Windows Phone 8 Needs Help, And Fast

Every new platform needs time to grow its legs, but it's really important for Microsoft to make a big push for its Windows Phone platform right now. We've already seen the first introductory devices, but where are the new handsets? As it stands, we don't see many on the immediate horizon, at least not in any leaks, and it seems like next month's Mobile World Congress show will be largely focused around Android.

The reason I'm worried is because RIM will unveil BlackBerry 10 and its new handsets on Jan. 30th, and follow up with new announcements in May during its BlackBerry Live show. During that same week, Google will unveil its next Android operating system and its own batch of fresh devices. Meanwhile, we're already seeing super high-end 1080p displays and quad-core processors landing in Android handsets, making them more powerful than ever, and Samsung's Galaxy S IV is on the horizon with a possible launch this spring. Apple isn't sitting still either and is already garnering plenty of headlines with rumors of a larger iPhone or even two new iPhones. And amid all of these headlines, the biggest news Microsoft is making with Windows Phone is that it recently launched its Windows Phone 7.8 SDK.

If Microsoft wants its platform to flourish, it needs to be just as bullish now and throughout the year as it was at the time of launch. We need to know that new handsets are coming, that amazing new apps are still on the way and that there's still a reason for a consumer to sign a new two-year contract with a Windows Phone 8 device.

It seems, to me, that Microsoft basically pushed out its devices and is sitting back with high hopes that the platform will succeed on its own. Sure, Verizon is going to offer the Samsung ATIV Odyssey starting tomorrow, but that's still basically the ATIV S that was announced with the introduction of the updated platform.

If I were Microsoft, and clearly I'm not, I'd start getting the press rounded up and talking about new features that are already being worked on in the pipeline. I'm not saying the platform isn't relevant anymore – I still carry a Windows Phone 8 device as a daily driver – I just fear Microsoft is going to be stifled by the competition in the coming months as its competitors make a series of huge announcements.

Do we have to wait another six months before Microsoft gives us a hint of what's to come? I sure hope not.