Microsoft's Greg Sullivan thinks 2012 will be a good year for its Windows Phone smartphone platform. Sullivan believes that Microsoft has everything it needs for Windows Phone to find the success it deserves. But will it?
Several vital elements have finally come together that should really help Microsoft's chances: it released the Mango update, which boosts features; it has not one, but two hero devices in the HTC Titan II and the Nokia Lumia 900; and it has distribution agreements with AT&T and T-Mobile USA.
The most important of these three elements is the last one. Without carrier support, Windows Phone won't get anywhere in the United States. AT&T's CEO Ralph de la Vega was very excited to talk about the carrier's upcoming Windows Phone devices. AT&T is doing Microsoft a solid and standing by its partner.
T-Mobile, too, is standing by Microsoft. On January 11, it released the Nokia Lumia 710, which is a midrange Windows Phone device that has Mango and select Nokia enhancements on board.
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The other key element is the new hero devices announced this week at the Consumer Electronics Show. Though a handful of the legacy Windows Phone devices were very, very good, few were as enticing as the over-the-top HTC Titan II and the Nokia Lumia 900. Both phones offer incredible cameras, large screens, and--vitally--support for AT&T's LTE 4G network. AT&T needs to build its arsenal of LTE 4G devices, and these two are excellent entries that AT&T can use to compete against the flood of LTE smartphones washing over Verizon's network.
The Titan II and Lumia 900 are just as good as any flagship Android device (Droid RAZR, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Nexus, etc.) available from the U.S. carriers.
Microsoft's Mango update to Windows Phone puts the operating system in feature parity with Android and iOS, and developers have taken to the platform with gusto, delivering more than 50,000 applications.
Microsoft has another key advantage: its extensive ecosystem. Consider Xbox. The Windows Phone platform is a great mobile extension of Microsoft's successful gaming system. Windows Phone ties into Microsoft's enterprise computing services, offers cloud-based storage, and supports all the right social networks. Microsoft also has a passionate group of people behind Windows Phone.
Add all these aspects together and they should spell success.
Microsoft's Sullivan believes in the platform and is certain it will make waves this year. I think it will, too.
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