The launch of Windows Phone 8 is a good news but not for everybody

The hotly-anticipated Windows Phone 8 (WP8) is finally here and features shown yesterday at the Microsoft Phone Developer Summit have exceeded the industry expectations. This fresh platform is now equipped with the right tools to satisfy the market’s appetite for innovation and is a challenge to rivals like the ageing Apple iOS. Although the existing Windows Phone 7 (WP7) will be upgraded to include some high-level features of WP8, the true capabilities of this platform will sparkle only when new enabled devices are launched.

However, because WP7 is not truly upgradeable to WP8, this could have a negative impact on sales of existing WP7 smartphones, Nokia’s Lumia devices in particular. Operators and users will hold on until the new devices are in the market this coming Autumn. This will have a serious impact on Nokia’s financial performance the coming quarter as the company relies strongly on Windows Phones as the main platform for its smartphones.

These functionalities include true multitasking and support to multi-core processing, animated and customisable tiles and UI, advanced voice recognition, support of high definition and resolution screens, application sharing between the phone and other Windows enabled devices, faster Browsing engine with enhanced support to HTML5 applications, Better gaming experience through Direct 3D APIs extension, embedded support of off line navigation.

Although OEMs and developers were very enthusiastic about Windows Phone 7 (WP7), they never considered it as a “wow” platform that would enable them to bring innovation and a unique ecosystem experience to the market place. It is true that some OEMs have voiced their concern about Microsoft’s close partnership with Nokia but this has not been the only factor that pushed them to limit or discontinue their support to Windows Phone. Smartphones running WP7 have been missing some of the most innovative features and functionalities in the market that are necessary to win the heart of advanced users – the “super-smartphone” owners in particular.

WP8 addresses the majority of these issues and could be a game changer. A number of vendors and developers have said they were holding off until WP8 is ready. The introduction of WP8 is very likely to attract back key OEMs including HTC, Samsung and LG as well as, most importantly, mobile operators that want to see another thoroughbred in this three-horse race. Challengers including Huawei and ZTE have also said they would not seriously engage with Microsoft until Windows Phone 8 was ready as this could potentially take the focus away from the Android platform.