Sabtu, 31 Mei 2008

Microsoft expects its Windows Mobile software to grow by at least 50 percent worldwide in this and the next fiscal years. According to a report by Reuters news service, Eddie Wu, Microsofts managing director of OEM embedded devices in Asia, projected the software giant will sell 20 million units with Windows Mobile in the fiscal year ending in June. In the last fiscal year, it sold more than 11 million units.


He added that growth of Windows Mobile devices is greatest in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Brazil, Russia and India. Windows Mobile is featured on a wide array of devices from Samsung, Motorola, High Tech Computer, Asus and others. Its main competitors include Symbian-based operating systems, such as those on devices by LG Electronics, as well as mobile operating systems on Apple, Research in Motion (RIM), and Palm products.

In a recent quarterly report, Microsoft said its Windows Mobile sales are due to increased market demand for "phone-enabled devices and Windows-embedded operating systems."

Avi Greengart, an analyst with industry research firm Current Analysis, called the sales projection "bold, but not out of the question."

He noted that Windows Mobile is being used by an increasing numbers of licensees, and in an increasing number of form factors. Its also being featured in new product lines, such as the Xperia line from Sony Ericsson.

In "classic productivity" devices, Greengart said, Windows Mobile is very strong, adding that were also seeing Windows Mobile devices in high-end multimedia smartphones.


He pointed out that a key driver in the growth of Windows Mobile is the "explosion" in entry-level smartphones, especially in the U.S., but abroad as well. Customers are finding that, for a somewhat higher price than what they were expecting to pay, they can get a smartphone to track e-mail and do other tasks.

Worldwide, smartphone sales totaled nearly 12 million units last year, representing a growth of more than 50 percent over the previous year.

As it competes with the trend-setting iPhone from Apple, Microsoft said it will be offering full Web-browsing capabilities later this year. Earlier this year, the company showed a new version of its Internet Explorer Mobile browser. It said the new IE Mobile supports Flash and allows users to see full-screen Web pages and multimedia comparable to a desktop experience. Apple has not yet found a version of Adobes Flash that it likes enough to include in the iPhone.

Windows Mobiles competition with RIMs BlackBerry has led to an emphasis on productivity tools, such as mobile versions of its desktop-dominating Office suite. And Microsoft has been increasing the operating systems flexibility and ease of use -- for example, allowing music to be played from a devices home screen or making it easier to set up for Bluetooth connectivity.


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