According to Microsoft, its Windows Phone platform is now the defacto third smartphone ecosystem behind Apple and Google.
In a conversation with The Verge during this week’s BUILD 2013 developer conference in San Francisco, Senior Windows Phone product manager Larry Lieberman told the publication that “we [Microsoft] think we’re solidly the third ecosystem right now.” Though that’s not totally good news – recent statistics have shown that Microsoft is behind Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android by a pretty wide margin, it’s great news for Microsoft as it puts the firm ahead of BlackBerry’s latest mobile efforts.
Microsoft saw their mindshare and marketshare in the smartphone space plummet after failing to deliver a modern version of Windows Mobile and for taking a year following Windows Mobile 6.5 to launch the full on redesign of the Windows Phone.
It’s believed that smartphone market can likely only support a small stable of viable mobile platforms. If Windows Phone is third, it could help Microsoft attract more developers. Having more developers create quality applications could potentially attract more users, making it even less likely that users or developers would move to support the BlackBerry 10 operating system.
Windows Phone’s launch in 2010 could have made all the difference. After repeatedly delaying the launch of BlackBerry 10, the operating system finally became available to consumers on the BlackBerry Z10 earlier this year. While the company has had some success with attracting developers to the platform, there have been no indications that sales of the Blackberry Q10 and BlackBerry Z10 have been anything other than lukewarm.
While the company seems to believe that it has little to worry about from BlackBerry itself, Microsoft’s relatively demure announcements about possible Windows Phone 8 updates could erode the consumer trust Microsoft has managed to gain so far.
Since Microsoft’s hardware partners shipped Windows Phone 8 last November, Apple and Google have each announced large changes to their mobile operating systems. Meanwhile, Microsoft has only made mention of one upcoming update to Windows Phone 8: GDR2.
Its large changes are limited to expanding the amount of networks that support letting users track their data usage with the DataSense app, and re-enabling the FM Radio support that the company dropped in the transition from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8.