In Short

Windows Phone is the family of mobile operating systems that Microsoft developed for its smartphones which was first launched in October 2010. It comes as the successor to Windows Mobile 5, 6, and Zune, and features a number of changes. Unlike Windows Mobile, Windows Phone is aimed at the consumer market more than the enterprise market.

The operating system has gone through a number of changes over the course of the years, starting with its Metro design language in Windows Phone 7, then progressing and refining through Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 in April 2014. Windows 10 Mobile is the latest iteration of the smartphone operating system from Microsoft which has not completed its rollout. The first two smartphones to receive with Windows 10 Mobile launched with it, and they are the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL.

When it comes to phones that are running the OS, Microsoft has had an interesting path with partnerships. From developing its own hardware to the Nokia partnership of 2011, the company has always struggled to get vendors to commit to the operating system. Windows Phone has run on hardware from HTC, LG, Nokia, and Samsung in the past, and more recently from Alcatel, Acer, ZTE and others.

Windows 10 Mobile looks to bring some additional integration and unification to its PC-based counterpart for a seamless transition between the two. There is now a unified ecosystem of applications, so developers can code once and work across a number of devices.

Microsoft has taken to its Windows Insider program to gain public input of the operating system ahead of its release. This way, the company was able to get the OS installed on the devices of users around the world if they opted in, and have them give feedback, submit bug reports and more. Through this program, Microsoft was able to add new features to Windows 10 Mobile, as well as squash some bugs.