As convergence of various entrainment options continues, Windows Phone (both 7.5 and 8) are well positioned to take advantage of this. Smartphones in general (much like tablets, netbooks and laptops) are already seen as major competitors to both gaming consoles and content-streaming devices, and even to traditional desktops in some cases. Even though an €800 smartphone can’t compete with a similarly priced (or even quarter-priced) desk-top or set-top device, those items don’t all occupy the same space anyway. They don’t really compete in the marketplace or in use or usage, because they don’t really do the same things in the same ways.
Smartphones are on the move and go anywhere, with a choice of cellular or wi-fi for data, and they fit into a pocket. (Usually.) That’s regardless if the use is gaming on social media or watching television shows directly from the provider. No matter if it’s local device games, or services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video. It sometimes seems the least important aspect of a smartphone is its ability to make and receive phone calls. Even text messaging might be playing second fiddle to all the other functionality on these hand-held computers that have telephone voice capabilities. All smartphones have all that in common, along with camera functionality and more.
Among the many benefits of Windows Phone compared to others is the integration with Xbox Live and Windows 8, all into one big happy family of logins and information sharing. Some suggest all of that that isn’t as important as the number of apps in total for a smartphone OS, and maybe it’s not, or at least not yet. Although as we’ve long suggested, the number of apps in a store isn’t always the best metric by which to determine the actual value of or desire for a device running a particular smartphone OS. That value is likely instead price (for both smartphone and for service plan) combined with what users will do with the phone. If the apps available for a smartphone OS are the apps a user needs or can get by with, that might be enough. In the end, features, functions and cross-platform interoperability are perhaps the more important things than the total number of apps. Then there’s also the overall broadness of integration in a given environment to consider.
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