No-Windows-Phone-8-Upgrade Decree No Good For Nokia

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Doug Dawson, Nokia's director of communications, said that despite its inability to upgrade its current line of Lumia smartphones to Windows Phone 8, the Finnish handset maker is optimistic about the new release.

"We are excited by the Windows Phone 8 update. Windows Phone 8 will now share the same core OS technologies as Windows 8, providing a platform for accelerated innovation," Dawson wrote in an e-mail to CRN. "It includes a new UI, new app capabilities, IE10, new hardware support such as NFC, a choice of three display resolutions, SD cards and multicore processors. With support for 52 languages and with apps available in over 180 countries Windows Phone becomes a global experience with Windows Phone 8."

Nokia, along with Samsung, HTC and Huawei, will be some of the first smartphone manufacturers out of the gate with Windows Phone 8 devices later this year, according to a blog post Tuesday from Windows Phone Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore.

As for its existing lineup of Lumia smartphones, Nokia's Dawson said the company will transition them to Windows Phone 7.8, an upgrade for which the company is "equally excited."

"The Lumia 900, Lumia 800, Lumia 710 and Lumia 610 will receive an update with new Windows Phone 8 features, including the new start screen," Dawson told CRN. "Current Lumia owners will also receive a pattern of updates from Nokia that will deliver new features like Wi-Fi tethering, flip-to-silence and media content streaming, as well as new exclusive applications like Camera Extras, games coming from Zynga -- the maker of FarmVille -- as well as updates to Nokia Drive and other signature experiences."

Dawson declined to comment on how many Lumia smartphones Nokia has sold to date. Earlier this month, however, Nokia lowered its second-quarter financial outlook for fiscal 2012, due to competition in the smartphone market having reached a "greater extent than previously expected."

The company also revealed plans to cut approximately 10,000 jobs through the end of 2013 and close three of its major manufacturing sites in an attempt to reduce operational costs.

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