New Delhi: Domestic handset maker Micromax has partnered with Microsoft to offer Windows Phone 8.1-powered smartphones in the country. The deal - that was announced on Wednesday at Microsoft's Build 2014 conference in San Francisco - is expected to intensify competition in the smartphone space in India.
Microsoft Executive VP (Operating Systems) Terry Myerson on Wednesday said: “We are thrilled to welcome 11 new Windows Phone partners since Mobile World Congress in February, with the addition of Micromax and Prestigio just announced today”.
Delhi-based Micromax's revenues were Rs. 3,168 crores for the financial year 2012-13 and it expects to clock revenues of $1 billion for the last fiscal-ended March 2014. The mobile manufacturer is expected to release its first Windows Phone smartphone later this year.
Micromax, which is the second largest smartphone player in India, held about 16 percent market share in Q4 2013, according to IDC data. Some its top-selling models were the entry level smartphones like A35 Bolt and A67.
Besides, the software giant has also announced that it will offer its Windows operating system free to smartphone and tablet makers (for devices with screen-sizes less than 9-inches), a move that will help the firm compete with Google's Android and Apple's iOS in the fiercely competitive smart devices market.
This offering also enables hardware partners to provide their customers a one-year subscription to Office 365. The move, though surprising, will led to a fiercer competition in the smartphone and tablets space, especially in the backdrop of its plans to acquire the handset business of Finnish phone maker Nokia for $7.2 billion.
Microsoft's third CEO, Satya Nadella, since his appointment in February has been emphasising the company's focus on mobile and cloud.