Windows Phone OS
Windows Phone OS
Wikipedia defines Windows Phone as “a family of mobile operating systems developed by Microsoft for smartphones as the replacement successor to Windows Mobile and Zune.” Hence, all the latest smartphones from Microsoft are powered by the Windows Phone Operating System which has the Metro design language to thank for its awesome user interface.
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The birth of Windows Phone
The first Windows Phone was launched in October 2010 although the announcement was made earlier in February of that same year. With the birth of the Windows 7 phone came the introduction of the Windows Phone OS to the consumer market. The Windows 7 phone was upgraded several times with the introduction of different versions of the Windows Phone. Some upgrades are that later came with different features are:
• Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
• Windows Phone 7.5 Tango
• Windows 7.8
• Windows Phone 8
• Windows 10 Mobile.
The Partnership between Nokia and Microsoft
At a press conference held in London on February 11, 2011, the CEOs of Microsoft and Nokia, Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop respectively, a partnership between the two giant companies was announced to the general public. The objective is to replace the Symbian Operating System used by Nokia with Windows Phone as the primary Operating System. That was the turning point in the history of Nokia phones and the development of the highly-revered Lumia smartphones.
The result of this partnership led to the announcement of the first Lumia phones in 2011, the Lumia 710 and Lumia 800. These two Lumia phones were produced and announced to the general public at Nokia World 2011 held in October 2011.
Due to the global acceptance of the Microsoft Lumia smartphones, Nokia developed another version of the Lumia phone in 2012, Lumia 900, which was first revealed to the public at the International Consumer Electronic Show. This latest Lumia product has some distinct features such as a 1.4 GHz processor, a 4.3 inch AMOLED display, and a 16 GB memory for storage. It was also one of the first Windows Phones that supported LTE and was officially released in April 2012.
Later in the year, two other Microsoft Lumia smartphones were released in September. They were Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 which were the first set of phones to use Windows 10 Operating System.
Some other Lumia products that were released later include:
• Lumia 720
• Lumia 520
• Lumia 2520
The Lumia 520 goes down in history as the best-selling Windows Phone until now. You can find more Microsoft Lumia smartphones visiting their website.
Windows Phone devices worldwide
According to statistics by Adduplex in 2013, Nokia Lumia 800 continues to hold top position by acquiring 17% market share of all of the available Windows Phones.
As per the top 20 charts made by Adduplex in 2014, the USA holds the top position, since 11% of all Windows Phone purchasers in the globe are based there. Next on this list are India with 7.5% users of Windows Phone, and Brazil (6.9% users). The other countries that are in the top 20 are: China, Italy, Russia, Germany, UK, Mexico, Finland, Thailand, Argentina, Poland, Vietnam, France, Spain, Indonesia, Turkey, Canada and Colombia.
The problems with Windows Phones OS
Windows Phones were accepted by people when they were first introduced into the mobile world. This is highly connected with the reputation of Nokia as a phone company with a reputation for excellent hardware as well as the reputation of Microsoft as a giant in the Operating System section of the tech industry.
However, the alliance of Microsoft of both tech giants did not yield the desired result as the Microsoft Phones have some major flaws that Microsoft found challenging. A couple of these flaws are:
▶ The interface
Windows Phones use Metro UI. This interface functions properly when the phone is newly bought. It will give you a memorable experience that will endear the UI to you. However, this will change after using the phone for some months when the interface will become less appealing unlike Android phones with interfaces that can be customized to retain their look and feel.
▶ The app support
Apps are extensions of a phone. They are usually depended on to give phones extended functionalities. This is a feature of Android phones that gives a cult followership among its users. The Window Phone apps are nothing to write home about. The app store is a dessert at best, with less than appealing apps available for download and use. Most of the apps that are available on Android phones are absent in the Windows Phone app store while the few that are available are rarely upgraded.
If you even get a corresponding app with an Android app for a Windows Phone, they are less desirable because their performance will be less than desirable; they are always not at par with their Android counterpart.
▶ Unstable Operating System
This problem is hardly present in new Windows Phones. It gradually crawls in with use over some months if you don’t have the habit of turning your phone off. Some of the common problems that will arise from the Operating System include hanging, issues with the screen auto brightness; touch smoothness becomes history, difficulty in receiving incoming calls and a host of other problems that arise as a result of a problematic Windows Phone OS.
Sometimes you need to visit their service center to correct this problem. At the center, the phone will be formatted for the phone to function properly. That is a temporary solution as the phone will relapse after using it for a few weeks. For the rest period of time you use it, you have to contend with this problem.
▶ Absence of Google apps
This is a big minus of the brand. Windows Phones do not enjoy the same relationship that Android phones have with Google apps. The absence of Google apps like analytics, Drive, YouTube, Adsense, Maps, Search, Chrome, and Gmail is frustrating in this world where an instant exchange of information is of paramount importance to individuals and corporate organizations. In this era and time, it is far from advisable to ignore Google; they have an avalanche of apps and services that are used by everyone from a professional level to a personal level.
Other general problems include:
▶ Failure to charge the phone while you switch it off.
▶ Difficulty in transferring or receiving files through Bluetooth on non- Windows Phones.
▶ Your browser may close automatically if you try to access large websites.
The combination of these problems is a big challenge that Microsoft needs to find a permanent solution to if Windows Phone OS will achieve the same success as its competitor, the Android OS.
All the best,
Jacek LIPSKI, M.Sc.
Visionary small entrepreneur • Business mentor for SME • Freelancer
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