This is a guest post from Jane Smith.

One of the biggest questions for the tech industry in 2012 is the fate of the Windows-powered smartphones produced by Nokia, one of the latest entries into the ever-diversifying smartphone field. I say the fate of the Nokia Windows Phones is uncertain because most American consumers have given their phones a big “meh” thus far. To put things in perspective, let me give you an idea of how little pull the Nokia Windows Phone currently has in the U.S. smartphone market. Right now you can get a Nokia Lumia 710 Windows Phone at a Wal-Mart for free. They’ve essentially become like any standard free smartphone provided by cellphone providers, and that’s not exactly a compliment.

But wait. There are two reasons why American consumers shouldn’t rule out the Nokia Windows Phone—namely, the Lumia 800 and 900 smartphones. The 800 model was released to rave reviews in the U.K. and in mainland Europe in late 2011, and now Nokia is planning to launch the phone in the U.S. along with the souped up 900 model. While Microsoft and Nokia hope for equal success in the U.S. smartphone market, it’s hard to say how their phones will fare here. Let’s take a closer look at what they have to offer.

Specs and the Windows Phone OS

Surprisingly, the currently available Nokia Lumia 710 Windows phone has decent specs. Powered by a 1.4GHz processor, the Lumia 710 can perform most of the basic smartphone tasks with relative ease. The phone makes it fairly simple for the user to surf the web, run simultaneous apps, draft emails, and so on. It has modest storage capacity with 8GB, nothing too special. The Lumia 800 and 900 series will boast more robust specs, but still nothing to write home about when compared to its smartphone competitors.

The 800 and 900 series, however, will also be equipped with something altogether new, the Windows Phone OS. Microsoft and Nokia executives and spokespersons have attested to the strength of the new smartphone operating system, claiming that it will bring new innovation to the way people interact with mobile devices. Microsoft has taken it’s time designing this OS, which will supposedly reflect a completely novel approach to the smartphone user interface.

The Windows Phone OS interface will basically look like a series of interactive tiles which represent the various functions of the smartphone. These smart tiles—supposedly more customizable and responsive than the apps we’re accustomed to seeing on smartphones—represent the foundation by which users will interact with their phone. Reportedly, these tiles will reflect up-to-date information on a variety of data, from up-to-date weather notifications to the latest news on your Facebook wall. The Windows Phone OS will be compatible with all Microsoft related platforms, including Xbox, Zune, and the Microsoft Office suite. Based upon the marked enthusiasm from tech enthusiasts and analysts, the Nokia Lumia 900 in particular may have a shot at taking the smartphone in a new direction.

An Apples and Androids market

While the prospect of a new revolutionary smartphone is exciting to ponder, one has to wonder how it will affect a market already dominated by iPhones and various Android phones. With speculation and curisosity about the eminent iPhone 5 at an all time high, and with a seemingly bigger and better Android phone coming off the conveyor belt every month, it’s hard to imagine where the Windows Phone will fit in. But perhaps people will respond well to the much-needed diversity (and quality) in the smartphone market. We have to wait and see what happens until the Lumia 900 is released within the next few months.

This is a guest post by Jane Smith. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to: janesmth161 @ gmail.com

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