Nothing earth-shattering from Microsoft at Mobile World Congress today, but then again they aren’t known for making waves in this arena. However, they do have a (much-maligned) mobile OS that’s getting an upgrade, so it’s nice to hear all about it at a proper industry event touting innovation and the future of the industry.
At an event hosted by Microsoft, VP Joe Belfiore announced that Windows Phone 8.1 is coming around April with key hardware support changes such as: support for Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 200, 400, 400 LTE chipsets, TD-LTE, TD-SCDMA SGLTE and support for dual SIMs. On-screen buttons like on Android are now supported, allowing OEMs to make handsets without the three physical hardware buttons. Hardware camera shutter button is also no longer a requirement. With Windows Phone 8.1, users will now be able to store apps on microSD cards. Those of you who struggled with SD issues with earlier iterations of Android can relate to how much of a relief this is.
Windows Phone 8.1 will be backwards-compatible with most of the existing Windows Phone 8 hardware on the market. Microsoft also took the opportunity to announce new hardware partners, with LG, Lenovo, ZTE, Xolo, Karbonn, Lava all onboard for Windows Phone 8.1 powered devices. For those of you who love Facebook, there is some good news. Official dedicated Facebook Messenger app is coming to Windows Phone in the coming weeks.