Microsoft: No 'Plan B' for mobile beyond Windows Phone

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is focused on executing it strategy in mobile with its Windows Phone platform and does not have a backup plan, according to a senior executive.

"We're very focused on continuing the success we have with PCs and taking that to tablets and phones," Microsoft's CFO Peter Klein said at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference Wednesday.

Klein was asked whether the company has a "Plan B" for mobile beyond what it is doing already. "It's less 'Plan B' than how you execute on the current plan," he said, according to Reuters. "We aim to evolve this generation of Windows to make sure we have the right set of experiences at the right price points for all customers."

So far, after two years of trying with Windows Phone, Microsoft has not made much of a dent in cracking the dominance of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS in market share. Analyst reports have indicated that Windows Phone sales have increased recently, but Microsoft's overall share is still very small. Research firm Gartner reported Wednesday that Microsoft captured 3 percent of the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2012, up from 1.8 percent in the year-ago period. IDC reported similar numbers, giving Microsoft 2.6 percent of the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter, up from 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Carriers from around the world in the fourth quarter stepped up their support for Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 software, including Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), which put its muscle behind the high-end HTC Windows Phone 8X and midrange Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Lumia 822. While Microsoft's sales enjoyed a lift, the company still has a long way to go to stake a claim to being the third dominant mobile ecosystem, especially with BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) gunning for the No. 3 spot with its new BlackBerry 10 platform.

Klein also touched on Microsoft's tablet strategy. He said Microsoft is able to provide devices in a range of form factors beyond its 10.6-inch Surface tablet, which runs its Windows 8 operating system. "We've done a lot of the hard work in the developer platform," Klein said, according to ZDNet. "We are well set up to respond to demand as we see it" with different form factors, he said. 

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this ZDNet article
- see this AllThingsD article
- see this The Verge article

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