Microsoft’s Build Conference Kicks Off Big AprilMicrosoft’s Build Conference Kicks Off Big April
Microsoft’s (MSFT) Build 2014 developers’ conference, slated for April 2 in San Francisco, kicks off an eventful month for the vendor that includes a Windows end date, two Windows updates, a deal closing and an important promotion, among other comings and goings.
March 31, 2014
Microsoft’s (MSFT) Build 2014 developers’ conference, slated to begin April 2 in San Francisco, kicks off an eventful month for the vendor that includes a Windows end date, two Windows updates, a deal closing and an important promotion, among other comings and goings.
At Microsoft’s Office for iPad announcement last week, chief Satya Nadella offered a few crumbs about what’s coming at the Build developer conference. “I’ll be back at Build, and many other leaders from our company will be here talking about the innovations in Windows, because one of the questions right up front I wanted to address is, ‘What about Windows, where does Windows fit in with all of this?’ ” he said.
“Windows is a massive agenda for us,” Nadella said. “We will innovate, and you will see us talk about the great innovations in the operating system and great innovations in devices.”
Here’s what you’re likely to see at Build:
Windows Phone 8.1 with some new features including a notification center, the Cortana voice assistant, an IE password manager, the ability to see emails offline, improved battery management and on-screen navigation support.
Windows 8.1 Update 1
Could we also see a glimpse at Windows 8.2 and maybe a preview of Windows 9? Or apps for Google (GOOG) Android tablets and phones?
More on XP
Only a few days after the Build conference closes, Microsoft will end support on April 8 for Windows XP. In acknowledging that there’s been no stampede away from XP, the vendor is giving customers $100 toward the purchase price of a Surface Pro 2 or select PCs. Microsoft has excluded its Surface 2 and RT tables from the promotion, which runs through June 15 and also includes 90 days of free support and free data transfer of the customer’s information.
To get the discount, customers have to make an online purchase with a machine running XP or haul their XP unit into a Microsoft Store. The catch is the new computer must be priced at $599 or higher and customers are limited to choosing from a pre-set list of 24 systems. Users who might be perfectly satisfied with a lower-priced PC or tablet aren’t incented to take advantage of the discount.
Nokia deal closing soon
Sometime before the month closes, Microsoft’s $7.2 billion deal with Nokia (NOK) should finally close, reportedly pending approval from Chinese authorities. Now that the vendor has rebranded Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure, will it consider following suit for Windows Phone once the Nokia deal is done?
With Nokia’s Lumia and Asha brands, along with the Android-based Nokia X, would Microsoft consider rebranding Windows Phone to give an umbrella identification to its entire family of smartphones running on its mobile OS?
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