We’ve said before that Windows Phone is a capable and beautiful operating system, but to many users its biggest drawback is a lack of quality apps. To that end, Nokia and Microsoft are announcing some exclusives to the Lumia line, plus a new crop of apps from well-known brands for the whole platform.
The Lumia exclusives are a PGA Tour app (12-month exclusive); ESPN (12-month exclusive); Groupon (6-month exclusive); Tripdots (3-month exclusive); AOL Entertainment Hub (6-month exclusive). If you recall, Nokia claimed an exclusive ESPN app for the Lumia series during last year’s Nokia World, but the announcement today extends that exclusivity period to May 2013. The sports company is also citing the near-future availability of an ESPN Fantasy Football app.
Coming to the greater Windows Phone ecosystem, including the Lumia line, are some choice titles, too. PayPal is finally launching its Windows Phone app, and Time Magazine will be adapting its weekly fare to the Metro style. Newsweek’s The Daily Beast is coming to all Windows Phones, along with enterprise storage giant Box, who have managed to arrive before mainstays Dropbox and Sugarsync.
Another exciting announcement, and a more firm assertion of its previous statements, is Rovio’s commitment to the platform. “Windows Phone and Lumia are of strategic importance to Rovio. We are very committed to bring our [Angry Birds] games to Lumia devices, and are looking forward to delighting our fans on the Windows Phone platform,” says Rovio CEO Mikael Hed.
EA will also be bringing several popular mobile games to Windows Phone: FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA Jam, Tiger Woods PGA Tour , Mirror’s Edge and Yahtzee.
All said, big announcements today for Windows Phone users, especially owners of the Lumia 710, 800 and 900. While Windows Phone recently passed the 80,000 app milestone, popular services like PayPal and Box will go a long way to “legitimizing” the platform.