“So which smartphone should I get next?” This question should almost always be followed by looking into what your needs are software wise. Most of the mobile operating systems can all perform the same functions: Calls, texts, web browsing, email, thousands of apps, games, and cloud integration. There are distinct advantages between the different software that may lend you to lean in one direction or another depending on your preferences. With that said, lets look into who the key competitors are and whats out there. This will be a continuing series as I look into the advantages and drawbacks of each mobile OS. Today I’ll go over the OS with a chance to break out and claim some market share, Windows Phone.
Windows phone is Microsoft’s effort to break into the mobile space, and so far the user interface looks pretty. Microsoft has been working to unify all of its ecosystems, from the PC, tablet, mobile, and even Xbox, to create a seamless transition from one device to the next for its users. On the mobile end, the design (formerly known as Metro), is incredibly clean. The Live tiles display real time information, much like widgets in Android, and make for a really compelling interface. The flat, digital design is a big departure from the skeumorphism present in many of iOS’s app designs, and the result is a very modern, sharp looking interface.
Unfortunately, even with all the might of Microsoft’s resources, the app ecosystem has a long head start to overcome. iOS and Android far outpace the number of apps that Windows Phone has to offer and may make the switch difficult for users who are used to the vast offerings on the more common platforms. Even with Microsoft’s suite of Windows apps, such as Skydrive and especially the Microsoft office suite to sweeten the deal, there still seems to be something missing.
Microsoft has made a great product in Windows Phone, but the late start in mobile, as well as the enormous difficulty in getting users to buy in with an app ecosystem that pales in comparison to Android and iOS makes the pitch a difficult one, but not insurmountable if you are a die-hard Microsoft fan, and love the ability to have the full Microsoft Office suite with you on the go (definitely a plus as a business phone). All in all, the platform has a lot of good things going but it may never catch up to the pack due to the small market share.