This year began quietly for Windows Phone poker fans, then exploded in April when Microsoft purchased the ailing Finnish company Nokia. The move helped Microsoft acquire over 25,000 Nokia employees spread over fifty different countries. Nokia had worked with Microsoft on the Lumia series of mobile phones.
This move came along with the latest release on April 2 of the Windows Phone, version 8.1. This is good news for Window Phone poker players as it signals that Microsoft are making a greater effort in promoting the use of their mobile OS and are putting all their resources behind increasing the Windows Phone market share in 2015.
First U.S. Windows Phone Poker Sites
Both Carbon's and Bovada's apps are written in HTML5, meaning they can be played using the Windows Phone and Internet Explorer or some other mobile browser. Carbon Poker's App allows for Full Ring, 6max and Heads-Up games in No Limit and Fixed Limit Texas Hold'em poker. Players can also take part in SnGs and MTTs, plus casino games and sports betting.
Mobile poker players at Bovada can enjoy a few hands of Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi and Omaha Hi/Lo, plus Zone Poker, which is Bovada's version of fast-fold poker.
Bitcoin Mobile Poker Sites Emerge In 2014
The continual emergence of the “crypto-currency” Bitcoin gathered slight pace in 2014, with Switch Poker (a poker room compatible with Windows Phone) becoming the first poker room to accept bitcoin. Bitcoin is the internet's equivalent of hard cash, as Bitcoins can be sent from user to user or user to retailer peer-to-peer in the same way that file-sharing services work. This means that transactions can be enacted using Bitcoin without the need for banks or other financial institutions to be involved. Young internet users have said that they would be more comfortable using crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin than using credit cards online.
WinPoker, Seals with Clubs and BetcoinPoker all joined Switch Poker in accepting Bitcoin in 2014.
Both 888poker & Bet365 Release Browser-based Apps
In 2014 888poker unleashed a new version of its Instant Play mobile app onto the mobile market. The already gleaming reputation of 888poker was given a quick buffing up by this app, which contained the full functionality of 888poker's desktop site including all games and account management options. The best news for Windows Phone poker players was that the app was written in HTML5, meaning they weren't left out of 888poker's mobile poker party.
In conclusion, 2014 was a pretty good year for Windows Phone poker players, even though nearly all poker rooms who offered mobile apps continued to concentrate on the iOS and Android markets. The main positive move for Windows Phone poker fans is that more and more poker rooms are moving away from downloadable apps for specific operating systems, and instead creating rich, HTML5 versions for browser-based play. As Windows Phones come complete with the latest version of Internet Explorer, HTML5 apps should run seamlessly.
As progress on developing and promoting the Windows Phone operating system seems to be currently stood like a rambler at a crossroads holding a shattered compass, HTML5-based apps are the best hope that Windows Phone Poker players have of at least their continual involvement in the mobile poker playing arena.