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Windows Phone 8 to support popular apps and new features

Matt Hamblen | Oct. 30, 2012
Windows Phone 8 smartphones, which officially launched Monday and will shi in November on three U.S. carriers, will support 46 of the top 50 most popular smartphone apps with a Data Sense app for more efficient data usage that will first be supported by Verizon Wireless.

The few Windows Phone 8 features announced Monday did not persuade analysts that the platform can go well above 10% market share in 2013, although the features were seen as positive.

"Microsoft has devices with some very compelling features for families with kids who are looking for a simple way to have their content everywhere" and still protected, said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy.

Moorhead said he would withhold judgment on Data Sense until there is independent research that can verify the 45% savings.

Moorhead said the Kid's Corner feature is an example of how Microsoft has sought to distinguish the platform from others, but added: "I do not think that what they have launched will be enough to quickly catapult them into a strong #3 of ecosytems." He said Microsoft needs to more tightly integrate Xbox with Windows 8 to gain more market share.

Ovum analyst Nick Dillon noted that Windows Phone has less than a 5% share of the smartphone market, but can grow to 13% in 2017. He said that support from mobile operators will help, as well as the design of Windows Phone 8 with its connections to Windows 8 tablets, desktops and all-in-one devices.

Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, said there was almost no mention at the Windows Phone 8 launch of enterprise capabilities.

"It disturbed me that Microsoft didn't mention business users and the enterprise and that the event was very consumer focused," Gold said. He said that a brief discussion about using Sky Drive as the repository for Office documents should have merited more attention.

He added that the concept of "Rooms" could be applied to a group of workers, as well as to a family, although Microsoft didn't clarify the use.



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