Why would I consider buying a Windows mobile?
On September 3rd, Microsoft announced that they will be acquiring Nokia’s Devices and Services division and patents for a total of 5.44 billion Euros. This is a clear signal that Microsoft is serious about taking a fair share of the mobile phone market. Most people who purchase a new smartphone today seem to choose between an iPhone or a Samsung. So, why might you ask, should you consider buying a Windows mobile? In this blog article, I’ll give you a high-level overview of what to expect when buying a Windows mobile and what the benefits are.
Microsoft’s mobile operating system – Windows Phone 8
If you purchase an iPhone it as an operating system from Apple called iOS. If you purchase a Samsung Galaxy it has an operating system from Google called Android. If you purchase a mobile with an operating system from Microsoft the current version is called Windows Phone 8. The operating system plays a major role when you decide on which phone to choose, it controls how you interact with your phone, what applications are available for your phone and much more. Microsoft has developed operating systems for mobile devices for a very long time. Windows Phone 8 was released in October 2012, and a number of updates have been released since then.
Plenty of handsets to choose from
If you want to purchase a mobile phone with Windows Phone 8 you are not limited to a single device. There are a number of different handsets from a handful of manufacturers that you can choose from. Nokia has the largest number of Windows mobile phones in their Lumia series, see for example Nokia Lumia 1020 and Nokia Lumia 925. You also have handsets from HCT such as their Windows Phone 8XT, from Samsung such as their Samsung ATIV S Nero and from Huawei with their Huawei W1.
You get your Apps from the Windows Phone Store
One of the key drivers for selecting a mobile phone is the applications that are available for the phone. Applications that might be of interest include Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Evernote, Skype, Microsoft Office, and so on. Unfortunately, these apps don’t work across all mobile operating systems – you need to have different versions of the applications. For your iPhone, you go to the iTunes AppStore to find apps, for Android phones you go to Google Play. To find apps for your Windows Phone you need to go to the Windows Phone Store. According to Microsoft, there are currently over 120,000 certified apps in the Windows Phone Store, but this is still not as many as for the other platforms.
Key benefits with Windows Phone 8
Depending on who you ask you will probably get different answers to what the main key benefits are with a Windows Phone and why you should consider buying one. Below are the key benefits as far as I’m concerned:
An ideal work phone with your familiar Office applications
Most of us have Windows and Office on our work computers. Since Windows Phone 8 is tightly integrated with the rest of Microsoft’s products, it makes your phone a natural extension of your computer. You can easily read and edit PowerPoint, Excel and Word documents and take notes in your OneNote notebook. You can access files on your corporate SharePoint Intranet site and you can easily synchronize your files to your computer or to your SkyDrive account in the cloud to make sure everything is backed up properly. You have your email, contacts, tasks and calendar easily accessible whether you are using a corporate Exchange email server system, or the free Outlook.com (previous Hotmail) service provided for consumers.
Microsoft are putting a lot of emphasis on making Windows Phone 8 the ideal choice for IT departments that want to have better capabilities of managing employee’s phones. Microsoft recently announced an Enterprise Feature Pack which will provide enterprises with even more control over what is installed, what corporate data that can be accessed and what to encrypt to protect sensitive data.
Easy to use and personalize
Windows Phone 8 is intuitive and easy to use. On the Start Screen of your Windows phone, you will see little squares that move, these little squares are called “Live Tiles”. Instead of just showing an image of the application, Live Tiles show you more information from the application itself. For instance, the Photos Tile shows your favorite photos, the Email tile shows how many new email you have received, the Calendar tile shows your upcoming appointments and so on. You can easily personalize your phone by moving tiles around and selecting which ones you want to see on your Start Screen.
Helps you stay connected to the people in your network
Windows Phone 8 makes it really easy to stay up to date on what is going on with the people in your network. You can connect your phone to various social media accounts such as facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. By going to the “People Hub” you can see an aggregated view of a person’s contact details, your recent communication with them and any posts or updates they might have posted on their social media accounts.
Other appealing features
In addition to the benefits I’ve mentioned above, there are numerous other appealing capabilities that come with with Windows Phone 8.
Maps – Great Map application that you can take offline
As part of the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft in 2010, Microsoft licensed Nokia’s map technology and made it available to all Windows Phone 8 handsets. Using “Maps” you have great, visual and detailed maps where you can see nearby restaurants, bars and museums, and get directions on how to get there. Thanks to the software integration you can tap a location to get the contact details and instantly place a call. If you want to visit a place again you can save it to your favorites. In addition to accessing this information when you are online, you can download maps (available for over 180 countries) to your phone so that you can use them to navigate even if you don’t have Internet connectivity, or if you are traveling and don’t want expensive roaming charges.
Kid’s Corner – Profiles for your kids to safely use your phone
With Kids Corner you can set up profiles for your kids so that they can use your phone – but only the apps you want them to access. This way you can ensure that they don’t accidently call an important customer or delete some of your manager’s email. Add the apps that they are allowed to play with and remove apps like the phone and your contacts. This is extremely appealing to those of us with small kids.
Rooms- Easily share calendar, messages and photo albums with your nearest ones
Another great feature which enables you to easily share photo albums, group messages, calendars and notes with each other is “Rooms”. You can create different Rooms for different groups of people. Say for instance that you create a “Family Room” for your family. Here you can share your family activities in the calendar, notes such as shopping lists, and photo albums of the kids and your vacations. The only downside to the “Rooms” application is that for an optimal experience, everyone invited to the “Room” should have a Windows Phone 8 for full functionality (there are workarounds for other devices, but the experience and ease of use is not the same).
It’s a matter of personal preferences
When it comes to choosing a phone it comes down to personal preferences and priorities. If you prioritize having the same apps as all of your friends, then a Windows Phone is not the way to go since it doesn’t have that big a market share. But if you prioritize having a phone that is a great work phone then you definitely should consider buying a Windows phone. Since there are so many models to choose from you can be sure to find a phone that meets your requirements whether it’s a great camera you’re looking for, a sleek design or large screen. Whichever phone you decide to buy at the end, I hope you’ll be satisfied!
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