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Microsoft can't explain away why its communications hardware is deficient

With Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) already punting its plans to sell Windows Phone on the world's biggest market -- China -- to sometime in 2012, it's crucial that it does its best to capture U.S. sales in the meantime.

Recent comments from Verizon Wireless reveal that the dated wireless communications hardware on current Windows Phone models may be a deal-breaker for it.  Verizon Wireless -- a joint venture between Verizon Communications, Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD) -- controls over a third of America's subscription customer base.  Missing that massive chunk of sales in its largest current smartphone market (the U.S.) would be a huge blow to Microsoft's already struggling Windows Phone project.

Marni Walden, Chief Marketing Officer for Verizon Wireless sounded frustrated in her comment to CNET.  She remarked, "We've communicated to Microsoft that LTE is critical to us. We need to see a timeline that makes sense if we want to continue to represent them."

Verizon LTE
Verizon: "Y U No have LTE, Microsoft?" [Image Source: Android Spin]

Thus far, Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android has been virtually the sole platform of LTE handsets in the U.S.  With Verizon and AT&T, Inc. (T) promoting their rapidly expanding 4G LTE networks [1][2][3][4] that's been a huge boon for Google and its partners.

The holdup with Windows Phone LTE support appears to be on Microsoft's shoulders, as many Windows Phone manufacturers like Taiwan's HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) and South Korea's Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930already support LTE in their Android handsets.  Thus the hardware capability for LTE seemingly exists for Windows Phones, but the software is the limiting factor, thanks to Microsoft's sluggish response.

Microsoft has been on the defensive about its Windows Phone performance for some time now, as flagship Android smartphones seemingly have better specs on paper.  While its argument that Windows Phone runs faster on single core-CPUs than Android on dual-core CPUs is certainly plausible given real world evidence, it's hard for Microsoft to generate a convincing excuse for why its phones can't support the latest wireless communication standards.

Add LTE to a growing list of problems such as poor advertising and poor dealer incentives that have plagued Microsoft, turning a slick operating system into a market dud.

Source: CNET





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