Microsoft is going all out to position the new version of its Windows Phone software as an alternative with broad support from smartphone makers, cellphone carriers and app developers as it heads into the holiday season.
"People all over the world are about to fall in love with Windows Phones," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the Windows Phone 8 launch event in San Francisco Monday.
Windows Phone 8 is the successor to Windows Phone 7, which launched two years ago. It has had little traction in the competition against the iPhone and smartphones running Google's Android.
The new software will run on more powerful phones, and Microsoft says it will catch up in terms of providing third-party applications, or apps, for the system. New apps include radio service Pandora.