Just a week after the debut of Windows 8, Microsoft held a press event in San Francisco, CA to announce the arrival of the latest version of its smartphone platform, dubbed Windows Phone 8. Timed to coincide with (and possibly to even eclipse) Google’s canceled East-coast press event, Microsoft instead had to fight for media attention with Hurricane Sandy. As a distant fourth place competitor, Microsoft has struggled to gain a toe hold in the smartphone race, facing daunting leads from Apple and Google, and even trailing the flagging RIM Blackberry platform.
What this means for you:
Unless you are a true-blue Microsoft fanatic, you more than likely already own a smartphone that gets the job done. There is a distinct possibility for Microsoft to overtake RIM’s Blackberry platform as the corporate phone of choice, but many enterprises have already opened their iron curtains for iPhones and Android devices. Gaining RIM’s share of the pie will only put them in 3rd place, and as such, integration into corporate environments will still take a backseat to solidifying usage of the dominant platforms. Most adopters of this platform will either be disatisfied technophiles looking for something fresh and different from iOS and Android, or corporate technologists investigating the platforms ability to integrate with existing Microsoft infrastructure. Microsoft’s primary hurdle in getting people to buy Windows phone remains in the lackluster app development landscape, which continues to be dominated by iPhone. Many of the most popular apps aren’t available yet for Windows Phone 8, and their arrival (if they come at all) will likely lag iOS and Android versions by months. If your primary smartphone usage is focused on making calls, checking email, and sharing pictures with your phone, Windows Phone 8 will get the job done, but if you like apps and don’t consider yourself an “early adopter”, give the platform at least another 6 months before weighing a change in platforms.