TORONTO - A new strategic alliance with Microsoft will enable Rogers subscribers to connect their Windows Phone 8 devices to a growing ecosystem where they can readily communicate with all the screens in their household says Rob Bruce, President, Rogers Communications. He believes the alliance will enable Rogers to “attract more high-valued customers” by leveraging the features of Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform.
The announcement today makes Rogers the exclusive Canadian provider of the Nokia Lumia 920, Windows Phone 8X by HTC (8GB) and the Samsung ATIV Smart PC tablet. Rogers will also retail the Windows Phone 8X by HTC (16GB) and the Samsung ATIV S smartphone in Canada on its LTE network in the coming weeks. Bruce would not reveal specific pricing or availability of the new products, other than they would be released in the coming weeks and be “competitively priced.”
The product announcements come ahead of Microsoft’s biggest product release in nearly 20 years. Before the end of the month, Windows 8, Windows RT, Surface RT tablet, and Windows Phone 8 will all launch. On Oct. 26 it will roll out its new operating system, Windows 8, and Surface RT tablet. Rogers will not have an exclusive on the Microsoft tablet, as the software giant has chosen to sell it online, in Microsoft stores and at “pop-up” kiosks. On Oct. 29, it will formally launch Windows Phone 8.
Microsoft, whose latest quarterly profit fell 22%, is betting the release of its touch-friendly Windows 8 products can free it from its historical reliance on PC software to drive sales. That source of revenue continues to decline for Microsoft and many analysts see Windows Phone 8 as its last chance to become a genuine player in the exploding mobile market that’s been dominated by Apple and Samsung.
Bruce stressed in a media briefing Friday that the alliance will offer its customers a “new world of choice” and how Windows 8 devices are part of a larger ecosystem that “cuts across multiple screens [smartphone, tablet and PC] and provides linkages that customers and businesses want.”
Microsoft Canada’s president Max Long joined the briefing, but was hesitant to reveal much more ahead of the official launch of the Windows 8 platform, other than it will enable “content to follow you around.”
Also announced were exclusive applications on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 platform for Rogers subscribers that include:
Rogers My Account on Windows 8 tablets: Launching with the Samsung ATIV smart PC My Account allows you to manage your wireless account directly through an application on your Windows 8 tablet. With My Account, you can quickly select and activate a mobile internet plan, check your plan usage, plus view your account balance and make payments without having to call customer care or visit a Rogers retail location.
Rogers Anyplace TV Live for Windows Phone 8 and Rogers Anyplace TV (on demand) for Windows 8 Tablets: With the Rogers Anyplace TV Live app for Windows Phone 8, you get live games like Barclays Premier League soccer, Blue Jays baseball, Raptors basketball, hockey and tennis, and real-time news like CityNews. Rogers Anyplace TV Live is a mobile app with a $5 per month/5 hour subscription. Currently there is a special promo waiving overage charges until April 30, 2013. With the Rogers Anyplace TV (on demand) app for Windows 8 tablets, you get on demand channels, including Citytv, CBC, W Network, TMN, Treehouse, Teletoon, Family Channel, free movies and trailers, and more.
Rogers One Number for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 Tablet: With the Rogers One Number app on your Windows 8 tablet, you can use your existing wireless phone number to talk, text and send picture messages and video chat with other Rogers One Number users, all from your tablet. Sync your contacts with the Rogers One Number app on your Windows Phone 8 to seamlessly synchronize all of your contacts no matter where you are.