Microsoft's latest mobile endeavor, Windows Phone, was introduced a little over a year ago to a mostly uninterested audience. Despite some decent hardware and strong first version software, Windows Phone has yet to garner a major following; after a year on the market, it has only managed to collect one percent of the US smartphone market share. A lot of the disinterest can be blamed on horrible timing – it was released after the iPhone 4 had launched and just before some major Android announcements and launches.

But that's not enough to make Microsoft throw in the towel. Back in February, Microsoft made a large gamble by getting in bed with one of the largest handset manufacturers in the world. A deal like that, however, doesn't come cheap. Microsoft will be paying Nokia one billion dollars over the next five years to use Windows Phone on its hardware – quite the opposite of how Microsoft usually does business. A deal like this, though, could be the difference between the life and death of an already stale platform.

As I've stated time and time again, the biggest hurdle for Microsoft thus far has been differentiation. There is nothing about Windows Phone that makes me want to leave behind my investments (app purchases, phones, etc.) in platforms such as Android or iOS for something entirely new. The hardware falls in line with Android phones from last year and there is nothing particularly enticing about the software, unless you're a fan of the Metro UI, which I am admittedly not.

The recent Mango update did bring some much-needed changes to the software side of things and certainly shows promise for months and years to come. But the hardware still needs a serious leg-up to steal any attention from other platforms. This is where Nokia enters the picture.

We've been waiting patiently since February for anything interesting and Windows Phone-related to come from Nokia. There have been a few renders slip through the cracks and Stephen Elop, Nokia's relatively fresh CEO, unexpectedly gave us a quick tour of the first Nokia-made Windows Phone, the Lumia 800. But since June, news from the two firms' partnership has been rather uneventful.

That changed this morning with a few more leaks that revealed two more Nokia-made Windows Phone handsets in detail: the Lumia 710 (Sabre) and Nokia 900. Touting features like a 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display, 8-megapixel Carl Zeiss lenses, 1.4GHz processors and unibody design, the trio of devices definitely seem like they could easily bring a little more hype to the Windows Phone camp.

The Nokia World keynote is just over eight hours away and I'm definitely ready to see some of these new Windows Phones in action. That said, I fear that Windows Phone may still be suffering from a horrible case of bad timing. I was originally excited when I heard of the Nokia partnership – it meant that we may finally be officially blessed with Nokia's topnotch hardware here in the States. But that was eight months ago and a lot has happened since then, most notably iOS 5, the iPhone 4S and the Ice Cream Sandwich announcement. I'm still looking forward to the Nokia event tomorrow morning (bright and early at 4 AM Eastern), but most of the hype and excitement has dwindled down. It has for me, at least.

Eight months is a lot of latency and timing is everything in this market. Android has shown up with some pretty exciting changes and Apple just ticked some more sales records on the tally. While tomorrow's keynote may be big news for the Windows Phone camp, I'm afraid it won't be enough to counter the likes and recent momentum of Android or iOS. Here's to hoping Microsoft and Nokia have a big curve ball to pitch to us tomorrow. ... They'll need to catch us on our heels.

So, who's going to be up with me at 4 AM and tuning in to the Nokia World keynote? Are you still as excited about Nokia-made Windows Phones as you were a few months ago? Or have other mobile platforms' improvements stolen your attention?

Image via The Next Web

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73 Reactions to this post

"Are you excited about Nokia's announcement(s)?"

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Frank Bandelow Nope...'cause it ain't coming to the States until next year, blah.
Luchian Hristov Nokia + windows7 I don't care. Next gen ugly brick
Wilsond Eliantus I wish they had purchased Webos...just think what Nokia could of done with an os like that! Both WP7 and Android are great but Nokia used to lead the pack (of cellular manufacturer's), not follow them from behind.
Steven Soo I dont mind as long as it has the word ANDROID in it !!!!
Nicholas Campbell Never to late. What if Android said that? Windows looks great and Nokia makes very solid products.
Prabhath Jay whts nokia ?
Lee Phillips Nokia who?
Danny Casteen Little too late in the game
Pierce G Hohenstein Nokia couldn't make a decent phone if they tried! I am less than thrilled with their offerings. In my opinion HTC has a much more solid WP7 lineup.
C Paul Courtney I like Windows Phone but IMO Nikita phones are ugly. Too sharp on the edges. They look like slabs of glass and plastic.
Josh Avondoglio Yes! Now it's time to hop on the android train, Nokia ...
Paul Alexandru I intend to buy an iPhone 4S 64 Gigs.
Eric James Hamilton Ha ha ha nope!
Chirag Solanki yeh....very xited....:)
Joyal Rathva ya of course........
Tom Parker Nokia is pretty much a busy.
Aaron Couts I had a few windows phone in the past, and they screwed users when it came to update. So forgive me for learning my lesson about trusting microsoft.
Derrico Brown Wow look at all the fans who said "no". Looks like their phone(s) will already be a fail. Nice going Nokia. Maybe you buy webOS and go from there. Even if the phone is amazing tomorrow, carriers are still going to push for ios and Android devices
Mick de Raad Nokia should listen to their customers more, and make a killer android phone. just one. done!
Kevin Scott Nokia was good when I was fucking 6!!!
Mark Fisher Jr. Nope. I hate windows phones. They should stop making them now.
Kenny Hernandez Yeh! Windows Phone is gonna look good
Raymond Nuanez Put android 4.0 on it and I'm in!
Steve Moore I was done with Nokia after the N97, that phone was absolute garbage. And they killed MeeGo. I still feel like that would've given. IOS, Android and WinPho 7 a good run for their money. They chose to sell out rather than to innovate. Plus their customer service is garbage as well.
Tim Killian Only if we'll see these here in the USA.
Moinuddin Forhad Agree with Chris. Nokia has a killer hardware with the combination of a state of the art OS, I think Nokia wp7 will be a winner. Besides those who bashing wp7 never even use wp7.I used all three, in my opinion IOS is still number one followed by wp7 and then android.and one other think is that android is a bit hard for new-bee.
Ian Mcclendon Should be nice, people forgot how big a roll nokia played/plays in the mobile world.
Christian Römberg Yes! Nokia have kick ass hardware, Mango seems nice! Fuck of to Overpriced iPhone, and laggy Android.
Nick Truskowski Lol anten wants a 4 inch device... Zzzzzing
Yaniv Feldman not at all.
Reese Woodson If they have phones coming to the US, then I'll be..........
Happy Man of course NOT !!
Ramon Quintero I can't wait. Most of these people haven't even held a wp7 and they are bashing it. Try before you bash. I do agree it might be to late here in the USA because there are rumors going around that Nokia won't release a device this year. But for the other side of the world i think it will be a good hit
Arvydas Gr Yeap :) I dont like HTC. I need good camera, good speaker, screen and build quality. Nokia can offer all of these, and HTC cant. WP7 is just awesome OS :)
Jourdan Fletcher no!!! its nokia. all about HTC!!!!
Ernest Marvin Esteban NO!. Very bad timing cause Ice cream sandwich/galaxy nexus and iphone 4s was just announced. and besides, it's just the same old windows phone just a different physical design.
Cheryl Ross I agree...who's Nokia? I'm still waiting on their unboxing and review on the LG Esteem from Metro! What's up Phonedog? Let Sidney do it, cause she's the best.
Jason Ramos Nope. Windows Phone sucks
Marti Ruiz Is nokia a n artist?
Aaron Couts Could care less really, do remember my nokia 3595 would let me know whne I would get a calll before it rings because my speakers would go crazy
Jacob Eckstein who's Nokia ?
Scott Pilgrim The only sweet Nokia was the brick phone.
Bonifacio Zamaripa I asked "Siri" if she was excited over Nokia keynote tomorrow. Siri replies with "Nokia who"? lol
Hubert John Abiera I already decided on getting the HTC Radar 4G as my first WP7 device, but I am curious to see what Nokia has :)
Anej Svete yes!! I can't wait!
Steff Vid Nokia Lumia 800 is amazing !
Memo Mrtr No really , im very happy with ANDROID
A Craig Kinard Not at all interested or excited.
Anten Mathew wp7 on nokia hardware is a win. sea ray looks amazing, but im waiting on at least a 4 inch device.
Jon Martin No lol
Aldi Zeitgeist Both nokia And microsoft are old fashioned.
Bobby Johnston I guess no one really knows how big of a deal Nokia is in a world wide sense... There will be plenty of people there.
Brian Fuller i am looking at this announcement much like the iPhhone 4S announcement. I highly doubt i will EVER own a Windows or iOS phone but i am interested to see how they respond to the stiff competition and evolving Android competition
Daniel Taran should be interesting
Brett Sherman I didn't know they had a key note. No one will be there.
Ryan Christopher Etzel NO who cares.....
Breathless Tao Leaks definitely haven't had a good impact on the show, but still - I for one am excited. Not sure if it's the general buzz of the weight of the event or the devices specifically, but I am excited, anyway.
Nicolas Azizian nope...too little too late, nokia. should've jumped on the android bandwagon when they had the chance.
Alaye Kray Brown After awhile I stop getting excited

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