Microsoft expects fewer Windows Mobile-powered handsets

What do you do when the honeymoon is over and interest in your mobile OS is fading fast? Spin city! In a recent discussion with the New York Times, Microsoft VP of Windows Mobile Todd Peters happily explained that Microsoft has intentions to cut down on the number of Windows Mobile devices that reach the market in the future. Peters’ reasoning for the move:

“I’d rather have fewer devices and be more focused,” he said. That way “we get better integration” between phone and operating system.

Well that’s one way to put it, though we’re not sure shareholders will mirror the sentiment. Another way to put it would be to simply state that the advent of open source mobile operating systems and the fading interest in Microsoft’s aging OS are creating a more competitive market place and Windows Mobile simply isn’t ready to compete at the level it did in years past. Today it’s Android, tomorrow it will be the fruit borne by the Symbian Foundation; handset manufacturers are now beginning to turn toward low-cost open solutions that provide more user-friendly interfaces and welcoming development environments. It remains to be seen whether Windows Mobile 7 will be able to compete as the industry evolves and its already low market share dwindles. We hope it can compete – variety being the spice of life – and rest assured, Microsoft would happily see the number of Windows Mobile-powered devices double despite this recent statement to the contrary. If manufacturers decrease the number of Windows Mobile handsets released in the future however, it won’t be because Microsoft asked them to stop making so many Windows-powered phones. It will be the allure of newer and more usable operating systems that pull handset manufacturers in other directions.

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