At this point, I think we’ve just about covered all the questions regarding Windows Phone 8. We know the devices. We know which carriers they are going to. And we know that they are launching at some point here in the next few weeks (hopefully). Sure, we’re still missing exact dates in some cases, but if you’re a fan of Microsoft’s new mobile operating system, you’ve probably got enough information to hold you over until one of the carriers that hasn’t announced a launch date yet, does indeed announce something.
But, Microsoft’s not trying to just keep the already converted . . . Converted. With Windows Phone 8, they are trying all over again to sweep a mass amount of people into their brand new, ever-expanding ecosystem, which means they have to convince a ridiculous amount of people out in the world to switch from the mobile operating system they are currently using, to Microsoft’s creation.
So, did they succeed?
That’s a loaded question, obviously. We won’t really know how that pans out for Microsoft until well into 2013. Even if we look at the launch numbers for devices like the Windows Phone 8X by HTC or Nokia’s Lumia 920, or any of the other Windows Phone 8-based devices being launched before next year that will only tell a part of the story. It will be next year, when the dust has settled, when we will be able to fully get a grasp on whether or not Windows Phone 8, and Microsoft’s newest mobile operating system, has been able to make a dent in the mobile market.
Just for a second, though, I want to ask you, Dear Reader, if you’re switching to Windows Phone 8. If you follow the mobile industry at all, and you’ve been interested to see how Microsoft’s mobile OS stacks up against the likes of iOS and Android, or if you’ve been thinking about switching for quite some time, then you know what to expect at this point. You know the devices and where they are going, and, after two major events focused specifically on Windows Phone 8 itself, you know what the new software brings to the table.
In all fairness, I think it’s safe to say that Microsoft didn’t really try to blow the lids off a lot of different pots this year. Windows Phone 8 offers plenty of new features, yes, but even after two major events focused on the software, I can’t say that the new software featured anything that spoke loudly for anyone not already using Windows Phone to switch. And that’s the kicker. Did Microsoft create a platform that, based entirely on the new features that they’ve announced, will cause a huge shift from other mobile platforms?
Will someone using iOS see the need to get their hands on Microsoft’s new Family Room feature? Will an Android user give up their laundry list of customization options to pick up a device with more customizable Live Tiles?
More importantly, did Microsoft unveil one feature, or even more than one, that stands out enough to warrant someone running on another mobile OS to switch? Or did Microsoft play this launch of Windows Phone 8 too close to the vest? Was the Redmond-based company focusing too much on the entire ecosystem, and slotting in their mobile OS as just a piece of the much larger puzzle, instead of giving it a feature that makes it genuinely shine on its own?
As a whole, coupled with Microsoft’s Windows 8, and even Windows RT, Windows Phone 8 makes perfect sense. But not everyone is using that set-up. And while Microsoft did show how easy it is to sync your Windows Phone 8-based device with your iTunes library, I’m not sure that’s enough. Syncing is great, but someone running a MacBook Air, along with an iPhone, already has an ecosystem that’s in sync thanks to iCloud. Then there’s Google’s Android, which works with Windows just fine, right out of the box.
So, based on what we know of the platform and the hardware, I want to know if you plan on switching. Sure, you can tell me if you are already using Windows Phone and plan on sticking with Microsoft’s mobile OS, but I’m more curious to hear from those who aren’t already using it. I want to know if Windows Phone 8 “spoke” to you, and convinced you to switch. Let me know!