Opera Mini Becomes Default Browser On Nokia Feature Phones
Microsoft has been undergoing a massive change in its devices and services after Satya Nadella put forward his future plans for the company. Since the announcement of plans by Nadella, Microsoft has abandoned its Nokia X Android phone series, has reportedly decided biggest round of job cuts, and is moving towards mobile-first, cloud-first world.
Another change made in Devices and Services Group at Microsoft was the announcement of Nokia 130 $25 phones to target emerging markets and users who would be buying a mobile phone for the first time.
Now, Opera announced that it has signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft that will make Opera Mini the default browser on Nokia’s low-cost feature phones. These phones include Series 30+, Series 40 and Asha software platforms. Opera Mini will be replacing Nokia Xpress browser, which will be updated to Opera Mini in coming updates.
Opera Software announced in its press release:
As part of the agreement, people who use the current browser for these phones, Xpress, will be encouraged to upgrade to the latest Opera Mini browser. Factory-new devices will have Opera Mini pre-installed.
This deal between Microsoft and Opera shows that Microsoft has not given up on Nokia’s feature phones yet. Jo Harlow, corporate Vice President of Phones at Microsoft, said in the announcement of Nokia 130 series that Microsoft will be investing in affordable phones as they see a huge potential in emerging markets and claimed that almost 1 billion people still do not have mobile phones.
“With handsets like the Nokia 130, we see tremendous potential to deliver the experience of a ‘mobile-first’ world to people seeking their first device, and we continue to invest in ultra-affordable devices that will introduce people to a ‘cloud-first’ world through Microsoft services such as Bing, Outlook.com and OneDrive,” said Harlow.
So the deal with Opera is to complement all of these efforts which are being made to target emerging markets. Opera was also made the default browser for Nokia X Android phone series, but unfortunately, the series was recently cut off.
According to ZDNet, users will start receiving notifications to update their browser from Xpress to Opera Mini in October 2014. The notificiations will guide users on how to upgrade their browser. However, the exact date when these notifications arrive will vary depending on the product family.
“Opera Software intends to fully support people during the full transition period from October 2014 to December 2015. The Xpress Browser will enter maintenance mode until December 2015 when the service will be fully ramped down,” said Opera in a statement.