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Windows Mobile licence sales: Is the glass 10% empty or 90% full?


Guest PaulOBrien
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Guest Paul (MVP)
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A number of sites are picking up on the recent announcement that Microsoft sold 18 million Windows Mobile licences in the last fiscal year, 2 million short of it's stated 20 million target.

As reported here at SeattlePI, the shortfall is largely attributed to anticipated devices coming to market later than expected, according to recently installed Senrio VP for the Mobile Communications business Andy Lees.

On the positive side IDC data indicates the Windows Mobile sales have grown faster than the overall market with market share increasing from just over 11 percent to just under 13 percent of the worldwide market for "Smartphones" (i.e. converged devices). Windows Mobile devices have outsold RIM devices in the past four quarters, and have sold more than twice as many devices as Apple.

A strong fiscal year lies ahead for Windows Mobile with a raft of hot new devices including the HTC Touch Diamond, HTC Touch Pro, Samsung i900 Omnia and the long-awaited Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, not to mention the likely announcement and possible introduction of Windows Mobile 7 prior to the end of the current fiscal year on June 30th 2009.

Did Microsoft make a rod for it's own back here? Of course, overwhelming coverage of the announcement focuses on the missing 2 million licences rather than the 18 million that were sold, and in fairness Microsoft only have themselves to blame by publicly announcing a target that they surely must have been fairly confident of hitting!

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The recently released devices and the upcoming ones have all done their level best to push WinMo as far into the background as possible. If your average Joe punter gets a Diamond or whatever with his contract chances are he won't know it runs WinMo. MS might be selling licenses now but I wouldn't be suprised if HTC/Samsung/Whoever brought out their own OS (or used Android) and dumped WinMo for being the rubbish, out of date c**p it is. Fair enough right now they're selling licences but that's only because the manufacturers need the underlying code. MS certianly aren't selling WinMo on the experience it gives end users.

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