Microsoft has continued to struggled in the mobile phone market, with its Windows Mobile software struggling to compete with rival companies.
“It was a tough year on succeeding in phones,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said. “Mostly our own issues; and really driving our execution the right way at the right speed, [but] we’ve readjusted some of our plans.”
The company must now rely on its new Windows Mobile 6.5 OS, which is scheduled for release this October. The OS’s most sought after features include the increased ability to make touch screens easier to use with the OS. Along with better touch screen interaction, Microsoft is mainly focused on being as consumer friendly as possible.
Windows Mobile has been forced to compete with Apple, Research In Motion, and the ever popular Google Android mobile platform. It does have several contracts in place with LG, HTC, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson; but it’s likely some of those handset manufacturers are looking into developing Android-based phones, as the OS is free and open.
“It’s our view that one model, one type of phone is not going to build volume into that critical mass that we think we need to make the business successful,” according to Robbie Bach, Microsoft entertainment and device division president.
It’s true that Microsoft must diversify its mobile lineup if it wants to compete with rival smartphones — it’s good to hear Microsoft officials understand what must be done. It’s obviously a worthwhile objective, but I’m not sure if Microsoft will be able to compete with RIM, Apple, and Google any time in the future.