In 2010, Microsoft changed Windows Mobile forever. In a big way, too. In one fell swoop, the Redmond-based company changed just about everything there was to change when it came to their mobile platform. At the same time, they started on a path that would look beyond just the mobile market in a way that they hadn't done yet. It was a move that had obviously been in planning for quite some time, and while nothing is ever absolutely certain, we can be sure it's one that Microsoft knew would take time to fully realize.
Here we are, three years later, and that path is still being walked upon by Microsoft. A lot of things have changed since then, too. Windows Phone 7 is no longer Windows Phone 7, but has been bumped up to Windows Phone 8 -- with plenty of point variations in between that major upgrade. Since 2010, we've seen manufacturer support swoon and fade. We've seen the platform gain features, and we've seen other features expand and improve.
Basically, we've seen Windows Phone evolve. It may not be at a pace that a lot of people like, but it's the pace that Microsoft is accustomed to. The one that works for them. Windows Phone has come a long way since its debut back in 2010, even if it does look pretty much exactly the same. But hey, that worked for Apple, so maybe it will work for Microsoft, too.
The reality is, Microsoft's platform has been growing internally, with new features and new hardware, but the industry has been waiting to see developer support, too. A company can't do it on their own anymore. Now it's about application support. Indeed, we hear it all the time when we're talking about new devices, or a new platform. If there isn't a big app catalog available, that new device or new platform may not stand much of a chance out there in the wild.
Everything is starting to fall in line for Windows Phone.
I've been using Windows Phone off and on since 2010, and there's just this point where I want Microsoft's mobile platform to really take off. Every time I leave Windows Phone, it's one of the only platforms that I actually miss not using for one reason or another. However, even as I admit that, I can admit that I prefer the applications that are available on systems like iOS and Android. Even the ones that are available on Windows Phone as well. I just prefer to use the Apple- or Google-based alternatives.
I think that will change, too, but I don't think we're going to have to wait long to see that. In fact, while I've already admitted that I'm excited to see what Microsoft does with the recent Nokia device & services acquisition, I think it goes beyond that. I'm excited to see the other app developers out there who have been waiting to see Windows Phone pick up speed finally jump on board the moving train.
With apps like Vine and Instagram now available for Windows Phone, the main stalwarts have finally made their presence known, which means we could see a nice change of pace starting in 2014 from other developers. In fact, we're already starting to see it at the tail-end of 2013. And I honestly think it will start to grow next year.
And I have to point to Microsoft's efforts with the platform, too, before we close this out. With Windows Phone 8.1 next year, which should hopefully launch in the early part of the year on a wave of new hardware, we've got features like Cortana (hopefully). Microsoft's answer to Apple's Siri more so than an answer to Google's Now service, Cortana should be pretty great as an added bonus for the platform.
The question of why you aren't using Windows Phone may have to change in 2014, especially if the platform can get some high-end device that put the Android competition on watch. But, the question is: do you think the tide will change in Microsoft's favor in 2014? Do you think Windows Phone will start to race towards the front? Let me know what you think 2014 will look like for Microsoft's mobile OS.