Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 is here, and is actually doing reasonably well during its first few days on the market. That said, there is some very real competition in the mobile market that would love to fight Microsoft for the “3rd place” position in the smartphone market, this includes Mozilla with Firefox OS and RIM with BB10.
Do either of these platforms have a chance against Microsoft? Honestly, Firefox OS is Mozilla’s first attempt at an OS, so it’s reach in the beginning will likely be limited. Firefox OS will appeal primarily to those looking for budget smartphones as their very first switch from a dumbphone.
In contrast, RIM is established and will go after both everyday consumers and those in the enterprise. In fact, Microsoft and RIM arguably have the same core target audience. So which platform is going to be the greater success? All the major carriers will likely support both platforms, but who get attract more consumer interest?
While it is probably too early to pass judgment, let’s talk about a few possible strengths from each platform:
Windows Phone 8
- Microsoft is heavily promoting integration with other Microsoft products in Windows Phone 8. This includes heavy Office integration that appeals to the enterprise, as well as integration with Windows 8.
- Microsoft has “gamer” appeal with its Xbox Live integration.
- Microsoft’s Live Tile approach is different and fresh.
- Windows Phone 8 allows all sorts of languages to be used for app creation and porting (unlike WP7) and therefore might do better when it comes to attracting big name apps.
- Microsoft has deep pockets for marketing and is already hitting hard with celebrity endorsements.
RIM Blackberry 10
- There are still Blackberry loyalists out there. Even though the United States has seen many former BB10 users switch to another platform, this isn’t the case in many other markets across the globe.
- The Blackberry keyboard is an important feature for some.
- Blackberry originally had a reputation for serious business and an elite vibe that it might be able to use as leverage for gaining new fans or winning back old ones.
- Blackberry will bring its Blackberry Flow approach into the picture, which it touts as a way to improve productivity and brags is a more seemless smartphone experience.
- Blackberry 10 will launch with 100,000 apps, many of which will be targeted towards regional, high quality apps.
Right now, there isn’t much on BB10’s bullet point. This isn’t necessarily because BB10 doesn’t have some killers features– we just don’t know enough yet. As it stands, RIM needs to give us proof that Blackberry 10 can do things BETTER than alternatives like Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android. Having 100,000 apps at launch is certainly a very positive sign though.
As for Windows Phone? It already has a few advantages over iOS and Android that it can use to gain traction. This includes the perception that it is better for business (whether that’s true is probably debatable), and the integration with Office, Xbox and Windows 8.
It is unlikely that either BB10 or Windows Phone 8 can dethrone iOS and/or Android at this point, but if they play their cards right, one of these new operating systems could establish itself as a solid third place contender.
Which new platform are you most interested? Does Windows Phone 8 lure you in or are you more curious about what BB10 can bring to the table? Conversely, do you think that Firefox OS has what it takes to rise to a solid 3rd place position in the market?