Microsoft has signed a one-year contract with telecoms giant Telefonica to try to push sales of Windows Phone 8-powered phones across Europe and South America.

Currently sitting in third place behind Android and iOS, Windows Phone 8 needs to grow market share in order to gain traction with its app store offering, the current weak point of the operating system.

Telefonica hopes the arrangement will break the duopoly that currently exists in the smartphone market and that it should promote a more diverse choice for consumers.

The marketing push will begin with the UK, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Brazil and Chile getting a Telefonica powered push for Windows Phone 8 devices. 

Read: Nokia Lumia 925 review

"An associate partner such as Microsoft is chosen as a result of its operator-focused business approach. The Microsoft business culture is based on a model of value creation through its partners' associates, which fits in perfectly with our culture and also with our way of doing business," said José María Álvarez Pallete, COO of Telefónica S.A.

No word yet on how much the deal has pocketed Telefonica and we doubt we will ever find out. This could however mean some rather tasty price incentives being offered by O2 (Telefonica's UK network) for those willing to pick up a Windows Phone 8 device. Alternatively though, it might just translate to a lot of Windows Phone 8 shaped advertising.

This is in contrast to BlackBerry's constant push for app development for its new operating system. The Nokia Lumia 925, which we recently reviewed, turned out to be a fantastic phone, but was held back by the app diversity available for Windows Phone 8.

Hunter Skipworth

The baby of the Lint team, Hunter has been a tech fan since he bought his first MiniDisc..and what a waste of money that was. He began writing about electronics at the age of 16 and hasn't stopped since. Nowadays he fulfils his mobile phone and gaming obsession whilst attempting to distract people from his bizarre name. Regular meetings with the Gladiators crew see Hunter often returning to work battered and bruised. Considers himself a music obsessive, was once the most highly decorated scout in the country. Fan of trousers.