It may have taken a lot longer than Microsoft anticipated, but its mobile OS (Windows Phone) is finally starting to gain some much needed traction, particularly in Europe.

Several analysts reported throughout 2012 that the Windows Phone platform was slowly but surely increasing its market share. Obviously the data back then did not include the Windows Phone 8 numbers, leading speculation that the results could be even better.

No surprises then for guessing that they are.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech has just published the newest statistics on the global smartphone market. And Microsoft’s mobile platform has a very strong showing, undoubtedly helped by Windows Phone 8 and its strong impact in terms of sales.

Europe brings the best news where the market share of Windows Phone has more than doubled to 5.4%, from 2.6% back in 2011. Italy heads the pack where adoption was up to a nice 13.9%. Microsoft is starting to conquer even Britain — considered a stronghold for RIM and its BlackBerry platform.

Redmond has just about caught up with them there, with a 5.9% showing, compared to RIM’s 6.4%.

Still, two markets where Windows Phone is still in cold waters are US and China. These two counties are perhaps the two most important markets, and in the United Sates, Windows Phone only saw modest gains of 0.4% year over year, and only controls 2.6% of the market.

As Dominic Sunnebo, the global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech noted:

“It has been far slower than Microsoft would have liked, but Windows Phone is now starting to gain respectable shares in a number of key European countries. However, its performance in the Chinese and US markets remains underwhelming. As the two largest smartphone markets in the world, these remain key challenges for Microsoft to overcome during 2013.”

Still, some of these big increases show that Microsoft and its partners are doing a lot of things right. A lot of work remains to catch up to Android and iOS, but if things continue at this pace, it could only mean good times at Redmond and its mobile ambitions.

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  • Rajosh Mehtra

    Windows Phone sucks dude!

    • Fahad Ali

      Subjective, subjective. 😛 But they are different at least, from the eerily similar Android and iOS. Still the Windows Phone story is just beginning, let’s see how it fares in the midrange segment.

    • DCJason

      Your comment is not helpful.

    • WP8_RULES

      Not a helpful comment at all.
      Care to elaborate?
      Let me guess: You are either an Android user (most likely), or a sheltered iPhone user.