During the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, Microsoft touted some of the accomplishments achieved with the Windows Phone and Windows platform. On top of that, Microsoft has outlined a new growth phase for both platforms.
"Today Nick Parker and I had a chance to talk to media and analysts from around the world attending Mobile World Congress in Barcelona - we shared some updates about Windows and Windows Phone, and we announced a new phase in our plan to continue growing and scaling Windows Phone globally," Microsoft's Joe Belfiore stated in an official blog post.
Some of Windows Phone's recent accomplishments include being recognized as the fastest growing operating system with a 91% year-over-year growth in 2013, more than 10% share across Europe, high customer satisfaction data, and over 240,000 apps now available in the Windows Phone Store.
Microsoft has announced nine new Windows Phone partners, which include: Foxconn, Gionee, JSR, Karbonn, Lava (Xolo), Lenovo, LG, Longcheer and ZTE. "This is exciting news for phone buyers around the world. With seven of the top 10 global OEMs - in addition to some of the leading brands in China, India and Taiwan - now collaborating with Windows Phone, you can expect to see an incredible new range of devices across screen sizes and price points," Belfiore added.
Microsoft is also adding support for Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 and 400 series chipsets, as well as support for soft keys and dual SIM. Microsoft has also launched the Windows Hardware Partner Portal, so hardware partners can have direct access to the tools and content needed to build and market their Windows Phone devices efficiently and cost-effectively.
All these new improvements to Windows Phone will be a part of the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update.
On the desktop side, Windows 8 will receive an update this spring (Windows 8.1 Update 1) and with this update, hardware partners can build lower cost hardware. Update 1 will also make the user interface much more familiar and more convenient for users with mouse/keyboard, allowing users to bypass the Start Screen and utilize the desktop on non-touch devices.
"We are enhancing support for enterprise customers via a few tweaks, particularly including features that greatly improve IE8 compatibility in Internet Explorer 11, which is especially critical for web-based line of business applications. Additionally, we’re extending mobile device management capabilities and making deployment easier," Belfiore added.
With these accomplishments and upcoming improvements, Microsoft is looking to grow both platforms. With the addition of nine new Windows Phone partners, perhaps Windows Phone will finally surpass its distant third place position behind iOS and Android. Let's just hope it's good enough.