Windows Phone is in a place between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Not so much in numbers or presence (yet), but in device launches. We all know that Apple releases one new phone a year, and Android manufacturers release a plethora of devices to fill plenty of different niche markets. But Microsoft’s mobile platform doesn’t see the same release schedule, but a nice spot in between. There are plenty of devices out there, but not nearly the same amount as Android. But there are some carriers that seem to be completely ignoring Microsoft’s platform, which doesn’t necessarily help anything.
We’ve talked in the past about Verizon and Windows Phone. While Sprint isn’t necessarily trying to launch any kind of Windows Phone-based devices either, it’s Verizon’s spot at the top of the US-based wireless carriers that would suggest they should be doing more to support the growing mobile OS. While Big Red launched the Trophy by HTC, that’s been it since. Clearly Verizon was banking on other platforms to lead the charge for subscribers.
To that point, it was Verizon’s Chief Technology Officer Tony Melone that came clean back in the early part of 2011 as to where Verizon stood with Windows Phone. Back then, Melone confirmed that the three big players for Big Red were iOS, Android and BlackBerry. That wasn’t the best news for Microsoft, and sure enough there wasn’t another Windows Phone released for Verizon all year long.
Even now, finding our way into the middle of 2012, there isn’t a new Windows Phone gracing Verizon store shelves.
But! Verizon Chief Financial Officer to the rescue! A recent story from Forbes that quotes Fran Shammo as saying that Windows Phone 8 is a differentiator. The report actually points out that Verizon is now looking for a third “strong” software competitor. Interesting, considering we’re a little over a year after Verizon was pretty confident in BlackBerry as that third competitive piece to the puzzle, and now that isn’t the case at all.
Shammo adds that Verizon is currently working with Microsoft on bringing Windows Phone 8 to Big Red’s network, so those of you out there looking forward to getting a new Windows Phone may just have to wait until the holiday season this year.
So it looks like Verizon has completely changed their mind on Windows Phone, and it has everything to do with Microsoft’s next big update for the mobile platform. Sure, it may be bad news that existing Windows Phone devices won’t be getting updated, but the silver lining is that Verizon will be bringing new devices to the market. Something that should have been done all year long last year.
There’s no doubt that Microsoft is picking up steam here in the States, as Windows Phone is definitely picking up more attention and acceptance. But without Verizon’s support it always felt like it was just not getting the full support it needed. Now that that is changing, it would seem that the roof has some real potential to blow off.
Of course, Microsoft and Verizon will have to make sure that the device, or devices, they launch running Windows Phone 8 are premiere handsets. A smartphone that boasts top-tier hardware, while also flashing the latest and greatest software from Microsoft. Will it happen? Let’s hope so.
Have you been waiting to buy a Windows Phone? If a top-tier device similar to the Nokia 900 launches for Verizon later this year, would you jump? Let me know!