Microsoft’s ‘minimal participation’ in mobile market called increasingly ‘difficult to reverse’

Microsoft Smartphone Market Share

Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Phone 8 hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire since its release last fall and the company could face trouble gaining traction if things don’t turn around soon. Per Barron’s, BGC analyst Colin Gillis has released a new research note that casts doubts on Microsoft’s future in the mobile computing market despite the fact that he remains “supportive of the quality and innovation of Microsoft’s software to power phones and tablets.” The big issue for Microsoft, Gillis says, is that the company hasn’t figured out how to make people care enough to buy its mobile products, no matter how good they might be.

“Microsoft’s minimal participation in these markets is becoming an increasingly urgent problem that may prove difficult to reverse,” he writes. “Access to Office productivity tools as a hook to drive phone and tablet/surface sales has not proven to be a meaningful sales catalyst in our opinion.”

This “minimal participation,” coupled with the continued decline of the PC industry, has led Gillis to change his rating on Microsoft from Buy to Hold while still keeping his price target at $31.

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