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Last hurrah for Lumia? Microsoft launches new $199 Lumia 650 for business users

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Microsoft announced the launch of the Lumia 650 mobile phone on Monday, targeting business users with a device that could be a last gasp for the Lumia brand.

The phone runs on Windows 10, and comes in matte black or white. It will be available in Europe starting Feb. 18 and will retail for about $199.

Microsoft’s Lumia sales have been plummeting since the company announced plans to focus on a smaller number of flagship smartphones, under new CEO Satya Nadella. The company acquired the Lumia brand as part of its purchase of Nokia’s smartphone business, a deal pursued by previous CEO Steve Ballmer, but took a charge of nearly $8 billion on that deal last year as it scaled back its ambitions.

The company’s laptop and tablets use the Surface brand, and rumors have been swirling about the possibility of a future “Surface Phone” to supplant the Lumia lineup.

With the Lumia 650, Microsoft has gone back to basics. It comes with a 5-inch, 720p OLED display, aluminum frame which helps keep the handset light at 122 grams, Microsoft said. The phone’s face is protected by Gorilla Glass and powered by a quad-core 1.3GHz, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 212 processor. It also comes with an 8-megapixel camera at the rear, and a 5-megapixel front-facing, wide-angle lens, Microsoft said in a blog post.

In December, Microsoft announced a host of new features for Office Mobile and that it would ship on every Windows 10 phone. The Lumia 650 includes this software and out of the box the phone can be used to access Office 365 and similar business tools.

Microsoft noted on its blog post that the device is also set up to allow IT departments to test Windows 10 Mobile updates against their internal business systems and apps before distributing the updates to users inside a company.

Source: Geekwire Mobile

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