Microsoft flashes cash to promote WP7

Steve Dinneen
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MICROSOFT will hand £28m to Nokia and Samsung to spend marketing handsets running the latest version of its Windows Phone mobile software.

The move is Microsoft’s latest attempt by to force its way into the smartphone market, with Windows Phone 7 (WP7) languishing in an industry increasingly dominated by Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.

It is understood the lion’s share – around £20m – will be dished out to close ally Nokia, which earlier this year said it would scrap its own Symbian platform to work exclusively with Microsoft. Samsung, which will get the remainder of the cash, is a key partner for Microsoft. Its handsets have surged in popularity, driven by the success of the Galaxy S2, and offer the US giant a chance to gain real traction. It recently launched its Focus Flash and Focus S handsets running the ‘Mango’ update of Windows Phone 7.

Meanwhile, analysts at IHS have estimated Amazon will take a smaller than expected $10 (£6.30) loss on each unit of its new tablet it sells.

The Kindle Fire retails at just $199 but costs $209 to manufacture. Amazon also sold its original Kindle readers at a small loss.