And Microsoft’s frustrating release time-line announcements for Windows 10 continue. While the Redmond giant has revealed that Windows 10 is coming this Summer, it continues to dodge away from releasing the exact launch date for the same.
While there is nothing more to add on to that announcement, apart from the fact that Microsoft’s OS will be released in 190 countries and 111 languages, Microsoft did reveal an interesting piece of information at its Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) summit in Shenzhen, China.
Microsoft, though in minimal and vague terms, revealed details of partnership with Xiaomi on hardware fronts. While we all know Xiaomi’s prowess in the Android division, Microsoft has signed this partnership to allow a select group of Xiaomi Mi 4 power users to help test Windows 10 and contribute to its future release later this year.
While many may think that this could be the dual OS affair which Microsoft unsuccessfully initiated in India (remember that Karbonn dual OS smartphone ? ), Microsoft has further revealed that it is more of a custom ROM, which would offer native Windows experience on Android devices, similar to what a Cyanogen Mod does to your Android.
Further, in a statement to The Next Web, Microsoft said,
As part of the Windows Insider Program, Microsoft will partner with Xiaomi to offer Windows 10 free downloads to a select group of Xiaomi Mi4 users. Xiaomi Mi4 users will get the ability to flash their phones with the new Windows 10 OS and provide feedback to Xiaomi and Microsoft on their experience. This partnership will allow Xiaomi and Microsoft to get direct user feedback and continue to improve the experience for China. Microsoft is thrilled to see Xiaomi embracing Windows 10 and offering this great value to their customers. We’re excited to see the feedback we receive from this audience.
Xiaomi is a leading phone manufacturer in China undergoing significant global expansion. We are excited to partner with them in China and jointly gather feedback from Chinese users on their experience with Windows 10 to jointly collaborate on product and services development for the platform.
Availability will be announced in the months to come.
Now we all know how massively successful Xiaomi has been, which later resulted in a valuation of over $40 Billion for the company. Xiaomi’s success can easily be attributed to both affordable pricing and innovative software & hardware availability, both of which Microsoft is well aware of. This partnership, though described in pretty vague terms by both the companies, promises to be fascinating if we look at it with a prospect of future for Windows devices in mind.
The company further revealed that it has partnered with major software companies in China to deliver a seamless Windows 10 upgrade experience to its customers in China. These Strategic partnerships have currently been struck with Lenovo, Tencent and Qihu 360 and Microsoft expects these to help spur adoption of Windows 10 in China, and worldwide.
Lenovo announced they will offer Windows 10 upgrade services at 2,500 service centers and select retail stores in China when the Windows 10 upgrade is available.
Tencent announced it will offer Windows 10 as a free upgrade to its customers on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 in China, and include QQ, Tencent Video and Tencent PC Manager in the Windows 10 free upgrade pack. Tencent will also create a Windows 10 universal app for their flagship QQ app, which has over 800 million customers in China, and bring their most popular PC games, such as “League of Legends,” “Cross Fire” and “Dungeon & Fighter” to Windows 10 and the new Windows store.
Qihu 360, a leading internet security company in China, announced it will bring Windows 10 for free to their customers in China through seamless upgrades.
Microsoft also introduced the Qualcomm DragonBoard 410C to the Windows 10 device family. The Qualcomm DragonBoard 410C is the first Windows 10 developer board with integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, and a smartphone-class Snapdragon 410 chipset.