Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 was announced back in June and immediately made an impression. The operating system, which will launch later this year, comes with a host of improvements, including a better Start screen, near-field communication support and new mapping features that are designed to help folks not only find out where they're going, but also locate points of interest.
Microsoft expects Windows Phone 8 to perform even better on the market than its predecessor. Of course, that's not all that difficult. Customers who found more to like in Apple's iPhone and Android largely ignored Windows Phone 7. Windows Phone 8, therefore, has put Microsoft at a crossroads. Either the operating system will drive Microsoft to success or push it even farther down the mobile ladder.
So far, it appears that Windows Phone 8 might just help Microsoft achieve success. The operating system is by no means perfect and it too early to tell how well Windows 8 devices will actually sell, but as of this writing, it appears to be a winner.
Read on to find out why Windows Phone 8 could be a success when it launches later this year.
1. The home page is a great improvement
Microsoft delivered a new Start screen with Windows Phone 8 that allows for easy control of tiles and the ability to see more information in the opening pane. With the new addition, it should make it much easier for users to navigate and find information.
2. Vendors are lining up
Vendors are quite happy to jump on the Windows Phone 8 bandwagon. At IFA in Berlin, Samsung announced its first Windows Phone 8 device. Nokia is expected to offer up its own handsets running the operating system next week. Others will follow soon. Vendors are lining up to get their hands on Windows Phone 8.
3. The Samsung case will help
Apple's victory over Samsung could be a boon for Windows Phone 8. The victory could make Samsung warm a bit more to Microsoft and Windows Phone and prompt other Android vendors to at least consider the Microsoft's mobile OS to hedge their market bets. Believe it or not, Microsoft might prove to be the largest benefactor of Apple's $1.05 billion victory over Samsung.
4. Nokia is still a threat
Nokia might be down, but it's definitely not out. And the company's brand is still valued quite highly among consumers in emerging markets. Considering that Nokia and Microsoft are bedfellows with Windows Phone, it's possible that the company's handsets could help Windows Phone 8.
5. Microsoft's control is important
Microsoft has made the smart decision, like Apple, to fully control the design of its operating system. By doing so, it curtails the varied experiences customers get in the Android ecosystem where multiple editions of operating system run concurrently on different phone models. It also allows Microsoft to maintain stronger security, since it controls the code. It's a smart idea.
6. The designs look solid
When it comes to design, both Microsoft and its vendor partners appear to be spot-on. The operating system is well-built, easy to navigate and seems to anticipate user demands. Samsung's Windows Phone 8-based device, the ATIV S, is downright beautiful. It's nice to see Microsoft and its vendors partners actually go for strong design for once.
7. The apps are coming
Although Microsoft got off to a late start with mobile apps, the company has quickly made some inroads. As more people buy Windows Phone, there'll be a much better chance of its platform catching up to Google Play and Apple's App Store. It's not always considered, but apps and the growth of application marketplaces is extremely important.
8. It's nice to see new mapping
Microsoft's new mapping features in Windows Phone 8 could very well be its best addition. Thanks to help from Nokia's mapping services, the operating system will now offer built-in turn-by-turn navigation in many countries, more detailed maps, and the ability to store those maps offline. In some ways Windows Phone 8's mapping is better than anything Apple or Google are offering in their own operating systems.
9. A similar view across operating systems
Microsoft has made the smart decision to deliver a very similar experience across Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. By doing so, it might be able to attract more Windows 8 customers to its mobile operating system, since they'll feel right at home with its design. Windows 8 might just be the Trojan horse Microsoft is counting onâand everyone is forgetting about.
10. Strong NFC integration
The future of the mobile market resides with near-field communication. That technology, which allows for mobile products to wireless communicate with other devices, is a key component in Windows Phone 8. According to Microsoft, users will be able to make mobile payments and use the NFC features built into its operating system for a host of other uses. It'll be a nice addition.