According to an article in Reuter, Microsoft aims to double the number of mobile phones running its Windows software this year from 6 million at the end of 2005 and to keep up this rate of growth in coming years. Microsoft competes in the market for smartphones, with British software maker Symbian, owned by the world's top handset producers including Nokia. Nokia has about half the global market for smartphones.
Microsoft also faces competition from Research In Motion's (RIM) Blackberry, the world's leading mobile email device, which has recently launched a new model, the Pearl, with additional camera and music functions. Blackberry users also number a little over 6 million, and RIM's co-Chief Executive Mike Lazaridis said in a separate newspaper interview that the company aimed to keep doubling its number of users each year. Asked how big the market for mobile emails was, Lazaridis replied: "It's huge, and we're just at the beginning."
Expect Microsoft to continue to enhance it's OS and UI in competing with Blackberry's email success. Interesting enough, Palm Treo was not mentioned as a competitor in the article at all. But we fully expect Microsoft to tackle Treo's success in UI and single hand phone operation in the next generation mobile OS. I would also expect RIM and Palm to venture beyond their current success in gaining market share.
May the best OS, UI, mobile devices win ;-)