With Microsoft’s Windows 8 set to be launched this fall, acquiring the support of carriers like Verizon Wireless will prove to be critical for the software giant if it wants to compete with leading companies in the smartphone market.
Hardware makers like Samsung, Nokia, HTC and Huawei will be seeing manufacturing devices that run on the Windows 8 platform, with all major carriers extending their support. AT&T and T-Mobile have shown great enthusiasm, with the former already having carried five flavours of Windows Phone on phones from Nokia, Samsung and HTC. According to their spokesman, the carrier might introduce a 4G LTE Windows Phone smartphone too. T-Mobile also offers HTC and Nokia flavours of Windows Phone smartphones. But what Microsoft actually needs is the backing of Verizon, which is still unclear on how much and how far they will support Windows Phone.
Verizon and Sprint haven’t been very supportive of Windows Phone in the past. Currently, Verizon offers only the HTC trophy which runs on Windows Phone. Similarly, Sprint offers two Windows Phone smartphones from HTC. Both carriers had earlier backed off from offering Nokia’s Lumia, continuing to sell Android phones and the iPhone. However, Verizon’s spokeswoman confirmed that they would be selling Windows 8 devices once launched. Sprint stated that Windows 8 devices will be available, not indicating when though.
Verizon may have been earlier apprehensive to sell Windows Phone devices because they were unsure of the sales. Existing Windows Phone users will not be able to upgrade to Windows 8, making first and second generation handsets completely obsolte. This explains why Verizon did not want to invest heavily until Microsoft got a consistent OS up and running. Besides, Microsoft has been working on trying to integrate their computing operating system with the mobile operating system, something they have managed to accomplish with Windows 8.
Though Android will dominate T-Mobile’s 4G network, they pointed out that the sales of Windows Phone has doubled in the last eight months, proving that Microsoft could develop as the third major ecosystem in the smartphone market. Since the new software utilizes the same base for tablets and PCs, it will be easier for developers to work on providing an integrated experience among PCs, tablets and smartphones alike. Even though the new features and enhancements available in the developed software provide Microsoft the push it needs, acquiring committed support from a carrier like Verizon will be of utmost importance.