A Window on MWC
Microsoft didn't have a booth at Mobile World Congress this year, but that doesn't mean the company was completely absent from the Barcelona mobile show. Tablets, phones, and computers running various versions of Windows littered the show floor, and the company was one of MWC's biggest sponsors.
Here are a few of the Windows products we noticed while wandering around Barcelona this week.
Talk about being tethered to your job. While Nokia has more traditional kiosks, the company also had employees walking around with Windows Phone handsets hanging from their belts. Whenever a journalist or passerby wanted to look at one of the phones, the poor representative would have to awkwardly standby while people hung around their crotch poking at the devices. Maybe next time just use a traditional table?
Huawei Ascend W1
Huawei's booth was composed largely of devices running Android, but the Chinese phone manufacturer had a small space set aside for its Windows Phone 8 smartphone, the Ascend W1. The phone looks a lot like the Nokia Lumia 800--right down to the flashy blue coloring that was used for the W1's outer casing. Huawei's high-end phones don't generally make their way stateside so it's unlikely that the W1 will have much life outside of Europe and Asia.
Sony Vaio Duo 11
The Sony Vaio Duo 11 is not a new product, but that didn't stop the tablet/laptop hybrid from attracting curious onlookers to Sony's booth. The polished exterior and piano black finish is reminiscent of some of Sony's other premium products, though it sure does attract finger prints. By the time I got around to handling the Vaio Duo, it had a nice thick layer of finger grease on it. Yuck. Thankfully the included stylus meant I didn't need to interact with the tablet with my actual fingers, allowing me to experience the Vaio Duo without exposing myself to a layer of other people's smudges.
LG Tab-Book LTE
Already out in Korea, LG's Tab-Book LTE was just one of several convertible Windows 8 tablets we saw at the show. While a little on the heavy side, the Tab-Book runs the full version of Windows 8 and can connect to LTE networks for use on the go. The Tab-Book is powered by a third-generation Intel Core i5 processor; LG claims you can get up to 13 hours of use out device before needing to recharge. The company currently has no plans to bring the Tab-Book to the United States, so it might be a while before you see it at your local electronics retailer.
Microsoft may have not had a booth, but the company did throw a media party where it showcased its latest products and talked about the benefits of living in the Windows ecosystem. One demo, in particular, featured an Excel document that was passed between a PC, Nokia Lumia 920, and a Surface Pro for editing. The demo did a good job at showing off the usefulness of Microsoft's SkyDrive, but I kept expecting the Microsoft reps to break into a dance like they do in the Surface commercial.
The ZTE V98 wasn't getting much attention when I dropped by the company's booth on the second day of MWC. No one was on hand to tell me more about the tablet--all the booth workers were busy talking up the company's Grand Memo smartphone--but I thought it was interesting enough to warrant checking it out for a few minutes while waiting for a meeting. Like the LG Tab-Book LTE, the ZTE V98 can connect to LTE networks and is powered by an Intel processor. Maybe next time I'll find out more about the device--if ZTE isn't too busy hyping up what sounds like an underwhelming Android phablet.
Samsung Series 7 Chronos
Samsung had around five booths at Mobile World Congress--seriously, we found one in the metro station on our way to the conference Wednesday morning--and all of them had a good number of devices running Windows on display. Several of the Windows machines at Samsung's booth were being used to demonstrate the security features in the company's line of Android smartphones, but Samsung was also showing off its Series 7 Chronos laptop which runs Windows 8. Laptops still count as mobile, right?