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Nokia ‘Normandy’ Android phone to launch at MWC?

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The Nokia “Normandy,” the long-rumored Nokia Android phone, looks squared away for an official reveal at MWC 2014. Normandy will also be released this month, the Wall Street Journal reports. While it’s good news for ‘droid lovers, apparently Normandy will be specially tailored so that some Google features won’t be promoted as heavily as they might be on a traditional Android phone – you know, one not made by a company now owned by Microsoft. That means no Google Play Store, and the Normandy will instead feature a selection of apps created by Nokia and Microsoft, like here maps and Mix Radio, plus a Nokia app store full of Android apps, the Journal’s sources said.< Nokia Lumia 2520 VS Microsoft Surface 2 Specs >

Nokia has long been focused on Windows Phone, but its work on an Android handset has been rumored for months. The Normandy’s debut at MWC has even been touched on before. However, ever since Microsoft picked up the Finnish phone maker for $7.4 billion (about £4.4 billion, AU$7.9 billion) in 2013, the Nokia Android phone’s fate has presumably been up in the air. Considering it was never officially announced to begin with, it seemed Microsoft could put its foot down at any time and cancel it altogether.< Best Video/Audio Formats for Nokia Lumia 900 Recommendations>

But the WSJ report says Nokia’s engineers were working on the Android phone long before Microsoft began conducting due diligence leading up to the purchase, and the Windows Company will reportedly let Normandy continue all the way to retail. The apparent reason for that? Pragmatism. If the phone is debuting in a matter of weeks, then the legwork was likely completed months ago, and Microsoft would likely rather make some money off of it – even if it does run Android – then scrap it entirely and throw away all of Nokia’s hard work.< Nokia ends 2013 with 92% of Windows Phone Market>

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