Interview: Vineet Durani — Director, Windows Phone Business Group |

Interview: Vineet Durani — Director, Windows Phone Business Group

We discussed the various aspects of Windows Phone 8 to help clear some doubts.

Interview: Vineet Durani — Director, Windows Phone Business Group

Windows Phone 8, which is the latest mobile OS from Microsoft, launched earlier this week. It boasts of quite a few new features, including resizable Live Tiles reflecting status updates, pixel-packed HD screens, NFC for easy and convenient transactions, the much-awaited microSD card slots, and unrestricted Bluetooth file transfer. I had a chance to chat with Vineet Durani, Director, Windows Phone Business Group at the Delhi launch event, and clear a few doubts that I had about WP8.

Interview: Vineet Durani — Director, Windows Phone Business Group 

With mass storage device mode being made available, will Zune finally retire for good? Or will it be still required to transfer multimedia files to WP8 devices?
The Zune music and video service have been a key component of Microsoft's entertainment offering a leading music service. We've leveraged our expertise from Zune to launch a new music service called Xbox Music, which brings a world-class music library and great new ways to enjoy, share, and discover new music. Xbox Music is available on Xbox 360, Windows 8 PCs, Tablets, and Windows Phone 8. In the first phase of the rollout we have included 22 countries and we will continue to look for opportunities to expand Xbox Music to other geographies in the future. Currently, India is not one of the markets where Xbox Music will be available.

Zune software would be required to use with Windows Phone 7.x devices to sync multimedia files. For Windows Phone 8, while all synchronization happens via cloud services such as SkyDrive, Xbox Live, or Office 365, the consumer also has an option to sync multimedia files via the Windows Phone app on Windows Phone Store, Windows Desktop App (Win 32 app) as well as iTunes for Macs.

Will there be Bluetooth transfer without any restriction on file types, and will it be possible to transfer them to non-WP devices?
Windows Phone 8 has Bluetooth to transfer all kinds of files and contacts from any phone to another Bluetooth-enabled phone without any restrictions.

Considering the strong competition from Apple and Android phones, what are your expectations on the growth of the Windows Phone market-share?
The smartphone market continues to grow rapidly and there's a strong appetite for a new approach and a third ecosystem. We've all seen how quickly market share can shift in this business. In the last one year, we have got a great amount of traction for all our devices. Consumers have loved the platform and the latest Nokia Lumia 610 has done very well. We believe consumers looking to switch to a smartphone for the first time will love the huge 4” screen on the Nokia Lumia 510 that allows them to get a great Windows Phone experience at a very affordable price.

Windows Phone is growing well in India and we are very excited about Windows Phone 8 and are looking forward to the array of killer hardware which will start rolling out in the next few weeks.

Will Windows Phone 7.5 devices continue to sell alongside Windows Phone 8 devices? Is there any time frame to retire them?
Yes, our OEM and mobile operator partners will continue to manufacture and sell Windows Phone 7.5 devices after Windows Phone 8 devices are launched. The benefit of this is that our partners can still target the mid-tier price category with Windows Phone devices, supporting the 7x27A chipset and 256 MB RAM memory configuration supported by the Windows Phone 7.5 upgrade to Windows Phone 7.8.

Will there be any easy tool to transfer settings and apps from Windows Phone 7.5 device to Windows Phone 8?
All the information and apps on your Windows Phone 7.5 gets stored in the cloud and can be accessed using your Microsoft account. To reinstall specific apps, you need to follow these steps:

  • Log on to and sign in using your Microsoft account.
  • In the My Phone drop down menu, click on Purchase History to find all the apps installed on your Windows Phone 7.5 handset.
  • Simply click and select the apps you want to reinstall in your Windows Phone 8 device.

Also, through SkyDrive and Office Web Apps, all the videos, images, documents, etc. are seamlessly synced on the new device.

Nokia Maps were going to be available for all WP8 phones, so are they available for all manufacturers?
Nokia Maps technology has been integrated with the Windows Phone 8 OS and will be available on all smartphones powered by Windows Phone 8.

Why is Skype not available on the review handset and the Indian Windows Phone Store?
Skype will be available on all Windows Phone 8 smartphones soon.

Tags : Interviews, Mobile Phones, Windows Phone, Microsoft, Jayesh