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iOS 7 vs Windows Phone 8: which mobile platform is right for you?

Matt Egan | Oct. 3, 2013
We test Windows Phone against iPhone to find out which is best

Windows Phone 8

We pit together iOS 7 and Windows Phone 8 to see which is the best for choice of phones, apps, and look, feel and features.

Now stay with this: the choice between Windows Phone 8 and iOS 7 is interesting principally because Microsoft and Apple find themselves offering a very similar proposition. Yeah, I said it.

Of course, they offer a similar product because of vastly different reasons. Apple set out from day one to product a smartphone and a smartphone platform that it controlled end to end. The iPhone has been a huge success, so now multiple Apple products can operate using iOS 7. But only Apple-made phones.

For Microsoft, the story has been very different. One of lack of interest from the general public meaning phone makers have deserted the Windows Phone platform. Despite the continuing interest of other phone makers such as HTC, Nokia is the main game in town for Windows Phone 8. And now that Microsoft has purchased Nokia's consumer phone business, like Apple Microsoft is the main manufacturer of hardware for its own software. Oddly, 20 years after Microsoft- and Apple's ideology clash over software licensing vs 'the whole widget', both Apple and Microsoft are taking the latter approach, with HTC offering a kind of Mac clone alternative for Windows Phone 8.

That's not to say that Windows Phone is all- or even half bad. As we'll discover it is a nice to look at and use, secure platform with some good features. The problem is that it came to the market long after iOS and even Android were established. It offered nothing more to consumers than did either of those platforms. And although it could potentially match BlackBerry in the business space, it never targeted that (and look how well BlackBerry is doing).

None the less, there's nothing wrong with Windows Phone 8. And just because it remains a defiantly niche platform it doesn't mean you shouldn't consider it. Let's go ahead and compare key aspects of iOS 7 and Windows Phone 8. See also: Safari for iOS 7 review - what's new in Safari for iOS 7?

iOS 7 vs Windows Phone 8: choice of phones
This is not iOS vs Android, in which the known quality of the former is countered by the variety on offer from the latter. As we discussed above only Apple makes iPhones, and only Nokia now really makes Windows Phones, with two handsets from HTC, possibly to be augmented by a third (the brilliant HTC One). There is also talk of Samsung and Huawei Windows Phones. So the choice is limited, but sound. And sometimes a curated choice is a good thing, rather than the risk of an open market.

 

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