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Microsoft prepares new Windows 10 phones for India

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Published on - 08-Sep-2015 10:58 am

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Last year Microsoft bought Finnish company Nokia's devices division for $7.2 billion, and now the US-based tech giant is trying to get the most out of its investment by establishing a foothold in the growing Indian smartphone market.

Microsoft is preparing a new set of Windows 10-based, Nokia-branded smartphones to be released in India by the end of 2015, according to a report in the Economic Times.

The devices will be some of the first designed from the ground up for Windows 10. The new operating system, which launched on PCs and tablets in late July, is expected to be rolled out for mobile devices in the next few months.

The news comes as Microsoft's share in the Indian handset market dropped from 9.8 percent to 8.1 percent between the first and second quarter of 2015. According to Counter Point Research, Nokia is the country's fourth biggest handset maker thanks to the strong sales of its feature phones -- however, due to the Lumia range's lagging sales, Microsoft itself falls outside of the top five smartphone makers.

Details on the phone specs weren't shared, but it's likely that most of the phones Nokia produces for the region will be budget or midrange devices. Despite Samsung being the most popular brand in the country, most devices purchased in the region are not flagship or premium phones.

Ajey Mehta, Microsoft's Mobile Devices India manager, told Economic Times that the new phones would support all forms of 4G - presently a rarity amongst devices other phone makers have released in the region.

Once the leader of the handset market, Nokia failed to adapt to the smartphone revolution and ended up falling well behind current market leaders Samsung and Apple. Last year it officially exited the business when Microsoft acquired its phone division for $7.2 billion.

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