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Microsoft Launches Next Generation of Nokia X Android Phone

As part of its ongoing effort to expand the use of Windows services in emerging markets, Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled the Nokia X2, the second generation of Nokia's low-cost, Android-based smartphones.

The Nokia X2 will be available worldwide beginning in July for 99 euros, or about $135 USD. The device runs a "forked" version of Android derived from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), meaning it does not come with Google services out of the box. Instead, the Nokia X2 comes with a mix of Nokia and Microsoft services preinstalled, including Skype and Outlook.com. It also comes with 15GB of free OneDrive cloud storage.

Other Microsoft services, such as Bing Search, OneNote and Yammer, are available for download from Nokia's app store. The support for OneNote and Yammer are new for the Nokia X2.

In its announcement on Tuesday, Microsoft called the Nokia X2 "a gateway to Microsoft services," echoing its comments about the first-generation Nokia X, which debuted at February's Mobile World Congress event. At that time, Microsoft had described the Nokia X as an opportunity to introduce users in emerging markets to Windows services, while still allowing the company to focus on its own Windows Phone platform.

The Windows Phone-based Nokia Lumia "is our primary smartphone strategy," said Jussi Nevanlinna, vice president of product marketing for mobile phones at Microsoft, in a prepared statement. "At the same time we believe that everybody should have easy and direct access to the most popular Microsoft services, such as Outlook, OneDrive, Skype, and now also OneNote through Nokia Store. More people are now connected to the Microsoft cloud through Nokia X."

Since its release, the Nokia X has become the No. 1 smartphone in Pakistan, the No. 3 smartphone in India, and the top-selling smartphone in its price category in Russia, Kenya and Nigeria, according to Microsoft.

The Nokia X2 has dual-SIM capabilities, runs on a 1.2 Ghz Snapdragon dual-core processor and comes with 1GB of RAM. It features a 4.3-inch display, a front-facing VGA camera and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera. New to the device are a number of navigation improvements, including the addition of a Home key, access to the task manager via the Back key, and a new apps list.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editor of Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and AWSInsider.net, and the editorial director of Converge360.

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