Of course, Windows Phone 8 also comes with productivity apps, chief among these being Office Hub.
Office Hub in Windows Phone 8 brings with it the latest versions of Microsoft Office, Excel and Powerpoint, offering easy on-the-go document editing and creating. We found all three apps, Word in particular, extremely handy for working on the go, offering easy formatting, sharing and typing thanks to Microsoft's excellent on-screen keyboard. Thanks to Microsoft's Skydrive cloud storage, Windows Phone 8 allows you to start a document and finish it when you arrive at work, which will be a draw for business customers.
Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 email application is great too. We found it really easy to hook-up our Gmail, Outlook and Exchange accounts, and the combined inbox made it really easy to keep on top of all of our messages while finding it easy to flag, search, and mark emails as 'important', something lacking from IOS and Android email applications.
Those looking to pick up a Windows Phone 8 device for business will be pleased to hear that Windows Phone 8 has beefed up its support for Microsoft Exchange Server, delivering features such as IRM-protected emails, alpha-numeric PINs, setting out-of-office messages, syncing Outlook tasks, and searching the email server for messages.
Microsoft has also been keen to boast that Windows Phone 8 comes with Internet Explorer 10 (IE10), the "fastest version" of its homegrown web browser yet. We typically use Google Chrome, so we found it difficult to adjust to the IE10 web browser, but did notice that it was much slicker than the version preloaded onto Windows Phone 7. Those using Windows 8 may find the IE10 web browser more appealing though, as it offers all of the same features found on Microsoft's desktop operating system.
It's hard not to love Windows Phone 8. It's a vast improvement over the previous version of Microsoft's mobile operating system, and its newly customisable user interface puts IOS and Android to shame. However, the software ecosystem is still suffering from a severe lack of big-name apps, and although Microsoft's preloaded offering is surprisingly good, we can't help but view this as the mobile operating system's major letdown.
Saying that, this app offering is likely to grow alongside the popularity of Windows Phone, and thanks to the incoming wave of high specification Windows Phones, this could be just around the corner. µ
Gorgeous intuitive user interface, great productivity tools, support for higher specification devices.
Can be confusing to use at first.
Windows Phone Store is still lacking big-name apps.