Microsoft Losing Out on Smartphone Market?
In just a few years so much has changed for Microsoft. Just in 2004 it’s Window’s Mobile operating system was being used to run over a quarter of all smartphones. Then came Apple and Blackberry maker Research in Motion. In an attempt to revitalize the industry, Microsoft will unveil its latest effort, the renamed Windows Phone operating system, in Barcelona at a wireless industry conference in Barcelona.
Robert J. Bach, president of the company’s entertainment and devices division claims that the operating system will “move the bar forward, not in an evolutionary way..” IDC analyst William Stofega said that Microsoft’s new mobile software “has to be different and convince their customers and partners that they are going to fundamentally change direction.” He also predicts that total shipments of smartphones will more than double between 2009 and 2013, to 391.3 million units.
Microsoft’s new integrated system will make it easier to handle word processing and spreadsheets sent from PC’s. It will also be more integrated with the company’s Xbox game machine and Zune music player, so that users can share music and videos between Microsoft devices. However, one challenge left to be solved is the thousands of applications being made for Iphone and the Google backed Android phones. There are about 800 applications available in Microsoft’s online mobile store, though the company estimates 20,000 applications will run on its mobile operating system. “They’ve never really established a brand presence that’s meaningful,” says analyst Charles S. Golvin of Forrester Research.
Microsoft has begun to work very closely with hardware partners such as LG and HTC to both share engineering resources as well as better customizing it’s software to their particular phones.
Analyst Alex Spektor of consulting firm Strategy Analytics had the following to say about this situation : “They have a lot of funding, they have terrific engineering resources, the game is not over.”