Is Windows Phone a Smartphone Contender?

 Five years ago, the iPhone emerged as the first smartphone fully capable of online digital interoperability. Since then, others have joined its league—most notably, the Android. With many choices of models and multiple styles that all have varying levels of functions, the Android has become a popular option for smartphone lovers everywhere. Windows first released the Windows Phone a little over two years ago, which is attempting to keep pace with the iPhone and the Android.

Window’s most recent and advanced operating system—Windows Phone 8—has many desirable characteristics and functions, and is making progress in catching up with its predecessors. So where does Windows Phone 8 stand in the smartphone pantheon?

The biggest problem that assails veteran smartphone users when they take the Windows Phone 8 for a test drive is its profound scarcity of apps. That being said, Pandora just released its app for Windows Phone 8, which currently provides new buyers with free access to unlimited music until the end of 2013. Free streaming music for nearly a year is an awesome add-on! Too bad this app is the exception to the rule for Windows Phone 8. Because it is the least popular smartphone on the market, most big companies have not created apps for Windows Phones in general. However, like Pandora, it is likely that more companies will in the future. Could Spotify be next? At present, however, Windows Phone 8 has about 120,000 apps, which pales in comparison with the Android’s 500,000 apps and iPhone’s 600,000 apps. Its lack of apps is probably Windows Phone 8’s worst shortcoming.

Windows Phone 8 is, however, great for beginners because of its highly intuitive operating system. Like many smartphones, it has an automatic set-up Wizard that guides users on how to operate the phone. It also provides simultaneous data and voice operation, it can be used as a Mobile Hotspot, and it sports voice command throughout the entire system: to launch apps, send texts, make calls, or search online.

With its roots in the Microsoft lineage, Windows Phone 8 provides an advanced capacity to create and edit emails, texts, and documents. In fact, it provides a direct connection with all Microsoft Office applications, and also works well with both Hotmail and MSN.

Taking into consideration its full spectrum of cutting-edge functions and developing capabilities, the Windows Phone 8 is definitely catching up with iPhones and Androids by leaps and bounds. However, its scarcity of apps may be a deal-breaker for the more experienced smartphone users. But we’ll leave it up to you to decide if the Windows Phone 8 really packs the punch it needs to be a true smartphone contender.

Gretchen Cathey is the Operations Manager for of Worth Ave Group, a leading provider of insurance for smartphones:  As a self-proclaimed social media junky, her flare for communication has brought her much success at Worth Ave. Group, where her responsibilities include social media outreach, public relations, advertising, and brand and business development.