Soon a nice update will come to your Windows Phone 8: Windows Phone 8.1. This update contains a lot of UI updates but also additions like other platforms know.
It will be possible to have a background picture. This picture will show in the icons with a transparent picture.
On Android and Apple platform there is a notification center. On these devices you swipe from the top down and you get a overview of all notifications. Here you can see al text messages, Whatsapp, mails or other notifications. This will come to Windows Phone too. I am using it for while and you get used to this very quickly.
The agenda on a Windows Phone is much better than the competing platforms. But with the coming update they make an extra step forward. As a business user of a Windows Phone you will enjoy this very much.
The biggest feature is Cortana. On a iPhone you got Siri and on Windows Phone we have Cortana. Game fanatics will recognize the character from the Halo Games on XBox. At this moment Cortana is only available for US English.
You can joke with it. Ask Cortana to sing or to tell jokes or ask for advise. During the Soccer WK 2014 she also showed to know a lot about soccer and do some predictions. Powered by Bing.
But there a lot of serious use cases. You can tell her to remind you at a certain moment. As a real PA (Personal Assistent) she will remind you of your task.
A great update. Let hope the mobile providers will push the update to you all.
PS The screenshots are made on a Nokia Lumia 1520.