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Microsoft to use Opera browser on feature phones, Asha smartphones

As announced, Microsoft Corp. no longer wants to develop software for its feature phones and entry-level smartphones, however, the company will continue to sell such handsets for a while and therefore needs to keep them competitive. On Thursday Opera Software said that Microsoft had licensed its Opera Mini browser and will install it on the aforementioned devices.

Opera Mini will become the default web browser for Microsoft’s Nokia mobile phones based on the Series 30+, Series 40 and Asha software platforms. As part of the agreement, existing customers, who use the Xpress browser on these phones, will be encouraged to upgrade to the latest Opera Mini browser.

“We continue to sell and support classic first and feature phones as well as the Asha range, which have performed well with millions of people who want new mobile experiences at lower price points,” said Rich Bernardo, head of legacy business, Phones, Microsoft. “The agreement with Opera will enable us to provide continuity of service as we transition from Xpress Browser to Opera Mini.”

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Opera Mini is currently one of the most popular browsers in the world for mobile phones. The browser features a special built-in compression technology that allows people to save on mobile data and load pages faster. According to Opera Software developer, about 246 million users currently utilize Opera Mini, over 100 million of them use it on Google Android-based smartphones.

Microsoft’s choice to install Opera Mino on its feature phones and entry-level smartphones is a logical decision, keeping in mind the fact that it does not want to invest in the entry-level handset platforms any longer.

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KitGuru Says: Opera Mini browser is not a bad choice for entry-level devices. Unfortunately, Microsoft only plans to sell those devices for several more quarters down the road…

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