In an effort to compete with Google's Android and Apple's iPhone, Microsoft revealed its new Windows Phone 8 software, although phones with their software will not hit stores for a few weeks in the US. The highly touted software allows users to personalize their phones far more than any Android or iPhone allows, according to senior product manager Greg Sullivan. "You can really customize and make the phone a reflection of what you care about in ways that aren't possible on the other platforms," he said (Acohido). .
The Windows 8 phones will hit Europe first, marking the beginning of joining the Microsoft operating system with mobile phones. "It has been for us an exciting and energizing few days," said chief executive Steve Ballmer. "Windows PCs really are the best PCs ever and today we are bringing phones into the Windows family with Windows 8. The lines we've seen at Microsoft stores have been heartening" (Chapman). .
HTC and Nokia are creating the latest handset models with the Windows Phone 8 software. These models will arrive in the next few weeks at AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Best Buy, and other retail outlets. "Perhaps for the first time we are going to see hardware on par with iOS and Android devices in terms of computing power, screen resolutions, cameras and taking advantage of advanced network bandwidth known as LTE," said Al Hilwa, an IDC analyst who focuses on applications development software. "Support for SD cards and NFC (near field communication) is even ahead of the iPhone" (Acohido). .
One hardship Microsoft has faced in the past is enticing salespeople at the carrier stores to promote their Windows Phone as opposed to the Galaxy S III or iPhone that earn easy commission. This time around, Microsoft is going make special efforts to train salespeople and engage customers in point of sale promotions, according to Sullivan. Officials at Nokia and HTC expressed an early interest in promoting the Windows 8 Phone, and Microsoft is hoping that other carriers, including AT&T, will catch on as well.