Microsoft announces new Windows Phone hardware partners, including LG and Lenovo

Microsoft is on a roll at its MWC event today. Shortly after announcing updates to Windows and Windows Phone, the company also told us that it's now trying to make its mobile platform more flexible for operators and manufacturers and is now working with a whole bevy of new manufacturing partners. Among the notable companies on the list are LG, Lenovo and ZTE, in addition to several companies in India, such as Xolo, Karbonn and Lava. Some of the listed companies (such as LG, Huawei and ZTE) have worked with Windows Phone in the past, but today's revelations show that those companies haven't completely turned away from Microsoft -- or have returned to the fold.

Says Microsoft VP Nick Parker, "we're open for business on Windows Phone to anyone who wants to build one." The company is extending its arms out to more partners by providing more options; for instance, Parker told us that Microsoft is now working with operators on possible white label devices -- phones that are branded by operators but built by other manufacturers. Additionally, Microsoft also announced that any company can build a Windows Phone using Qualcomm's Reference Design; interestingly, this means that Android-based hardware could potentially be reused for Windows Phone.

These changes announced today will certainly add more appeal and higher volume to the platform around the world, especially in emerging markets, and is a good way for Microsoft to indirectly address growing concerns that its upcoming acquisition of Nokia's device division would limit the interest of outside manufacturers.