The runway is clear for Windows Phone 8 to take off.
From a mere glance at Windows Phone 8 it's obvious to most tech and UI design savvy individuals that it has finally found its language, function and identity respectively. Where as Windows Phone 7 before it strayed off the mark by being too simplified and space wasting to the point of impeding function with over-sized and non re-sizable tiles that made it seem inflexible and too dumbed down, non interactive.
Today I am glad to say that looking at any one of the upcoming Windows Phone 8 devices from Nokia and HTC I get the sense that I am looking at the next paradigm in both phone and UI design. An evolution in dynamic information presentation. It's fast, clean, engaging, interactive, dynamic/alive,and authentically digital with a rapidly growing app store to boot. what more could a gadget lover ask for !
Certainly there's the matter of mind-share of which Windows Phone has relatively little, but that is only because Windows 8 and the relative underlying technologies under Windows Phone 8 were not ready when WP7 made its entrance and in addition to all the above points there was no unified ecosystem, today metro will rear its head into millions of homes through 90% of the new PC's sold and now a horde of tablets and convertibles giving WP8 a super charged mind-share boost that is guaranteed to quadruple its adaptation rates.
Whilst I am a pro Microsoft person I have always been honest with myself and stayed well clear of Windows Phone 7 knowing that its based on an aging CE kernel and framework designed as a quick stand-in for the yet to be finished WinRT/P and Windows 8 kernel, also WP7 UI did not tackle my fancies as described above. Now however I can't imagine wanting to use anything more than WP8 running on one of the high-end, vibrant and feature packed devices due to be released.
Take the iPhone, it enjoys iconic status and unparalleled customer loyalty and is a very solid, proven product with the most featured app store. But it is evidently starting to fall behind the competition because of sticking to outdated UI concepts and software stack, heck even services! And now for the very first time people will be pulling out phones that look prettier, feel more interactive, come with more free services and function better than the iPhone and this I believe will certainly sway a lot of the iPhone users to switch. As a tech savvy person I for one can't fathom how anyone can lock themselves into a contract on the new iPhone 5 and stare at that 73 degrees and sunny icon for another two years. Who knows maybe if they stare long enough it will change.
As for Android it's somewhat ugly, complicated, slower and worse as a software architecture. But it's getting much better and faster and is the most customizable of any platforms. If things don't change much in Cupertino in respect to iOS and quality of free services included I believe Android and Windows Phone will both eclipse it in all respects and eventually market-share, the "share' that brings money of course ;)