeeded to grab third position with 11 million unit shipments, next to Apple with 47.5 million units. In addition, Huawei is currently quite aggressive to rise its smartphone market share across the world, and Ascend P2 is going to play a significant role for the company in the near future. Furthermore, Apple isn’t going to launch any major smartphone until this summer.

Apparently, Huawei Ascend P2 is no way vulnerable than any other existing smartphones in the market. On the other side, Apple is planning to launch a cheaper iPhone for emerging market to make wider presence. Indeed, it’s tough for the iPhone maker to sustain its market share in smartphone segment, which is expected to be dominated by three Chinese mobile handset maker–Huawei, Lenovo and ZTE. More probably, Huawei is going to take away Apple’s position in upcoming quarters in the smartphone sector.

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Brief Mobile Smartphones

Is There Any Logic Behind ‘6.3-Inch Screen Size’ Of Galaxy Note III ?

Just a few days before, we had a discussion on whether Samsung is working on its next version of Galaxy Smartphone (S4) and cheaper Phablet (Galaxy Note) or not. However, rumors reveal that the South Korean company could showcase the Galaxy S4 model in April next year. But this time a Korean newspaper–The Korea Times–has revealed some interesting bits of news about the rumored Samsung Galaxy Note 3 as well as Galaxy S4.

Apparently, Samsung has decided to cut down the production of LCD display panel. The company has strategy to allocate 1.8 trillion won (nearly $1.7 billion) for LCDs production, out of its estimated 6.6 trillion (about $5.9 billion) total investment for display panels in next year.

Citing to local component suppliers, The Korea Times has reported that Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will arrive with a 6.3-inch screen–a bigger screen compared to its predecessors. Have you ever contemplated whether Samsung could launch 6.3-inch screen size Galaxy Note 3 Phablet or not?  But there are possibilities. There are lots reasons which depict that the South Korean company could launch the device with such screen size.

First, an interesting concept for future device (say Galaxy Note 3) was revealed by Erica Yusim, designer of the device, just a few days ahead when the Galaxy Note 2 was announced. The designer of the device envisioned that upcoming version of the Note lineup will have 6.3 inch (1080 p screen), a 2GHz quad-core processor, Android 5.0, 3 GB of RAM, up to 128 GB of internal storage, a 16 MP camera, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and a 4,000 mAh. However, our discussion is not about the 3 GB of RAM or 16 MP camera or Android 5, but about screen size.

But we could expect the upcoming version of Note would have 1080 pixels screen resolution. According to a Taiwanese site–DigiTimes–at least five companies including Samsung, LG, Huawei, Sony and ZTE are going to launch 1080 pixels screen display Smartphones.

Secondly, Samsung launched Galaxy S with 4-inch screen size, further launched next iteration of Galaxy flagship (SII) with 4.3-inch screen . Now, Galaxy SIII is available with 4.8-inch screen display. In other words, Samsung has improvised (increased) the screen size of its successful flagship. Likewise, the company launched original Galaxy Note with 5.1-inch screen size and it launched Note II with 5.3-inch screen size. Of course, we could expect larger screen size in next iteration of Galaxy Note.

In other way, Samsung has number of devices between 3-inch to 6-inch, and also between 7-inch to 11-inch. But, it’s struggling to have devices to fill in the gaps between 6-inch to 7-inch screen size. This time, Galaxy SII and Galaxy SIII is sufficient to meet the requirement of users, those who are enthusiastic to own Smartphones with screen size ranging between 4-inch and 5-inch. Besides, Galaxy Note and Note II are quite lucrative for those who believe 4.8-inch screen size of Smartphone is not sufficient to provide excellent user experiences on Smartphones. But, 6.3-inch will be preferred by those enthusiasts who believe that Note II screen is little bit smaller and 7-inch screen size of Tablets are little larger.

The third reason why Samsung could launch its 6.3-inch screen is intense competition in the market, expecting to take place next year. Presently, number of OEMs are working on Phablets (hybrid of smartphone and Tablet). Huawei has recently promised that it will dwarf the Note 2 next year—the company is expected to launch 6.3-inch screen size Phablet. Undoubtedly, Samsung would not like to leave any ground for Huawei this time.

Anyway, what are you thinking now ? Should Samsung launch 6.3-inch Note III or Note II is sufficient to provide excellent user experience ? But most important thing is competition, and Samsung could not compromise on this at any cost.

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Brief Companies Microsoft

Record 1 Million Downloads In Just 24 Hours of The Launch of Windows 8

It has not been much time since Microsoft launched the Consumer preview of upcoming Microsoft Windows 8 OS and people are already showing great fascination towards it. As per the latest stats released by Microsoft’s build windows 8 Twitter account, more than one million downloads has been recorded in just 24 hours of the launch. Yesterday, Company had released the Windows 8 Consumer Preview version of its much awaited OS at MWC,Barcelona.

Not to surprise, Company has added several features to attract more number of users towards its new Operating system and up to some extent it has become successful. Earlier, Company has launched the Developer preview version which had also registered 3 million downloads.

The response from the users is quite encouraging and Windows 8, possibly, could be one of the most successful OS of Microsoft’s history. However, Microsoft Windows 7 has maintained its legacy as the most successful OS -till date- as 525 million Licenses of Windows 7 has been sold out in the market.

There are several features Microsoft has included in its Windows 8 OS which are not available in any of its earlier operating system, like touch-screen interface, Metro Theme, preview-like-task switcher and many more.

Even, Microsoft has also launched its Windows Store from where Windows 8 consumer preview OS users can download the apps for free.

Microsoft has targeted the users to encourage them to have hands-on experience over Windows 8 before it goes on shelf in the market. This will insure the highest level of perfection and error redundancy at the time of public launch.

Many analysts feel that its its too early to judge anything about just born baby of Microsoft. In fact, there are speculations which claim that Windows 8 may fail to charm Enterprise and Desktop users as its more focused on mobile devices. And, till date there is no such great great example in the industry which claims a single baton can set the Desktop and Mobile device users. That’s the reason why Apple and Google both have decided to keep their mobile OS focus separate than Desktop OS.

Whatever it may be, it would be interesting to see the shift and trend of Windows 8 users. If Microsoft succeed to convince mobile as well as desktop users with Windows 8, probably it would change the perception of other giants, like Apple and Google towards this market.

 

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Brief Companies Microsoft

Windows 8 “Consumer Preview”: What’s There Inside The Box !

Microsoft is striving hard to deliver best Windows 8 experience to their consumers as their latest feature packed Windows 8 is one of the most awaited OS of the year. Microsoft is developing Windows 8 to support the Tablets and Smartphone’s too, though they had already released the hardware specification required to run the OS. In a latest move, Microsoft has announced the release date of Windows 8 “Consumer Preview” as February 29 at MWC, Barcelona. The company will hold an event on February 29th to launch the Windows 8 Consumer Preview between 3PM and 5PM.

Microsoft had recently announced that it will release the “Beta” version of Windows 8 by this February. Though the event is serving almost the same purpose as it is named as the Windows 8 “Consumer Preview”. The difference between the two is that a “beta” version is an unfinished product but the “Consumer preview” version would be a complete product and will be open for feedback.

The choice of venue would suggest us about the company’s plans for the Windows Phone 8 codenamed Apollo which was leaked recently. Windows Phone 8 have the same Metro style user interface as Windows 8 for Tablets and PC’s, though no beans have been spilled about the exact release date of the product but the Consumer Preview at MWC will give us some hint about the same. The much anticipated Skype is also expected to be integrated in the Windows Phone 8.

Windows 8 will host a lot of new features with a new “Start Screen”, new user interface, titled Metro and the much talked about advanced “Sensor Fusion” which will surely remit silky operating experience to the users.  Releasing the Consumer Preview of a desktop operating system at a conference for cellular communications would seem to be strange but with Windows 8’s tablet ambitions and the leaked information that Windows Phone 8 will probably use the Windows 8 kernel, this seems to be a desktop operating system that won’t be confined to the desktop. Microsoft is trying hard to enter the Tablet and the Smartphone market with its range of Windows Phone’s on varied manufacturer platforms like Samsung, Nokia and now with the latest LG miracle and even might be able to win over the Smartphone market against the current industry giants, iOS and Android.

Source: verge