Thursday, June 22, 2006

Microsoft's Windows Mobile OS Gains Traction

TechNewsWorld writes that Microsoft (MSFT) "appears to be gaining ground with its Windows Mobile platform." The article notes that "Microsoft has been in this market for more than a decade, but its Windows Mobile system has been slow to gain traction." Neil Strother at The NPD Group said, "Initially, Microsoft did not seem to understand handheld operating system dynamics as well as it did with desktop systems."

The article looks at some of things Microsoft is doing better and Strother notes, "Smartphones -- those that take advantage of the new data capabilities -- make up a small portion of the cell phone market, but they are a market segment that has been growing."

The article then discusses the challenges Microsoft faces from Symbian and the hurdles it must overcome. Michael Cherry at Directions on Microsoft stated, "Microsoft has done a good job leveraging its Visual Studio development environment, so third parties can build Windows Mobile applications."

Strother added that "Microsoft's big advantage is its products are compatible with its large base of desktop applications." Well sort of in my experience.

Strother concludes that "The handheld OS market is in an early stage of development, so it is now clear which vendor -- or vendors -- will emerge as market leaders. Because of its recent momentum, Microsoft has as good a shot as any of the companies vying for that position."