Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile OS is growing at a healthy rate in Europe and reached a new peak in July when its installation base grew by 24 per cent across all markets, according to StatCounter.
France and Germany experienced the greatest Windows Phone growth recently at 29 per cent and 27 per cent respectively, while the UK saw a still respectable 18 per cent increase.
The growth (see chart, top) means that Microsoft's mobile OS now owns a 1.68 per cent EU market share, an improvement but still small fry compared to Android and iOS. Recent research from market analysis firm Kantar Worldpanel puts smartphone deployment of the Google operating system at over 50 per cent in the UK, France, Spain and Italy.
In the US, Android owns a dominant 56.3 per cent market share, despite a recent surge from principle rival iOS, according to reports from Strategy Analytics.
The most plausible explanation for Microsoft's mobile OS growth is the recent release of the Windows Phone-running Nokia Lumia 610 and Lumia 900 devices, hinting that an entry-level/high-end sales combination is proving an effective strategy for the tech giant and its handset manufacturing partners.
Of course, while Microsoft's long-term ambition will be to compete with the market leaders, in the immediate future it may have to content itself with trying to overtake the BlackBerry OS – the recent figures from the US indicate a 4 per cent year-on-year market share loss as of Q2 2012.
While RIM devices remain marginally more popular in Europe and the UK, the native mobile operating system continues to rapidly plummet – as of May 2012, the BlackBerry OS had lost about 6 per cent of its market share year-on-year, according to StatCounter.
Is the imminent release of Windows Phone 8 capable of seeing this project through to fruition as soon as 2013? It may be, especially if the recent leak regarding the preparation of two WP8-running Samsung devices, codenamed 'Odyessey' and 'Marco', proves true.