Microsoft has launched
their newest version of the Windows Phone operating system, with handsets going
on sale in Europe over the weekend. The phones will be available to the rest of
the world during November, in time for the festive season rush.
businesses alike will have a huge amount of choice this Xmas as Surface is also
to be released, along with the iPad Mini and next generation iPad, the new
Nexus range from Google and of course, the Amazon Kindle range, along with a
plethora of Android-based devices.
Microsoft claim that
the handset’s browser, IE 10, will be "the fastest on mobile” and said that
there was improved integration with VoIP software, Skype.
However, apps will
most likely to be where Microsoft fall down on sales, due to a lack of
availability. In the last quarter, MS had a 3.1% share of the smartphone market,
which is tiny when compared to iOS and Android.
"It can't be
underestimated how important it is to Microsoft to get a successful handheld
platform," Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight, told the BBC.
"It's the fastest
growing and most prolific sector - 800 million smartphones will be sold this
year, within three years that number will be up to one billion annually. Nokia
has also bet the ranch on this at a time when the market is dominated by Apple
and Google's systems - and Microsoft is seen as being late to the party."
Developers have been
slow to race to develop apps for W8, so only time will tell whether Microsoft can
develop an app ecosystem to rival those of Apple and Google. The struggle that
RIM have had to attract devs despite offering a $10,000 bonus for the
BlackBerry 10 OS has highlighted this.
Whatever the case, it
seems we’re in for an interesting time over the holiday period when it comes to
the tablet and smartphone markets, with more competition appearing all the
time. Especially with 4G rolling out this week from EE and further networks
competing in the 4G auctions being held by Ofcom late this year.
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