By Claire West

Microsoft launched an update to its mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8 last night competing with Apple's iPhone and Google Android.

"Windows Phone 8 is the last piece of the Microsoft puzzle — an ambitious bid to bring together its desktop, tablet, Xbox and smartphone experiences, and riding on the crest of a reportedly billion-dollar ad campaign." commented Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com

"As far as the user experience goes, it's engaging, intuitive and bespoke too, through its customisable and vibrant Live Tiles. Everything is designed to make the switch to Windows Phone 8 easier, and well-executed new features are evidently designed to put people first. But will this be enough to set it apart from the competition?"

Ovum analyst Nick Dillon says: “In terms of sales, Ovum forecasts Windows Phone to grow from 4.5% of smartphone market share in 2012 to 13% in 2017, putting it in third place behind iOS and Android.”