NYPD Defends Choosing Windows Phones, Confirms Plans to Switch to iPhones

The New York Police Department has confirmed it will begin transitioning to iPhones for its 36,000 police officers in the fall, less than one year after completing a rollout of Windows Phones to its police force.

Image: ABC7 Eyewitness News - WABC-TV New York

Jessica Tisch, the NYPD's Deputy Commissioner of Information Technology, said "improvements in Apple controls" will enable the department to "responsibly and cost effectively move its mobility initiative to the Apple platform."

When the NYPD chose Windows Phone devices in 2014, Tisch said "neither iOS nor Android phones allowed it to cost-effectively utilize prior investment in custom Windows applications" that it had deployed at the time.

"Moreover, we assessed that the Windows platform would be most effective at achieving our goal of securing 36,000 devices that would be used for sensitive law enforcement operations," added Tisch. "This was of paramount importance."

The NYPD said its contract provided for Nokia's Lumia smartphones at no cost. It also allowed for the department to replace the smartphones with devices of its choosing two years later, also at no cost.

As a result, the NYPD said its smartphone initiative is 45 percent under budget. Based on its current rate of spending, the department expects to stretch what was initially budgeted at two years of spending to more than four years.

Tisch said the NYPD's mobility initiative has made its police officers "smarter, faster, and more agile" in their response to 911 calls, with response times down more than 8 percent compared to an unspecified period.


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NYPD Said to Replace Windows Phones With iPhones Starting This Year

Less than a year after completing a rollout of Windows Phones to its entire police force, New York City Police Department officials plan to begin replacing them with iPhones by the end of the year, according to the New York Post.

Image: NYPD via YouTube

The report didn't specify whether the NYPD will opt to use one of Apple's latest iPhone models, or an older model like the iPhone 6. Apple is also widely rumored to announce the so-called iPhone 8 with an OLED display in September, although the high-end device may be out of the department's price range.

In October 2014, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials announced plans to roll out 35,000 handheld devices to every NYPD officer for the first time ever, along with tablets for every patrol car. De Blasio said the major $160 million initiative would help bring the department into the 21st century.

The NYPD's smartphones of choice were Nokia's Lumia 830 and Lumia 640 XL, released in October 2014 and March 2015 respectively. The since-discontinued devices run Windows Phone 8.1, which Microsoft ended support for in July to focus on its newer Windows 10 Mobile platform and cloud-based services.

The devices provide police officers with expanded search capabilities, including access to the majority of NYPD databases, and the ability to conduct various record checks from the field in a timelier manner. The devices also provide real-time 911 call data, often prior to radio dispatch, the department said in 2014.

The NYPD's choice of Windows Phones raised some eyebrows given iOS and Android combined have over 99 percent market share of smartphone operating systems, according to research firm IDC.

The department insisted on Microsoft-based smartphones in part because it was already using Microsoft software to run the video-surveillance program at its Lower Manhattan Security Initiative Command Center, according to the New York Post. The devices were also more affordable than iPhones.

A spokesman for the NYPD said the department wouldn't comment on the matter until its Deputy Commissioner of Information Technology Jessica Tisch returned from vacation later today, the report said.


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Microsoft Ends Support for ‘Windows Phone’ After Years of Battling to Compete With iPhone and Android

Today, Microsoft is ending support for Windows Phone 8.1, effectively marking the end of the "Windows Phone" era.


Microsoft released Windows Phone in 2010 and, within three years, it became the world's third most popular mobile operating system. But the platform simply couldn't compete with the likes of Apple and Google and, as of earlier this year, iOS and Android accounted for a combined 99.6% market share.

Microsoft continues to sell a limited number of mostly budget smartphones running its newer Windows 10 Mobile operating system, but the platform has only received minor updates in recent months as the Redmond-based company has shifted its focus towards the "intelligent cloud and intelligent edge."

Microsoft has stopped manufacturing its own Lumia-branded smartphones and, according to The Verge, rumors suggest the company will simply maintain Windows 10 Mobile until support for the platform ends in 2018.

Ultimately, Windows Phone is another casualty of the iPhone, and later Android smartphones, which completely upended the mobile phone industry a decade ago. Just ask BlackBerry, Nokia, or Palm.


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Microsoft CEO Stokes Surface Phone Rumors With ‘Ultimate Mobile Device’ Comments

Satya NadellaMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella has stoked speculation this week that Redmond is prepping a new line of smartphones under the Surface brand for launch in early 2017.

In an interview with the Australian Financial Review published on Monday, Nadella said the company was conducting innovative research that would ensure it continued to have a presence in the smartphone market. However, rather than follow a present trend, Microsoft would attempt to re-define the field in a single-handed pursuit of the "ultimate mobile device".

Underlining his philosophy, Nadella said that the company would not launch into a device category without bringing something different to the table, because it was more interested in how individuals and organizations were using devices, and less in the devices themselves.
"We don't want to be driven by just envy of what others have, the question is, what can we bring? That's where I look at any device form factor or any technology, even AI," he said. "We will continue to be in the phone market not as defined by today's market leaders, but by what it is that we can uniquely do in what is the most ultimate mobile device."
Rumors of a "Surface Phone" that would complement the popular Surface Book and the highly praised Surface Studio have been bubbling away for a while. Some rumors suggest a device running Windows 10 Mobile OS, others predict a range of devices, some of which could sport a keyboard flip case reminiscent of Blackberry phones. Meanwhile, several observers have pointed to the HP Elite x3 – part smartphone, part mini PC – as a potential indicator of where the company could take its mobile ambitions, possibly as soon as early next year.

The introduction of a Surface Phone would represent a bold return to the smartphone market for Microsoft, after its consumer phone ambitions fell flat following the company's Nokia mobile acquisition over two years ago. Microsoft subsequently laid off hundreds of employees tied to its smartphone business in May, suggesting the company had all but given up on the consumer phone market.


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