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Microsoft to make smartphone impact

Research firm Ovum expects Microsoft to have firmly established Windows Phone as a relevant smartphone platform by 2017.

Ovum also predicts that smartphones will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.9 per cent for the period 2011-17 to reach 1.7 billion units.

The analyst house also revealed global annual mobile phone shipments will grow at a CAGR of 6.3 per cent between 2011 and 2017, driven primarily by demand from emerging markets where connection growth will continue to fuel handset shipments.

We expect Microsoft, despite its slow start, to have established Windows Phone as a relevant smartphone platform by 2017

Adam Leach, Ovum
New shipments in developed markets, such as North America and Western Europe, will be almost entirely made up of smartphones, while feature phones will continue to play a small role in emerging markets in 2017.

"We expect Microsoft, despite its slow start, to have established Windows Phone as a relevant smartphone platform by 2017,” said Adam Leach, principal analyst at Ovum. “The Windows Phone platform, with the assistance of Nokia, will account for 13 per cent of the smartphone market in 2017.”

Microsoft is also inviting Windows Phone developers to a conference in on 20-21 June in San Francisco, where it is expected the company might release the more details about the Tango update as well as Windows Phone 8, which is codenamed Apollo.

Paul Thurrott over at Supersite for Windows revealed details about the key features in Windows Phone 8. These include near field communications (NFC) capabilities and business features such as full-device, hardware-accelerated encryption with BitLocker and always-on Secure Boot capabilities.

Windows Phone 8 will also support additional Exchange ActiveSync policies and System Center configuration settings and inventory capabilities.

Windows Phone ‘Tango’ supports lower memory and processor requirements by using system-on-a-chip processors.

The Lumia 610 – Nokia’s fourth smartphone running on Window Phone – takes advantage of the Tango update. Nokia will also release an NFC version of the Lumia 610 Windows Phone smartphone.

Nokia released its first Windows Phone - the Lumia 800 - in Europe in November and then its first Windows Phone for the US market - the Lumia 710 - in January at CES 2012.

Karen McCandless

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