I still can't quite get on board with the idea that Windows Phone will be the top OS (or even second) any time soon, but from now till the end of the year the stars are aligned to give Microsoft's OS its biggest chance yet to make some serious headway.
The double-barrel release of Windows Phone 8 Apollo and Windows 8 should finally build some momentum for MS, especially since both Android and iOS have largely now flattened out.
Both are still growing, sure, but that's largely because the smartphone market itself is still growing. According to DigiTimes, around 423 million Android smartphones are expected to be sold in total this year – a pretty serious 89.8% rise on 2011's tally. Apple's iOS, meanwhile, is expected to rack up 125 million unit sales, a 34.9% year-on-year rise.
But while Windows Phone's sales figures are only expected to reach 21 million for the year, that would represent a 107.8% increase on 2011.
Now at this point I imagine a fair few of you are about to point out that it's not hard to double your numbers when they're as poor as WinPho's have been, but there are two points worth noting here.
First of all, that figure of 21 million is expected to be heavily weighted towards Q4, when the new wave of Apollo handsets from Nokia, Samsung and friends touches down. That means that 107.8% figure is actually likely to be a fair bit higher if you drill down to monthly figures.
And secondly, of all the top 5 smartphone OSes, Windows Phone is the only one whose performance for 2012 is actually better than either of the previous two years in terms of sales gain – all the other four have seen their numbers either improving by a smaller rate than in either 2011 or 2010, or dropping faster.
It paints a picture of Android and iOS having now hit their full potential, and unlikely to grow much more. The only question now is whether Windows Phone can follow in their footsteps.