Microsoft announced two new smartphone devices in the “affordable” category, the Lumia 640 and the slightly bigger 640 XL, at its press conference today, as well as previewing Windows 10.
The company promised Windows 10 will be launched later this year “with a steady drum beat of further reveals” around it, along with new devices in the “flagship tier”.
Microsoft said it has increased the size of its unified platform to attract developers and launched a mobile Office suite in partnership with AT&T for small businesses.
The Lumia 640 comes with a 5 inch HD display, single and double SIM capabilities in both 3G (€139) and 4G LTE (€159) versions and an 8 megapixel camera.
The 640 XL has a screen that is 0.7 inches bigger, a battery that lasts longer and a 13 megapixel camera. It costs €189 for 3G and €219 for LTE.
“You can buy three of these phones for the price of one competitive flagship device with parallel business features,” said Stephen Elop, executive vice president of the Microsoft Devices Group, explaining why the phones have superior value, especially to business users.
The phones come in cyan, orange, black and white among other colours and currently feature Windows 8.1 but will be upgradeable to Windows 10 once the latter is launched.
Microsoft has thrown in some freebies to attract customers: the new smartphones come with an incentive of free Office 365 subscription for a year, an Office license for an addition device, plus one terabyte of OneDrive storage.
Elop said the company is shifting its focus to “obsess” about not the “mobility of devices” but the “mobility of experience”.
Windows 10 will integrate a rich communication suite with Skype through its universal apps platform, which the company said is a “big focus area.”