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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Multiplatform value proposition for developers from Nokia, with potential of Microsoft joining the fray

After understanding what does the new Nokia X platform mean in preceding posts mine:
Nokia’s “best of everything” X range smartphones to conquer the smartphone market between the Asha and Lumia devices [Feb 24, 2013] and
Nokia X family of smartphones, leading local brand partners for Windows Phone and the potential of all that on the Indian market [Feb 27, 2014]
it is time to consider the Nokia X announcement from developers’ point of view.

Nokia Developer Day at MWC 2014 [nokiadevforum YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2014]

Amit Patel, VP Developer Relations at Nokia tells us more about Nokia X, the Nokia porting bus and the Nokia Developer Day at Mobile World Congress 2014

The Nokia provided content included here (later on): Lunagames success story—Nokia Developer Day Keynote—Nokia X: where Android apps will thrive—HERE Maps on Nokia X Family—Nokia Imaging SDK 1.1—Nokia X Porting Busbring apps to the Nokia Store for the Nokia X family—Five reasons: Android App to Nokia Store—Nokia’s Developer Day at MWC

But first take note of Nokia X Get Started Portathons [Nokia Developer, Feb 24, 2014]

The Nokia X Porting Bus is going to be driving all over Europe. If you’re nearby, please drop by with your Android app. We’ll show you just how easy it is to port to Nokia X. …

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as well the Developer Offers for Nokia X.

And why there is a definite potential of Microsoft joining it? The proof-points for that were already included in a recent post of mine here:

  1. Consumers are now calling the shots <—> consumerization of IT”, i.e. enterprise computing is not ruling ICT alone any more, and as a result of BYOD the private, consumer devices are even dictating.
  2. Sales are not simple for developers anymore” Instead of the earlier uniform way of selling developers should use the most sophisticated approaches—think of the fremium, or advertisement based models as examples—in order to earn their revenue.
  3. The times of single platforms are gone, as developers own several platforms now

I met “cloud first” last summer with regards to Microsoft at TechEd, primarily through the words of Satya Nadella, who is the CEO now (see “Cloud first” from Microsoft is ready to change enterprise computing in all of its facets [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 4, 2013]). … Tim … was elaborating that Microsoft was much more considering the cloud interfaces (APIs) in the development of their software in this regard.

From View from Redmond via Tim O’Brien, GM, Platform Strategy at Microsoft [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 21, 2014]

As the biggest news of this new developers’ value proposition is that of the new Nokia X:

We’ve maintained maximum possible compatibility with AOSP [Android Open Source Project]. We’ve made a few changes. And that’s mostly in the services layer. So we’ve taken away some of the Google services and replaced them with some of our own or some of the Microsoft services.

There are 3 services which we’ve changed:
– In-App Payment [Nokia In-App Payment], and I’ve already explained that it’s an advantage for developers
– Location [HERE Maps], and
– Notification [Nokia Notifications]
and for these APIs [Nokia APIs] some changes are needed. Otherwise your Android apps just work.

From [46:56 and on] of the keynote video (embedded later on) by Amit Patel, VP of Developer Relations 

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from [45:12] of the keynote video continued into the following feedback from partners:image
Lunagames: A Nokia Asha success story [nokiadevforum YouTube channel, Nov 28, 2013]

We all need a break from the daily grind. That’s why developer Lunagames delivers consumers “daily feel good moments” through a variety of free-to-play games for mobile phones and tablets. The Netherlands-based company focuses on creating games that offer short moments of entertainment — ideal for your morning commute or waiting for an appointment. And it’s working quite well for them! The company, which develops specifically for the Java platform, has more than 100 apps in the Nokia store today with a combined total of more than 150 million downloads! [NOW THEY MOVED TO NOKIA X PLATFORM WHICH YOU CAN WATCH IN THE KEYNOTE FROM [49:43]]

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Regarding the position of the upcoming owner of Nokia Devices & Services Business an actual report stated that Microsoft: ‘no surprises’ regarding Nokia X, knew about Android work, okay with it [Windows Phone Central, Feb 25, 2014]:

If there was any question today about what Microsoft thinks about the Nokia X and its Android phone, their public line is that they’re fine with it. During Nokia Developer Day, John Shewchuk [see Deep technical evangelism and development team inside the DPE (Developer and Platform Evangelism) unit of Microsoft [May 17, 2013]], a Microsoft technical fellow responsible for “strategy for cloud platform services”, took to the stage to demonstrate Microsoft services running on the Nokia X, noting that they’re a ‘devices and services company’ first and don’t consider Nokia’s choice to be against their interests.

Before the session even officially kicked off, Shewchuk chose to address the elephant in the room by talking about Nokia X and Microsoft. Their stance, at least overtly, was that they knew about Nokia’s Android work going into the deal (to acquire Nokia’s hardware division) and that there were “no surprises” here this week. Instead, Microsoft’s focus on services, specifically OneDrive, Outlook.com and Skype, were considered to be just as important business for Microsoft as Windows Phone.

The session then focused on the benefits of developing services on Nokia X and Lumia phones, with Microsoft’s services being front and center. Nokia then later returned to the stage to discuss their imaging SDKs and development work.

We spoke with Shewchuk briefly after the session regarding his statement. He was forthright in stating that Windows Phone, as a developer platform, is still superior for many companies out there whom are making apps. The idea here is yes, Android is popular, but Windows Phone has momentum now and things like the web developer tools offer a great alternative.

Microsoft clearly has two business here to consider. More, actually. It’s not about just Windows Phone, but about Skype, OneDrive, Bing and even Azure. While to Windows Phone users, prioritizing that OS seems very obvious, Microsoft is taking a different approach. At least in this regard, publicly, they are on board with Nokia X and do it see it as an opportunity to grow Microsoft’s services in emerging markets.

Will Nokia X remain after the sale? We’re leaning towards yes, that this is a long term strategy by Microsoft. We’ll just have to wait and see. But for now, Nokia and Microsoft are acting like everything is business as usual.

Nokia Developer Day Keynote @ Mobile World Congress 2014 [nokiadevforum YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2014]

Welcomed by an excited and upbeat crowd, Stephen Elop kicked off the Nokia Developer Day with a keynote where he recapped Nokia’s product announcements and how the Nokia X software platform opens up new opportunities for existing and new developers. He also emphasized that Windows Phone is the fastest growing ecosystem today and that between Nokia X and Lumia families, Nokia is further increasing the market opportunity for developers. Timo Toikkanen, EVP Mobile Phones, cemented the news: “The Nokia X is the ultimate affordable smartphone in growth markets. Now that we’ve re-mapped the software platforms as well as the hardware. It will introduce new apps to millions of new people.” Many of our partners agree. Richard Hazenberg, CEO Lunagames, told the crowd that he is excited about the market potential Nokia X has to offer his company as it combines high volume, ease of porting and seamless billing. He announced “Our game HighWay Hei$t, is now available in the Nokia Store and we are going all in and shipping 20 more games for Nokia X platform”. Bryan Biniak, VP & GM of Developer Experience, Amit Patel, VP of Developer Relations, Neil Broadley, Director of Product Marketing for Nokia X, Sam Browne, Managing Partner from Carat, and David Proulx, from Blackberry, also took the stage.

Nokia X: where Android apps will thrive [Nokia Conversations, Feb 26, 2014]

The developer world for our devices is changing. With the Nokia X software platform opening up rich opportunities for Android devs to expand the reach for their apps, what does this mean for the developer community and consumers?

We spoke to Amit Patel, Vice President of Developer Relations, Nokia to get his take on this brave, innovative world.

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NC: How do you see the Nokia X software platform as an attractive proposition for developers?

AP: Developers are interested in reaching more consumers. With the Nokia X family of device, we are able to reach new consumers in the affordable smartphone segment. This part of the smartphone (sub €100) is growing four times faster than any other part of the smartphone market and we are in the best possible shape to capture our share.

The majority of the growth is coming from the emerging marketsIndonesia, Thailand, India, etc. – where we are already significantly present, especially with Nokia Asha. There’s already brand preference and brand loyalty for Nokia.

In essence, we’re going to be able to deliver a large amount of consumers to developers very easily.

NC: What if developers already have Android apps. How can they get them onto Nokia X?

AP: Those developers are our primary target audience. And, for them, we have made it really easy to bring their apps to Nokia Store. We provide an online tool called Nokia X Analyser where you can drag and drop your app to see whether you’re 100% compatible, or whether you need to make some changes. In most cases, the majority of apps just work. If that’s the case, just publish your app into the Nokia Store and you’re done.

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NC: And if you don’t reach the magic 100% compatibility rating?

AP: There are three APIs that make them non-compatible; HERE Maps, notification and in-app payment. For any apps that are using these APIs, the developer would need to be some modifications. In many cases the changes are relatively small and can be completed in a matter of hours. Once done, just package your app and put it into the Nokia Store.

NC: Ok, so from a consumer’s point of view – how will they see an ‘Android’ app?

AP: Consumers can find apps in Nokia Store and from third-party stores. In Nokia store, modified and unmodified apps will be shown side-by-side, there is no difference. From a consumers’ point of view, the only thing that changes is the ever increasing amount of apps on offer.

NC: How do in-app purchases work on Nokia X?

AP: We’ve had in-app payments on Nokia Asha for a while now, and it’s the same mechanism that’s being used on Nokia X. All a developer needs to do is change the in-app purchase API ‘call’ from Google Play to Nokia.

However, one of the big worries that developers have is fragmentation – where they need to service all types of app stores. What we’ve done is to develop the platform, tools and APIs in such a way that we’re promising developers that they can maintain a single ; if you need to support the Nokia APIs, you can make the edits in the same code as your Google code.

The benefit of this for the developers is that he has much lower costs to maintain his app. This is just one of the things we’ve done to make things easy for developers.

NC: Is there anything else you’ve done to make the process easier for devs?

AP: Absolutely. One key area is in-app payments linked to operator billing. Taking India as an example, there are 1.2 billion people, around 350-million phones and 24-million credit cards. It’s clear that most people aren’t using credit cards for their in-app purchases. People are paying with operator billing. And we have ‘more than one’ operator billing deal in India.

Not many of our competitors have that.

So, publishing in the Nokia Store using our in-app payment method, means you’ve instantly got 350 million people at your disposal to buy your app, or an in-game sword!

NC: Are there any upcoming Nokia X apps that you’re excited about?

AP: We already have many of the top apps preloaded on the Nokia X devices including apps like Plants vs. Zombies, BBM, Skype, Facebook and many more. And we have others like OneDrive, Outlook.com, Angry Birds and hotels.com in the Nokia Store. We are continuously adding new apps and I am looking forward to apps like Facebook Messenger, Spotify and Temple Run 2, which should be amongst the many apps coming soon.

NC: Do you think there’s a good enough range of apps on Nokia X to give, what might be some peoples first foray into phone apps, a great experience?

AP: Right now, for the Nokia X family, we’ve got hundreds of thousands of apps available in the Nokia Store and in third-party stores. The Android ecosystem being what it is, there are lots of places for consumer to get all the apps they want.

NC: What do you think of people side-loading apps onto Nokia X?

AP: Side-loading happens predominantly in markets where consumers are reluctant to spend money on data. Often the mobile data costs in these markets make downloading large apps prohibitive. Obviously we encourage people to download over wi-fi, but we also realise that it’s convenient for people to side-load apps, often in bulk, to their devices.

Our focus is to give developers the chance to reach millions of consumers. Side-loading helps us to achieve that. With our in-app payment solution and our leading operator billing network, we are also uniquely position to maximize the revenue potential for developers regardless of how the apps are distributed.

None of our major competitors have the same operator billing coverage and device market share in growth markets.

Are you a developer? We’ve love to know what you think of the porting system. Let us know in the comments, below.

HERE Maps shows the way on Nokia X Family [Nokia Conversations, Feb 27, 2014]

The new Nokia X family bring together popular Microsoft services like Skype, OneDrive and Outlook as well as the best of Nokia experiences – HERE Maps included.

We sat down with the HERE team to learn more about the HERE Maps experience on the Nokia X and how it all came to be.

Nokia’s HERE business was charged with creating the new location and navigation app for the Nokia X family, working from scratch and in a time-frame of less than twelve months.

Nonetheless, says Niko van Eeghen, HERE Maps for Nokia X product manager:

“We’ve managed to pull off a hell of a release. We’d say that, though it says it’s version 1.0, it’s more like a version 2.0 release in terms of functionality and polish.”

The team had high ambitions. Niko’s colleague Jens Klaus explains:

“For Nokia X we have brought the HERE Maps experience, with regular search, nearby search, and points of interest. We also have routing functionality for cars, pedestrians and transit. And there’s the in-car experience with voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation.”

Niko adds that the app offers online and offline functionality, with maps available for nearly 200 countries, and navigation available for 98 countries.

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The experience is very smooth and Lumia-like. “Customers will be really surprised at the performance of HERE Maps on the Nokia X family,” says Niko with a smile.

“Compared to mapping and navigation solutions that draw their maps from online, it’s amazingly fast, because we store our maps offline.”

While the app is installed out of the box, the team decided not to preload the local country maps. “This way, we give customers the choice of which map, what regions and cities to install, and whether to install the map in the main storage memory or on a MicroSD card,” explains Jens.

The HERE Maps app also integrates with the device’s Fastlane feature. The HERE Maps shows up on Fastlane together with other apps you’ve recently launched. This way you can easily go back to your most recent locations and also get notifications for when updates are available to be downloaded for your offline maps. You can perform direct searches for locations on HERE Maps for Nokia X using the device’s global search. The app also integrates with contacts in the address book. If you’ve stored your friend’s address, you can click through to show a map and get directions.

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But the HERE Maps application was not the only job for Niko’s team. They also had to power location services on other apps, creating API’s to allow developers to tap into HERE services for their own functionality. “When you share your location in WeChat, for example,” Niko explains, “the app uses our APIs to establish your location and our maps are shown when you share that location.” Developers can tap into the HERE API by downloading an SDK plug-in that makes it simple to switch from competing mapping services.

“It’s our ambition to provide a great experience for all mobile phone users,” Niko concludes.

More on this story on HERE Three Sixty.

New Nokia Imaging SDK 1.1 available [Developer News | Nokia Developer, Feb 24, 2014]

Today we’re announcing the latest release of the Nokia Imaging SDK. This powerful library of exciting image manipulation tools makes it quicker and easier to create imaging apps for Windows Phone 8, and now also Windows 8.1 – desktop and RT.

With the Lumia 2520 tablet (running Windows 8.1 RT) now part of the Nokia family; the shared API allows developers to reuse a lot of the code across Windows Phone and Windows 8.1

The new 1.1 release also includes a number of new effects:

  • Interactive Foreground Segmenter: this filter API picks the foreground/background from an image and makes it easier for you to create an interactive UI where users tap, swipe or point at the object boundaries and the API will figure out which objects belong to foreground and vice versa. This is often used to e.g. swap backgrounds or for blurring effects.
  • Lens Blur, also known as Bokeh: this is used in professional photography for creating photorealistic image effects. The Nokia Imaging SDK makes applying the new Lens Blur effect or blending with mask quick and easy.
  • Single Image HDR: this effect can be applied to an image to create stunning and vibrant photorealistic color effects similar to HDR, or with more conservative settings, auto enhance the image colors.

We have also made some improvements under the hood, with fixes and memory optimisations.

Bottom line, the Nokia Imaging SDK is now even more powerful than before.

Documentation and sample code have been updated to help you get started and you can now also sign up for next week’s Lumia App Lab webinar, where Windows Phone MVP Michael Samarin will walk through everything that’s new in this release.

More than 1,500 developers have already created great imaging experiences for consumers using the SDK 1.0. Will you create the next outstanding imaging app using 1.1? If you think you’ve got what it takes, make sure you enter our new Imagin8 Mission competition: your creation you could win you an expenses-paid trip for 2 to experience zero gravity! Check out the Nokia Imaging SDK 1.1 today!

Learn more and download the SDK

More information: Get creative with Nokia Imaging SDK 1.1 [Nokia Conversations, Feb 25, 2014]

Get on the Nokia X Porting Bus [Developer News | Nokia Developer, Feb 27, 2014]

A lot of enthusiastic developers came over to meet us this week at Mobile World Congress. Now it’s time for us to return the favour: we’re going to come to you. The Nokia X Porting Bus has been parked in Hall 8 in Barcelona all week and inside its comfort we’ve helped developers port hundreds of apps to Nokia X. (To be honest, not much help’s required; most ports are simple.)

Now it’s time to hit the open road. Over the next month we’re driving across Europe with a crew of experts, a pile of Nokia X devices and DVLUP XP that we’ll trade for ported apps. When we stop in your area we’d love it if you pop in. No registration, no reservations. Just bring your laptop, your Android apps, and an appetite. We’ll get you started with Nokia Store and you just might walk away with some DVLUP points you can redeem for rewards.

Find a portathon near you

Nokia and Handster, an Opera Software company, bring apps to the Nokia Store for the Nokia X family [Developer News | Nokia Developer, Feb 27, 2014]

Working together, Nokia and Handster, an Opera Software company, have brought apps submitted via the Opera Mobile Store’s publisher portal and published them in Nokia Store for use with the Nokia X family of devices.

Announced this week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia X family offers access to the world of apps via Android Open Source Project (AOSP), coupled with Nokia signature experiences and the most popular Microsoft services. For Android app developers, it’s an easy, risk-free way to expand the reach of their applications to a new user base while still using the existing code base.

Based on Handster’s existing agreements with its developers, they have granted distribution rights to Nokia for these free Android apps which have been published in the Nokia Store.

How Handster developers can join the Nokia Store and reach new users

Developers with apps distributed by Handster can quickly join the Nokia Store and reach new users with their apps.

If you are ready to start the registration process, click here. Nokia will then contact you to get your consent and to explain the process for creating your Nokia Store account.

Also, if you already have a Nokia Store account, you will not need to do anything else. Your compatible Android apps will automatically be added to your account. Log in to Nokia Publish to check your apps.

Want to learn more about Nokia X?

Check out the five reasons why you should publish your Android app to Nokia Store.

Five reasons to publish your Android App to Nokia Store [Developer News | Nokia Developer, Feb 24, 2014]

  1. Nokia X opens new markets to your existing apps
    Nokia’s sales leadership and brand strength in the fastest growing smartphoneand mobile app markets provide the launchpad for your apps’ success. With Nokia X, you can reach an untapped pool of savvy – and app-hungry — new smartphone users around the world.
    Learn more …
  2. Nokia X’s monetization tools create additional revenue streams for your apps
    Monetization tools like Nokia In-App Payment, combined with Nokia’s extensive operator billing network, provide your existing apps with new monetization mechanisms in emerging markets. Consumers in many high growth markets do not have international credit cards, making revenue collection a challenge. Nokia X leverages Nokia’s wide operator billing coverage, which extends to over 3 billion mobile subscribers, with over 160 operators in more than 60 markets. Operator billing has been shown to deliver up to a 5x increase in revenues and a 10x increase in purchases over credit-card billing in the Nokia X targeted markets, meaning more revenues opportunities for your apps.
    Learn more …
  3. Android app compatibility
    Nokia has tested over 100.000 Android apps and approximately 75% are directly compatible and ready to be published to Nokia Store. If your app uses Google services for maps, push notifications or in-app payments, you will need to replace these APIs with Nokia specific APIs that have been built to work almost identically to those they replace.Nokia services have been designed to minimize porting effort from apps using corresponding Google services and allow developers develop and distribute a single app package targeting both ecosystems.
    Learn more …
  4. Develop apps for Nokia X using your existing Android SDK, toolkit and skillset
    If you already develop Android apps, you can continue to use your existing tool chain. Nokia provides a plugin package to the Android SDK, including the services APIs and the Nokia X emulator.You’ve already got the other tools and skills you need.
    Learn more …
  5. Nokia Developer programs provide the marketing and technical support you need
    Through programs like DVLUP, Nokia Developer Offers and local outreach, Nokia offers you opportunities to promote your apps to new users and potential customers, while our online training, events and support tools make sure you’re putting your best app forward.
    Learn more …

A success! Nokia’s Developer Day at MWC [Nokia Conversations, Feb 27, 2014]

Porting, tech sessions, space selfies, a bus and games. This year’s event had it all!

The figures are incredible; more than 102-billion app downloads and $26 billion in revenue. That’s what the app economy looks like today. In the next three years, the takings are expected to grow to $77 billion.

It’s no wonder then, that hundreds flocked to this year’s Nokia Developer Day at MWC 2014 to see how they could be part of one of technology’s biggest growth areas, summed up by Nokia’s Seppo Aaltonen, VP Mobile Phones Business Management who said: “Our affordable smartphones are about connecting the next billion.”

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Seppo Aaltonen telling it how it is…

Welcomed by an excited and upbeat crowd, Stephen Elop kicked off the event with a keynote where he recapped Nokia’s product announcements and how the Nokia X software platform opens up new opportunities for existing and new developers.  He also emphasized that Windows Phone is the fastest growing ecosystem today and that between Nokia X and Lumia families, Nokia is further increasing the market opportunity for developers.

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Stephen Elop working up a dev frenzy

Timo Toikkanen, EVP Mobile Phones, cemented the news: “The Nokia X is the ultimate affordable smartphone in growth markets. Now that we’ve re-mapped the software platforms as well as the hardware. It will introduce new apps to millions of new people.”

Many of our partners agree. Richard Hazenberg, CEO Lunagames, told the crowd that he is excited about the market potential Nokia X has to offer his company as it combines high volume, ease of porting and seamless billing.  He announced “Our game HighWay Hei$t, is now available in the Nokia Store and we are going all in and shipping 20 more games for Nokia X platform”.

Bryan Biniak, VP & GM of Developer Experience, Amit Patel, VP of Developer Relations, Neil Broadley, Director of Product Marketing for Nokia X, Sam Browne, Managing Partner from Carat, and David Proulx, from Blackberry, also took the stage.

Besides Nokia X, developers also heard more details about some of the other news of this week, including, the availability of the Blackberry messaging service BBM on Nokia X and Lumia, as well as the latest release of the Nokia Imaging SDK and the Imagin8 Mission competition for Windows Phone.

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A packed developers’ hall

The agenda was packed, with technical sessions about Nokia X and Windows Phone, as well as a number of fun activities for developers to engage and learn about Nokia Developer offerings.

Hundreds of Android apps were ported to Nokia X on the spot, with all participants walking home with a brand new Nokia X. Porting continues at the Nokia X bus, which is parked in Hall 8, so if you are a developer make sure you stop by.

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Hop on, plug in, port out!

Attendees also went to space. Really.

They experienced the capabilities of the Nokia Imaging SDK at a special photo booth where they took a very cool #spaceselfie, and learned about the Imagin8 Mission, the new imaging contest which will earn the winner a trip to experience zero gravity.

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#1 Conversations’ Editor in space

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#2 Conversations’ Editor in space

The day ended with a cocktail reception where the winners of Nokia Create, who flew in from all over the world, were congratulated and received their prizes from Patrick Stanton, Director of Lumia Developer Offering.

The day was a huge success, inspiring hundreds of developers to learn, do and have fun.

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Nokia X family of smartphones, leading local brand partners for Windows Phone and the potential of all that on the Indian market

For some observers in the Western media the Nokia X family is a kind of challenge to Microsoft unlike my earlier post describing it as Nokia’s “best of everything” X range smartphones to conquer the smartphone market between the Asha and Lumia devices [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 24, 2014]. In Will Satya Nadella and Microsoft Pick Up The Challenge Laid Down By The Android-Powered Nokia X? Forbes contributor, Ewan Spence simply concludes that:

If Nadella is looking to move Microsoft towards a future with more focus on easily accessible services rather than hardware lock-in, then the Nokia X should continue to receive some love and affection, along with continued support in the media and from the press teams in Redmond. It may even be made available for other manufacturers looking for an Android base to build on with some preferential patent licensing bundled along with the deal.

Other journalists accustomed to the U.S. market, where you don’t buy your smartphone but getting it as part of your paid subscription “for free”, even critisizing the Nokia X performance (see two critics on the right) unlike the head of UX Design, an American (see his view on the left) in charge of the team in Beijing, China “with global scope and BRIICA (Brazil, India, Indonesia, China, Africa) focus”:

Doug Walston, Head of MP [Mobile Phones] UX Design, Nokia – Beijing*:

“With the X family,” says Doug, “we were really focused on the needs of new people using smartphones, especially those in emerging markets. We wanted to create a beautifully simple device that gives access to a wealth of apps.”

“Apps don’t need to be rewritten to tap into Fastlane. We’ve used some special sauce (and native platform hooks) so it all just works.”

“If there’s an element of the interface of which I’m particularly proud, it’s the home screen. It’s so distinctive, bold and direct. It’s a break from the confusion that you see elsewhere in phones at this price.”

“The simplicity of the interface also means that it has a very low overhead on performance. Typically for a phone with all these features, you would expect a horrid battery life and a laggy interface in this segment, but that isn’t true of the X family at all. The performance is surprisingly good.”

From Not just a pretty face – the UI of the X family [Nokia Conversations blog, Feb 26, 2014]
*” The entire MP UX Design team is in Beijing now with global scope and BRIICA (Brazil, India, Indonesia, China, Africa) focus and encompasses accountability for the UX Design of the entire MP devices portfolio (15 + devices annually, with an expected volume of around 300 million devices sold annually).” This is a rephrased text corresponding to the job announcement of the Head of Mobile Phones Industrial Design [ID] on LinkedIn. Walston took this role on May 9, 2013 when he came from Motorola Mobility to take over the MP UX Design part of Peter Skillman’s job leaving him with the role of heading the HERE Design group based in Berlin and Cambridge. Before that Skillman was heading the UI and services design for the successful Asha range for two years.

Jane McEntegart, Writer/Editor at Tom’s Hardware:

Nokia X 1.0 is not slow or sluggish, but in the brief time we played with it, it wasn’t blazing fast either. The tile-interface also didn’t feel quite as sleek as it does in Windows Phone 8.

From Hands On with Nokia’s Windows Phone-flavored Android OS [Tom’s Hardware, Feb 24, 2014]

Tom Warren, Senior Reporter for The Verge, the resident Microsoft expert:

If you put the Nokia X side-by-side with the company’s Lumia 520 handset it might be hard to tell them apart.

Using the X software can be quite frustrating, however, as the entire interface is prone to slow response and a lot of lag. Closing or switching between apps on the X takes far longer than other, even entry-level, smartphones, and browsing the web will quickly test your patience. The third-party apps we saw on the X, such as Facebook, looked as they do on other Android smartphones, but they too suffered from poor performance. Nokia’s choice to combine the functions of home and back into the single back button is confusing, and it’s difficult to predict exactly where in the interface the button will take you when you press it. Part of the reason for the laggy interface and apps … is more likely related to the Android version in use on these devices.

Nokia appears to be positioning the X as a method to draw people to Microsoft’s cloud services.

From This is Nokia X: Android and Windows Phone collide [The Verge, Feb 24, 2014]

Is the head of MP UX design is right or such a harsh critic as Tom Warren? You could decide it for yourself by watching the video below. Draw special attention to the Fastlane performance difference between the Nokia X with 512MB of RAM and Nokia X+/XL with 768MB ([3:46-4:30] vs. [5:53-6:26]). It is also not an accident that “Resizeable tiles” are demonstrated on the 768MB version. My impression is, that if you are buying the 768MB versions (Nokia X+ or Nokia XL) you won’t feel the problems Tom Warren outlined above, won’t feel at all:

Nokia Launches Nokia X At Mobile World Congress In Barcelona [Red Robot – Intelligent Distribution YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2014]

Today at the Mobile World Congress, Nokia introduced the Nokia X family, affordable smartphones that offer access to a world of Android apps. The new devices feature the best of Nokia design and quality, signature Nokia experiences such as HERE Maps and Mix Radio, and popular Microsoft services such as Skype, OneDrive and Outlook.com.
[0:06] Press conference
>> [0:50] Elop’s 1st introduction: the new Nokia 220
>> [1:20] 2nd introduction: the new Nokia Asha 230
>> [1:32] 3d introduction: the new Nokia X and Nokia X+
>> [2:07] Preloaded great applications on the Nokia X family, hundreds of thousands of Android apps, Nokia signature experiences (HERE Maps, Nokia Mix Radio)
>> [2:42] Fastlane as a fantastic element of Nokia X experience
>> [2:57] 4th introduction: the Nokia XL
[3:40] B-roll (i.e. alternative) footages (with no sound):
> [3:42] Nokia X: Runs Android Apps, 4″ display, Fastlane, 3MP camera, 1GHz Dual Core Processor, Dual SIM
>> [3:46] Nokia X: Fastlane
>> [4:30] Nokia X: Skype
>> [5:08] Nokia X: Nokia Store
>> [5:33] Nokia X: Third Party App Stores
> [5:49] Nokia X+: Runs Android Apps, 4″ display, Fastlane, 3MP camera, 1GHz Dual Core Processor, 768MB RAM, Dual SIM
>> [5:53] Nokia X+: Swipe
>> [6:26] Nokia X+: Resizeable tiles
>> [7:15] Nokia X+: Nokia Mix Radio
>> [8:02] Nokia X+: Demo App: Plants VS Zombies 2
> [8:40] Nokia XL: Runs Android Apps, 5″ display, Fastlane, 5MP camera with flash, 2MP fron-facing camera, 1GHz Dual Core Processor, 768MB RAM, Dual SIM
>> [8:45] Nokia XL: Swipe
>> [9:26] Nokia XL: Camera: 5MP with autofocus and flash

Even more, as the rest of my post goes through the below details (i.e. sections 1. to 4.), you will find (along with with me) that from the point of view of focusing on the BRIICA (Brazil, India, Indonesia, China, Africa) markets (which was the task of the development team in Beijing China) this is an excellent product with no problems mentioned by some media people in the West. There is even no conflict with Microsoft at all (another critical speculation typical to the Western Media) as the Nokia X family is also preparing the ground for the upcoming super low-cost (higher levels as well) Windows Phone devices from local and regional brands like the #3 Karbonn and the #4 Lava (Xolo) in India, as well as Gionee which is a large local brand in China with strong recognition in India as well, not to speak of those who will supplied from Foxconn, the biggest white-label phone manufacturer in China.

  1. Why does this post concentrate on the Indian market?
  2. Nokia X family has been well positioned for the highest growth Indian market
  3. The feature phone and smartphone markets in India according to CyberMedia Research India and IDC
  4. New low-cost Windows Phone partnering strategy by Microsoft especially aimed at the Indian market


1. Why does this post concentrate on the Indian market?

Answer #1: The Indian smartphone market is expected to double and touch 80 million by the end of current fiscal, a top Samsung India official said today.

“We are expecting smartphone sales in the country to touch 80 million mark by the end of current fiscal [Samsung’s fiscal years are the same as the calendar years], while total sales were around 40 million in 2012-13,” Samsung Mobile and IT India Head Vineet Taneja said.

From Indian smartphone market to double to 80 million by fiscal end: Samsung [The Economic Times (of India), Feb 18, 2014]

Answer #2:Now is the right time because there is a rapidly growing low-price affordable smartphone segment that’s really taking off in a number of growth economies. We’re seeing that in countries like Indonesia, Russia, Vietnam and a number of others,” [Stephen] Elop [former Nokia CEO and soon-to-be Microsoft executive vice president] says in the interview, shot at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

While Nokia X is based on Android, the user interface “is remarkably similar to the Windows Phone interface,” he says.

That means these customers, many of whom have never owned a smartphone before, will learn to navigate in Microsoft’s world first, with the potential over time to buy higher end Nokia Lumia phones that run Windows Phone as Lumia prices drop.

“And so we’ve gone for that and we’ll take advantage of that to keep people in the Lumia family but using Nokia X as a feeder system into our Windows Phone strategy,” Elop says.

The strategy isn’t meant for the U.S. where cellular carriers widely and generously subsidize the price of high-end phones in order to lock customers in to long-term contracts, he says.

The above excerpts are from the Nokia’s Stephen Elop Talks Android video interview:

Nokia’s Stephen Elop talks about the move by the company to embrace Android at this time.

From Nokia chief: Nokia X Android smartphone is a gateway drug to Windows Phone [Network World, Feb 25, 2014]

Answer #3: is in another post of mine: Nokia’s “best of everything” X range smartphones to conquer the smartphone market between the Asha and Lumia devices [‘Experiencing the Cloud’ Feb 24, 2014] but before reading that here is Nokia X/ Nokia X Plus Hands On (Dual SIM) [WPXBOX YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2014] video from which you can easily understand why is it “best of everything” instead of a stock Android smartphone:

Detailed Hands on of Nokia X and Nokia X+ which only differ by memory of 256 MB Ram. They both come with 4GB memory card which can be expanded to 32GB.

Answer #4: in section 2 of this post I will show you that these smartphones will quite probably have a competitive on line pricing starting at most from:
Rs 7400 ($119) for Nokia X vs. the list price of EUR 89 [$122]* (Rs 7582)
Rs 8000 ($129) for Nokia X+ vs. the list price of EUR 99 [$136]* (Rs 8434)
Rs 8600 ($139) for Nokia XL vs. the list price of EUR 109 [$150]* (Rs 9284)
* Although these prices are before local taxes.

Answer #5: India will be key to future smartphone growth as it represents more than a quarter of the global feature phone market. “Growth in the India market doesn’t rely on high-end devices like the iPhone, but in low-cost Android phones. Nearly half of the smartphones shipped in India in 2013 cost less than US$120,” said Kiranjeet Kaur, Senior Market Analyst for mobile phones at IDC Asia/Pacific.
From Smartphone Prices Race to the Bottom as Emerging Markets Outside of China Come into the Spotlight for Future Growth, According to IDC [press release, Feb 24, 2014]

Answer #6: In addition to existing partnersNokia, Samsung, HTC and Huawei — Microsoft has announced it is now working with Foxconn, Gionee, Lava (Xolo), Lenovo, LG, Longcheer, JSR, Karbonn and ZTE to develop on the Windows Phone platform. … Customers can expect to see an even broader array of devices, from iconic to lower-cost options, coming to market. … The expanded Windows Phone ecosystem will also provide mobile operators and retail partners with additional opportunities to offer white-label Windows Phone devices under their own brands.
From Microsoft adds nine new Windows Phone hardware partners [press release, Feb 23, 2014] where Karbonn is the #3 and Lava (Xolo) the #4 brands (after #1 Samsung and #2 Micromax), while Gionee is a local brand in China with strong recognition in India as well, and Longcheer as a local Chinese brand that has long been in India as well (albeit with top recognition already lost). Finally Foxconn is the biggest white-label phone manufacturer in China whose production has already influenced the Indian market very much.

We are adding support for Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 and 400 series chipsets, with options that support all major cellular technologies, including LTE (TDD/FDD), HSPA+, EVDO and TD-SCMA. We will also support soft keys and dual SIM where our partners want it for their devices. One nice benefit of these additions is that many hardware vendors will be able to use the same hardware for both Android and Windows Phone devices [obviously if they are using the Qualcomm SoCs]. From Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Microsoft Windows Phone in Scaling Windows Phone, evolving Windows 8 [Windows Phone Blog, Feb 23, 2014]

Q. Many of your recent partnerships and announcements have focused on emerging markets. Is that a major priority?
A. It’s not our only focus, but it’s a very big one. The purpose of low-cost phones in emerging markets is to drive volume. From Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Microsoft Windows Phone in Q.&A. With Joe Belfiore on the Future of Windows Phone [Bits blog of The New York Times, Feb 23, 2014] That is the Nokia X family will not only prepare the ground for its own Lumias but for these upcoming low-cost Windows Phone devices as well (also why IMHO Microsoft will not kill the Nokia X family after Nokia devices and services becomes part of it)


2. Nokia X family has been well positioned for the highest growth Indian market

X marks the sweet spot [Nokia Conversations, Feb 25, 2014]

We asked Jussi Nevanlinna, VP for Mobile Phone marketing, some of your questions about the new Nokia X family, why it’s important for Nokia and why customers will be delighted with the phones.

First of all, why now? Why is the timing now right for an Android-based smartphone from Nokia?

There are a couple of answers to that question.

To launch the Nokia X family, we needed to be able to create a product that was true to Nokia’s heritage in design and build quality. But we also needed to make it very affordable. Lots of different components had to come into place for us to create something that’s clear and easy to use, but also high quality and within people’s financial reach.

The other answer is that the market itself is moving. We’re the number one manufacturer in growth markets in the ‘entry-level’ and ‘feature phone’ categories. But a lot of those people are now aspiring to smartphone products. There are a significant number of users worldwide who are about to experience the Internet through a mobile device. As you can imagine, we want to be ready for them.

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The Nokia X family is based on the Android Open Source Platform (AOSP). Does that put the future of the family at the mercy of Google?

To fully explain, this is a Nokia smartphone that runs Android apps. At its heart, we have AOSP on top of which we have added Nokia design and usability expertise to create the user interface that people see. Then we have added Nokia experiences like HERE Maps and Nokia MixRadio, and Microsoft services like Skype, Outlook.com and OneDrive. What we don’t have is Google services: this was deliberate. Instead, we have implemented Nokia and Microsoft services to create something truly differentiated.

So who is the target audience for the Nokia X family?

These are global products, which will be available pretty much everywhere except North America, Korea and Japan. We have a particular focus on growth markets – for example, India and China, Thailand and Indonesia then over to Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria, and South America, especially countries like Brazil, and Mexico. They are all places where we’re seeing this big shift from feature phones to affordable smartphones.

Our Nokia X family customers are young, social, very aspirational and are fans of Nokia. They love our brand and our product design. And they also love Android apps: the quantity and choice is very appealing to them.

So we’re offering them the best of three worlds:

  • Nokia design and build quality;
  • Microsoft cloud services; and
  • Android apps.

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Does the X family compete with the Lumia family and maybe mean lost sales for Lumia?

Our approach to compete in the affordable smartphone market is twofold. While Lumia remains our primary smartphone platform and we continue to push the prices down, Nokia X addresses price points that are generally lower than those reached by Lumia, and we’ll keep pushing the Nokia X prices down even further.

In fact we see Nokia X as a stepping-stone to Lumia. With Nokia X we are bringing people the best of Nokia and Microsoft services and experiences, making a future switch to Lumia natural.

Some might see creating an Android-based device as strange considering that the plan is for Nokia’s devices and services business to join Microsoft soon?

I can’t speak on Microsoft’s behalf; what I can say is our strategy with Mobile Phones has been, and remains, connecting the next billion. Microsoft is equally focussed on ‘mobile first; cloud first. As I have explained, getting people exposed to and loving Microsoft and Nokia services in the affordable segment creates a natural pathway to Lumia, which is designed to be the pinnacle smartphone experience.

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Technology becomes cheaper all the time. When it becomes possible to create a Lumia for $100, will the X family be retired?

I think the key word is ‘family’. We will be announcing more products in the family over the course of the next year, and the price range it covers will change to suit the markets. We will be taking Nokia X into even more affordable price points.

What do app developers need to do to make their Android apps available for the Nokia X family?

The short answer is: nothing. In the vast majority of cases, Android apps will run very well on the Nokia X family, out of the box.

Furthermore, we’re working with developers to make it very easy to submit apps into the Nokia Store. In most cases, they simply republish their apps to Nokia Store .

Where apps depend on functionality that isn’t on the Nokia X family devices, like Google Maps, we’ve created API plugins for the Android SDK to allow developers to simply tick the box to use HERE Maps instead.

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And what advantages can developers and customers gain by using Nokia Store?

Android developers stand to make big gains by supporting the Nokia X family. We have heard many times that they find it hard to monetise their apps. One reason for that is, in emerging markets, people are a lot less likely to have credit cards. The Nokia Store offers in-app payments through operator billing, and we have the largest network of operators signed up for that. It’s been shown through experience that when operator billing is available, then revenues increase by up to five times.

That’s one reason the Nokia Store offers a better alternative. The other is from the user’s side. The Nokia Store is curated. The apps are screened and scanned so you won’t bump up against malware or inappropriate content. So they can shop in our store with confidence and security.

And worldwide, people are very comfortable with using third-party app stores that aren’t owned by Google. In Russia, the Yandex Store dominates the Android marketplace. In China, Google Play isn’t available, so all app purchases are through third parties. So you see, non-Google stores are already the norm for most Android owners.

Nokia X is a phone made for India [India Today, Feb 24, 2014]

The Finnish handset maker has finally unveiled its much talked of Android phone, the Nokia X, at the ongoing Mobile World Congress 2014.

Nokia has launched a family Android phones with three variants–Nokia X, X+ and XL–at affordable prices. All three Nokia X variants are going to be low-cost phones with the Nokia XL expected to be priced around Rs.9,000 [$145]. For now, the prices that have been revealed are: Nokia X for 89 euros, the X+ 99 euros and the larger LX carries a price tag of 109 euros.

Specs-wise, these are basic level phones. All three devices are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Dual Core processor and are dual SIM. The Nokia X comes with 4-inch display, the X+ has a bit of more storage options and the XL variant comes with 5-inch LCD screen and and 5-megapixel rear and 2-megapixel front cameras.

The Nokia X phones do not come with pre-installed Google Play Services. As a result the Play Store isn’t available on the Nokia X or Nokia X+. Though, Android apps can be downloaded through Yandex Store.

Once, Nokia was the leader of Indian mobile industry. Nokia feature phones used to be first choice of the Indian consumers. But it could not keep pace with the emergence of smartphones. Its competitors like Samsung, Sony and Micromax took away the markets from the Finnish handsets maker with innovative smartphones at affordable prices.

With affordable Android phones, the world’s largest smartphone maker, Samsung, is dominating the Indian market. Even, the home grown tech company Micromax made a market for itself with range of affordable Android phones having great features.

With its budget prices and widely used Android OS, the Nokia X series of smartphones will target the consumers looking to upgrade themselves from feature to smartphones. As the smartphone market is growing in India, given its brand reputation in the country, Nokia phones are going to give its competitors a run for their money in the sub Rs.10,000 [$161]segment. An Android phone from the Nokia at affordable price will be a good deal.

Well aware of its advantageous positing in the price-sensitive Indian market, Nokia has listed the X series devices on its India website as coming soon just after unveiling the devices at the ongoing Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona.

Nokia Lumia 525 – First Impressions [Digit YouTube channel, Jan 7, 2014]

After the major success tasted by the entry level Lumia 520, Nokia has introduced the updated Lumia 525 for those wanting just a little more, at the same price

The current (Feb 25, 2014) lowest online price for Lumia 525 (in India) is on Snapdeal.com:

image
Rs 11499 [$186]
(list price) –> Rs 9519 [$154] Black/White –> Rs 9712 [$158 ] Yellow

Competing with the following models of the marketing leading brands (Samsung, Micromax, Karbonn):

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Rs 11230 [$181] Rs 9244 [$149] … Rs 12100 [$195] Rs 9379 [$151] … Rs 12990 [$207] Rs 9997 [$161]
image

For comparison the preceding the Lumia 520 on the same site:

image
Rs 10499 [$169] (list price) –> Rs 7976 [$128] Black –> Rs 7995 [$129] White
–> Rs 8169 [$132 ] Yellow

Then some leading competitors for the Nokia X range (also from Snapdeal.com):

image
All list prices: Rs 9999 [$161] Rs 8949 [$144] … Rs 7225 [$117] … Rs 7895 [$127]

image

13767
6878
10957
7440
7623
Broadcom BCM23550
Broadcom BCM21654G
MediaTek MT6572
Qualcomm MSM8225
Qualcomm MSM8225

Which means a competitive on line pricing starting at most from:
Rs 7400 ($119) for Nokia X vs. the list price of EUR 89 [$122]* (Rs 7582)
Rs 8000 ($129) for Nokia X+ vs. the list price of EUR 99 [$136]* (Rs 8434)
Rs 8600 ($139) for Nokia XL vs. the list price of EUR 109 [$150]* (Rs 9284)
* Although these prices are before local taxes.

For  comparison the top of the Asha Touch range, the Asha 503 on the same site (currently):

image
Rs 7399 [$119] (list price) –> Rs 6549 [$106] Black/White –> Rs 6894 [$111] Yellow
–> Rs 6939 [$112] Red

Which means that the price of Asha devices could be lowered after the Nokia X devices appear on the market. This is especially true with the introduction of Asha 230 using the same SoC:

image

As the Asha 230 was announced for EUR 45 [$62]* (Rs 3823) you got an immediate price indication for such a decrease. In fact this new model is an effective replacement for the current Asha 500 as the entry level Nokia Asha Software Platform 1.1 device which has:

  • 2 MP rear camera instead of a 1.3 MP one on Asha 230
  • standby time up to 840 h (2G), talk time up to 14 h (2G) because of an 1200 mAh battery instead of the 1020 mAh one on Asha 230

but has the best online price of Rs 3999 ($66), actually from Nokia India against the list price of USD69 before taxes or subsidies.


3. The feature phone and smartphone markets in India according to CyberMedia Research India and IDC

From CMR announces top Telecom trends for 2014 in India [CyberMedia Research India press release, Dec 31, 2013]

CMR today released its MarketVision 2014 for Telecommunications in India.  Below are the key trends identified for 2014 for some priority segments.

Mobile Handsets

2013 witnessed the first time decline in growth of feature phones in India and this trend is going to further sharpen in 2014 as the primary focus of the industry as well as consumers would remain around the smartphones.

CMR identifies the following trends for 2014 in Smartphones

  • LTE enabled smartphone releases to be among priority areas of the vendors.
  • Chinese ODM’s have started taken a direct OEM route towards India Smartphone market.  CMR expect around 10 Chinese ODMs entering into India Mobile market in 2014.
  • ‘Made in India’ smartphones amount to 47% of the total sales.  With such tremendous growth and success witnessed by these brands in the local market, 2014 will be the time to look at newer geographies including MENA, Latin America and the SAARC [South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation] region for the home grown vendors.  CMR expects 3-4 such brands looking for new geographic markets.
  • With the increasing confidence and reliance of Indian consumers on the online retailing, particularly after the emergence of successful platforms like flipkart, CMR expects the role of ‘etailing’ becoming important for emerging brands who for various reasons cannot establish their physical distribution network across the country, particularly the non-metro cities and towns.
  • While the ecosystem partners like ODMs and app developers will be exploring Windows as a platform for mobility, CMR identifies Tizen, Firefox, Ubuntu and Sailfish among the new open source OSs emerging in 2014 in the India market.
  • CMR expects vernacular apps to start getting focus in 2014 from the developer community in the country.  Since national elections are going to be among the predominant themes for 2014, we expect a lot of apps being developed around this space which could be owned by a political party or being promoted by a neutral app developer.

62.9 million mobile handsets shipped in India during July-Sept 2013, a Y-o-Y growth of 10.9%; September registers, 19.5 million handset shipments; Nokia retains overall leadership [CyberMedia Research India press release, Nov 19, 2013]

  • Smartphone shipments cross 11.1 million units; Samsung still the market leader in smartphones category with Micromax and Karbonn at #2 and #3, respectively. Top 3 vendors make up nearly 63.1% of the total smartphone shipments.
  • Featurephone segment witnesses the first ever negative growth in shipments in the India Mobile handsets market.

According to CMR’s India Mobile Handsets Market Review, 3Q 2013, November 2013 release,India registered 62.9 million mobile handset shipments for the period July-September (3Q) 2013. During the same period, 11.1 million smartphones were shipped in the country.

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Commenting on the results, Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice said, “We have been saying that the way forward is smartphones. JAS 2013 is the first quarter to actually report this trend in numbers. This means vendors can expect to see large opportunities in the upgrades market where many featurephone users will upgrade to a smartphone. It may also so happen that new smartphone purchases register lower volumes vis-à-vis upgrades. But this phenomenon may be a few quarters away.”

“So there is going to be a huge opportunity as well as competition in the entry- to mid-level smartphone segments, which is where the volumes would remain for a while,” Faisal further added.

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India Smartphones Market

The India smartphones market during July-September 2013 saw a rise in shipments by 152.3% over and above the July-September 2012 number, taking the contribution of smartphones to 17.6% of total mobile handset shipments during the period July-September 2013.

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Commenting on these results, Tarun Pathak, Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice said, “The India smartphones market continues to be a competitive space with close to brands vying with each other. Going forward, we expect this segment to be even more competitive as we expect some of the China-based ODM partners entering directly into the India market during 1H 2014. It will be interesting to see what impact this will have on the market share of existing smartphone players.”

“Another interesting observation is that local handset brands have now close to 47% market share in the India smartphones market and this momentum has been a source of confidence to a couple of players to enter new geographies outside India where the smartphone market is on the rise. Going forward 3G smartphone shipments will continue to rise and we can expect to see a few smartphone vendors introduce 4G-enabled devices by the end of 2013,” Tarun concluded.

Notes for Editors
    1. This release is a part of the CyberMedia Research (CMR) Smart Mobility Market Programme.
    2. CyberMedia Research (CMR) uses the term “shipments” to describe the number of handsets leaving the factory premises for OEM sales or stocking by distributors and retailers. For the convenience of media, the term shipments has been replaced by ‘sales’ in the press release, but this reflects the market size in terms of units of mobile handsets and not their absolute value. In the case of handsets imported into the country it represents the number leaving the first warehouse to OEMs, distributors and retailers. CyberMedia Research does not track the number of handsets brought on their person by individual passengers landing on Indian soil from overseas destinations or ‘grey market’ handsets. These are, therefore, not part of the CyberMedia Research numbers reported here.
    3. CyberMedia Research (CMR) tracks shipments of mobile handsets on a monthly basis. However, as per convention, the market size is reported on a calendar quarter basis where appropriate to the context; in all such cases this refers to an aggregated number for the three calendar months in the quarter to which the press release refers.
    About CyberMedia Research
    A part of CyberMedia, South Asia’s largest specialty publisher, CyberMedia Research (CMR) has been a front runner in market research, consulting and advisory services since 1986. CMR offers research and consulting services – insights, market intelligence, market sizing, ecosystem mapping and go-to-market services – covering the Information Technology, ITeS, Semiconductor & Electronics, Telecommunications, Government, SMB & Entrepreneurship, Smart Infrastructure, Energy & Utilities and Healthcare & Life Sciences verticals.
    Cyber Media Research Ltd., an ISO 9001: 2008 company, is a member of the Market Research Society of India (www.mrsi.in) and enrolled with ESOMAR (www.esomar.org) CMR’s forthcoming studies include stakeholder satisfaction surveys, mega spender assessments and market mapping studies for these domains.
    For more details, please visit http://www.cybermediaresearch.co.in or http://www.cmrindia.com/

    Explosive Smartphone Growth Driven by Lower-Priced Models, Cannibalises Feature Phone Sales in Indian Mobile Market, Says IDC [press release, Dec 2, 2013]

    The India smartphone market grew by 229% year over year (YoY) in the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13).  According to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) APEJ Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 12.8 million smartphones in 3Q13 compared to 3.8 million units in the same period of 2012. 3Q13 grew by close to 28% over the units shipped in the second quarter of 2013 (2Q13).

    The 5.0 inch-6.99 inch screen size smartphones (phablets) continued to show sustained growth in 3Q2013 as well – the phablet category contributed to 23% in the overall market in terms of volume.

    The overall mobile phone market (Feature Phones and Smartphones) had a 12% growth YoY and a 7% growth quarter over quarter (QoQ) with the share of feature phones sliding further to make 81% of the total market in 3Q13 despite the feature phone market growing at 3% in 3Q2013 over 2Q2013.

    imageimage

    Source: IDC Asia Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 3Q 2013

    The third quarter of 2013 witnessed a slowdown in the numbers for top local vendors such as Micromax and Karbonn – while international vendors like Samsung and Nokia powered by their new product launches made up for close to 30% of the overall market in 3Q2013.

    “The growth in the smartphone market continues to drive the overall growth numbers for the phone market – given that there’s still a huge potential for smartphone penetration in India, this trend is expected to continue in the coming quarters”, said Manasi Yadav, Senior Market Analyst with IDC India.

    “The change agents for this rapid shift of consumer preference towards Smartphones have been the narrowing price gap between Feature phones and Smartphones. The Smartphone market is expected to maintain these elevated levels of growth in the near future” comments Kiran Kumar, Research Manager with IDC India.

    Top Five Smartphone Vendor Highlights

    Samsung: Samsung maintained its leadership spot with about 33% in terms of market share. Its smartphone shipments grew by close to 36% from 2Q 2013 to 3Q2013. The third quarter saw quite a few new launches across price points by Samsung – however the low-mid tier phones such as Galaxy S

    Duos and Galaxy Star continued to drive their volumes.

    Micromax: Micromax held on to its second spot with about 17% in terms of market share in 3Q2013. Some of the top selling models were A27 and A26 in terms of volumes – we have seen a dedicated marketing and advertising push from the brand with continued investments to up the brand recall.

    These efforts are expected to bear fruit in the coming quarters in time for their upcoming launches.

    image

    Karbonn: The market share for Karbonn in 3Q2013 was close to 11%, some of the top selling models for this brand were A6 and A50. There has been a significant pick-up for the Titanium range of phones especially S5 and S2 specifically.

    Nokia: The Lumia range of devices continued to show a growth trajectory in 3Q2013 and garnered close to 5% market share – the trend is expected to continue with greater support from Microsoft in the coming quarters. The third quarter of 2013 saw a few notable launches like the Lumia 625 and Lumia 925 which have been able to generate positive interest from consumers and developers alike.

    Lava : Lava made it to the top 5 for the first time in 3Q2013 owing to huge shipments coming in from its XOLO and IRIS range of competitively priced devices. Some of the top selling models for the brand are IRIS 349 and IRIS 402. Keeping in mind the shifting consumer preferences, there has been a conscious shift from feature phones to smartphones, which is expected to continue in the upcoming quarters too.

    Smartphone Prices Race to the Bottom as Emerging Markets Outside of China Come into the Spotlight for Future Growth, According to IDC [press release, Feb 24, 2014]

    Singapore and London, February 24, 2014 – Emerging markets have become the center of attention when talking about present and future smartphone growth. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, in 2013 the worldwide smartphone market surpassed 1 billion units shipped, up from 752 million in 2012.  This boom has been mainly powered by the China market, which has tripled in size over the last three yearsChina accounted for one out of every three smartphones shipped around the world in 2013, equaling 351 million units.

    Recently the surge in growth has started to slow as smartphones already account for over 80% of China’s total phone sales.  The next half billion new smartphone customers will increasingly come mainly from poorer emerging markets, notably India and in Africa

    “The China boom is now slowing,” said Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager for mobile devices at IDC Asia/Pacific.  “China is becoming like more mature markets in North America and Western Europe, where smartphone sales growth is slackening off.”

    Emerging markets in Asia/Pacific outside of China, together with the Middle East and Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America, account for four fifths of the global feature phone market, according to IDC data. “This is a very big market opportunity,” said Simon Baker, Program Manager for mobile phones at IDC CEMA.  “Some 660 million feature phones were shipped last year, which could add two thirds to the size of the current global smartphone market.”

    India will be key to future smartphone growth as it represents more than a quarter of the global feature phone market. “Growth in the India market doesn’t rely on high-end devices like the iPhone, but in low-cost Android phones. Nearly half of the smartphones shipped in India in 2013 cost less than US$120,” said Kiranjeet Kaur, Senior Market Analyst for mobile phones at IDC Asia/Pacific.

    Converting feature phone sales to smartphone sales implies a relentless push towards low cost,” added Baker. IDC research shows nearly half the mobile handsets sold across the world have retail prices of less than US$100 without sales tax. Two thirds of those have prices of less than US$50.

    “The opportunity gets larger the lower the price falls,” continued Baker. “If you take retail prices without sales tax, in 2013 nearly three quarters of the US$100-125 price tier was already accounted for by smartphones. Within US$75-100 the proportion was down to just over half, and between $50-75 it was not much more than a third.”

    Many smartphone vendors have begun gearing up for this next wave of cost pressure. Samsung is increasingly switching production to Vietnam, where manufacturing costs currently undercut mainland China. Even Hon Hai [better known outside as Foxconn], one of the largest contract manufacturers for handsets in China, has announced plans for a plant in Indonesia to furnish a lower production cost base.

    In addition to the table below, an interactive graphic showing worldwide sub-$100 feature phone shipments by region is available here. The chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this press release on IDC.com.

    image

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    The China Smartphone Market Hiccups as Growth Streak Ends with First Sequential Decline in 2013 Q4, Says IDC [press release, Fev 13, 2014]

    Singapore and Hong Kong, February 13, 2014 – After 9 consecutive quarters of explosive growth, which propelled China into the top smartphone market in the world, the China smartphone market experience its first slowdown in 2013 Q4.

    According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, shipped 90.8 million units compared to 94.8 million in 2013 Q3, declining by 4.3% quarter on quarter (see Figure 1). Several factors drove this stumble – for one, China Mobile’s 4G TD-LTE network went live on December 18, translating into supplies of 4G handsets not able to reach the market fully until 2014 Q1. The increasing popularity of phablets and channel inventory also played a role, whereby operators cut phone subsidies on phones with smaller screens, triggering distribution channels looking to clear out those stocks.

    “The world has increasingly looked to China as the powerhouse to propel the world’s smartphone growth and this is the first hiccup we’ve seen in an otherwise stellar growth path,” says Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager with IDC Asia/Pacific’s Client Devices team.

    “There will certainly be future drivers to unlock further smartphone growth in China, as Apple demonstrated with its China Mobile tie-up in January, and the massive device migration to come of phones only supporting 2G and 3G networks to devices supporting 4G networks. However, we are now starting to see a market that is becoming less about capturing the low-hanging fruit of first time smartphone users and moving into the more laborious process of convincing existing users why they should upgrade to this year’s model”

    Looking ahead at the prospects for the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) region, with mature Asia/Pacific markets like already having hit market saturation and China growth facing more moderate increases, two trends will become more prominent.

    First, growth will increasingly shift to ever-more emerging markets. While India volumes significantly lag China, India has taken the number three ranking of largest smartphone markets in the world in 2013, surpassing Japan, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Germany and France, which were all ranked higher in 2012.

    Second, Chinese phone players which have previously been content to make their mark on the China market itself, are looking to expand their ambitions overseas. While this trend has started already through 2013, IDC expects it to become more common in 2014.

    Chinese players are getting hungrier to turn themselves into international rather than China-only brands. Nowhere is this more clear than Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola’s handset business, and even smaller players, some unknown to much of the world, like Oppo, BBK, Gionee and of course Xiaomi are ramping up on international expansion.”

    Figure 1.
    Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan) Smartphone Shipments by Sub-Region, 2011Q1-2013Q4

    image

    Notes:

    • Mature markets include Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan
    • SEA markets include Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam

    Source: Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, February 2014


    4. New low-cost Windows Phone partnering strategy by Microsoft especially aimed at the Indian market

    Mobile World Congress, Microsoft and Nokia [The Official Microsoft Blog, Feb 24, 2014]

    The following post is from Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Communications at Microsoft.


    Mobile World Congress is in full swing in Barcelona this week, one of the biggest events of the year for the mobile industry. I love Barcelona, and am sad to miss MWC this year. There is something about the combination of the history and tradition of Barcelona past and the energy and innovation of Barcelona present, with all the attendees of MWC a punctuation mark. And there is always something new, companies with something to say.

    Microsoft is no exception. On Sunday afternoon, we hosted a press conference where we reinforced the momentum we’re seeing for Windows Phone – the fastest growing mobile OS with 91 percent year-over-year growth. We announced we’re working with nine new Windows Phone hardware partners , including Foxconn, Gionee, Lava (Xolo), Lenovo, LG, Longcheer, JSR, Karbonn and ZTE as well as a collaboration with Qualcomm to help more manufacturers build Windows Phones faster. You can read Joe Belfiore’s blog post [see also below] from yesterday for more details.

    Nokia held its press conference earlier Monday. They announced a number of new devices from their Mobile Phone division including Nokia X, which will compete with Android devices in the affordable smartphone category and introduce the Microsoft cloud to a new set of customers in growth markets.

    There’s been lots of speculation about what this announcement means for Microsoft and about our pending acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services business. Here are a couple of points to put things into context.

    First, our transaction with Nokia has not yet closed. Today, we operate as two independent companies as required by antitrust law, and we will until the acquisition is complete. The anticipated close timeframe for the acquisition remains end of the first quarter of 2014.

    Second, we’re pleased to see Microsoft services like Skype, OneDrive and Outlook.com being introduced on these devices. This provides the opportunity to bring millions of people, particularly in growth markets, into the Microsoft family. The Skype team on Monday announced an offer in select markets for the first customers who purchase a Nokia X, one month of Skype’s Unlimited World Subscription. Read the Skype blog for more details.

    Finally, our primary smartphone strategy remains Windows Phone, and our core device platform for developers is the Windows platform.

    It is a fascinating time in the industry today. The rate of improvements in devices, the breadth of services offered, the way consumers and businesses are using devices of all shapes and sizes to do more – it is a reminder to all of us that what is considered status quo in Barcelona this year has the potential to look very different in the rear view mirror a year from now.

    We’d have it no other way. 🙂

    Microsoft adds nine new Windows Phone hardware partners [press release, Feb 23, 2014]

    New hardware partners and tools will accelerate global scale.

    Microsoft Corp. on Sunday announced nine new hardware partners for Windows Phone and direct access to tools that will broaden the portfolio of devices for consumers and introduce new price points to accelerate growth in key markets. In addition to existing partnersNokia, Samsung, HTC and Huawei — Microsoft has announced it is now working with Foxconn, Gionee, Lava (Xolo), Lenovo, LG, Longcheer, JSR, Karbonn and ZTE to develop on the Windows Phone platform.

    With this latest news, Microsoft is now working with seven of the top 10 smartphone manufacturers in the world in addition to leading brands in China, India and Taiwan, representing more than 56 percent of the addressable market globally (IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, 2013). Customers can expect to see an even broader array of devices, from iconic to lower-cost options, coming to market.

    “We are pleased to add these new partners to our expanding Windows Phone ecosystem. They will be key contributors to continued growth across price points and geographies for Windows Phone,” said Nick Parker, corporate vice president of the OEM Division at Microsoft.

    Windows Phone is the fastest-growing smartphone operating system, according to IDC, and posted the largest increase for 2013 (90.9 percent), more than doubling the growth of the overall market during the year.

    Microsoft also unveiled expanded hardware support that provides more flexibility so Windows Phone partners can build devices to meet the unique needs of their region or customer segments. Microsoft is adding support for Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 200 and 400 processors by Qualcomm Technologies Inc. with options that support various major cellular technologies, including LTE (TDD/FDD), HSPA+, EVDO and TD-SCMA. Windows Phone will also support soft keys and dual SIM, critical requirements particularly in Asian markets. These changes allow for manufacturing partners to easily leverage existing design investments to diversify their portfolio to include Windows Phone devices, including larger screen phablets.

    On Sunday, Microsoft launched the Windows Hardware Partner Portal, which is designed to speed up device commercialization while minimizing development costs. Speed and economies are especially important for manufacturers needing to compete and win in the dynamic high-volume smartphone segment. The Windows Hardware Partner Portal is now open to all smartphone device manufacturers to learn about and begin the process to develop on the Windows Phone platform. Windows Phone device manufacturers will also be able to leverage the great services Microsoft has to offer in that market, which could include Office Mobile, Skype, Xbox and Bing; a growing app catalog; and features like Live Tiles and People Hub, which make Windows Phone so uniquely personal.

    To further help enable smartphone device manufacturers to quickly and easily broaden their portfolio to include Windows Phone devices, Microsoft and Qualcomm Technologies are collaborating to give OEMs and ODMs that are working with the various Qualcomm Reference Designs for Snapdragon 200 and 400 processors direct access to Microsoft tools, content and adaptation kits to build devices on the Windows Phone platform. With Microsoft and Qualcomm Technologies, through its Qualcomm Reference Design program, delivering the building blocks to help design and build Windows Phones, Microsoft hardware partners will be able to focus on differentiating their offering based on apps and services. Device manufacturers will now be able to choose from hundreds of ways to customize their Windows Phone devices while keeping the consistently high-quality experience that the Windows Phone platform provides.

    “We are making it easier, faster and more affordable for partners to develop a Windows Phone,” Parker said.

    The well-established Qualcomm Reference Design program offers Qualcomm Technologies’ leading technical innovation, differentiated hardware and software, easy customization options that save engineering costs, access to an ecosystem of hardware providers, and testing and acceptance readiness for regional and leading operator requirements.

    The expanded Windows Phone ecosystem will also provide mobile operators and retail partners with additional opportunities to offer white-label Windows Phone devices under their own brands. Mobile operators will also have more options to build custom apps and services for their Windows Phone devices that increase customer satisfaction, retention rates and revenue streams.

    Scaling Windows Phone, evolving Windows 8 [Windows Phone Blog, Feb 23, 2014]

    The following post is from Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President of corporate vice president of Windows Phone and Windows Program Management & Design at Microsoft.


    A lot of you folks know me as “the Windows Phone guy.” Over the past five years I’ve been co-managing the Windows Phone product team on a mission to make Windows Phone a delightful and successful platform. Recently my job changed to focus not just on Windows Phone but also on the user experience of Windows 8 and future versions of Windows. Today Nick Parker and I had a chance to talk to media and analysts from around the world attending Mobile World Congress in Barcelona—we shared some updates about Windows and Windows Phone, and we announced a new phase in our plan to continue growing and scaling Windows Phone globally.

    Let’s start with Windows Phone.

    We’ve experienced steady growth in recent years due to our “highly personal” approach to the smartphone experience and the amazing devices we’ve seen from our hardware partners HTC, Huawei, Nokia and Samsung. Together we’ve solidified our spot among the top three operating systems and celebrated some impressive milestones:

    • Recognized as the fastest growing OS with 91% year-over-year growth in 2013 (IDC, February 2014)
    • More than 10% share across Europe—which is more than double compared with last year. (Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, January 2014)
    • Most important to me, we’ve seen high customer satisfaction data—a fact that even our competitors have acknowledged!
    • Reached critical mass in the Windows Phone Store (now over 240,000 apps) and are still growing – fast – with an average of 500 apps added each day. We’ve had key additions such as Instagram, Vine, Waze and Mint—and today, we announced Facebook Messenger will be available in the coming weeks.

    This past year was especially busy as we delivered three updates to the Windows Phone platform—we continued building the platform out for scale (via new chipsets, new carrier/country support, and more screen sizes) and we enabled some great scenarios for customers (e.g. the Nokia Lumia 41 MP camera and advanced camera features).

    New Windows Phone Hardware Partners

    Broadly speaking, our partners overall are the engine of growth for Windows. In addition to our great partners HTC, Huawei, Nokia and Samsung, today in Barcelona we announced we’re now working with nine new Windows Phone partners, including: Foxconn, Gionee, JSR, Karbonn, Lava (Xolo), Lenovo, LG, Longcheer and ZTE. Collectively, Windows Phone partners make up an impressive 56 percent of the global smartphone market, according to IDC.

    This is exciting news for phone buyers around the world. With seven of the top 10 global OEMs—in addition to some of the leading brands in China, India and Taiwan— now collaborating with Windows Phone, you can expect to see an incredible new range of devices across screen sizes and price points. And of course we’re committed to delivering this device diversity without compromising the consistent, designed-around-you Windows Phone experience our users have grown to love.

    Some of these partners are names that might not be familiar to you, but they’re leading the global expansion in the smartphone category. They bring competitive products to market because of their knowledge of the local markets, channels and consumers. They are important partners that will help broaden availability of Windows Phones to new and emerging markets.

    New Windows Phone Hardware Support

    Getting a wider range of device builders to create Windows Phones required us to enable even more hardware flexibility and to make the engineering process of building a Windows Phone even easier. Thus we also announced:

    • We are adding support for Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 and 400 series chipsets, with options that support all major cellular technologies, including LTE (TDD/FDD), HSPA+, EVDO and TD-SCMA. We will also support soft keys and dual SIM where our partners want it for their devices. One nice benefit of these additions is that many hardware vendors will be able to use the same hardware for both Android and Windows Phone devices.
    • To streamline the process of building a Windows Phone device, today we launched the Windows Hardware Partner Portal so that all our hardware partners will have direct access to the tools and content needed to build and market their Windows Phone devices efficiently and cost-effectively.

    We also are working closely with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. to help manufacturers anywhere in the world quickly and easily broaden their portfolio by building Windows Phone devices through the well-established Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) program. Making it easier for manufacturers to take advantage of reference design options is an important step for Windows Phone. ABI Research notes a major smartphone industry shift towards reference designs since they speed time to market, and estimates that more than 400 million reference design smartphones will be shipped in 2014.

    Evolving Windows 8

    As part of my “new job,” I talked as well about Windows on tablets and PCs, and what to expect from us in the near future.

    We are committed to making Windows the best place for our partners to build great devices. Today that means different screen sizes, input methods, connectivity needs, and usage scenarios. Above all, we want that experience to feel natural for our customers. We want it to be familiar and tailored to the device. We want your stuff to be there no matter where you are, ready for whatever you need, and we want it to run beautifully on hardware made by partners around the world.

    With Windows 8, there’s no doubt that we made a big bet and took a first step toward that future. We bet on touch and on mobility in a big way, and included a fresh take on what a touch-based interface could be for customers. We believe deeply in this direction and the future will continue to build on Windows 8.

    We shipped Windows 8.1 in under a year in response to customer and partner feedback, and we’ll continue to refine and improve Windows to deliver a productive and delightful experience for all users on all devices. And, you’ll see us continue on a more rapid release cadence where we deliver ongoing value to all your Windows devices.

    Over the next few months, we’ll continue to deliver innovation and progression with an update to Windows 8.1, coming this spring. We’re especially excited about several things I want to preview with you here.

    • We’ll enable our partners to build lower cost hardware for a great Windows experience at highly competitive price points.
    • We are making improvements to the user interface that will naturally bridge touch and desktop, especially for our mouse and keyboard users. We have a number of targeted UI improvements that keep our highly satisfying touch experience intact, but that make the UI more familiar and more convenient for users with mouse/keyboard. Don’t worry, we still LOVE and BELIEVE IN touch… but you’ll like how much more smooth and convenient these changes make mouse and keyboard use!
    • We are enhancing support for enterprise customers via a few tweaks, particularly including features that greatly improve IE8 compatibility in Internet Explorer 11, which is especially critical for web-based line of business applications. Additionally, we’re extending mobile device management capabilities and making deployment easier.

    More news still to come

    Speaking of our enterprise customers, we are also hard at work on delivering a compelling new update for Windows Phone that will add key features for consumers, as well as a big investment in enterprise customer capabilities, including VPN, S/MIME support, enterprise Wi-Fi, extended mobile device management and certificate management. Along with a host of great developer and consumer value, we expect to deliver this to customers this spring with new phones following as we move into summer.

    2013 was an exciting and busy year chock full of big changes in our industry and at Microsoft. I’m really excited about seeing what the new and hot technologies are as Mobile World Congress opens tomorrow, and even more excited about the work we’ll be able to deliver for customers, partners and developers over the next several months. Stay tuned!

    Q.&A. With Joe Belfiore on the Future of Windows Phone [Bits blog of The New York Times, Feb 23, 2014]

    Joe Belfiore is the corporate vice president of Microsoft Windows Phone, and he oversees the software that powers handsets using the company’s operating system. Microsoft is expected to close its $7.2 billion deal to buy the handset and services division of Nokia by the end of March. The acquisition will give Microsoft control of both mobile software and hardware, as it looks to expand its 4 percent market share in global smartphone sales. Mr. Belfiore will play a crucial role in Microsoft’s efforts to take on Apple and the cellphone makers that use Google’s Android operating system.

    On Sunday, Mr. Belfiore declined to comment on rumors that Nokia would unveil an Android-based phone on Monday at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona. But during a news conference earlier in the day, he said, “What they do as an independent company is up to them. There are some things they do that we are excited about. There are other things that we are not so excited about.”

    The following is an edited interview with Mr. Belfiore on other questions facing Microsoft and Windows Mobile.

    Q. You have talked about 2013 being a year that Windows Phone had to eat its vegetables. What do you mean by that?

    A. We faced a massive problem. It would have been very difficult to create a range of devices for every operator at every price that included every app in the world. We decided to focus on building something at a limited set of price points in a small, limited number of countries. That’s what we did this year. We had to get that right. Now that we’ve done that, we want to get Windows Phone at more price levels and in more countries.

    Q. It’s difficult to attract users if you can’t offer them the apps that they want. But to get the apps, you need users. How do you solve that problem?

    A. There’s no magic solution. We have to grow phone volume where we can. To increase our market share, we have to be available where customers are at low-cost and high-end price points. The stage is now set. Given our hardware partners, and Microsoft and Nokia coming together, we are in a good position to kick-start our market share.

    Q. The Microsoft-Nokia acquisition is expected to close this quarter. What excites you about the deal?

    A. There are some straightforward benefits. We can build on our existing healthy engineering relationship between software and hardware. And when one company takes products to market, it can tell the story with one voice. That will be a benefit. The biggest problem we face is how to get the word out about what we do. Those marketing activities, the storytelling around our products, are underestimated.

    Q. When Microsoft closes the deal with Nokia, it will compete directly with other handset makers that also use the Windows Phone operating system. What is your response to that?

    A. We can help build the market for Windows Phones. When there’s a healthy ecosystem, there’s a sales opportunity for all our partners. There are some markets and some countries where Nokia already competes with other manufacturers. But there’s a large opportunity out there. There are niches that are partners will be able to fill.

    Q. Many of your recent partnerships and announcements have focused on emerging markets. Is that a major priority?

    A. It’s not our only focus, but it’s a very big one. The purpose of low-cost phones in emerging markets is to drive volume. But doing high-end products like the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1020 also gives an aspirational view of the way the product line will go.

    Q. In a year’s time, where would you like the Windows Phone experience to be?

    A. A year from now, I would like to have widespread consumer knowledge of the type of value proposition that is available with Windows Phone. People who use the phones have a favorable experience with them. But we need to get the word out there.

    Q. Smartphones that use either Android or Apple’s iOS have almost 95 of the global market share. What is your response to analysts who say that Microsoft should give up on Windows Phone?

    A. We benefit from investing in mobile innovation. And we think we have a lot to offer our partners and customers. The mobile market will continue to grow, the opportunities will continue to grow. We are not going anywhere.

    Q. Microsoft has just appointed a new chief executive. How does Windows Phone fit into his vision?

    A. The way we’ve built our team and how we have approached innovation is massively focused on mobile first, cloud first. That’s very much aligned with the vision that he has outlined.

    Nokia’s “best of everything” X range smartphones to conquer the smartphone market between the Asha and Lumia devices

    Nokia X and X+ [Henrique Martin YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2014]

    Updates:
    NOKIA X DUAL SIM, Go! With Nokia X [Nokia India product page, March 10, 2014]

    … Starting from: Rs 8,599 [$140] …

    Nokia X Price in India – Buy Nokia X Black 4 GB Online [Flipkart.com, March 13, 2014]

    Rs. 9990 [$163] 18% OFF      Rs. 8175 [$133]  Inclusive of taxes (Free home delivery) …

    Nokia X Pre Orders: More Than 1 Million In Just 4 Days, in China [G for Games, March 14, 2014]

    image

    – Source from the above Weibo: Nokia X – Jingdong Mall [March 3, 2014]

    … RMB 599 [$97] … (RMB 699 [$114]) …

    End of Updates

    Stephen Elop interview at MWC 2014 [Myriam Joire YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2014]

    Yes, I got a chance to interview #Nokia’s Stephen Elop at #MWC2014… Enjoy!

    … OR how the market impetus noted as Nokia should introduce an Android forked smartphone for the $75-120 range in order to enhance its Asha Software Platform strategy [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 17, 2014] has been met now
    … OR how and why Nokia segmented the mobile market better than everybody else (note also that: “our new Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL smartphones primarily for growth economies” and those products will not even be available in North America)
    To understand that see: Playback: Nokia’s MWC 2014 keynote in four minutes [The Verge YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2014]

    At Nokia’s last major press conference as an independent company, Stephen Elop took the stage to announce a shocker: the Nokia X, an Android-powered cellphone for the developing world. It’s a radical reinvention of Android, it’s colorful as can be, and it’s all here in just over four minutes.

    … OR how that is a very powerful answer from Nokia to the current mobile phones situation:

    … OR what are the incredible new developer advantages from Nokia to support that strategy:

    • multiple platforms from Asha, Nokia X and Lumia, which means list prices starting at EUR 45 [$62]*;
    • access to one of the largest mobile operator billing network in the world (in more than 60 markets and with more than 160 operators), which is a powerful revenue driver  (up to five times that of credit-card billing offered within other platforms);
    • ~75% of Android apps portable without code changes, while for the rest porting is supported in a way that it takes usually less than 8 hours

    … OR how the following points from View from Redmond via Tim O’Brien, GM, Platform Strategy at Microsoft [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 21, 2014] are now getting a very powerful meaning:

    1. Consumers are now calling the shots <—> consumerization of IT”, i.e. enterprise computing is not ruling ICT alone any more, and as a result of BYOD the private, consumer devices are even dictating.
    2. Sales are not simple for developers anymore” Instead of the earlier uniform way of selling developers should use the most sophisticated approaches—think of the fremium, or advertisement based models as examples—in order to earn their revenue.
    3. The times of single platforms are gone, as developers own several platforms now

    Nokia X and XL hands-on with Nokia’s Jussi Makinen [SlashGear YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2014]

    My transcript (done because conveying unique information not available elsewhere):

    0:05 My name is Jussi Mäkinen and I’m working at the Nokia X range product marketing and I’m going to give you a demo of the new Nokia X range family.

    0:15 We have today introduced three new products. We have the Nokia X which is a device combining great Nokia design, Android applications with the power of Microsoft services like Skype. We have also introduced the Nokia X+ which is exactly same as Nokia X but with more memory, with 768 MB of internal memory, and then 4 GB of user memory for storing applications.

    0:41 Also we introduced the Nokia XL, a 5 inch screen Nokia XL that has great Nokia design, changeable covers, really stirdy kind of designer things, a lot of cool kind of things like beatings and holds ups for a long-long time. It also is a same thing, so Android applications that you can download from Nokia Store and many global and local app stores, and you have of course the Microsoft services like Skype, for example.

    1:11 The user interface is inspired by—I would say—three things. So we have taken the best out from the Windows Phone world. So the home screen with these tiles. For example I have a live imaging tile here that updates from time to time, and you have the great design that’s really kind of shows you great way that we can feed people into the Lumia ecosystem.

    1:33 We have taken from the Nokia Asha, we have taken the Fastlane [see in: New Asha platform and ecosystem to deliver a breakthrough category of affordable smartphone from Nokia [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, May 9, 2013] So this is inspired by not only Nokia Asha but also the Nokia N9, MeeGo. So we have the kind of Fastlane of all your favorite applications, so you can find your favorite applications faster. So it isn’t taking your time and gives you more freedom.

    1:51 Also from the Android you can see this way to access most-used settings from here like WiFi, Bluetooth and sound, and so on.

    2:00 So it’s really kind of —I would say—the best of everything.

    2:04 We have the power of Microsoft services, and here—for example—we have the swipe keyboard. So you can write very easily just by swiping. So we have taken that into account as well. The Microsoft services are of course first and foremost in this product. We have Skype, we have Outlook on that phone, then you can download more from different app stores, so this is really important for us.

    2:27 And again, one more user interface thing, just a small thing we have taken again from Asha, is the contextual menu that you can access inside applications.

    2:37 So I would say that it’s really kind of best of all worlds: taking that great Nokia design that built to last, and Android applications with power of Microsoft services.

    2:47 I’ve been working on this product now for one a half year on the product development side, and it’s a kind of really there has been a kind of opening for this product. Not only in a way [of being] in the right price point between Lumia and Asha, but also in the consumer mindset. When we have done consumer research everybody has been saying, or I’ve been asking people all around the world like: “What is the feature that you want to have in your Asha?” And people have been saying that “We want Android”. And this is exactly what we were doing here. Giving people what they want.

    3:19 And I think we’ve positioned that with Nokia and with Microsoft uniquely in order to do this, unlike any other company out there.

    From Nokia connects the next billion with affordable smartphones [press release, Feb 24, 2014]

    Stephen Elop, executive vice president of Nokia’s Devices & Services, commented on the launches:
    “Nokia has connected billions of people around the world, and today we demonstrated how our portfolio is designed to connect the next billion people to great experiences.”

    “Our deliberate approach is to offer four tiers of products including our affordable entry-level devices like the new Nokia 220; our entry-level Asha touch phones like the new Nokia Asha 230; our new Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL smartphones primarily for growth economies; and our Lumia portfolio, which is where we introduce the greatest innovation and provide full compatibility with the Microsoft experience,” he added.

    Nokia X family delivers the best of all worlds

    The Nokia X family features Nokia’s renowned handset quality and design, with a fresh, tile-based user interface inspired by our Lumia family. All devices come with Fastlane, a screen which lets people switch between their favorite apps more smoothly. People can access curated, quality-tested apps from Nokia Store, more than a dozen third-party app stores and by sideloading. Out of the box, they can enjoy signature Nokia experiences including free* HERE Maps, with true offline maps and integrated turn-by-turn navigation, and Nokia MixRadio for free* music streaming and downloadable playlists. All devices are also pre-loaded with a variety of third-party apps and games.

    The Nokia X family is also an affordable introduction to popular Microsoft services, including free* cloud storage using OneDrive. With the purchase of any Nokia X family smartphone in select markets, people will get one month of Skype’s Unlimited World Subscription for a limited time, ideal to make international calls to landlines in more than 60 countries and to mobile phones in 8 countries.

    The first device, the Nokia X, comes with a 4″ IPS capacitive display and 3MP camera. The Nokia X+ is optimised for multimedia enthusiasts, who can enjoy even more games, music, photos and video thanks to more memory and storage. Both the Nokia X and Nokia X+ will be available in bright green, bright red, cyan, yellow, black and white**. The third family member, the Nokia XL, boasts a 5″ display with 2MP front-facing camera – ideal for Skype video calls – and a 5MP rear-facing, autofocus camera with flash. The Nokia XL will be available in bright green, orange, cyan, yellow, black and white. The entire Nokia X family is powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon(TM) dual core processor and supports Dual SIM, letting people switch SIM cards to get better tariffs.

    The Nokia X will go on sale immediately, starting at EUR 89 [$122]* and rolling-out in Asia-Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa [i.e. NOT in North-America]. The Nokia X+ and Nokia XL are expected to roll out in these markets starting early second quarter, priced at EUR 99 [$136] and EUR 109 [$150], respectively.

    * All prices are suggested retail before local taxes and subsidies. Actual in-market prices may vary.

    Porting on Nokia X [nokiadevforum YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2014]

    Developers who have been working with Nokia X have great things to say about it. 75% of Android apps will run on Nokia X software platform without any modifications. Bottom line – porting Android apps to Nokia X is easy!
      • The entire process – from downloading SDKs and porting, to integrating Nokia HERE in place of Google Maps – has been seamless. Satyajeet Singh, VP Products, Zomato
      • The API analyzer made it very simple to identify the areas of change, making app portability even simpler. Vinodkumar Putta, Team Lead, Zomato
      • Nokia X services API documentation is fabulous and helped me port my app in a few hours. Pedro Monteiro Kayatt, Lead Developer, Naked Monkey
      • Porting our apps to Nokia X was a very pleasant experience due to in-app billing and push notification APIs being compatible with Google’s architecture. Marko Štamcar, Senior Android Developer, Outfit7
      • From a development perspective it’s not going to cost you anything and it just take you a few hours to do. Samuel Forrest, VP of Business Development, PICSART

    Nokia X is ready for your Android Apps! [Nokia Developer Blog News, Feb 24, 2014]

    We’re happy to announce that Nokia X is now ready for your apps!

    Nokia X is a new developer platform made to run Android apps, including yours. It’s an easy, risk-free way to turn your Android app on to a whole new user base without adding to your code base.

    We’re excited to be able to deliver your Android applications on Nokia X smartphones. If you’re as ready as we are, head over to Nokia Publish now to get started—it should only take a few minutes to test and submit your app. (Note that if your app uses Google Cloud Messaging, Google Maps, or Google In-App Billing, you will need to migrate to our APIs[ link] for those services.)

    If you want to learn more before jumping in, check out five simple reasons why you should publish your Android app to Nokia Store now.

    Five reasons to publish your Android App to Nokia Store [Nokia Developer Blog News, Feb 24, 2014]

    1. Nokia X opens new markets to your existing apps
      Nokia’s sales leadership and brand strength in the fastest growing smartphoneand mobile app markets provide the launchpad for your apps’ success. With Nokia X, you can reach an untapped pool of savvy – and app-hungry — new smartphone users around the world.
      Learn more …
    2. Nokia X’s monetization tools create additional revenue streams for your apps
      Monetization tools like Nokia In-App Payment, combined with Nokia’s extensive operator billing network, provide your existing apps with new monetization mechanisms in emerging markets. Consumers in many high growth markets do not have international credit cards, making revenue collection a challenge. Nokia X leverages Nokia’s wide operator billing coverage, which extends to over 3 billion mobile subscribers, with over 160 operators in more than 60 markets. Operator billing has been shown to deliver up to a 5x increase in revenues and a 10x increase in purchases over credit-card billing in the Nokia X targeted markets, meaning more revenues opportunities for your apps.
      Learn more …
    3. Android app compatibility
      Nokia has tested over 100.000 Android apps and approximately 75% are directly compatible and ready to be published to Nokia Store. If your app uses Google services for maps, push notifications or in-app payments, you will need to replace these APIs with Nokia specific APIs that have been built to work almost identically to those they replace. Nokia services have been designed to minimize porting effort from apps using corresponding Google services and allow developers develop and distribute a single app package targeting both ecosystems.
      Learn more …
    4. Develop apps for Nokia X using your existing Android SDK, toolkit and skillset
      If you already develop Android apps, you can continue to use your existing tool chain. Nokia provides a plugin package to the Android SDK, including the services APIs and the Nokia X emulator.You’ve already got the other tools and skills you need.
      Learn more …
    5. Nokia Developer programs provide the marketing and technical support you need
      Through programs like DVLUP, Nokia Developer Offers and local outreach, Nokia offers you opportunities to promote your apps to new users and potential customers, while our online training, events and support tools make sure you’re putting your best app forward.
      Learn more …

    Nokia X Platform overview [Nokia Developer, Feb 24, 2014]

    image

    Nokia X is a customized platform built on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), the software stack upon which some of the most popular smartphones in the world are based. Nokia X lets you leverage your existing Android apps, while taking advantage of Nokia’s optimizations to help you grab more downloads and generate more revenues in targeted markets.

    Ready to start porting your apps? Get started ›     Download the plugin ›

    Will your Android app work on Nokia X?

    Nokia Store testing has shown that approximately 75% of Android apps will run properly without any modifications; they’re ready to be published in Nokia Store.

    Develop and distribute a single APK targeting multiple stores.

    If your app uses Google services for push notifications, maps or in-app payments, you’ll need to make a few changes, but it won’t take long (usually less than 8 hours). Nokia services have been designed to minimize porting effort from apps using corresponding Google services and allow developers develop and distribute a single APK targeting multiple stores.

    Test your app’s compatibility ›

    Nokia X platform details

    The core Nokia X platform is built on AOSP v4.1.2 [Jelly Bean], which supports API level 16. On top of this, Nokia has added several enhancements to improve both the user experience and the developer experience:

    Nokia service APIs

    Distribution and billing

    UX elements

    Nokia In-App Payment  ›
    HERE Maps  ›
    Nokia Notifications  ›

    Distribution in Nokia Store  ›
    Payment with Operator billing  ›

    Design overview ›
    Design essentials ›
    Nokia X icon toolkit ›

    Nokia X app development uses a plugin to the Android SDK, so it will be familiar to developers who have used the Android SDK before. The Nokia X services SDK includes support for emulating Nokia X devices for testing and debugging.

    Download the Nokia X services SDK ›

    First hands-on with the Nokia X family [Nokia YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2014]

    Introducing the new Nokia X family of devices – the Nokia X, X+ and XL. The Nokia X smartphone family combine Nokia design, build quality and gives you access to the world of Android apps, benefits from signature Nokia experiences including MixRadio and HERE maps, and offers an introduction to Microsoft’s most popular services such as Skype, OneDrive and Outlook.com. Read more: http://conversations.nokia.com

    The above video has been expanded in XTRAORDINARILY XCELLENT: THE NOKIA X FAMILY [Nokia Conversations, Feb 24, 2014] by the following information:

     Today Nokia introduces a brand new family of smartphones, the Nokia X family, a range of handsets that combines Nokia design, build quality and services with the ability to run Android apps.

    The first three phones in the family – the Nokia X, X+ and XL – are priced between the existing Asha and Lumia lines, at €89 [$122], €99 [$136] and €109 [$150] respectively, to appeal to new smartphone users looking for popular apps and their first cloud services.

    The X family boasts Nokia’s exciting, high quality hardware design and a range of bright colours. The brand new, tile-based Home screen offers you a simple, elegant way to manage your apps and phone functions and also reintroduces a redesigned version of the enormously popular Fastlane notifications centre – a second Home screen if you like – from the latest Asha devices.

    My insert here: The new Nokia X family – Your Fastlane to Android™ apps [Nokia YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2014]

    Meet the new Nokia X family of affordable smartphones. The Nokia X, X+ and XL give you access to the world of AndroidTM apps:http://nokia.com/nokiaXrange

    image

    My insert here: Nokia X – Life in the Fastlane [Nokia YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2014]

    Xciting services bring a smile

    The Nokia X family offers terrific value with acclaimed Nokia and Microsoft services and experiences. HERE Maps with turn-by-turn navigation and offline maps are included. Nokia MixRadio offers hundreds of free streaming and offline playlists. Free cloud storage from Microsoft OneDrive with 7GB of space for free is included out of the box. There’s also access to Outlook.com as your email service. And there’s Skype with a month’s free calls to international landlines in selected markets.

    All three of the devices are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Dual Core processor and are Dual SIM. A range of third-party apps comes preinstalled, including BBM, Plants vs. Zombies 2, Viber, Vine and Twitter. As many more as you can fit can be obtained from the Nokia Store, third-party app stores and sideloaded.

    image

    Xtreme family resemblance

    The table below covers the differences between the devices, but these are the highlights:

    • The Nokia X is the entry level member of the family, with 4-inch IPS LCD screen, 512MB RAM and a 3-megapixel camera. It will be available in green, black, white, yellow, cyan and red.
    • The Nokia X+ offers you a little more, as the name suggests: there’s 768MB RAM and a 4GB MicroSD card is included in the box. It comes in the same colours as the Nokia X.
    • Lastly, the clue is in the name for the Nokia XL, as well, with its 5-inch screen. The Nokia XL also boasts 768MB RAM, the free MicroSD card and it has both a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for Skype calls, as well as a 5-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and flash. The same colours are available as for the Nokia X and X+, except bright orange replaces the red with this model.

    image

    Check the speX

    Nokia X

    Nokia X+

    Nokia XL

    Screen

    4-inch IPS LCD, 800 x 480px

    4-inch IPS LCD, 800 x 480px

    5-inch IPS LCD, 800 x 480px

    RAM

    512MB

    768MB

    768MB

    Storage

    Up to 32GB
    MicroSD

    Up to 32GB
    MicroSD; 4GB card included

    Up to 32GB
    MicroSD; 4GB card included

    Rear camera

    3-megapixel fixed focus

    3-megapixel fixed focus

    5-megapixel with autofocus and flash

    Front camera

    2-megapixel

    Processor

    8225 Qualcomm Snapdragon

    1GHz Dual Core

    8225 Qualcomm Snapdragon

    1GHz Dual Core

    8225 Qualcomm Snapdragon

    1GHz Dual Core

    Networks

    ESGM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

    WCDMA 900 / 2100

    ESGM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

    WCDMA 900 / 2100

    ESGM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

    WCDMA 900 / 2100

    Dimensions

    115.5 x 63 x 10.4mm

    115.5 x 63 x 10.4mm

    141.3 x 77.7 x 10.8mm

    Weight

    128.66g

    128.66g

    190g

    Standby time

    2G = Up to 28.5 days

    3G = Up to 22 days

    2G = Up to 28.5 days

    3G = Up to 22 days

    2G = Up to 41 days

    3G = Up to 26 days

    Talk time

    2G = Up to 13.3 hours

    3G = Up to 10.5 hours

    2G = Up to 13.3 hours

    3G = Up to 10.5 hours

    2G = Up to 16 hours

    3G = Up to 13 hours

    The Nokia X will be available to buy immediately in Asia Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle-East and Africa [i.e. NOT in North-America]. The Nokia X+ and XL are expected to be available from Q2 2014. The prices quoted do not include any local taxes or operator subsidies.

    image

    We’ll be bringing more details and interviews with the Xperts on the new Nokia X family over the next few days. But let us know your first impressions below.

    Note 1: The 8225 Qualcomm Snapdragon 1GHz Dual Core is based on 45nm Cortex-A5 cores and corresponds to the previous Snapdragon tiering which was upto Qualcomm decided to compete with the existing Cortex-A5/Krait-based offerings till the end of 2012 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 30, 2012] in which it was described as follows:


    From the announcement point of view the [MSM]8225 was launched by Qualcomm Brings Snapdragon S4 Processors to High Volume Smartphones and Expands Qualcomm Reference Design Development Platform and Ecosystem Program [press release, Dec 8, 2011] in which it was declared that:

    The MSM8625 and MSM8225 chipsets will be available on Qualcomm’s third generation QRD development platform in the first half of 2012, in addition to being available as standalone chipsets. QRD development platforms based on both the MSM7x27A and MSM7x25A chipsets [the previous entry level from Qualcomm] are currently available. Qualcomm has shipped over 100 million MSM7225 and MSM7227 chipsets [the preceding even to those “A” chipsets entry level from Qualcomm], and smartphones based on these chipsets are operating on multiple carrier networks worldwide.

    Note 2: The hardware is therefore quite similar to HTC Desire X [Qualcomm Developer Network, Aug 30, 2012]

    Manufacturer:

    HTC

    Name:

    Desire X

    Model:

    HTC Desire X

    CPU:

    Qualcomm MSM8225 snapdragon

    CPU Clock:

    1000

    GPU:

    Adreno 203

    Platform OS:

    Android 4.0.4

    Operators:

    Unlocked

    Date announced:

    8/30/12

    Date available:

    10/8/12

    ROM Capacity:

    4GB

    RAM Capacity:

    768MB

    Display type:

    Super LCD capacitative touchscreen

    Display Resolution:

    480×800

    Primary camera:

    5 megapixels

    Secondary camera:

    None

    Connectivity:

    GPRS, EDGE, 3G, WLAN, USB, Bluetooth 4.0

    Sensors:

    Accelerometer, Compass

    Stand-by (GSM):

    Up to 750 hours
    [31 days]

    Talk Time (GSM):

    Up to 6 hours

    For the less familiar heritage of the Nokia X range watch Nokia N9 [Meego] UI hands-on demo [NokiaConversations YouTube channel, June 20, 2011]

    Nokia Marketing Manager Jussi Mäkinen walks us thru Nokia N9. Nokia N9 is designed around the things people typically use the most. Read more on Nokia N9: http://conversations.nokia.com/2011/06/21/introducing-the-nokia-n9-all-it-takes-is-a-swipe/

    For more information on that see: Nokia N9 UX [?Swipe?] on MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 24, 2011 – Aug 10, 2012]

    Nokia welcomes Android developers; expands global developer footprint with momentum across Lumia and Asha [press release, Feb 24, 2014]

    News at-a-glance:

    • New Nokia X software platform opens fast-growing segment to Android(TM) developers to monetize and expand the reach of their apps.

    • Nokia’s market-leading operator billing network powers in-app purchases, gives developers global reach.

    • Leading apps available for Nokia X devices include BBM, Facebook, LINE, Skype and Twitter.

    • Nokia Lumia momentum continues with addition of BBM, Adobe Photoshop Express and Facebook Messenger.

    • Nokia Imaging SDK 1.1, with powerful editing features, now available for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.1 tablets and PCs.

    Barcelona, Spain – Today at Mobile World Congress, Nokia unveiled five new affordable handsets including a new family of smartphones debuting on the Nokia X software platform. Based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), and backed by Nokia’s deep ties with operators, the Nokia X platform gives Android(TM) developers the chance to tap into, and profit from, a rapidly expanding part of the market. The launch builds on Nokia’s leadership in delivering innovation to more price points with its family of Lumia smartphones, and the latest momentum for Windows Phone.

    “Today Windows Phone is the fastest growing mobile ecosystem in the world, and we continue to see incredible momentum with our Lumia smartphones,” said Bryan Biniak, Vice President and General Manager, Developer Experience at Nokia. “Now, with the introduction of the Nokia X family of devices, we’re delivering the same design, quality and innovation Nokia is known to lower price points to capture the fastest-growing segment of the smartphone market.”

    Monetization, plus porting made easy

    With billing agreements in more than 60 markets and with more than 160 operators, Nokia provides developers with access to one of the largest mobile operator billing network in the world, offering the scale and global reach needed to successfully monetize their apps and generate higher revenues.

    “The reach of Nokia’s operator billing network provides developers with a powerful revenue driver – up to five times that of credit-card billing offered within other platforms,” said Amit Patel, Vice President, Developer Relations at Nokia. “Combined with Nokia In-App Payment, developers have the freedom to build on the model that works best for them.”

    The vast majority of Android apps can be published to the Nokia Store as is. For those that require modifications, the Nokia X analyzer tool significantly reduces porting time by identifying the required changes. To make porting even easier, developers only need to maintain one code base and distribute a single application package file (APK) to target multiple stores.

    At launch, leading global apps will be available for the Nokia X family of devices, including Facebook, LINE Free Voice and Messages, LINE Camera, LINE Bubble, Picsart, Plants vs. Zombies 2, Real Football 2014, Skype, Spotify, Swiftkey, Twitter, Viber, Vine and WeChat, among others. And in a first for Nokia customers around the world, BBM, a premier mobile messaging platform, will also be available on the Nokia X family of devices in addition to Windows Phone.

    “BBM continues to provide a best-in-class mobile messaging platform with productivity, collaboration and community-building as cornerstones,” said David Proulx, Senior Director, BBM at BlackBerry. “We continue to see great enthusiasm for the BBM experience around the globe and we are thrilled to work with Nokia to preload BBM on devices beginning with Nokia X in select markets. We welcome Nokia X users to the BBM community.”

    LINE’s partnership with a global player such as Nokia is indeed an honor. Delivering LINE on Nokia X represents our commitment of ensuring that people around the world will experience the joy of communication through LINE on Nokia X smartphones,” said Shin Jung-ho, CEO of LINE Plus Corporation. “We are pleased to announce that LINE will continuously offer a variety of features to Nokia X platform to enhance users’ exciting experience in communication, social sharing, imaging, and gaming.”

    Lumia momentum continues while developers embrace cross-platform opportunity across Nokia’s product portfolio

    Many partners such as Facebook, BBM, Twitter, LINE, Viber, Electronic Arts, Gameloft and Rovio are also making their key apps available across Nokia’s device portfolio of feature phones, Asha, Nokia X and Lumia.  Facebook Messenger, a fast, free and reliable way to stay in touch, will also be coming soon across Nokia’s four tiers of products. Global food delivery app, Foodpanda/hellofood, will also launch across the Nokia Asha, Lumia and X family of devices.

    Developer innovation on Nokia Lumia continues, which reflects Windows Phone’s status as the fastest-growing mobile ecosystem in the world. Today, Nokia also announced that leading partners, including Adobe Photoshop Express, Facetune and JUSP will soon launch for Windows Phone – joining other must-have apps and games including Instagram, Vine, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Subway Surfers, among others that have recently launched.

    Adobe’s Photoshop Express app, already available on Windows 8, is coming to Windows Phone later this year to allow consumers to edit easily across Windows PCs, tablets and smartphones. European mobile payment provider JUSP will launch across Windows PCs, tablets and smartphones in the coming weeks, while Facetune will soon let users create high-end portraits from everyday photos with intuitive and powerful tools previously reserved for the pros.

    “In a world of mobile development, speed and time-to-market is of the utmost importance,” said Biniak. “At Nokia, we’re focused on helping developers accelerate the development process across platforms, while also providing access to the latest innovation and tools to help them focus on what they do best – creating the next great app.”

    Nokia Imaging SDK 1.1 now for Windows

    Built on the technology that powers Nokia’s own imaging apps like Nokia Storyteller and Nokia Camera, Nokia introduces a key update to the latest Nokia Imaging SDK – version 1.1. Nokia’s Imaging SDK 1.1 brings powerful image editing features to Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.1 tablets and PCs. Developers can now utilize the capabilities of the SDK to deliver a converged Windows app experience across any Windows Phone 8 device, such as the Lumia 1020 and 1520, as well as the Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet.

    The Nokia Imaging SDK 1.1 is available today at developer.nokia.com.

    Also starting today, the Imagin8 Mission competition further encourages developers registered with DVLUP to create innovative imaging apps. Among many prizes, the developer of the best new or updated app will win a trip to experience zero gravity with the ZERO-G Corporation. More information at developer.nokia.com/imagin8.

    Nokia Developer Exchange Marketplace

    Nokia now offers premium merchandising slots in 181 countries to its key partners through the Nokia Developer Exchange Marketplace. This new offer represents an expansion of the Campaign feature introduced in October 2013 for DVLUP, Nokia’s rewards program for developers. Inaugural partners participating in the exchange include Electronic Arts, Gameloft, AE Mobile, Miniclip and Outfit7.

    “Even in digital, selling is all about ‘location, location, location,'” said Daniel Morel, Chairman and CEO, Wunderman. “With Nokia Developer Exchange Marketplace, developers have access to prime real estate for their apps, they can leverage performance metrics and do so much more. It’s a big step forward.”

    “Nokia Developer Exchange Marketplace is an exciting new proposition,” said Sam Browne, Managing Partner of Carat Global, the number one-ranked agency network in the world. “Nokia’s investment illustrates ongoing intent to build, support, and cooperate with the developer community. Partners will have unique access to a range of valuable media properties, with a proven capability to deliver high consumer reach, and the opportunity of app distribution growth. Both large and small partners can view this as a significant new marketing asset.”

    View from Redmond via Tim O’Brien, GM, Platform Strategy at Microsoft

    Tim is currently touring Europe as part of preparations for the upcoming Build 2014 conference. He had an opportunity to meet some people in Hungary as well which allows me now to summarize how they see the current sitution from Redmond:

    1. Consumers are now calling the shots <—> consumerization of IT”, i.e. enterprise computing is not ruling ICT alone any more, and as a result of BYOD the private, consumer devices are even dictating.
    2. Sales are not simple for developers anymore” Instead of the earlier uniform way of selling developers should use the most sophisticated approaches—think of the fremium, or advertisement based models as examples—in order to earn their revenue.
    3. No matter how much things like ‘identity’ are alien to developers without these things they are not credible partners to the enterprises
    4. The times of single platforms are gone, as developers own several platforms now
    5. Instead of traditional big IT companies thinking in terms of commercial software, like IBM and HP, those Silicon Valley startups which are well capitalised via VCs and turning at full steam towards the enterprise market (e.g. Dropbox) are more and more significant for Microsoft”. For more information I was looking for a current background: Dropbox Makes a Move Into the Enterprise [Businessweek, Nov 13, 2013].

    This is what was left in my head after the meeting from the current situation point of view, as the most important elements of the actual view of the world from Redmond.

    Tim O’Brien arranged his introductory speech around three topics: mobile first, cloud first and openness. In this regard I had two questions for him:

    1. As far as cloud first and openness are concerned he didn’t mention the OpenStack initiative. This is, nevertheless, has a growing significance as IBM, Dell, and especially HP—all crucial for the enterprise business of Microsoft—are building their own cloud business on OpenStack. How Microsoft is looking at that, what is his position? The essence of Tim’s answer was that on one hand these companies are the ones who are thinking in terms “commercial software”, as it was mentioned before, and that their own public cloud offerings are not so much developed yet, on the other. OpenStack has not made big difference for them yet.
    2. The basic line of thought was built on “mobile first” and “cloud first”. I met “cloud first” last summer with regards to Microsoft at TechEd, primarily through the words of Satya Nadella, who is the CEO now (see “Cloud first” from Microsoft is ready to change enterprise computing in all of its facets [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 4, 2013]). Since then, however, I’ve seen such interpretation of this by the media, that from now on Microsoft will develop its software for the cloud and that’s it. What does he think about that? Tim was rejecting this simplification, and then, at somewhat greater length, was elaborating that Microsoft was much more considering the cloud interfaces (APIs) in the development of their software in this regard. He even illustrated that with the fact that async was introduced into the latest .NET 4.5.1.

    Since regarding “cloud first” Tim even mentioned that this is a quite common concept, I browsed the web back at my office to find out the actual case. By doing so it came out that in the U.S. it is indeed the case but only in the realm of so called federal computing.  As Microsoft interpreted that concept after Satya Nadella overtook the “cloud & enterprise” business in 2011, and then started to use that with the external preview readiness of the corresponding developments at the TechEd last summer, even that carried a wider meaning. Overall, the interpretation of the “cloud first” concept cannot be considered common at all, especially outside U.S. Who are interested in my web-based study could read my “Cloud first”: the origins and the current meaning [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 18, 2014] post on this blog.

    With this result on hand I got interested in finding out what is the case with “mobile first”. The similar “Mobile first”: the origins and the current meaning [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 18, 2014] post is not only giving the denial of commonality of this second basic concept from Microsoft, but even makes one to realize how much emphasis IBM put on MobileFirst (not a typo) in its platform strategy, already one year publicly, in which almost immediately achieved spectacular results. This magic quadrant from Gartner is the proof of that (works as a teaser as well):

    After this it came to my mind what was missing from this whole view of world from Redmond. That which was detailed in my earlier Device businesses should have a China-based independent headquarter at least for Asia/Pacific if they want to succeed [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 28, 2014] post. Tim was just mentioning in his introduction that 2 years ago nobody would have thought with Samsung overtaking Apple. … My reaction to that would be that you in Redmond are not even considering the “non-Samsung, non Apple” part of the below chart:


    as well as with these charts:

    not speaking of this video:

    Hugo Barra, Vice President, Xiaomi Global & Loic Le Meur, LeWeb Founders- LeWeb’13 Paris – [LeWebYouTube channel, Dec 11, 2013]

    Hugo is a good friend of LeWeb, having joined us several times during his time at Google. This year he updates us on his new role at Xiaomi, running their product portfolio and operations in all markets outside Mainland China. He shares his views on the tech sector in China and where it is headed.

    WILL SOMEBODY ENLIGHTEN THEM PLEASE?

    P.S.
    imageThis post was first made in Hungarian: Kilátás Redmondból Tim O’Brien tolmácsolásában (‘Szoftver aktualitások’, 2014. február 19.). I asked Gabor Fari (Director, Business Development and Strategy, Health & Life Sciences at Microsoft, Greater New York City Area), as my closest acquaintance to corporate Microsoft today, to do something regarding this mobile computing issue within Microsoft.

    To my shocking suprise I got a completely unfounded barrage of accusations from him instead. I put a screenshot of the Facebook exchange in which the blunt accusation part was as follows (since the exchange was in Hungarian):

    The arrogant tone of your articles I can’t understand either. You dissed Chris Capossela. Now you’ve done the same to Tim O’Brien. Both of them I know and respect, and I believe that they are on top of their professions. From the tone of your articles my conclusion is that you believe MS is managed by incompetent gimps.

    One thing I asked Gabor Fari regarding these blunt accusations, is to prove them, i.e. give concrete examples what text from the above post (since here is an English version of the original one in Hungarian) is proving “The arrogant tone of your articles”, “You dissed Chris Capossela”, “Now you’ve done the same to Tim O’Brien”, “From the tone of your articles my conclusion is that you believe MS is managed by incompetent gimps.”

    As I didn’t get any reply, and quite probably won’t get in the future either, I am getting really worried. Not because of such unfounded judgement of my post, but because I am a Microsoft shareholder as well. I am extremely worried for my extremely tiny part of the whole $313.35 billion market capitalisation Microsoft is worth currently.

    So through a response to this post I will offer Gabor Fari the last chance to respond to my appeal to prove his unfounded judgements via concrete examples from the above post. If he will not do so than nothing is left as to turn to the board of directors of Microsoft with a warning that corporate complacency is much more inside Microsoft than one might have thought before, and this will definitely make things worse than one could have thought before

    P.S. in the P.S. As Gabor Fari was declaring that “You dissed Chris Capossela” I searched through all my postings about Chris Capossela, and found only the following one, which I couldn’t understand either, how on the Earth that might be considered a “dissing of Chris Capossela”?

    Here is the traslation of that (later a screen-shot containing the Facebook discussion in Hungarian):

    Microsoft in the direction of the market failure? Chris Capossela was shining (literally) for half an hour today expounding “devices and services” and “enterprise and consumer”, as the directions Microsoft is taking in both regards. That is the the fact that every other company COULD realise just a part of that.

    WHY, THEN, IN THE DIRECTION OF THE MARKET FAILURE? Because it is not only the case that Capossela could not be found on the net with such an exposition, but NO ONE ELSE!!! PUT IT SIMPLY THE MARKETING (WITH BEST MEANING of the word) is not working in Microsoft.

    The best what I’ve found: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9g-0XMwqvs

    Prof. Judith Bishop of Microsoft Research gives a talk at the 30th anniversary of the Dept. of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University, Sweden.

    This is not marketing [as it is from Microsoft Research]

    And found also this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XefFb8DbpCg

    Kevin Turner’s presentation at Microsoft 2013 Financial Analyst Meeting that occurred on September 19, 2013. He is Microsoft’s Chief Operating Officer.. His presentation covered Microsoft’s current position in the enterprise and consumer spaces as well as Microsoft’s transition to a devices and services company. He discussed the Xbox, Surface, Windows Phone, Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, Yammer, and various enterprise businesses. Some highlights: 7:43 Devices and Services focus. 2:49, 11:22, 25:03 Xbox One and Xbox Live. 26:19, 26:51 Microsoft in the mobile space. Office Mobile across all platforms. 10:07 Azure and the cloud.services including Skype, SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Bing, Xbox Live, MSN, Yammer, Office 365, Intune Dynamics CRM Dynamics ERP, SharePoint, Lync, Exchange, SQL Server, and Hyper-V. 30:19 Windows Phone. 31:18 Nokia acquisition. 32:39 Windows Haswell OEM devices. 11:35, 23:17 Skype, Lync. 21:40 Social trends in enterprise, including SharePoint, Yammer, Lync, Skype. 33:46 Microsoft and the retail buying experience (Microsoft Store, Best Buy, Dixon’s). 35:09 Big data, including SQL, Excel, SharePoint, Hadoop, Microsoft BI, 37:17 Summary.

    [comments other people put here I am not translating]
    In addition Capossela is the leader of the Consumer Channel Group, and when he won this position in 2011, he won that of Chief Marketing Officer position as well … IMHO totally deserved. Since Tami Reller got the top marketeer position he has been ranked back so much that in connection with the purchase of Nokia Ballmer wrote about him as “Regarding the sales team, we plan to keep the Nokia field team, led by Chris Weber, intact and as the nexus of the devices sales effort, so that we can continue to build sales momentum. After the deal closes, Chris and his team will be placed under Kevin Turner. We will develop a single integrated team that is selling to operators, and there may be other integration opportunities that we can pursue. Kevin will work with Chris Weber and Chris Capossela to make those plans.” See: http://www.microsoft.com/…/2013/sep13/09-02email.aspx

    despite of the fact that even from the interview made with him one could see his extraordinary stance [in marketing]:  The New Windows Store Only at Best Buy (by Brandon LeBlanc)

    [comments other people put here I am not translating]

    The Facebook discussion in Hungarian:

    image

    Follow up:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/vnext.hu/permalink/737178256301701

    image

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/vnext.hu/permalink/737178256301701/

    imageimage

    https://www.facebook.com/sandor.nacsa/posts/507048032739181?comment_id=2696672&offset=0&total_comments=33

    image

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4 delivery and Dell as the first company to OEM it co-engineered on Dell infrastructure with Red Hat

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform: Community-invented, Red Hat hardened [RedHatCloud YouTube channel, Aug 5, 2013]

    Learn how Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform allows you to deploy a supported version of OpenStack on an enterprise-hardened Linux platform to build a massively scalable public-cloud-like platform for managing and deploying cloud-enabled workloads. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, you can focus resources on building applications that add value to your organization, while Red Hat provides support for OpenStack and the Linux platform it runs on.

    From community to enterprise-ready: Red Hat’s momentum with OpenStack [RedHatCloud YouTube channel, Jan 21, 2014]

    The open development model is only successful if you are as committed to the community as you are to the products you create. Our primary goal was to become truly integrated in the OpenStack community. Now, we are excited about getting OpenStack in the hands of many. Hear what Red Hat has to say about their momentum around OpenStack.

    Cloud and virtualization in RHEL6 ~ Redhat Linux Video [Redhat Linux Video YouTube channel, Feb 17, 2014]

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 is designed for those who build and manage large, complex IT projects, especially enterprises that require an open hybrid cloud. From security and networking to virtualization, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 provides the capabilities needed to manage these environments, such as tools that aid in quickly tuning the system to run SAP applications based on published best practices from SAP. Jim Totton, vice president and general manager, Platform Business Unit, Red Hat “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 provides the innovation expected from the industry’s leading enterprise Linux operating system while also delivering a mature platform for business operations, be it standardizing operating environments or supporting critical applications. The newest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 forms the building blocks of the entire Red Hat portfolio, including OpenShift and OpenStack, making it a perfect foundation for enterprises looking to explore the open hybrid cloud.”

    Dell and Red Hat Creating Open, Innovative Solutions ~ Redhat Linux Video [Redhat Linux Video YouTube channel, Feb 18, 2014]

    Dell and Red Hat to Co-Engineer Enterprise-Grade, OpenStack Private Cloud Solutions [joint press release, Dec 12, 2013]

    Dell and Red Hat to Co-Engineer Enterprise-Grade, OpenStack Private Cloud Solutions

    • Dell and Red Hat collaboration to enable customers worldwide to build and use highly-scalable, open, private cloud solutions based on OpenStack
    • Dell becomes first company to OEM Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform
    • Dell joins the Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network as an Alliance Partner
    • Dell to deliver Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform through a dedicated practice within Dell Cloud Services

    Dell and Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the companies will jointly engineer enterprise-grade, private cloud solutions based on OpenStack to help customers move to and deploy highly-scalable cloud computing models. As part of the expanded relationship, Dell becomes the first company to OEM Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. The co-engineered solution will be built on Dell infrastructure and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. The solution will be delivered by a Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform practice within Dell Cloud Services.

    Dell and Red Hat have partnered for more than 14 years to bring global customers value by collaborating on Red Hat solutions across Dell’s enterprise offerings. Just as Dell and Red Hat collaborated in the early days of Linux, Dell is showing its vision by becoming the first to OEM Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. With today’s announcement, Dell and Red Hat are strengthening their longstanding collaboration and commitment to help businesses confidently embrace open source-based cloud computing models. With this development, customers worldwide will not only benefit from the co-engineered solutions, but the companies combined cloud expertise, enterprise innovation, and dedicated support and portfolio of services.

    Dell and Red Hat will also jointly contribute code to the OpenStack community and collaborate on Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4, currently in beta, which integrates OpenStack Havana, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5. In addition, Dell plans to work closely with Red Hat on several future-state projects including:

    • OpenStack Networking (Neutron) to enable Software-Defined Networking and Networking-as-a-Service between interface devices such as virtual network interface cards, and
    • OpenStack Telemetry (Ceilometer) to provide OpenStack resource instrumentation, which can help support service monitoring and customer billing systems.

    Lastly, Dell is joining the Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network as an Alliance Partner, the highest tier of program membership. The Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network connects both business and technical resources to third-party technology companies who are aligning with Red Hat’s OpenStack product offerings.

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform combines the power of Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Red Hat’s OpenStack cloud platform to deliver an enterprise-grade, scalable and secure foundation for building a private cloud. The alliance with Red Hat complements Dell’s cloud strategy of offering customers open, flexible and scalable technology to build, use and control cloud infrastructures.

    Additionally, Dell now offers Dell Cloud Consulting and Application Services to provide expert guidance in helping assess, build, operate and run cloud environments and enable and accelerate enterprise OpenStack adoption. Dell’s expertise spans the hybrid cloud spectrum, with service options ranging from cloud readiness assessment, infrastructure design and operations, and application design and modernization. As a result, Dell customers can achieve increased efficiency and greater realization of the business benefits of cloud computing.

    Supporting Quotes

    Paul Cormier, President, Products and Technologies, Red Hat

    “Our collaboration with Dell keeps getting better and today’s announcement to co-engineer OpenStack solutions marks a significant milestone for both companies and customers. Just as we successfully collaborated with Dell to establish Red Hat Enterprise Linux as an enterprise industry standard, we’re now extending our collaboration to help establish Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform as the standard for open private cloud in the enterprise. Dell and Red Hat are committed to jointly developing and delivering enterprise-grade OpenStack offerings to help customers pursue private cloud today, and advanced computing models in the future.”

    Marius Haas, Chief Commercial Officer and President, Enterprise Solutions, Dell

    “Dell has been a long-time advocate and participant in the open source and OpenStack communities, pushing the charter of an open alternative to proprietary, enterprise computing systems. Our agreement to co-engineer OpenStack solutions with Red Hat takes our commitment a step further in helping customers obtain and deploy OpenStack solutions for an enterprise-grade, private cloud infrastructure to meet their evolving business needs. We will extend our work with Red Hat to apply our combined experience in commercializing open source for the benefit of our mutual customers as well as the open-source community on its development of networking, storage and compute capabilities.”

    Availability

    The joint Dell-Red Hat solution is scheduled to be available in 2014.

    Get more Red Hat news or subscribe to the Red Hat news RSS feed

    About Red Hat, Inc.

    Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is the world’s leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, and open source communities, Red Hat helps create relevant, innovative technologies that liberate resources for growth and prepare customers for the future of IT. Learn more at http://www.redhat.com.

    Dell and Red Hat – Enabling the Enterprise with OpenStack [Dell4Enterprise Blog, Dec 17, 2013] by Joseph George, Executive Director, Cloud and Big Data Solutions, Dell Inc.

    In 1999, Dell became the first OEM vendor to deliver factory-installed Linux workstations and PowerEdge servers with Red Hat, to enable enterprise customers with Linux. Since those early days, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) has become the world’s most deployed enterprise Linux platform, and in 2012, Red Hat became the industry’s first billion dollar open source company.

    Now in 2013, Dell and Red Hat are joining forces again to enable enterprises.

    And this time, it’s to enable the enterprise with OpenStack.

    Our enterprise customers have complex business needs and scalability requirements. In the case of cloud, customers rarely say “We want a cloud.” Rather, many of them say things like “We need to create a content delivery network that scales and is cost effective,” or “We need a test/dev environment to develop our applications.”

    And many times the design tenets that are pervasive in large scale distributed cloud environments, such as continuous deployment and devops, are still being translated into how the enterprise does IT.

    Dell has been committed to enabling our customers with open source solution options to enable emerging technology areas like cloud – solutions that are open, flexible, scalable and secure. OpenStack provides the foundation for driving multi-tenancy and elasticity, giving our customers a fully open platform with the ability to scale very quickly.

    Dell has had a rich and valuable history with Red Hat, with a longstanding joint commitment to our customers, to understand their need for flexibility and choice in the marketplace in a number of technology areas. And OpenStack has been a passion for both companies individually for some time.

    With this announcement, Dell is now the first company to OEM RHEL OpenStack Platform, and we will co-engineer enterprise-grade OpenStack private cloud solutions with Red Hat, bringing together the best that both companies have to offer. It’s great news for enterprise customers seeking the products, services, and best practices to bring OpenStack into their IT environments.

    Together, we are providing a fast onramp to enable our enterprise customers to get to the cloud, and to capture value from cloud by solving real business problems as quickly as possible. Dell and Red Hat will also jointly contribute code to the OpenStack community, specifically on projects like OpenStack Networking (Neutron) and OpenStack Telemetry (Celiometer).

    Needless to say, after being a part of Dell’s very first steps into OpenStack, I am excited about this next step Dell and Red Hat are taking together, and see the strong innovation that will come out of it benefit both our customers and the OpenStack community.

    Dell and Red Hat cloud solutions powered by OpenStack [RedHatCloud YouTube channel, Dec 17, 2013]

    On December 12, 2013, Red Hat and Dell announced the companies will jointly engineer enterprise-grade, private cloud solutions based on OpenStack to help customers move to and deploy highly-scalable cloud computing models. Hear from Joseph George, Executive Director, Cloud and Big Data Solutions, Dell Inc. on this announcement.

    Red Hat’s 7 bold OpenStack predictions for 2014 [Dell Software News Blog, Feb 10, 2014]

    Directors and managers from all over Red Hat’s OpenStack team share  their visions for 2014, including OpenStack in 2014: Ready for enterprise adoption. A select few enterprise OpenStack distributions – and providers – will rise to the top. Hybrid cloud management – including OpenStack – will be in-demand. Telco companies, banks, and  government agencies will embrace OpenStack.

    Dell and Red Hat will be collaborating on OpenStack – read the blog

    OpenStack in 2014: Ready for enterprise adoption. “OpenStack is in 2013 what Amazon was in 2008/2009 – people are very interested but they are not spending money to use OpenStack in enterprise IT environments yet. 2014 should change that as the solution has matured and people are readier to embrace it. OpenStack is now enterprise-ready with stable, reliable versions, and that, combined with the support available from the OpenStack ecosystem, will lead to further adoption of OpenStack in the enterprise.” – Krishnan Subramaniam, director, OpenShift strategy, Red Hat

    2014: The Year of the OpenStack Ecosystem. “2014 will be the year of the enterprise OpenStack ecosystem. Hardware and software providers will have more products in the market backed by certifications for a peace of mind value proposition. Given the focus on “as-a-service” solutions there will be a new range of offerings that will be created with OpenStack as a fabric for the datacenter. Finally, I expect that large system integrators will add OpenStack to their service offerings in 2014.” – Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, Virtualization and OpenStack, Red Hat

    A select few enterprise OpenStack distributions – and providers – will rise to the top. “In 2013 we saw the proliferation of OpenStack distributions, to the point where it feels very similar to the early days of Linux – everyone seems to have a Linux distribution. In 2014, we’re going to see OpenStack distributions collapse. That’s because it’s not enough to just repackage bits; providers need really broad and deep knowledge of both OpenStack and Linux. Customers will look toward the organizations that have this deep knowledge as they seek credible solutions that combine OpenStack and Linux. The few companies that have the ability to offer tight integration between the two will be the last ones left standing.” – Chuck Dubuque, director, Product Marketing, Virtualization and OpenStack, Red Hat

    Telco companies, Banks, and Government Agencies will embrace OpenStack. “In the coming year, the public sector and other highly regulated industries, such as financial, will reach the stage of production deployments of enterprise-grade OpenStack. Security will continue to be an aspect that these industries need to address as they move to the cloud. Driven by security, privacy and compliance needs, the public sector and financial industries will turn to OpenStack to keep their most confidential data with them.” – Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, Virtualization and OpenStack, Red Hat

    “In 2014, OpenStack will make its way into the infrastructure of many large stakeholders. I’ll be bold and predict that within the next year, we’ll see OpenStack in five out of the top ten banks and eight out of the top ten telcos.” – Bryan Che, general manager, Red Hat CloudForms

    “2014 will be the year where telecommunications-specific OpenStack offerings will enter in the marketplace and be adopted.” -Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, Virtualization and OpenStack, Red Hat

    Hybrid cloud management – including OpenStack – will be in-demand. “As enterprises move OpenStack deployments out of a testing environment into a realtime, enterprise deployment environment, they need to be able to manage it. This year, Red Hat debuted CloudForms 3.0 with OpenStack management capabilities, and we are looking forward to developing those capabilities further in 2014. Looking at current data and analyst reports, cloud management is cited as the number one problem enterprises face when they are looking to mobilize their cloud computing resources. 2014 will be the year where large-scale cloud deployments are managed with enterprise-class cloud management solutions, such as Red Hat CloudForms.” – Bryan Che, general manager, Red Hat CloudForms

    Continued reinforcement of PaaS and OpenStack interoperability. “In 2014, interoperability between Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings and OpenStack will continue to be reinforced. Many people believe OpenStack will replace PaaS. In reality, the two are complementary – PaaS generates workloads, while OpenStack offers a place to store them. We’re going to continue to work toward tighter integration and better operability between PaaS and OpenStack.” – Chuck Dubuque, director, Product Marketing, Virtualization and OpenStack, Red Hat

    Building the Industry’s Broadest OpenStack Ecosystem: A Decade in the Making [Red Hat press release, Feb 18, 2014]

    Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network team

    For those of us in the technology industry, it is sometimes difficult to take a moment to think about the impact and scale of the work that we accomplish on a day-to-day basis. While we are all lucky to be in an amazingly innovative and fast paced industry, it is important to spend a reflective moment or two to gain some perspective on the projects that we work on at our respective companies and in our open communities.

    At Red Hat, we have been working steadily to help bring OpenStack from a project to a product for nearly two years. As you would expect, our efforts span the spectrum from contributors and developers across every key OpenStack.org project to enabling our partners and customers with enterprise-grade OpenStack products designed to help them take their computing infrastructure to the cloud.

    A key aspect of the inherent value proposition that Red Hat brings to the table is our co-investment with partners in making sure that our products work together as expected, and are supported in a collaborative and well understood manner to reduce customer complexity. This technology certification is an important element that has helped build Red Hat into one of the world’s most trusted brands.

    Over the next few months, at Red Hat Summit and at the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, you’ll hear more from Red Hat on our incredible momentum and progress as we bring OpenStack to global partners and customers around the globe. In the meantime, I’d like to take an opportunity to reflect on our ecosystem progress to date.

    In April 2013, we announced the creation of the Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network at the OpenStack Summit in Portland, Oregon. Since that time, we’ve been impressed with the growth and energy with participants from all over the globe, representing all industries and covering all types of technologies.

    In June 2013, we launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, and along with it, our first set of certifications focused on Compute, Storage and Networking. Behind the scenes, our teams worked closely with hundreds of partners to develop testing and automation tools, exchanged ideas and feedback on the process, and created the entire infrastructure necessary to build collaborative support agreements for our customers.

    Many of these relationships with our OEM, ISV, IHV and SI partners have been established over years of work together. My colleague Gordon Haff just published a great article reflecting on how OpenStack is paralleling the adoption of Linux in the enterprise. It’s true.

    More than a decade’s experience in bringing customers true choice has taught us many things. It showed us that our ongoing commitment to maintaining several multifaceted customer benefits, including a long and stable product lifecycle; tested and secure enterprise-grade solutions; and robust integration through standard interfaces and APIs, helped make Linux enterprise-ready. We’re bringing that same know-how to OpenStack.

    It also taught us that creating a tightly coupled and certified solution means more than a press release. It requires deep commitment to rolling up your sleeves and working with engineering teams on real technical issues and repeating that process build after build.

    Our partners understand what it takes to make commercially viable solutions. A platform is only as good as the applications, solutions and technologies that work with it, and we are proud of how strong our ecosystem of partners has become.

    Led by our Alliance PartnersCisco, Dell, IBM, and Intel – we have seen hundreds of systems and thousands of applications moving towards certification on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. Our commitment here does not waver as we work across competitive boundaries with many companies in building a broad range of enterprise solutions.

    In November 2013 at the OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong we expanded our certification scope to include other OpenStack services, offered additional partner benefits for system integrators, MSPs and cloud providers, and enhanced Red Hat Marketplace. It was a proud moment when we were able to announce that in only seven months, we had built the industry’s largest OpenStack ecosystem in support of commercial deployments.

    With all of the investments we made in 2013 in our OpenStack ecosystem and certification programs, it may seem as if we just started to build these Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network efforts. It wasn’t. The truth is that the foundation for this momentum was laid out 12 years ago when Red Hat first launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

    Trust is the core for everything that we do; it is our model, and our open approach. While OpenStack as a set of technologies may be new, the relationships with our partners, the excitement of our customers, and the energy within our company to work together to build the next generation of trusted computing is well established and energized. We look forward to a 2014 filled with exciting product, program and partnership announcements.

    I invite you to join us at Red Hat Summit in April, and the OpenStack Summit in May, to hear more about our vision and continued momentum.

    “Cloud first”: the origins and the current meaning

    With Satya Nadella, the newly appointed CEO of Microsoft now emphasizing “mobile first” together with the already emphasized “cloud first” one is becoming curious about the origins of the “cloud first” concept as well as the meanings attached to it since then:


    1. Microsoft was the fast follower of the original federal computing idea interpreting it from a traditional software vendor point of view

    From The Midweek Download: July 25th Edition–Graphics in Windows 8 & Getting Started with the New Office Preview [The Official Microsoft Blog, July 25, 2012]

    Experiencing modern Office with SkyDrive: Cloud-first. No compromises. Last November, we shared our thoughts on the state of personal cloud storage and our vision for connecting file, app and device clouds to address key customer problems. For example, students start and finish projects in Microsoft Office, but that 75 percent of them use other tools in between, such as email, Google Docs, and Dropbox. Using these different tools can lead to formatting loss, extra steps and versions, or just confusion, since each tool has its own limitations. Announced earlier this week, the new Office puts an end to that. Check out this July 20 post on Inside SkyDrive, Hotmail and Messenger to find out how.

    From Microsoft Releases Office 365 Home Premium [press release, Jan 29, 2013]

    New consumer cloud service works across devices to help busy people simplify their lives and get more done.

    Microsoft also announced it will now deliver many new features and services to the cloud first, transforming the company’s traditional three-year release cycle. Now, new features and services stream to subscribers as soon as they are ready, keeping subscribers always up to date while eliminating the hassles of upgrading.

    “This is a major leap forward,” said Kurt DelBene, president of the Microsoft Office Division. “People’s needs change rapidly, and Office 365 Home Premium will change with them.”

    From Microsoft unveils what’s next for enterprise IT [press release, June 3, 2013]

    New wave of 2013 products brings it all together for hybrid cloud, mobile employees and modern application development.

    With advances in virtualization, software-defined networking, data storage and recovery, in-memory transaction processing, and more, these solutions were engineered with Microsoft’s “cloud-firstfocus, including a faster pace of development and release to market. They incorporate Microsoft’s experience running large-scale cloud services, connect to Windows Azure and work together to provide a consistent platform for powerful hybrid cloud scenarios. More information can be found at blog posts by Anderson about Windows Server and System Centerand by Quentin Clark about SQL Server.

    From Partners in the enterprise cloud [The Official Microsoft Blog, June 24, 2013]

    The following is a post from Satya Nadella, President of Microsoft’s Server & Tools Business.

    The cloud computing era – or, as I like to call it, the enterprise cloud eracalls for bold, new thinking. It requires companies to rethink what they build, to rethink how they operate and to rethink whom they partner with. We are doing that by being “cloud first” in everything we do. From our vision of a Cloud OS – a consistent platform spanning our customer’s private clouds, service provider clouds and Windows Azure – to the way we partner to ensure that the applications our customers use run, fully supported, in those clouds.

    From: Leading the Enterprise Cloud Era [The Official Microsoft Blog, June 3, 2013]

    The following is a post from Satya Nadella, President of the Server & Tools Business at Microsoft.

    Today, I sent an internal mail to Microsoft employees to kick off a wave of product updates we are delivering to our customers and partners at TechEd North America 2013. The purpose of my mail was to share both the progress we have made and encourage all of our more than 90,000 employees to keep pushing in our efforts to revolutionize the enterprise cloud landscape.
    I am sharing this email with you, our customers, partners and media, to provide context on the transformation we have made, and to highlight Microsoft’s deep focus and commitment on the cloud. I encourage you to tune into the TechEd keynote, read the press release and sign up to receive preview software as it becomes available over the upcoming weeks.
    It’s an exciting time for Microsoft, our customers, and the industry. We are entering a new era, and I look forward to sharing more as we continue this journey together.
    Satya

    Leading the Enterprise Cloud Era

    Today at TechEd North America we’ll unveil key developments that signal just how far we’ve come as a leader in the enterprise cloud. We are announcing a new wave of Windows Azure services, a significant update to our server line-up (Windows Server, System Center, SQL Server) and new tools (Visual Studio) all built for the cloud.

    Two years ago we bet our future on the cloud and quietly refocused our 19 billion-dollar [enterprise] software business by completely transforming our products, culture and practices to be cloud-first. We knew the journey would be long and challenging with plenty of doubters. But we forged ahead knowing that the cloud transition would change the face of enterprise computing.

    As it turns out we were right to take this risk. Because of the fundamental shifts the cloud brings, more than 2 trillion dollars of overall IT spend is now up for grabs. It starts with the rapidly exploding world of devices and a new generation of connected apps that are revolutionizing life and business. Software-driven datacenters are making access to computing resources infinite and elastic. Big Data is changing the way we gain insight and act in business, science and society. Cloud is the central architectural paradigm that makes all of this possible.

    By applying this architectural approach to Microsoft’s own diverse set of internet-scale properties (Bing, Xbox Live, Office 365, SkyDrive, etc.) we’ve gained priceless insights into what it means to be truly enterprise-grade. By living this new paradigm first-hand, we have been able to build a cloud platform that spans IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. We also are unique in that we make our “secret sauce” of cloud infrastructure available to customers and partners to build and operate their own clouds. This is THE most encompassing vision in the industry and far exceeds what our competitors can say.

    To enable this transformation we had to make deep changes to our organizational culture, overhauling how we build and deliver products. Every one of our division’s nearly 10,000 people now think and build for the cloud – first. Our engineers live a “live-site” first culture to better respond to our customers in real time. And we are laser-focused on building more complete end-to-end service scenarios, or modern workloads, to deliver more value to our customers and partners.

    From TechEd Europe: Big bets and big opportunities [The Official Microsoft Blog, June 24, 2013]

    The following is a post from Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President of Windows Server & System Center at Microsoft.

    Microsoft has made a big bet on what we call our cloud-first design principles, and many companies are already benefiting. Key examples in Europe include Telefónica and DDM CineTrailer – both of whom are already operating Microsoft hybrid cloud solutions.

    Telefónica is the largest telecom company in Spain, and, as of July 2013, will deploy Windows Server Hyper-V and SQL Server, with the goal to virtualize more than 80 percent of its IT services and design for expansion into the Windows Azure platform as needed. The company expects this move to result in a 15 percent cost savings in the next three to five years while making their business more agile and productive.

    DDM is a digital media company from Italy that developed its popular movie-viewing app CineTrailer on Windows Azure. DDM’s customers expect to consume content through a variety of device platforms, and the agency’s previous solution, Amazon Web Services (AWS), could not scale easily enough to ensure all the services across PCs, mobile devices and connected TVs could be maintained – especially with the application’s rapid growth rate.

    These customer stories illustrate that our cloud-first approach is not dependent on something we’re promising out on the horizon – but it is possible with products that are ready right now.


    2. The Vivek Kundra’s initiative of “cloud first” was the origin
    :

    Vivek Kundra in Picking the brain of ‘rock star CIO’ Vivek Kundra [ZDNet, April 24, 2013]

    I instituted a cloud-first policy because I saw waste. The U.S. government had 2,090 data centers by 2009—at 27 percent utilization! So the government was building all this capacity that wasn’t being used. It’s very easy to say that you’ve got an IT project, you’re building infrastructure, providing compute and storage. But look at the average consumer’s experience with government: you’re on the phone.

    U.S. Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra, stated on December 9, 2010 in the IT reform plan:

    The shift to “light technologies,” that is, cloud services, which can be deployed rapidly, and shared solutions will result in substantial cost savings, allowing agencies to optimize spending, and allowing agencies to reinvest in their most critical mission needs. Agencies must focus on consolidating existing data centers, reducing the need for infrastructure growth by implementing a “Cloud First” policy for services, and increasing their use of available cloud and shared services.

    Government Saves $45 Million by Moving Email to the Cloud [DellLargeEnterprise YouTube channel, Oct 17, 2011]

    Dell Cloud: http://content.dell.com/us/en/fedgov/&#8230; The cloud first policy says that the Government doesn’t need all of the current infrastructure they have. It’s better to leverage the infrastructure of companies that are doing it better rather it be a public cloud or private cloud. The General Services Administration and the Department of Agriculture were able to save $45 million dollars by moving email to the cloud. It’s better to leverage the infrastructure of companies that are doing it better rather it be a public cloud or private cloud. The General Services Administration and the Department of Agriculture were able to save $45 million dollars by moving email to the cloud. http://content.dell.com/us/en/fedgov/cloud-computing.aspx

    Three years after US ‘Cloud First’ mandate, federal agencies struggle with implementation [Business Cloud News, Feb 10, 2014]

    Three years after the US government implemented a ‘Cloud First’ mandate that would require federal agencies to consider cloud-based IT services for certain systems, the federal public service continues to struggle with cloud implementations according to recently published research from Accenture. Annette Rippert, managing director of technology solutions and Accenture’s lead on federal cloud work said a lack of critical skills is the leading factor at play here.

    In early 2011 the then US chief information officer Vivek Kundra released the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy, which became known as ‘Cloud First’ because it required agencies to evaluate cloud-based IT solutions in many cases before making any new IT investments.

    But according to Accenture, which polled and interviewed 286 US federal government technology leaders, most agencies continue to struggle to develop and implement cloud strategies three years on.

    For instance, of the 20 cloud migration plans submitted to the Government Accountability Office for approval in 2012, only one has been completed. 11 of the projects failed to report performance metrics and seven did not include thorough enough cost estimates.

    Less than half of managers (43 per cent) are familiar with their agency’s cloud strategy. And only 30 per cent of survey respondents claim to be implementing cloud strategies, with just 4 per cent of agencies building out new (mostly private) cloud platforms.

    Rippert explained that while security and cost are still seen as key barriers, the central issue stems from these agencies not having the necessary skills in-house. More than two third of respondents (68 per cent) don’t believe their departments have the necessary skills to implement a cloud strategy.

    At least 31 per cent of respondents believe they would need to hire at least one more person to implement a cloud strategy, and 45 per cent of respondents feel their agency would have to invest somewhere between $25,000 and $50,000.

    At a time when the US is undergoing significant budget cutbacks, due in part to the 2013 budget sequestration, it’s difficult to get a sense of when these challenges will let up. Research and analysis firm IDC believes US federal government IT spending will remain flat well into 2015, which includes spending on training.

    “While there are initial challenges in the adoption of cloud computing, it holds the potential to play a major role in increasing government efficiency and service delivery,” Rippert said, adding that when properly executed US federal government agencies have too much to gain not to shift their IT systems to the cloud.

    Although not challenged by public sector budget cutbacks on the same scale, the UK government has seen similarly low levels of cloud uptake despite pushing its version of ‘Cloud First’, the G-Cloud framework. According to a survey released in December last year over 90 per cent of the wider UK public sector has yet to procure a service from G-Cloud, and 76 per cent of those surveyed claimed to have no idea what G-Cloud is.

    From the Wikipedia article Vivek Kundra:

    Vivek Kundra (Hindi: विवेक कुंद्रा; born October 9, 1974) is an Indian Americanadministrator who served as the first chief information officer of the United States from March, 2009 to August, 2011 under President Barack Obama.[1] He is currently the Executive Vice President of Emerging Markets for Salesforce[2] and a visiting Fellow atHarvard University.[3]

    He previously served in D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty‘s cabinet as the District’s Chief Technology Officer and in Virginia Governor Tim Kaine‘s cabinet as Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Technology.

    On December 9, 2010, Kundra published the “25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology Management”, which included Cloud First as one of its top priorities for achieving IT efficiency. Cloud First required each agency to identify three cloud initiatives.[48] He announced his decision to leave the federal government and join Harvard University within 7 months of this strategy, too short for any of cloud first initiatives to have demonstrated cost savings.[49] After a short 5 months at Harvard he left to join Salesforce, a cloud SaaS and PaaS provider.

    The first major cloud project during his tenure was GSA’s migration of e-mail/Lotus Notes to the Gmail and Salesforce.com’s platform. GSA awarded a contract for e-mail in December 2010 and a five-year contract to salesforce Salesforce.com in August 2011.[49] A September 2012 Inspector General report found the savings and cost analysis not verifiable and recommended GSA update its cost analysis. GSA office of CIO was unable to provide documentation supporting its analysis regarding the initial projected savings for government staffing and contractor support. The audit found that the agency could neither verify those savings nor clearly determine if the cloud migration is meeting agency expectations despite initial claims that indicated 50% [50] cost savings [51] 

    Kundra’s efforts to use cloud-based web applications in the D.C. government have also been considered innovative.[16] Following the D.C. example driven by Kundra, the city of Los Angeles is now taking steps to adopt the cloud computing model for its IT needs.[17] A D.C. spokeswoman said that the District of Columbia paid $479,560 for the Enterprise Google Apps license, which is $3.5 million less than what it had planned to spend on an alternative plan.[17] Since its deployment in July 2008 Google Apps is available to 38,000 D.C. city employees, but only 1,000–2,000 are actively using Google Docs. Only 200 employees are actively using Gmail.[18] In late 2010, hoping to spur use of Gmail, the city ran a pilot program, selecting about 300 users and having them use the Google product for three months. Google participated closely in the project, but Gmail ultimately didn’t pass the “as good or better” test with the users, who preferred Exchange/Outlook. In July 2011, the General Services Administration (GSA) became the first federal agency to migrate its email services for 17,000 employees and contractors to the cloud-based Google Apps for Government, saving $15.2 million over 5 years.[19] In January 2012, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) became the largest federal agency to migrate email and collaboration applications to the cloud, moving 25,000 employees to Google Apps for Government and saving 50% over the legacy Microsoft Exchange solution.[20] As of July 2011, government agencies in 42 states are leveraging cloud-based messaging and collaboration services.[21]

    Kundra also moved the city’s geographic information systems department to a middle school.[22]

    From Wikipedia article UK Government G-Cloud

    The UK Government G-Cloud is an initiative targeted at easing procurement by public sector bodies in departments of the United Kingdom Government of commodity information technology services that use cloud computing.[1] The G-Cloud consists of:

    • A series of framework agreements with suppliers, from which public sector organisations can call off services without needing to run a full tender or competition procurement process
    • An online store – the “CloudStore” that allows public sector bodies to search for services that are covered by the G-Cloud frameworks

    The service began in 2012, and had several calls for contracts.[2] By May 2013 there were over 700 suppliers – over 80% of which aresmall and medium enterprises.[3] £18.2 million (US$27.7 million) of sales were made by April 2013.[4] 

    Cloud computing caused a step change in the way information systems can be delivered. Given this, the UK Government initiated the G-Cloud programme of work to deliver computing based capability (from fundamental resources such as storage and processing to full fledged applications) using cloud computing.[5]

    G-Cloud established framework agreements with a large number of service providers; and lists those services on a publicly accessible portal known a the CloudStore. Public Sector organisations can call off the services listed on CloudStore without needing to go through a full tender process.

    After plans were announced in March 2011, the government aimed to shift 50% of new government IT spending to cloud based services by 2015.[6] Furthermore the government established a “Cloud First” approach to IT, mandating that central government purchases IT services through the cloud unless it can be proven that an alternative is more cost effective.[3][7][8]

    In June 2013 G-Cloud moved to become part of Government Digital Service (GDS) with the director Denise McDonagh moving to be CTO of the Home Office. Tony Singleton, COO of GDS, took over as director of G-Cloud.[9][10]

    Public Sector Internal Identity Federation will offer authentication services for public-sector access to G-cloud services.

    Cloud computing? No way, say half of SMEs [Computing (UK), Feb 7, 2014]

    As a statement of reality, the oft-repeated mantra “Cloud computing is ideally suited to smaller businesses” is about as helpful as “Brown-eyed people like biscuits”.

    First, like brown-eyed people, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are an extremely varied bunch. SMEs make up well over 90 per cent of all businesses in the UK. It is a sector that embraces everything from an app developer in London’s trendy Shoreditch to a family farm in the Scottish Highlands. And like biscuits, cloud services come in a variety of flavours, from simple storage space, to more complex software such as collaboration, mobility, CRM or office suites, to infrastructure or platform as a service, and even private cloud infrastructure. So, like many marketing mantras, this one is pretty meaningless.

    That aside, one thing that most SMEs do have in common is a small IT department, and renting rather than buying IT services and software may be a sensible way of stretching limited resources further. But is this enough to make them particularly suitable candidates for cloud, above and beyond large firms?

    Among the benefits of cloud most frequently cited by the industry are these: access to enterprise-grade technology; moving capital expenditure onto the operational budget; increased flexibility and agility as technicians are freed up to do more strategic work; and being able to expand and contract operations at will.

    You can see why all these would appeal, but on the other hand, the needs of smaller businesses can be very specialised, and as such may be better served by dedicated staff in-house.

    We surveyed a sample of 120 IT managers at UK firms with between five and 250 employees. Fifty-eight per cent operated from a single building, while at the other end of the scale five per cent had more than 10 premises. All sectors were represented, but as subscribers to Computing, the sample was slightly skewed towards the technical, so one might expect the respondents to be more receptive to the benefits proffered by cloud than average.

    imageNevertheless, one-half of the respondents said they run all their IT in-house. Equally the sample was split pretty much down the middle between those who perceived cloud to offer particular benefits to small businesses and those that did not (figure 1).

    Among the enthusiasts were a few firms (five per cent) who were already in the process of shifting their IT wholesale to one of the big public cloud providers: “We run all our SaaS products from AWS,” said the CIO of a small technology company, explaining that all in-house servers were being decommissioned in favour of a “cloud-firstpolicy.

    A further 11 per cent said they are undecided on further server investment and that ultimately their decision would depend on developments in the market.

    Far more common, though, was a hybrid approach. As firms develop and markets change, many will find it expedient to offload certain applications or administrative functions (most frequently email and backup, respectively, according to the survey) while retaining core IT services in house.

    “Our ticketing system needs to be highly available, highly resilient, and able to deal with huge peaks in demand. It’s not cost effective for us to serve this sort of system in-house or on-premise,” said the IT manager at an entertainments venue, an exponent of the hybrid approach who also confirmed that “local servers are and will remain the cornerstone of our IT infrastructure for the next three years.”

    In settling broadly on a hybrid model, smaller firms are no different to their larger counterparts.

    Overall levels of cloud adoption among UK SMEs seem little different to that by UK enterprises – if anything they are rather less. Half of those surveyed said they run everything in-house, while in a separate Computing survey conducted in November 2013 only 39 per cent of medium to large organisations said the same.

    If cloud really is ideally suited to smaller firms it would seem they’ve yet to get the message.

    Dropped connections

    Connectivity is one area where there is a real differentiation between large and small. Larger organisations will generally have the wherewithal to overcome deficiencies in local broadband provision, perhaps drawing on high-bandwidth services from several different providers. However, SMEs may not be able to afford this, having to make do with a single ADSL line while they wait for fibre to reach their area.

    Among the small organisations surveyed, only 76 per cent were fully satisfied with their broadband service in terms of available bandwidth, and 17 per cent said their connection is unreliable. This was sometimes due to a lack of fast broadband in their area. “We’re rural, so no fibre yet,” said one; “Desperate for FTTC, promised via the county council by December 2014” said another;

    “Sometimes it hangs, other times it drops totally,” complained a third. However an urban location may be no guarantee of good service: “City centre location but still limited to standard DSL, no Infinity, cable or other,” lamented an IT services firm from the heart of Belfast.

    For public-facing applications, the potential frustration and losses in productivity caused by unreliable connections to the internet makes on-premise systems the better choice. So, until connectivity issues are resolved, there will always be a proportion of SMEs that will not even consider the cloud option.

    “Mobile first”: the origins and the current meaning

    With Satya Nadella, the newly appointed CEO of Microsoft now emphasizing “mobile first” together with the already emphasized “cloud first” one is becoming curious about the origins of the concept as well as the meanings attached to it since then:

    Mobile First: What Does It Mean? [By Riley Graham for UXmatters, March 5, 2012]

    Mobile first has become a popular trend within the UX design and development communities. But, what does mobile first mean, exactly? I first encountered this concept at TechWeek, in Chicago, in the summer of 2011, when I attended a talk on mobile UX design by John Buda, who taught the audience how to write responsive behavior. I was stunned. By implementing responsive JavaScript, it’s possible to tell Web sites to adapt to whatever device a person is using to view a Web site. I had seen Web sites behave in this manner, but until that moment, I hadn’t understood that mobile first is both a strategy and a new way of writing code. I left the conference with some questions, including: What is mobile first? What is a mobile-first strategy? And, why is mobile first becoming increasingly popular? I’ve since come up with some answers to these questions that I’ll share with you in this article.

    Mobile First: A Paradigm Shift

    Many companies caught on to the mobile-first trend awhile back. Google surfaced their mobile-first strategy in 2010. As you’ve probably guessed from the name of this approach to site design, mobile first means designing an online experience for mobile before designing it for the desktop Web—or any other device. In the past, when users’ focus was on the desktop Web, mobile design was an afterthought. But today, more people are using their mobile devices for online shopping and social networking than ever before, and most companies are designing for mobile. Mobile first requires a new approach to planning, UX design, and development that puts handheld devices at the forefront of both strategy and implementation. The digital landscape has changed, and companies have realized that consumers are now accessing more content on their mobile devices than anywhere else.

    Mobile first shifts the paradigm of a Web-site user experience. Instead of users’ viewing desktop versions of Web sites on their mobile device with some adjustments, users are now viewing sites that have been created specifically for their mobile device. This begs the question: how will stationary, desktop computer users view these Web sites? They’ll still view versions of Web sites that were developed for the desktop Web—but designed with mobile in mind. This means designers should tailor site user experiences to the needs of users who are on the go and in multiple contexts. Text must be easier to read and navigate. Photos and maps should be easily accessible, and all content should adjust to display properly on the device on which a user is viewing it.

    Digital Strategy

    Defining a digital strategy is an essential part of developing a successful product or brand. A desktop-Web user experience strategy differs from a mobile user experience strategy. A traditional desktop-Web user experience is designed for keyboard and mouse interactions, and a strategy for such a user experience should take into consideration the context, the behavior, the audience, the targeted behavior, and the technology channel. The typical assumption is that users are stationary and viewing a browser on a large screen. It’s essential to design desktop-Web user experiences for all users who might access a site—from children to the elderly. On a stationary desktop computer, users can read and understand in-depth content and can type lengthy responses. For games on the Web, users manipulate controls using the keyboard or the mouse.

    A strategy for a mobile user experience considers all of the same factors: the behavior, the audience, the targeted behavior, and the technology channel, but the relative importance of these factors shifts depending on the user’s context. Mobile design employs less screen real estate, but introduces greater breadth to a user experience, according with the context of the overall experience. The needs of users change because their context continually changes. Users have a harder time reading in-depth content on a small screen. Without a keyboard, their ability to type is hindered. Mobile devices introduce new modes of interaction such as touch and gestures. It’s possible to play games in a number of different ways, by activating touch targets across an entire screen.

    Let’s consider an insurance company’s site as an example, highlighting the differences between a desktop-Web user experience strategy and a mobile user experience strategy. An insurance company wants to build an online experience. The home page of a desktop-Web experience might provide the means for users to call an agent and get a quote as its primary call to action. However, if the insurance company wanted to build a mobile experience, the focus might instead be on users’ context. Users might use the insurance company’s site on the go—to make a claim or get roadside assistance. Therefore, for a site that is optimized for mobile, it would be necessary to reorganize the desktop-Web content.

    Why Now?

    Currently, many Web sites are embracing a mobile-first strategy, but it’s taken awhile. Why is mobile first finally becoming a popular strategy? Mobile devices are now the primary means by which users are accessing Web sites, and the number of people using sites on mobile devices is projected to triple within the next year. Today, smartphone sales have actually surpassed personal computer sales.

    In addition to the consumption of content on mobile devices, another reason is the arrival of HTML5 and CSS3, which together offer new features that support responsive JavaScript calls. Developers can now tell Web sites to adjust their size and, as necessary, optimize their page layouts for particular devices. The mobile environment allows developers to create rich, context-aware applications. The way people access sites on their mobile devices is yet another reason mobile first has become so popular. The limited screen real estate of mobile devices encourages designers and developers to focus on the most important pieces of content. Thus, mobile devices provide users with a better overall experience for shopping, playing games, and making purchases.

    These days, the Internet is moving fast. By the end of 2012, it is projected that, in some countries, mobile networks will deliver one gigabyte of data per second through the Internet. This is 200 times faster than the current speed of the Internet in the United States. This increased speed will better support mobile browsing and Internet access, enabling users to complete many more tasks within a small time period when on the go. Cloud computing has also contributed to the popularity of mobile Web site use. When on the go, people can easily and quickly access large amounts of data in the cloud.

    All things considered, mobile first is changing the landscape of the Internet. It is a strategy that we cannot ignore. Examine mobile first as a new approach to designing the best user experiences possible. Considering a user’s context and behavior, as well as nature of your audience helps you to determine the best digital strategy for your product or brand. As new devices continually come onto the market, mobile first—an approach to design and development that considers a variety of devices and contexts—will be pivotal to your creating a successful product or brand.

    References

    IBM’s mobile first plan is really about cloud first. That’s all you need to know [by Stacey Higginbotham from Gigaom, Feb 21, 2013]

    IBM’s mobile first strategy is not only about mobile, but about IBM’s attempt to remake the entire IT infrastructure at many companies to use the cloud, data, and real-time nature of social networks to serve customers.

    IBM launched its mobile first strategy this morning with several media stories and more fanfare than facts. At the core of the strategy is that IBM (and its customers) have realized that mobile is changing the game in terms of how customers expect to interact with businesses, but also that in putting mobile first they need to change their entire IT to take advantage of it.

    As James Governor, an analyst at Redmonk, puts it in his very astute take on IBM’s news:

    MobileFirst is a really big deal, because it doesn’t come alone. Mobile first means Cloud First. It also means Social First. It also means Big Data First. API-first. You get the picture. When a customer has a problem they think is a mobile problem, it turns out its a Cloud-hosting problem, and so on. Every mobile engagement IBM does with a client is going to have significant pull through in other areas. In that respect IBM’s mobile commitment is somewhat like its Linux commitment back in the day. IBM won’t make money directly selling a mobile operating system (it will leave that space to the likes of Google), but in associated revenue streams and product lines.

    That right there is a point I tried to bring up with Paul Bloom, the Research CTO of IBM Telecom last week when we chatted about the announcement. I was excited about how IBM could pull all of those things together — after all, this is the company that makes billions on middleware — but Bloom was more focused on the telecommunications side of things. And IBM does have an impressive telecom heritage with a history of developing everything from the technologies used on the chips inside some networks to the software pulling the networks together. That doesn’t even count the IBM gear inside telco data centers.

    Bloom said that IBM has pulled together roughly 10 acquisitions since 2006 that will help with this effort with a special emphasis on WorkLight, a mobile application development platform, and BigFix, which manages distributed endpoints (like thousands of mobile phones!). Building the underlying infrastructure to support the mobile first world is tough.

    Connecting federated apps via APIs and across different platforms is a problem CIOs and developers are just now trying to solve. And making sure those pieces are then delivered in a beautiful and timely fashion to a massive number of different devices with different operating systems and capabilities is like asking a chef to make a meal that will appeal to every human on earth. That IBM is going after this is not unexpected, but it is a tough order.

    Mobile enterprise for beginners: What I learned in 2013 [IBM Mobile, Dec 27, 2013]

    Throughout 2013 I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with IBM Redbooks Thought Leaders from around the world who are experts in mobile enterprise. They include information architects, application developers and designers, software engineers, IT specialists, education developers and many more. I am an eager learner, so having the opportunity to collaborate with so many mobile leaders has been an honor. Let me share a few of the things I’ve learned this year as a beginner to the world of mobile enterprise.

    1. Acronyms are all over the place.

    MDM, MAM, MEAP, UX, M2M…the acronyms in mobile enterprise seem limitless. Thankfully our mobile experts have written helpful posts to explain some of the most common terms in mobile.

    If you’re new to mobility and confused by all the acronyms, check out Arvind Rengarajan’s “Mobilepedia: The hitchhiker’s guide to acronyms in mobility” and David Judge’s “Learn 10 key mobile terms in five minutes” for quick reference. Both provide an excellent overview of the prevalent keywords and acronyms in mobile, and they can help you to start familiarizing yourself with the significant mobile concepts.

    2. BYOD is more than a buzzword.

    Speaking of acronyms, bring your own device (BYOD) has been one of the hottest topics in mobile enterprise discussions in 2013. BYOD refers to an IT policy that allows employees to use personal devices to access enterprise data and systems. Essentially it means that you can use your own smartphone or tablet for business purposes, should you so choose.

    As Saurabh Pandya points out, BYOD can save companies money and be a huge benefit to workers since it gives them the freedom to choose their preferred devices and comfortably access work email and other resources while on the go.

    But of course BYOD raises security concerns too, so it’s essential that enterprises establish mobile device management (MDM) policies that strike a good balance between accessibility for users and security for the organization. Michael Ackerbauer’s post on finding your BYOD sweet spot helped me better understand how crucial this balance is.

    Is it time to update your mobile strategy for BYOD? Check out Gregg Smith’s advice in “Modernizing your mobile strategy for BYOD” about assessing your environment, defining your requirements and mapping out a plan.

    3. Mobile strategy is a must-have for enterprises today.

    By now you probably know that every company needs a mobile strategy, but what should it include, and how are leading companies today utilizing mobile technologies?

    Recapping the research findings released this year by the IBM Institute for Business Value, Adrian Warman explains that leaders use mobile:

    • to change the way they do business
    • to drive information engagement
    • to unlock and enable opportunities
    • to secure the enterprise, and
    • to get results.

    Adrian emphasizes the importance of four simple themes—transform, engage, build andoptimize—that can help businesses energize their mobile strategy and become mobile leaders.

    What specifically should companies think about as they develop a mobile plan for the new year? Another post by David Judge highlights six important considerations for your mobile strategy—everything from MDM to mobile security to analytics. And they are just as relevant for 2014 as they were this past year.

    4. Mobile is here to stay, and mobile first is the way to go.

    There’s one mobile statistic that I’ve heard more than any other in 2013—that 91 percent of mobile users keep their device within arm’s reach 100 percent of the time. No doubt, mobile devices have become an integral part of our daily lives, and they are now indispensible tools for business. As Anna-Maria Holdenried points out, they are changing the way we work and will present both challenges and opportunities for enterprises as the future unrolls.

    Mobile first refers to a design concept that prioritizes mobile online experience, and John Reddin does a great job of explaining the importance and value of mobile-first design. He argues that, given the prevalence of mobile devices today, “mobile design cannot be an afterthought” and “instead it should drive the entire application and web design process.”

    But perhaps as we move into 2014 mobile first is becoming more than a design approach—perhaps the concept now encompasses a wider enterprise strategy. I’ve certainly learned a lot this year about the popularity and prevalence of mobile—about how mobile is facilitating business around the world and how preparing for the future of mobile is a crucial element of any enterprise strategy. Welcome to a new year and a new era for mobile!

    What did you learn this year, and what are you hoping to discover about mobile enterprise in 2014?

    Mobile first at IBM Impact 2013 [IBM Mobile, May 8, 2013]

    Mobile first” was a resounding message of IBM Impact 2013. In the general session on day 1, Robert LeBlanc of IBM gave these five key imperatives for businesses to embrace:

    1. Put mobile first.
    2. Reinvent your business design and process.
    3. Adopt a flexible and secure integration model.
    4. Be insight and data driven.
    5. Build on open architectures.

    Why put mobile first? LeBlanc says that the next generation of users will expect it, and the numbers are compelling. Take a look at the emerging market in Africa, for example. In Africa, 90 percent of all phones are mobile devices. Eighteen million people use mobile phones as a bank. Mobile money transfers will hit $200 billion by 2015.

    LeBlanc said that doing mobile first is not just about exposing the data and interfaces of your enterprise systems to the mobile user. You must look at your enterprise from the mobile perspective in—which will require looking at your processes differently and looking at how users interact with those systems. This is an age where mobility comes second nature. Therefore, the logical next step is to reinvent your business design and process around this new paradigm.

    The Internet of Things”

    Vijay Sankaran of Ford provided a great illustration of this idea when he presented a new concept car, the Ford Evos, with Robert LeBlanc at the general session. LeBlanc called it a “rolling data center.” It is designed to provide “seamless connectivity” between the user and their “personal cloud.” With this kind of technology, trading stocks at 70 miles per hour can become a reality. Sankaran described how Ford worked with IBM to develop this vision, but he did not talk about the engine or horsepower (that is the old paradigm). The focus was on the user’s interaction with the vehicle. I think that we will see this design approach being taken with a lot of other kinds of “things” moving forward—not just mobile devices but appliances, buildings and our homes.

    Other imperatives were reflected in Target’s story. Keith Tanski and Kim Skanson of Target described how important it was for their retail business to provide a seamless customer experience across multiple channels. A shopping session can start on the web, continue in the store and conclude on a mobile device.

    image

    The challenge to retailers is trying to keep up with these kinds of expectations and the fast-moving mobile endpoint. Skanson used the analogy of the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California. This Victorian-era mansion was built over a period of 38 years by 147 different builders, without blueprints or a clear end result in mind. It has 160-plus rooms with 950 doors, some of which lead to nowhere. This is not unlike the problem of dealing with traditional systems. You cannot simply tear down old systems while they are still running critical processes. The answer is to adopt a flexible, end-to-end integration model, leveraging reusable components. Target is using a combination of IBM middleware products, such as IBM WebSphere Commerce and IBM Integration Bus, to accomplish this.

    That only covers part of what I saw at the general session on day 1 at IBM Impact, and I’m certainly not done talking about putting mobile first. There were other interesting speakers, new product announcements and an interview with Forest Whitaker. You can watch the full replay here.

    Designing for mobile first [IBM Mobile, April 17, 2013]

    There are now over one billion smartphones in use across the globe. This figure is expected to double by 2015. Tablet sales are also exploding. The software landscape is changing, so shouldn’t our design strategy change too? Modern users expect their services and information to travel with them and in a form that scales appropriately to their platform of choice.

    While desktop and web applications excel at offering a high degree of detail and customization, mobile and tablet applications must present a more task-focused design, yet with a consistent and familiar feel. Designing for mobile can bring new design influences back to the desktop, making your overall product better. Stark evidence of this can be seen in the latest wave of web applications and desktop operating systems, which are steadily moving toward a mobile first strategy.

    When designing for mobile first, we should follow some emerging rules of thumb.

    The design should be context aware and predictive.

    If the user reads though two pages of a document, we should assume they will read the third. If it’s evening time and the user has left the office, we can assume they are traveling home.

    User interface navigation should be clear and follow a similar pattern across all platforms.

    The user should already know how to use the desktop application simply because they’ve already used the tablet version. The reality is that any large-scale product will be comprised of use cases that are more suited to desktop (data entry, file manipulation) and others more suited to mobile (location-aware, audio/video capture, opportunistic). A mobile first design should capitalize on this, enriching the experiences that make the most sense on mobile rather than trying to fit a square into a circle.

    There are countless statistics showing that mobile traffic across all sorts of industries is exploding. Those who capitalize on the mobile wave will yield the most success. Designers must forget some of what was previously expected. Fast Internet, an always-on power source and a large screen are no longer guaranteed and cannot be expected. Connectivity from anywhere, anytime, with data about location, proximity, contacts, calendar and a phone can be expected. Rule 101 of design still applies: know your user.

    Mobile design cannot be an afterthought; instead it should drive the entire application and web design process. The easiest way to design for mobile first is to craft the experience for tablets and create modifications for desktop and phones. Mobile designers must rethink how mobile users interact with software. The usage patterns are more transient in nature. Think bus stops, sandwich queues, commuter trails, bedtimes—these are when your users will rapidly flick between apps and web pages. Your job is to grab their attention. Polish is key—if an app only does one thing, but does it right, people will use it.

    At IBM, we too believe in putting mobile first. Our recently announced portfolio IBM MobileFirst clearly demonstrates this. Our goal is to provide businesses with a true end-to-end set of mobile solutions that combines security, analytics and app development. Coupled with our unique set of business services and deep mobile expertise, we enable everyone to transform their business model and become mobile first.

    IBM Placed in Leaders Quadrant by Leading Analyst Firm for IBM MobileFirst [press release, Aug 12, 2013]

    Israeli Automotive Company Selects IBM MobileFirst to Transform Customer and Employee Experience

    IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Gartner has positioned IBM as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms.[i]

    image

    The new report places IBM in the Leaders Quadrant, as measured by completeness of vision and execution ability of IBM Worklight, IBM’s mobile application development platform. Acquired by IBM in February 2012, IBM Worklight is a member of the IBM MobileFirst family of solutions. In just one year, IBM has advanced from the Niche Quadrant to the Leaders Quadrant.

    My insert here: IBM Worklight [EuropeIBMSkills YouTube channel, Feb 5, 2013]

    This Webinar will introduce IBM Worklight, architecture and features. Worklight is designed to let you create hybrid Mobile applications using HTML5, Javascript and CSS as it’s business logic coding languages, packaged in a native mobile container to make it possible to run your application in a disconnected mode. Worklight also comes with a feature rich server component to solve business oriented application challenges such as security and authentication, backend service integration, unified push mechanism and much more.

    Today’s announcement follows a string of strong showings for IBM MobileFirst services and software capabilities, including IBM Worklight, in Gartner Magic Quadrants this summer. In July, IBM was named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing.[ii] IBM is also named a visionary in Magic Quadrants for Managed Mobility Services[iii] and Mobile Device Management[iv].

    According to the report, as this market reaches early mainstream status, Gartner expects Leaders to be profitable, and to present lower risk and consistently high project results as the market begins to consolidate and competition grows. Leaders must not only be good at cross-platform development and deployment, but also have a good vision of the multichannel enterprise, support for standards, a solid understanding of IT requirements, and scalable channels and partnerships to market. Leaders must provide platforms that are easy to purchase, program, deploy and upgrade. Leaders can focus primarily on either business-to-consumer or business-to-enterprise, but vision and execution scores are higher for vendors that can cover both use cases today.

    “IBM MobileFirst, which includes IBM Worklight, represents the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of services and software to help clients benefit from the emerging mobile economy,” said Phil Buckellew, vice president, IBM Mobile Enterprise. “Today, with 90 percent of mobile users keeping their device within arm’s reach 100 percent of the time, businesses need assurance that mobile apps can be deployed instantly and across a range of mobile devices including iOS and Android phones and tablets. This is where IBM Worklight and the IBM MobileFirst portfolio excel.”

    Colmobil drives greater customer service and improved efficiency with new mobile app

    As part of this news, IBM is announcing that Colmobil, a leading automotive company in Israel, sole representative of Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Mitsubishi, is using IBM MobileFirst solutions to boost efficiency and improve customer service. From garages to waiting rooms, Colmobil’s new mobile app unlocks the data stored in its systems and makes it accessible for employees and customers from any mobile device, including smartphones, tablets, display screens and kiosks.

    Using the new app, mechanics, team leaders and department managers can easily view progress of every vehicle the company is servicing and make better informed decisions to improve workflow. In addition, customers are provided real-time information regarding status of vehicle treatment from LCD screens in the waiting room or on the go via mobile devices.

    image

    “By teaming with IBM MobileFirst, we are now able to bring meaningful data to the right people, anytime, anywhere and in an easy to navigate format,” said Gil Katz, vice president of business technology, Colmobil. “With this mobile initiative, we have succeeded in our goal to revamp both the customer and employee experience. Not only have we increased the ratio of vehicles that are ready at the time promised to customers, we’ve also been able to improve mechanics on the workshop floor.”

    Using IBM Worklight, Colmobil was able to build a single mobile computing platform that eliminated the complexity of various business processes, devices and operating systems. The mobile solution also provides Colmobil with a highly integrated and secure platform that allows for flexibility in a fast moving technology market.

    To download a copy of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms, click here: http://ibm.co/13TU2Dm

    About IBM MobileFirst

    As the first new technology platform for business to emerge since the World Wide Web, mobile computing represents one of the greatest opportunities for organizations to expand their business. Based on nearly 1,000 customer engagements, more than 10 mobile-related acquisitions in the last four years, a team of thousands of mobile experts and 270 patents in wireless innovations, IBM MobileFirst provides the key elements of an application and data platform with the management, security and analytics capabilities needed for the enterprise.

    To learn more about IBM MobileFirst solutions visit the press kit orhttp://www.ibm.com/mobilefirst. Follow @ibmmobile on Twitter, and see IBM MobileFirst onYouTube, Tumblr and Instagram.

    IBM Pulse 2013 Keynote: IBM MobileFirst [IBM MobileFirst YouTube channel, March 7, 2013]

    IBM General Manager Marie Wieck, and Steve Smith from TBC Corp. talk about the opportunities to use IBM MobileFirst products and services to drive innovation, better customer experience, and increase revenue.

    IBM Unveils the Most Comprehensive Mobile Portfolio for Global Businesses: IBM MobileFirst [press release, Feb 21, 2013]

    IBM Doubles Investment in Mobile for 2013; Combines Software and Services Expertise to Help Businesses Succeed in Today’s Mobile World

    IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled IBM MobileFirst, the most comprehensive mobile portfolio that combines security, analytics and app development software, with cloud-based services and deep mobile expertise. Using IBM MobileFirst solutions, businesses can now streamline everything from the management of employee mobile devices, to the creation of a new mobile commerce app that will transform their entire business model.

    Today’s move by IBM builds off of its experience helping nearly 1,000 customers become mobile enterprises, and takes advantage of its thousands of mobile experts and 270 patents in wireless innovations. Additionally, IBM has made 10 mobile-related acquisitions in the past four years alone.

    IBM today is also announcing an expanded relationship with AT&T to provide developers with tools to create faster, richer mobile apps and services for customers. For instance, organizations can now quickly incorporate payment and messages into their apps.

    “To date, mobile computing has been dominated by discussions of new smartphones, operating systems, games and apps,” said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president, middleware software, IBM. “But enterprises have yet to tap into the potential of mobile business. Just as the Internet transformed the way we bank, book vacations and manage our healthcare, mobile computing is also transforming industries. As these devices become ingrained in everything that we do, businesses are now in the palms of their customers’ hands. IBM MobileFirst is designed to make the transformation to becoming a mobile enterprise a reality.”

    Through IBM MobileFirst, IBM is providing companies with the essential tools to take advantage of new business opportunities being enabled by mobile. To be successful in embracing mobile for driving revenue growth, clients must have an integrated strategy for mobile, cloud, big data, social business and security. Today’s announcements from IBM help clients harness these complex technologies to drive innovation and growth. Daegu Health College and the Dutch City of Eindhoven are prime examples of how IBM is helping clients transform using mobile.

    IBM MobileFirst includes:

    A Broad Portfolio of Mobile Solutions

    IBM’s mobile solutions portfolio provides the key elements of an application and data platform with the management, security and analytics capabilities needed for the enterprise. In addition to meeting mobile-specific requirements, the portfolio provides for rapid integration between social and cloud services as well as back-end technologies that help secure and manage strategic business processes. Key aspects include:

    • IBM MobileFirst Platform – New updates include expanded capabilities of IBM Worklight to simplify deployment. It also features single sign-on capabilities for multiple applications. A new beta of the Rational Test Workbench for mobile helps to improve the quality and reliability of mobile apps.
    • IBM MobileFirst Security – IBM extends its context-based mobile access control solutions and expands mobile application vulnerability testing with support for Apple iOS apps with thelatest release of AppScan.
    • IBM MobileFirst Management – New updates to IBM Endpoint Manager include enhanced support for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs and increased security standards that are critical to governments and regulated environments.
    • IBM MobileFirst Analytics – IBM is expanding its Tealeaf CX Mobile solution to give enterprises more visual insight into mobile behaviors so they can better understand where improvements are needed and create exceptional and consistent consumer experiences across mobile devices.

    To provide organizations with maximum flexibility and accelerate their adoption of mobile computing, these solutions can also be delivered through cloud and managed services.

    A Deep Set of Mobile Services for Clients

    Enterprises are embracing the mobile revolution at a rapid pace. IBM has thousands of mobile experts to help clients understand how industries will be transformed in a mobile world, based on client engagements across more than a dozen industries. The IBM MobileFirst portfolio features several services to help clients establish mobile strategies, design and implement mobile projects. These include:

    • IBM MobileFirst Strategy and Design Services – Clients can tap into IBM expertise to map out a mobile strategy for employees and customers, and key experience design skills from IBM Interactive to build compelling mobile experiences. IBM’s new Mobile Maturity Model can assess how a business is progressing towards becoming a mobile enterprise, while new Mobile Workshops help clients develop applications, architect infrastructure and accelerate their mobile progress.
    • IBM MobileFirst Development and Integration Services – IBM offers services that help organizations roll out a mobile infrastructure and manage mobile application portfolios and BYOD environments. Enhanced Network Infrastructure Services for Mobile provide IT network strategy, optimization, integration and management. Mobile Enterprise Services for Managed Mobility help manage and secure smartphones, tablets and devices across a business. Mobile Application Platform Management helps speed deployment of mobile infrastructure to develop mobile applications more easily and quickly.

    An Expansive Set of Mobile Resources and Programs for Business Partners, Developers and Academics

    According to IBM’s recent Tech Trends Report, only one in 10 organizations has the skills needed to effectively apply advanced technologies such as mobile computing. To help overcome this skills gap, IBM is rolling out a series of resources to help its ecosystem of developers, partners and academics tap into the mobile opportunity and augment existing skills or develop new ones. For instance:

    • Developers – IBM today is announcing a relationship with AT&T that will enable developers to enhance mobile apps by using IBM Worklight to access AT&T’s APIs in the cloud. Now, developers have another tool with AT&T to quickly and easily create apps with rich features such as speech recognition and rapid payment.

      IBM is also rolling out new technical assets on developerWorks and CodeRally, a developer game community.

    • Business Partners – With Ready for IBM MobileFirst, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) can also embed mobile technologies into their solutions and Software Value Plus now provides mobile certifications, workshops and incentives for resellers and systems integrators.
    • Academics – To help train the next generation of mobile developers, IBM is offering new faculty grants for curricula development. IBM is also making IBM Worklight available, free of charge, for the classroom and via online training to teach both students and faculty to develop for mobile environments.

    IBM Global Financing, the lending and leasing arm of IBM, can also help companies affordably transform into mobile enterprises. Credit-qualified clients can take advantage of simple, flexible lease and loan packages for the IBM MobileFirst portfolio –  some starting at as low as 0% for 12 months with no up-front costs –  allowing businesses to acquire essential technology and services while managing cash flow more effectively.

    Join IBM’s 30 minute announcement broadcast on February 28 at 12 noon EST, live from Mobile World Congress. Sign up at ibm.com/mobile-enterprise/events.