At Mobile World Congress currently taking place in Barcelona, Microsoft has taken the opportunity to update those present the latest developments on Windows and Windows Phone. Regarding Windows 8.1, an update (commonly known as Update 1) will be coming this spring. Joe Belfiore, who is in charge of PCs, phones, and tablets at Microsoft, says there will be UI improvements that will make the OS ‘more familiar and more convenient for users with mouse/keyboard’. The company will also enable OEMs to build lower cost hardware (through lowering specifications and licensing costs for devices), which it hopes translate into even more competitive price points in the market. There will also be a few tweaks targeted at enterprise customers, such as features that improve IE8 compatibility in Internet Explorer 11.
For Windows Phone, Microsoft has announced nine new hardware partners, including Foxconn, Gionee, JSR, Karbonn, Lava (Xolo), Lenovo,LG, Longcheer, and ZTE. Along with HTC, Huawei, Nokia, and Samsung, the total number of Windows Phone hardware partners now stands at 13. Support for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 200 and 400 series chipsets, as well as soft keys and dual SIMs are also added. In essence, these moves enable Android phone makers to easily release Windows Phone devices with the same hardware.