” India’s First & Foremost Affordable 4G LTE Smartphone from Microsoft – MS Lumia 638 – December 2014.
Microsoft makes its impetus visible with the launch of its Microsoft Lumia 638, India’s first affordable smartphone with 4G network, a few days earlier, close on the heels of its Lumia 535 last month. Its Lumia RM 1069 and Lumia RM 1160 in the similar category had passed certification in Indonesia in July early this year, but will not be available in Indian market for now. Lumia 638 smartphone is priced at Rs 8299/- available for pre-order from Microsoft Store. I can visualize someone, somewhere smiling with pride !
Standard Features : 4. 5 ” display; Windows 8. 1 platform; 1. 2 GHz Quadcore Snapdragon 400 CPU; 1. 5 GB RAM; 8 GB storage expendable up to 128 GB; 5 MP rear camera; 1830 mAh battery with a day’s support. Features are more than satisfactory but for the ‘camera flash’ about which information is not available. No front camera for selfie enthusiasts, however. Apps and Games can be downloaded from Windows Phones Stores. Coming from Microsoft brand, the price is extremely competitive in this sub 10, 000 Rs range.
2014 could well be the year of Smartphones. Giants in the field came out with their flagship, high-end phones with a high degree of self esteem and dignity. Apple launched its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus; Samsung showed with attendant publicity its Galaxy Note 4; Sony showcased enthusiastically its X Peria Z3 ; and Blackberry ventured in to its revival with Blackberry Passport.
Affordable phone manufacturers were not to be cowed down either. Microsoft itself had Lumia 520, 525 and 535; Moto E from the stable of Motorola; Micromax, Spice, and Karbonn had their own in this category; EE Kestrol the 4G phone acclaimed as the best cheap smartphone; Sharp Aquos Crystal another in this category; “Obi” mobile launched by Ex CEO of Apple, John Sculley, ( who carries the distinction of bringing Steve Jobs to Apple first ); ‘Wiko’ mobile from France; Xolo from India – the last three are prominent in the emerging UAE market. These give credence to the view that there is huge potential with the capability to shape the market dynamics in unimaginable ways and big players need to be more innovative and alert. They need to bring out products, features in products on the fly in order to satisfy the customer experience.
Microsoft is possibly making a move with this realization. Rather than exploring new paths in the mobile sector, it appears to be ensuring its priorities with a move that will be made easily and swiftly to make it more visible at a time when it still finds itself in transition.
The need for companies to adopt at least fresh approaches to stay in competition set its foot when Chinese and other smaller players rolled out smartphones at prices 3 to 4 times lower than the Giants since 2010. Their growth was also more than anticipated and they tapped the unmet needs of the emerging markets. Emerging economies with huge population coupled with their inherent aspirations plus the government push aided them to stand firm in the crowd.
Perhaps, it spells the ‘Dual Approach ” of Microsoft’s strategic play to restore its status and pride and to keep the lights on. Windows 10 is expected in 2015. This could also spell a stage in the process of revamping after its severance with Nokia.
Notwithstanding the fact that no Windows phone has been launched across all major US Carriers since its debut in 2010, and disappointment from some quarters that Microsoft tends to ignore the high end phones now, its focus on ‘affordable smartphones’ supports strongly the strategy of increasing market share when emerging markets’ needs are taken account of.
Lumia 638 is the FIRST smartphone with 4G network in India. This seems to be its USP, although price, features of a high end phone, and its Brand name can still weigh in and help it stand apart at this point. it can thus be strongly differentiated from others in this category now. It is also to be noted that a few other existing phones from Lumia are 4G enabled.
Whether Microsoft can turn this USP to its advantage will be what the insiders as well as the outsiders will be watching in the days to come.
” Dieu avec nous “
Thursday, December 18, 2014 – 8. 09 a.m. ( IST )
Tidbit : “Microsoft’s opportunity rings in this Smartphone” – Raja
Third week of December didn’t start well for Australians as they were enveloped by the sombre mood in the wake of the lone wolf attack in Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Martin Place, one of the busiest places in Sydney, the financial capital of Australia. The terrorist seige taking 17 employees and customers hostage by the lone gunman, Man Haron Manis with alleged loyalty to ISIS, has been overwhelmed by The Sydney Police in 16 hours with 3 confirmed dead ( two customers and the gunman ) and 4 others injured in the process.
This is the first instance of a terror attack since the Australian PM, Tony Abbott, raised the ‘country’s alert level’ tightening restrictions to even news reporting on national security matters following the statement of an Islamic spokesman prompting Muslims in Australia to carry out individual attacks in September this year.
Two aspects merit attention here in respect of an excellent display of EMERGENCY RESPONSE, to such barbarious attacks, by the ever resilient Sydneysiders/Australians and the public world over. 1. The hashtag expressing solidarity with the city’s ( and the country’s too ) Muslim population – # illridewithyou – to ensure there is no immediate reprehensible and retaliatory actions precipitating the event further. 2. Twitter users’ support for Muslims garnering more than 3,00,000 tweets ( at this time of writing ) across social media to bring the temperature down.
Fear, anxiety, stress, sleep deprivation, uncertainty, confusion, and tension need to be replaced by a ” sense of calm ” – a psychologist says as important in such situations. Hostages and their families need all the support possible – she adds. It is also important to keep a strict vigil on children’s behavior to maintain their mental health in the wake of such disturbing events.
The gunman was the 49 year old, Man Haron Manis, living in Southwest Sydney, originally from Iran, a self proclaimed sheikh, charged with accessory in the murder of his ex wife who was allegedly stabbed and set on fire on a flight of stairs in her western Sydney apartment block. He was also arrested for the sexual assault of a 27 year old woman in 2002. How he has been walking the streets freely in Sydney and Australia without imprisonment is perplexing to say the least.
Two civilians who lost their lives include (a) Katrina Dawson, 38 year old mother of three, hailed as one of the best barristers in Sydney; and (b) Tori Johnson, 34 year old manager of the Lindt Cafe where the incident happened.
PM Tony Abbott could not say anything more than the act being a ” politically motivated one ” at this juncture without giving in to speculations or imaginations.
Guardian Correspondent, Chulov, in a pre analysis had this to say : ” More Australians per capita than almost any other nationality have travelled to join ISIS and Jabhat al Nusra ” – a statistic that will caution the government and will circle round the grey cells of the intelligent community as a whole. He adds : “There is a small and ill defined number of citizens in the mix ( of threats to Australia ) – those who have developed grievances over the past decade and are willing to hitch themselves to a terror group’s cause to settle permanent scores. ” Man Haron Monis may well fit in this category.
I may well personally like to see a situation at this time of deafening silence from the Muslim community to also come out easy with a statement ( from the entire Australian Muslim Community ) condemning this heinous, un-Islamic act of terror and horror against non-muslims as well as their own fellow Muslims in one voice.
It takes monumental strength and extreme courage to not be fearful and strive to unite as one Australian ( mankind ) and connect with each other for peace and harmony.
In any event, this attack should not be allowed to become a serious concern about a ‘new breed’ of ISIS in Australia. It should be nipped in the bud.
” Dieu avec nous “
Tuesday. December 16, 2014 – 7. 29 a.m. ( IST )
Tidbit : Peace, Progress and Prosperity anywhere, anytime, for anyone.
Strong effect, influence, generation of new ideas, thrust for new vistas of investigations, favorable impressions, clear course & direction to work, combine to make the ” Ebola Fighters ” collectively adorn the title of the ‘TIME’s Person of Year 2014’ with significance and entitlement. Citizens of the world will stand to feel their self-esteem enhanced with the exciting sense of credit showered on them.
” TIME’s Person of the Year is the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year. It is not TIME’s most liked or beloved person or even most politically correct but simply Person of the Year. “
The task is to pick who ( individually or collectively ) represent the news of the Year. The pick needs to have archival value. It has to stand the test of time. A force of history, it needs to be. Ebola Fighters remain and represent true to every cited regulation.
Ebola Fighters’ tireless acts of Courage and Mercy; and for risking, persisting, sacrificing and saving lives are fully and truly acknowledged. The spirit of ‘never say die, not quitting’ even while their colleagues fell ill and died comforted patients to a great extent.
I submit that Ebola Health Threat and the combative efforts helped open new vistas of investigation(s) and containment actions at the rate of knots from a diverse group of professionals and groups.
1. Health Care Threats like Ebola where the potential of the outbreak to last, spread, and engulf a larger area and population for a period challenging the control process that becomes a daunting duel testing the powers and capabilities of the ” Management ” are huge.
2. It brought together specialists in varied fields of Medicine, Paramedics, Management, Computer Science, Information Technology, Mobile Carriers, Government , Non-government Organizations, and even common citizenry.
3. The task of containment involved detailed descriptions of various locations of Ebola stricken patients, the problems they encountered, the resources/health care/ supplies like soaps needed immediately – a huge amount of data processing in fact.
4. A new dimension in Technology emerged fusing Robotics and Cloud Computing. Super computing and analytics technologies including Big Data and Cloud helped in the ‘portrayal’ of “trends” based on all information gathered which was to prove critical in combative efforts now and in to the future. Cloud learning saw a leap forward.
5. A flurry of research activities in laboratories, awakening initiatives, actions tracking people suspected of having contracted the virus pouring in TV broadcasts, magazines and internet were initiated and speeded up.
6. It induced Institutions, Health Organizations, Laboratories, and Survey Portals to gear up in contribution to the Containment process.
7. It spurred the Center for Disease Control ( CDC ) in U.S.A. to issue fresh guidelines categorizing the probability of risk with alacrity.
In sum, the people involved were not just BRAVE but much above AWARD SEEKERS. This, perhaps, is the decisive factor and judicious observation that marked the selection of Ebola Fighters worthy of the “title” of ‘ TIME’s Person of the Year 2014 ‘. A justified title to the deserving, harmonious, school of Individuals indeed.
” Dieu avec nous “
Thursday, December 11, 2014 – 01. 19 a.m. ( IST )
Tidbit : ” At the end of 1927, editors of TIME magazine looked at all covers and realised that they had failed to put Charles Lindbergh on the cover. He had done his historic flight in May, but no cover ! They decided they could get away with putting him on the cover months later by calling him ‘Man of the Year’. It was a stopgap then. It continues till this year, the 87th. “