Microsoft bins Nokia name with new smartphone range

Microsoft has marked the end of an era in smartphones by launching the first Lumia handset without the Nokia branding.

The Windows maker bought the Finnish technology company in a £4.6bn deal last year and has now shifted its Lumia brand of phones into its own Windows Phone range.

The new smartphone is the Microsoft Lumia 535, which runs on Windows Phone 8.1 and has 5 megapixel front and rear-facing cameras, a 5 in HD screen and can take one or two SIM cards.

Jo Harlow, Microsoft’s head of phones, said the devices come with access to five of its services: Skype, Office, OneDrive, Cortana and OneNote.

OneDrive offers users 15GB of free cloud storage; Cortana is Microsoft’s voice-based personal assistant; and OneNote is a digital note-taking softtware that allows users to edit Office documents.

The mobiles expert Rob Kerr, from comparison website uSwitch, said Microsoft’s decision to abandon the Nokia brand was similar to Sony’s move in dropping the Ericsson branding.

“The Lumia 535 is a strange launchpad for Microsoft to flex its muscles with as mobile maker. It’s not a standout model, but an affordable, entry-level handset, and it’s set to miss the Christmas shopping rush. But perhaps the point is to leave us wanting more,” he said.

The Lumia 535 will go on sale in Britain early next year and cost about €110 (£86), but will become available in the US later this month. It is available in six colours: bright green, bright orange, white, dark grey, cyan and black.

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Powered by article was written by Chris Johnston and agencies, for on Tuesday 11th November 2014 15.10 Europe/ © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010