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3GSM LIVE: Microsoft - familiarity breeds contempt?
Posted by Arne Hess - on Tuesday, 24.02.04 - 09:47:53 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 6311x
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Microsoft launched its Pocket PC OS for PDAs three years ago and since then has managed to acquire around 55 percent market share for that platform in Western Europe, according to Canalysis' latest statistics. Now the company's mobile software division is aiming to establish a similar share of the burgeoning smartphone market, says Annemarie Duffy, senior marketing manager, Microsoft mobile devices.

"What we have is an interface which is familiar to business and consumer users worldwide. This familiarity means users are more likely to use their Microsoft powered phone to send email, download media files and access content."

Duffy points to UK operator Orange as an example of how Microsoft OS has helped drive ARPU. "The Orange SPV E200 is one of the highest ARPU generating handsets in their portfolio. Data services are getting used more often and that's because of the familiar user Microsoft interface.

Currently, 50 mobile operators and service providers around the world are shipping Windows mobile devices. This summer, Italian operator TIM will launch a Windows Mobile smart phone in one of Europe's biggest markets.

Duffy anticipates that, as the smart phone market grows, so will Microsoft's market share; and that provides some seven million Windows software developers with the ability to write consumer and business applications for more and more mobile devices. 'This will help to drive a greater customer experience on mobile devices," said Duffy.

Motorola and Samsung are the only major handset manufacturers producing Windows powered phones at the moment. Motorola's MPX200 GSM/GPRS phone has recently been launched with Orange UK and AT...T Wireless in the US and the vendor is expected to launch a second Windows device imminently.

"Our success is based on the success of Windows Mobile OS," said Duffy. "The development partnerships we have in place are delivering value to our business partners in the operator community. Edge Statistics in the US estimate that US operators increase ARPU by an average 25 percent if they have devices running Windows mobile software."

Microsoft's big advantage is its massive installed business customer base where users rely heavily on Windows based server and client software. Duffy said that it was now clear that many of these organisations were moving from the piloting of mobile devices to the deployment stage and this traction bad well for the future Microsoft mobile development.

Courier company TMT Express has rolled out 24,000 Windows Mobile devices in 24 countries since the start of 2004 and UK supermarket chain Tesco will equip its 2,500 home delivery drivers with Symbol devices running Microsoft Pocket PC OS.

"From an enterprise perspective, it will be the IT department who decides which mobile strategy to follow and deploy. Our heritage with them means we know their requirements and they are security, device management and software development. Microsoft excels in all these areas."

Cheers ~ Arne


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