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Nokia Sets Rollout for New Lumia Phones

I remember years ago when I was at an SMBNation event at the Microsoft campus. I had a very basic “smart” phone. Nothing really to write home about, it was able to use a mobile web browser and its cutting edge feature was being able to check emails through POP and IMAP. When I got there though I was amazed. My fellow propeller-heads were light years ahead of me in terms of cell phone technology. They were rocking the Blackberry mainly but there was a minority that had the Windows-based smart phones hanging from their belts.

To see a phone that sports the familiar Windows logo (even it’s is accompanied by the dreaded “CE”) was quite the story during that convention. Due to the extend of the libraries available for their phone’s OS my colleagues were showcasing telnet, email filtering, even basic Exchange Web Access that had us all blown away. I was convinced that Microsoft would once again dominate another market. Alas, I was wrong.

It has been years since then and the most used OS on a phone comes from… Google. The Android OS (with it’s awesome naming scheme) has dominated the market in terms of usability and end-user preference. It is a lean and mean phone OS that is able to deliver performance without sacrificing the amount of apps for it. As a matter of fact, that’s what I deemed the curse of Microsoft in the phone market: their desire to keep their cards close to their chest turned app developers to look elsewhere and it lead to the ultimate demise of the Windows CE platform.

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One of the new Nokia Lumia’s introduced into the market. Will they catch on?

So now Microsoft is trying it again. Partnering with Nokia (remember them?) they will be releasing a new line of phones running Windows 8. And yes, it’s really Windows 8. For those of you that have downloaded and installed the Candidate Release you can tell right away that the phone interface looks identical to your start menu in Windows. That is quite intentional. Over the next few months, and as Windows 8 becomes the standard familiar screen on most PC’s the bet they are taking is that you will be more likely to buy a phone that looks like your computer rather than try to either learn a new technology or simply stick with the mainly status quo iPhone. Will they succeed? That will depend on many factors. The fact that the phone contains some cutting edge features is unquestionable. After all, what other phone can you navigate with your car keys and not acquire a single scratch?

But perhaps the most important factor of all is loyalty. If the Windows 8 phone is “cool”, robust, and has a plethora of useful apps it might be able to slowly carve a slice out of the market pie. But here’s what they are against from the mouth of an iPhone loyalist:

“The iPhone 5’s design is the biggest draw for me,” he said. “But I also appreciate its reliability and the fact that it doesn’t have bugs, and the friendly interface.”

Um. I guess the map problems are not real issues for iPhone loyalists.

Click here to read more about the new Nokia Lumia from the Wall Street Journal.

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