Microsoft Corp. unveiled Windows Phone software for smartphone-tablet hybrids as well as more powerful chips as the company plays catchup to Google Inc. and Apple Inc. in mobile devices.
A bigger start menu with higher-resolution displays will enable the software to run on phones with five- and six-inch screens for the first time, Microsoft said today in a blog post. The update to Windows Phone 8 will roll out to developers tomorrow and customers in the coming months.
After losing out in smartphones and tablets to Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS software, Microsoft is trying to appeal to consumers in the middle. Global shipments of so-called phablets will more than double to 60.4 million this year, research firm IHS predicted in January. That’s a fraction of the more than 1 billion smartphones researcher IDC expects to be shipped