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Microsoft is learning to emulate Android

A report from market research firm Interactive Data Corp. (IDC) last month gave some surprising news -- "Windows Phone posted the largest year-over-year gain among the leading operating systems, more than doubling its size from a year ago."

Led by Finnish phonemaker Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) -- once the world's largest smartphone maker and currently the company behind roughly four out of every five Windows Phones shipped -- Windows Phone shipped 7.0m units in Q1 2013 for a 3.2 percent market share; slightly ahead of BlackBerry Ltd.'s (TSE:BB) 6.3m units shipped (and 2.9 percent market share).  Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android widened its lead for the quarter, outselling Apple, Inc. (AAPL) more than 4-to-1, with a 79 percent market share.

Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Phone product manager Larry Lieberman gave an interview to The Verge this week cheering the third place "victory".  He comments, "We think we're solidly the third ecosystem right now.  That's a huge announcement in some respects.  [Windows Phone is] growing faster than anyone else right now."

The news must be bitter for BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins who has long stated that his ambition for his firm is to capture third place in the mobile market.

As for the Windows Phone product chief, he's dismissive of BlackBerry, commenting, "I don't think they can bring to the table some of the things we have.  The fact like we're delivering across such a different set of price points to such a large audience."
After initially pledging to follow in Apple's line with Windows Phone, it now appears that Microsoft is aiming to emulate Google, whose OS is on three out of every four smartphones sold today.  Microsoft and Nokia are hoping that sales of budget handsets will help to drive Windows Phone up a similar path of meteoric growth to Android.

Mr. Lieberman says that Microsoft continues its efforts to woo developers via a growing user base and easy to use APIs.  He did not comment on the lack of a Windows Phone 8.1 preview at Microsoft's annual BUILD Conference, which wraps up tomorrow.  He did hint at one possible feature, though, confirming that a notification center is the feature that is most often request in user feedback messages to Microsoft.

Ultimately Microsoft's decision not to tip its hand too early with WP8.1 may be a wise decision -- after all, early publication of Windows Phone 8 details depressed Windows Phone 7.5 sales last year.  By contrast Apple and Google tend to announce new OS releases just befor they hit the market, to avoid a sales slowdown.

Source: The Verge





“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith



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