Windows Phone makes apps its USP to rival Apple and Android

Microsoft is to focus on strengthening its apps marketplace to try to establish a leadership position for Windows Phone against Apple and Android in the mobile space.

The Windows Phone owner is working to identify opportunities to bring “unique and differentiated” apps and games experiences before they come to market on competitor mobile devices.

The company aims to build more high-quality partnerships with social networking, music, entertainment, sports and news services to expand its premium apps offering. One of its first exclusive partnerships was the £5.2bn takeover of internet telephone service Skype, which will be integrated into the Windows Phone, Xbox and Kinect platforms.

Microsoft is building out its Windows Phone “depth application team” to drive the delivery of apps to be recognised as the “showcase experiences” on its range of mobile devices, as it bids for its range of applications to become its unique selling point.

The depth application team works closely with both Microsoft and Nokia’s field organisations to align their app platforms into the Windows Marketplace, following the alliance formed between the two companies earlier this year.

The partnership was created shortly after Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop berated his company for being left behind in the smartphone race, saying it had “poured gasoline on [its] own burning platform”. Nokia’s revenue and market share have plumeted in recent months as new smartphone competitors such as HTC and Apple entered the space.

The first Nokia Windows Phone, codenamed Sea Ray, was leaked online last month. The device uses the Windows Phone operating system and contains a Nokia Maps application.

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