Micromax to launch its first Windows Phone “Canvas” smartphone on June 16

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A few months after Microsoft announced Micromax as one of its hardware partners, the Indian smartphone vendor is set to launch its first Windows Phone smartphone on June 16. The company has sent us a media invite for the launch event on Monday.

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The media invite all but reveals Micromax’s intentions. It is designed in Windows Phone’s Metro layout and has a tagline — “We invite you to join us for the unveiling of our new Canvas Range developed through our partnership.” As seen in the above photo, the invite also features Microsoft’s logo.

While there is currently no word on the specifications or details about the device, a Times of India report claims that the Indian smartphone vendor could launch two Windows Phone smartphones. The first device will be targeted at the entry-level segment priced close to Rs 6,000, while the other device will be a bit more expensive with a price tag close to Rs 10,000.

In addition to Micromax, Microsoft had also announced that it had partnered other OEMs like Lava, Xolo, and Karbonn in India. On the global stage, it has also tied up with the likes of LG, Huawei, Lenovo and ZTE to launch a host of Windows Phone smartphones.

Earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress, Microsoft along with Qualcomm announced a design program that will make it easy for OEMs to manufacture Windows Phones. The design program includes basic hardware design, optimized software and development tools. The reference smartphones are powered by Snapdragon 200 and 400 series chipsets, which confirm that they will be placed in entry-level and mid-range segments.

It might sound odd for Microsoft to help other smartphone vendors to bring out Windows Phone devices that might compete with those offered by Nokia, a company that Microsoft now owns. However Microsoft believes that this will only help smartphones running on Windows Phone reach new price points, which were not possible for Nokia.

“I think the smartphone market is so enormous and there are so many different people with different local needs and the range of price points is so great as well. The types of hardware capabilities that end users value or don’t value, it is such a vast thing that even with a wide range of manufacturers all participating in it, in my point of view there is still a ton of room for people to do innovative work and have real businesses that are all meaningful,” Microsoft’s Windows Phone chief, Joe Belfiore told BGR India in an exclusive interview last month.

“You think of this as a giant thing. Nokia has been doing a lot to fill a small part of it, and other people coming to fill in other gaps, but I don’t see them as gaps. There are giant areas of land to go be populated and farmed and mined and that is what I think the situation is all about,” he added.

BGR India will be reporting live from Micromax’s press conference on Monday. Stay tuned for our coverage.