Microsoft's mobile operating system, Windows Phone, now has around 40,000 apps as more and more smartphone makers pair with the tech giant to run their new devices. So far, Nokia is perhaps the biggest manufacturer to pair with Microsoft, but Samsung and HTC both have some nice devices running the year old system. Windows Phone in its current version is called Mango, so nicknamed with the most recent update (Windows Phone 7.5).
Microsoft previously tried to inject themselves into the mobile operating system world with Windows Mobile, but the system was abandoned in 2010 after the iPhone and Android systems took more and more U.S. customers to their devices. With Windows Phone, Microsoft is building a system that integrates different applications right into the system itself, and relying less on apps. Because there are fewer developers for Windows Phone, that's not a bad idea, but if the system becomes popular enough, more developers could migrate there.
The main characteristic of the Windows Phone device is the live tiles homescreen. Instead of icons, like the ones seen on Apple and Android phones, the Microsoft system displays a few pre-set tiles that update your texts, social networks and apps right on the homescreen. Instead of a separate app for, say, email, a live tile on the homescreen takes you right to email within the Windows Phone system. Start the slide show for the top 10 Windows Phone smartphones.