India

If you have never heard of the Gaana.com, it only means you are not in India. The service is one of three in that country, letting people worldwide stream free and licensed music in 21 different languages (thank you, Wikipedia). It competes with Saavn and Hungama with Saavn grabbing most of Bollywood's music catalog lately. Gaana now focuses on a lot of regional stuff, as a result.

Anyway, the developers behind the Windows Phone app have been going on a tear this last week, overhauling the app to bring it more in line with iOS and Android. This after nearly a year without an update, so yeah, a big deal.

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Last week, Microsoft announced the launch of the Lumia 532 in India. Another budget device, the Lumia 532 fares well on the specifications sheet and costs less than Lumia 535, the other latest phone on the shelves right now.

The phone promises an uncompromised Windows Phone experience with an excellent Lumia design and always dependable build quality to compete in a crowded market of budget Android smartphones.

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Lumia 535 continues to grow, Windows 10 grabs some of the market, and new mysterious Lumias are discovered

The story of Windows Phone market share within itself is now a familiar one, with budget phones abounding. Last month we saw a rapid entry of the new Microsoft Lumia 535 to many markets, including India. AdDuplex (AdDuplex.com) has now released its numbers for February, 2015, and they mainly reflect this trend.

No surprises here as the biggest gains were seen by the Lumia 530, Lumia 630/635 and the Microsoft branded Lumia 535. However, some new unannounced Lumias were also spotted, giving us a peek at next week's MWC event.

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Yesterday we reported that the Lumia Denim update was due by the end of the month for those in India. So far, only the Lumia 520 has received the update in that country, with a broad swath of Lumia phones still waiting for the OS upgrade.

Today, Microsoft has gone and refreshed their update page with new additions to the Lumia Denim software release. Seeing as we are not in India at this time, we cannot confirm if the update is rolling out, but if not, it should be coming very soon.

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The Lumia Denim update is like a glacier melting, slowly but surely happening. Microsoft have been quite forthright about updates saying "early 2015", which for some means January 2 at 12:01 am, for others by March 1. Indeed, every day we are getting random tips from people around the globe noting they now have the update.

India is arguably one of the largest Windows Phone markets, but so far only the Lumia 520 has Denim in that country.

Now, Microsoft India in personally responding to many inquiries that all eligible Lumias should have the update by the end of the month.

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At a media event in Mumbai, Facebook announced that it is teaming up with Indian carrier Reliance in launching the Internet.org initiative in the country. The project, which aims to provide free access to basic internet services on mobile, will be available exclusively to Reliance subscribers in six Indian states, with more being added at a later stage.

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On the sidelines of the launch of HDFC Bank's Go Digital campaign in Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India, the bank's Windows Phone app got a fine update as well, with more capabilities coming soon. The launch saw HDFC Bank announcing a technology agnostic Bank Aap Ki Muththi Mein (Bank in your hand) offering which aims to turn a mobile phone into a bank branch.

The official HDFC Bank app has been very efficient, and has garnered positive reviews and small updates every now and then, but a major refresh in the first week of December went awry. The update brought a set of new features allowing customers to use the app without logging in for contacting the bank for various services and support channels, sharing feedback, and locating nearby ATMs and bank branches.

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Microsoft's Satya Nadella made his second visit to India visiting with key leaders to discuss future investment in that country. Nadella met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, promising support for Modi's Digital India initiative to modernize that country's infrastructure.

No announcements of investments or projects were made, making this trip more of a 'courtesy visit' according to Nadella rather than anything substantive.

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Cleartrip is one of the more popular travel websites in India, which allows booking of flight and train tickets as well as hotels. Incidentally, two years ago, Cleartrip was one of the first OTAs (Online Travel Agent) in India to launch a Windows Phone app, and Windows Phone was also their first platform of choice.

While that gave the service a positive mindshare among Windows Phone users, the app was long due for an update and the limited ability irked most users, as reflected in the reviews on the Windows Phone Store. The app finally got a decent refresh in June this year while still being limited in functionally.

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