This post was originally written by Mobile Man.
The way employees get their work done has forever changed with the arrival of powerful mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Although operating systems like Android and iOS dominate many of the headlines in these markets, Microsoft continues to push forward with its Windows Phone platform in an effort to assert itself as the bonafide third option in the mobile arena.
Organizations looking for ways to support a mobile workforce and their employees who own a Windows Phone can develop custom-built, business-centered applications for these staff members. Infragistics' Windows Phone controls, for example, allow firms to develop highly visual apps that are native to Windows Phone devices.
Even companies that lack skilled personnel in mobile app development can use these tools because they are supported by vast network systems populated by seasoned developers. Users can even view sample code to make the creation process even easier.
Looking ahead, Windows Phone may continue to become more of a player in the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement. A recent IDC report said that more than 236 million smartphones were shipped during the second quarter of 2013, up 51.3 percent from the same period in 2012.
While Apple experienced a year-over-year decline in terms of shipments, Windows Phone had the largest growth of any operating system during the past year, expanding from 4.9 million units to nearly 9 million.
Meanwhile, Android remained at the top, accounting for more than 79 percent of second quarter shipments, increasing from approximately 69 percent from the previous year, according to IDC.
Things are Looking Up For Windows Phone
Other industry research has suggested that Windows Phone is trending upward. According to a report by Canalys, Android accounted for nearly 68 percent of all smartphone shipments in 2012, followed by iOS with approximately 20 percent, BlackBerry with just under 5 percent and Microsoft with 2.4 percent. By 2017, global smartphone shipments will total 1.5 billion units, with iOS declining to 14.1 percent and Windows Phone approaching 13 percent.
For Windows Phone to be a viable platform in the near future, it must be scalable, according to Jessica Kwee, a Canalys analyst.
"'Nokia is the most active vendor in the Microsoft camp and it continues to make steady progress with its Lumia portfolio," Kwee said. "It has had some major carrier wins recently in the two largest markets of China and the United States, which will help it build momentum in the short term."
Ryan Reith, program manager of IDC's mobility tracker programs, said Windows Phone shipments surpassed BlackBerry last quarter, and this continued during the second quarter of 2013. Nokia is a major driver behind Windows Phone as a whole, with Reith explaining that the research firm expects this to continue moving forward.
Reith concluded that as more manufacturers develop Android-based smartphones, the attention placed on Windows Phone will likely grow as people look for different options.