x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Windows e-store for region

Microsoft partners with mobile distributor Brightpoint to launch online store dedicated to selling the Windows Phone in the Middle East and Africa.

Microsoft plans to launch an online store for sales of Windows Phone handsets in the Middle East and Africa.

The IT giant says the e-commerce site will be launched in partnership with the mobile-device distributor Brightpoint. It will be rolled out in the region with launches starting later this year.

The Windows Phone Online Shop will be available in English, French, Arabic and Turkish, Microsoft said.

The latest Microsoft Windows Phone system, known as Mango, was launched globally this year.

Gustavo Fuchs, the director of mobility for Microsoft in the Middle East and Africa, said 30 per cent of Windows Phone users had downloaded a free upgrade to Mango.

However, devices with the new Mango system already installed are not yet available in this market. The first such handset, the Acer Allegro, will be launched in the Middle East this year, said Mr Fuchs.

"With Mango, we're bringing devices that have lower price points, so a bigger population can afford those phones. And Acer is definitely in this category," he said.

Mr Fuchs said different manufacturers have "between 10 and 15 new devices built for Mango" in the pipeline. Nokia is set to unveil its first Windows Phone handset this year. But launch in the Middle East will be delayed until the second half of next year because the first of Nokia's Windows Phone devices will not support Arabic, according to Dow Jones.