Microsoft may not be making any big hardware announcements themselves in Barcelona this week at Mobile World Congress, but it has been an important trade show for the Windows ecosystem. Microsoft’s OEM partners have been showing off their latest Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile devices which have ranged from reinventing the phone as the phablet that replaces your laptop and desktop, to new takes on the increasingly popular 2-in-1 hybrid laptop/tablet form factor.
And Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Windows and Devices Group, was in Barcelona meeting with OEM partners and welcoming “new devices to the Windows 10 family from ALCATEL, HP, Huawei, Trinity, Lenovo, Panasonic and VAIO.” On the Windows Blog, Myerson highlights some of the big new additions to the Windows 10 family of devices.
Being Mobile World Congress, with the emphasis on mobile, Myerson first highlighted the new phones.
One of the bigger stories in Windows 10 Mobile was the announcement of HP’s Elite x3. This 6” phablet phone is packed with more powerful hardware than the Lumia 950XL for a very specific purpose. HP hopes that Elite x3’s abundance of power will enable it serve as not just a phone, but also the users notebook or desktop thanks to Windows 10 Mobile’s Continuum feature.
VAIO also introduced the new VAIO Phone Biz, a full aluminum bodied 5.5 inch Windows 10 Mobile powered phone aimed at business users as the name suggests. It comes with a Snapdragon 617 SoC, 3GB or RAM, and 16 GB of storage with microSD expansion. It will also support Continuum.
The French company Alcatel introduced the Fierce XL, a more budget minded Windows 10 phone. It features a 5.5" form, with a 720x1280 screen, Snapdragon 210, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of onboard memory with a microSD slot.
Trinity also introduced the Trinity Nuans NEO, a new 5 inch phone that includes interchangeable two-tone backplates, a 13 megapixel rear camera, and a 5 megapixel front facing camera. It comes with a Snapdragon 617 SoC, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of storage with a microSD slot.
Panasonic announced the Toughpad FZ-F1, a full-rugged Windows 10 Mobile phone that is meant to survive the harshest on-the-job conditions.
While the Microsoft Lumia 650 was launched prior to MWC 2016, Myerson took the time to highlight their own latest phone aimed at business consumers with midrange pricing in mind.
Laptops and Tablets
There were also a few notable tablet and tablet/laptop hybrid announcements at MWC. The most surprising one was from Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei with the MateBook, a new 2-in-1 Windows 10 device. Their new 2-in-1 is a sleek looking thin bezel tablet which works with a detachable soft keyboard/cover. It runs a full version of Windows 10 and features a fingerprint reader, large HD screen, and Intel Core M processors.
Lenovo announced two new additions to their Yoga line. The new compact convertible laptops, the Yoga 510 and the Yoga 710, feature the 360 degree foldability to convert to a tablet, but come with laptop grade performance and an extended battery.
Samsung introduced the Galaxy TabPro S, a 12-inch detachable Windows 10 2-in-1. The Galaxy TabPro S features an Intel Core processor, active pen support, and 10 hours of battery life. But the big announcement at MWC regarding the Galaxy TabPro S was that it would support LTE cellular connectivity.
Panasonic showed off the world’s first fully rugged detachable laptop. Like their Toughpad phone, the Toughbook CF-20 is made to be extremely durable on-the-job device which can withstand almost any work conditions.
Finally, Getac announced the RX10, a rugged Windows 10 tablet designed for the healthcare industry. Specifically designed to help healthcare professionals, it comes with features like a touchscreen that works with fingers wearing surgical gloves, and allows you to swap out the battery without powering down the tablet.
If you want to see more about the new Windows 10 devices at MWC, Microsoft also made a Sway presentation to highlight the new devices which you can browse through:
While it is encouraging to see the latest devices OEM’s are constructing for the Windows ecosystem, the theme of these announcements was certainly on business minded applications for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. Myerson concluded his blog by saying to stay tuned for Microsoft’s Build Conference on March 31st when they will be sharing more on their vision for Windows 10.