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Microsoft Corp. expects Windows Phone 8 operating system to finally make it a viable player on the market of smartphones after years of failures. Unfortunately, Microsoft did not name any major differences between the failed launches of Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 as well as the latest Windows Phone 8.

“With the work we have done with Nokia, HTC, Samsung and others, there is now an opportunity to create really a strong third participant in the smartphone market. We are still relatively small ... I expect the volumes on Windows Phone to really ramp quickly," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft, at a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, reports Reuters news-agency.

Without any doubts, Microsoft Windows Phone is a considerably more mature platform than it was two years ago. Besides, Windows Phone 8 is easier to develop for from software designer’s perspective. Moreover, the WP platform is now better integrated with other platforms from Microsoft, including Windows 8 operating system as well as Xbox entertainment platform.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, the major rivals of Windows Phone – Apple iOS and Google Android – were not standing still in the recent years. Both platforms gained hundreds of thousands applications in the last two years and are also well integrated with non-mobile environments.

According to recent data from IDC, only 3.6 million Windows Phone-based smartphones were shipped in Q3 2012, which is lower than the amount of Symbian and Blackberry handsets, not talking about Apple or Google phones.

It will be very hard for Microsoft to successfully compete against larger rivals on the smartphone market, especially given the fact that all Windows Phone 8 devices resemble each other, unlike Android-based handsets. Still, the world’s No. 1 maker of software believes that the initial reaction on Windows Phone 8 was good enough to ensure long-term success of the platform.

"The initial reaction to these products has been really really phenomenal. And if you look at how people will get Windows 8, the truth of the matter is more people over time will get Windows 8 by buying a new computer than by upgrading old computers," added Mr. Ballmer.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 8, Nokia, HTC, Samsung, Huawei

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