6 things to expect in mobile from Microsoft's Nokia acquisition
So Microsoft has bought the best bits of Nokia, and given their already cozy relationship, the two companies will likely be working as one much more quickly than, say, Google and Motorola did. What can we expect from the next couple years of this intriguing mashup?
#1. Pureview rolls out en masse
One of the few things Nokia is truly known for in the modern smartphone market is actually innovating in the camera space. Most skeptics of the 41-megapixel Pureview sensor have been silenced by its versatility and image quality. Sure, there's work to be done in speeding it up and adding features, but the core technology is unique and powerful.
Microsoft knows this adds a big card to their hand, and Pureview will almost certainly be a flagship feature of Windows Phones from now on. It won't be on every device, but you can be sure it's going to hit a lot more models than just the top-end superphones.
#2. Windows slums it at the low end
Shipping dumbphones with a dead-end OS doesn't fit Microsoft's plan to nibble away at the smartphone market. Nokia's approach has led to years of decline, but they still have reach, especially in emerging markets. Microsoft will want to use this reach to put some kind of Windows Phone device in the hands of someone trying to decide between a Samsung flip-phone and a Nokia Asha.
This won't be easy — but it may be a better fit for a cut-down version of an OS than in the disastrous Windows RT tablets. A Windows Phone "lite" running on cheap hardware could put millions into Microsoft's world of services.
A side effect of this will be an attempt to freeze Android out of the budget segment. Every month, Android phones get closer and closer to supplanting dumbphones in massive markets like India and China. Offering a killer low-end phone will halt the enemy's progress and boost friendly ranks.
#3. Photos get a social and cloud boost
Microsoft may have recently updated its Skydrive service with better photo options, but they're still lagging far behind Apple and Google when it comes to a smooth, connected photo-taking and sharing experience. Microsoft should be bending over backwards to make sure apps like Instagram and Vine are available on Windows Phone, while pushing connections with Facebook to the maximum. Why, for example, isn't Binging all your and your friends' Facebook photos and tags already a homepage action? And why is WP always the last to be supported by the cool new thing?
Nokia has a lot of thoughtful software engineers who have built accessible, innovative apps over the last few years, and they may combine with Microsoft's vast ecosystem of services to make something powerful. Or at least, it's possible.
#4. Skype everywhere
Microsoft has been waiting for a way to extend the mobile reach of Skype for a long time, and this is a great opportunity. Include it (with some sort of sweet data deal) on every Windows Phone as an answer to FaceTime and Google Hangouts and watch as users stick with the default. Want to bet every phone Microsoft sells starting a year from now has dual cameras?
#5. Industry acquaintances get the cold shoulder
After an initial (and largely ineffective) push, companies like Samsung and LG have offered only lukewarm support of Microsoft's newer platforms. Microsoft thanked them both with the self-produced Surface tablets, and by partnering for all intents and purposes exclusively with Nokia. Expect this frosty relationship to chill even further now that Microsoft has no particular need for their design and manufacturing prowess.
#6. "Nokia" will stick around
A few comments have been made about the branding of devices: Microsoft Windows Phone Nokia Lumia 1020 is about four words too long, and many have suggested that "Nokia" is on the chopping block. That's doubtful. Nokia is one of the most well-recognized mobile brands in the world, and has many positive associations. Windows Phone and Lumia are newer and more mixed. Moreover, callously retiring a cherished and valuable brand would be very bad PR.
No, Microsoft's best move is to make sure that "Nokia" is solely associated with Windows, so much so that they don't have to say it in the name. If anything, "Nokia" will be the last brand standing when it comes to what's actually advertised. Intel, after all, didn't tell Dell to call their computers "Intel Pentium Inspirons"... yet "Intel Inside" is a brand that persists to this day, while "Inspiron" is virtually without cachet. Google relaunched Motorola rather than absorb it.
|Patrick Finds Inner Peace by ecastellon|
from Your best photo of the week!
|Forks by Kukla|
from Arranged everyday objects
The 3D printed panoramic film camera known formerly as the "Cycloptic Mustard Monster" is officially available as a DIY kit through Kickstarter.
Snapchat is using its augmented reality tech to replace the sky in your photos. The so-called 'sky filters' can swap out a boring sky for a colorful sunset, rainbows, a starry night, and more.
A court ruling our of Newton, Massachusetts has set an important legal precedent for drone pilots: federal drone laws will now trump local drone regulations in situations where the two are in conflict.
Photographer Mathieu Stern has put together another interesting vintage lens shootout. One model, three lenses, three locations.
From landscapes to motocross and white water kayaking to a wedding, exactly what can't the D850 do?
Calumet UK and Wex Photographic, two of the biggest photography retailers in the United Kingdom, are going to officially merge tomorrow.
macOS High Sierra came out today, but if you use a Wacom tablet you need to wait a few weeks before you upgrade. According to Wacom, they won't have a compatible driver ready for you until "late October."
Do you think a $3,000 Canon 80D video rig can compete with an $80,000+ Arri Alexa setup? Well it can't, but check out this video anyway to see how the rigs compare.
Seven simple rules to make sure you get the most out of your next photography outing.
Vitec, the company that owns popular accessory maker Manfrotto, has just acquired JOBY and Lowepro for a cool $10.3 million in cash. The acquisition adds JOBY and Lowepro to Vitec's already sizable collection of camera gear brands.
A master drone pilot has captured one of the most incredible (and highly illegal) drone videos we've ever seen by flying around, inside, onto, and under a moving train.
Intel just debuted their 8th generation desktop CPUs, and the lineup packs a performance boost for 'content creators' that photo and video editors might be intrigued by.
Canon is developing a 'Free Viewpoint Video System' that will turn real life sports games and events into immersive 3D interactive experiences. It's video game-like camera control IRL.
A veteran photojournalist, Rick Wilking secured a spot in the path of totality for the August solar eclipse. While things didn't quite pan out as predicted, an unexpected subject in the sky and a quick reaction made for a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
The new iZugar 3.25mm F2.5 super fisheye lens offers an insane 220-degree angle of view. That means it can basically see behind itself... good luck keeping your feet out of the shot.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll remember that time you took a picture of the frozen pizza baking directions.
A Craigslist poster has discovered the worst possible way to photograph a car: taking pictures of pictures displayed on a cracked and scratched up smartphone screen.
With the iPhone X coming out soon, the title probably won't last, but the iPhone 8 Plus is officially the best smartphone camera DxOMark has ever tested, and the iPhone 8 is second.
Kodak's new Facebook Messenger chatbot is trying to bring back the 'Kodak Moment' by digging up your old social media photos and trying to sell you prints and custom coffee mugs.
Affinity Photo for iPad was touted as "the first full blown, truly professional photo editing tool to make its way onto the Apple tablet." This update makes it that much more convenient.
Yashica has released a new teaser video, and this one claims they'll be releasing an "unprecedented camera" in October on Kickstarter. Ready... set... speculate!
Storage solutions company Synology has just released its very first 6-bay NAS tower. Combined with the DX1215 expansion units, it can hold and control up to thirty drives.
We're always expanding our collection of product overview content, and we've just added videos for the Canon EOS 6D Mark II, the EOS Rebel SL2 and EOS M6.
The venerable Canon PowerShot G1 was announced seventeen years ago this week, marking the start of a line of enthusiast-focused compacts that's still alive and kicking.
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.