NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The smartphone industry is a little bit like the car industry these days: At more than a certain price, there aren't any bad products anymore. This happened in the last 10-20 years in the car industry, and in the last one to two years in the smartphone industry. I have now spent a week with the HTC 8X smartphone, which runs the all-new Windows Phone 8 operating system from Microsoft ( MSFT). This is not to be confused with Windows 8 or Windows 8 RT, as those operating systems power PCs and tablets. General Douglas MacArthur reputedly said, "Behind every lost battle there are too words: Too late." This applies in many ways to Windows Phone 8. If this operating system (and the related phones) had been launched two or three years ago, it would have been class-leading. Today, the competition from Apple ( AAPL) and Google ( GOOG) has improved so much that I recommend iPhone and Android/Nexus products for most users. First, let's take a look at the various phones that will be available for Windows Phone 8. > > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll Depending on your carrier, your hardware choices are these: Two phones from Nokia ( NOK), two from HTC, and one from Samsung. These will be available in various stages across geographies over the next 30 or so days. The admittedly very few Microsoft stores will supposedly carry all of them.