COMMENTARY | You would think that a company like Microsoft could make a major impact on the smartphone world by developing a slick new operating system. According to CNN, the software giant is trying to make some inroads with the release of Windows Phone 8, which consequently makes a nice pairing with Windows 8 for computers and tablets. However, this is a company that faces a seriously difficult road just to make a slight impact in the mobile world. Google has just announced a new smartphone that will be running its popular Android OS, the Nexus 4, according to The announcement also highlights a bunch of different sizes for Nexus devices with the 4-inch phone along with a 7-inch tablet and a 10-inch tablet, which mirrors something Microsoft is trying to do with Windows 8 for phones, computers, and tablets. Still, as popular as Android powered devices are, they are not the major player in mobile devices. According to ZDNet, Apple is forecasted to sell 194 million iPhones in 2013, which will only serve to underscore iOS as a major competitor for Windows Phone 8. Nearly 200 million phones in one year is a lot of ground to make up for any company. Microsoft might be controlling the PC world, but it is going to need a few years of steady gains on great devices to even make a dent in world pretty much controlled by Android and iOS. Since Android controls around 57 percent of smartphones in the US and iOS accounts for another 36 percent, according to CNET, there is not a lot of wiggle room for competitors to break in. The twist will be how well phones featuring Windows Phone 8 are received. A sleek and powerful new gadget would likely make penetrating the market much easier. According to CNN, Windows advertising is going to be popping up all over the place, but it is going to take a lot of ads to get the kind of exposure necessary to even manage 2 or 3 percent market share. Microsoft has its work cut out for it, and this is one particular technology battle that will be decided in a year or so. If Windows Phone 8 manages to carve out a niche by next October, the competition could really heat up, but if it fails, the OS could fall by the wayside with not even a whisper.

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