MWC 2016: HP Launches Elite x3, Part Smartphone, Part PC
More of a phablet than a smartphone, HP's new Windows 10-powered Elite x3 is also designed to transition seamlessly to offer a laptop- or desktop-like experience. Unveiled yesterday ahead of today's opening of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, the Elite x3 isn't the only Windows Phone making its debut: VAIO, Alcatel, Trinity and Panasonic are also taking the wraps off new Windows 10 devices at MWC this week.
Windows mobile OS has always lagged far behind the Google Android and Apple iOS systems (it currently holds just a 1.1 percent share of the mobile OS market, according to the latest figures from Gartner). However, last year, Microsoft released Windows 10 as a universal operating system that provides the same experience across devices.
And that appears to have provided the impetus for the development of a new generation of Windows 10 smartphones. The latest update of Windows 10 Mobile is now shipping with Microsoft's newest smartphone, the Lumia 650. Additionally, the Elite x3 and other Windows phones being launched at MWC emphasize Windows 10 features aimed at the enterprise, rather than the consumer market. They also highlight new levels of security targeting business users.
'The Future of Computing'
HP's Elite x3, for example, supports two types of biometric security: fingerprint and iris recognition. The phablet is also designed to provide a secure laptop experience when docked to the HP Mobile Extender. Because the Mobile Extender doesn't store any data internally, all passwords, data and apps remain on the Elite x3.
"Our customer insights indicated that there are a group of commercial customers where their needs for mobility and PC-level productivity are not being met," Michael Park, vice president and general manager of Mobility for HP Inc., said in a statement. "The HP Elite x3 is where we see the future of computing heading -- one device that can truly act like every device: a modern technology solution for a mobile-centric workplace combined with greater benefits for IT."
Powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, the Elite x3 is also dustproof and water-resistant. It comes with front-facing Bang & Olufsen speakers designed to eliminate the need for speaker-phone attachments during conferencing. The price for the Elite x3, set to become available this summer, has not yet been announced.
Device Ecosystem 'Embracing Windows 10'
"With new phones, 2-in-1s, and notebooks, we're delighted to see the ecosystem continuing to embrace Windows 10," Terry Myerson, Microsoft executive vice president for the Windows and Devices Group, said today in post on the Windows blog. "The new devices we're seeing at Mobile World Congress build on the strong momentum we're seeing for Windows 10."
For example, the U.S. Department of Defense recently announced that it plans to upgrade four million devices to Windows 10 in the coming year, Myerson noted.
William Stofega, program director for mobile device technology and trends at the analyst firm IDC, told us the new Windows 10 phone announcements are good for Microsoft, as they show a revived interest in such devices by partner companies. The announcements also show that phone makers are seeing opportunities to bring Windows 10 to "devices that are purposely built for productivity," Stofega said.
Furthermore, he noted that by focusing on enterprise users, these phone companies see Windows 10 as a way to make life easier for professionals who no longer need multiple devices to do their jobs. IT teams will also find that approach makes device support and management easier, he said.
In addition to the Elite x3, Myerson also highlighted several other new Windows 10 phones making their debuts in Barcelona this week. They include the VAIO Phone Biz, a SIM-free smartphone "designed to operate seamlessly on international networks, making it ideal for business travel," the Alcatel Fierce XL, the Trinity Nuans NEO, and the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-F1, a rugged handheld aimed at mobile workers in the logistics, retail and utility sectors.
Image Credit: HP.
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Posted: 2016-02-25 @ 3:25pm PT
Windows 10 mobile is great, it deserves more credit! And an awesome job by HP! More to come....