Things have not been particularly easy for BlackBerry this last year or two, but now the situation is fast getting out of hand. The Windows Phone 8 platform is leaving BlackBerry far behind in Europe, which is one of its most dominant markets.

Microsoft’s mobile operating system continues to gain notable market share around the globe.

And according to the statistics from Kantar, it has already managed to take down the fruity company in a number of key markets in Europe. In the three months that ended July 2013, Windows Phone 8 has grown to 8.2 percent of all sales in five European markets.

In fact, the BlackBerry operating system is now far behind — accounting for just 2.4 percent of sales in these major European countries, to go with a mere 1.2 percent of the market in the United States.

The market research firm analyzed sales of smartphones in some of the most popular markets in Europe, like Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK. Even in certain other parts around the world, Microsoft’s operating system enjoys an impressive market share, like 11.6 percent in Mexico.

As Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech put it:

“Android and Apple take the lion’s share of the headlines and continue to dominate smartphone sales, so it’s easy to forget that there is a third operating system emerging as a real adversary.”

Perhaps most interesting is the fact that most of the new Windows Phone users are coming from feature phones — only few of them moving to the platform from Android and iOS:

“Windows Phone’s success has been in convincing first time smartphone buyers to choose one of its devices with 42% of sales over the past year coming from existing featurephone owners.

This is a much higher proportion than Android and iOS. The Lumia 520 is hitting a sweet spot, offering the price and quality that new smartphone buyers are looking for.”

Nevertheless, while Android and iOS remain the leading platforms on the worldwide smartphone market, Windows Phone is fast staking its claim as a real contender. Microsoft would be hoping that the platform continues its rather impressive traction, more so after its recent acquisition of Nokia.

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