Microsoft forecasts its mobile future

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates kicked off CES 2008--as well as his final year at the company's helm--with a keynote address that focused in part on the software goliath's continuing push into mobile. According to Gates, Windows Mobile-based smartphones sold more than 10 million units in 2007, a figure forecasted to double in the year ahead--added Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, the firm's voice-enabled TellMe mobile search service accounted for more than 2 billion searches last year, setting the stage for the introduction of the GPS-based Say and See application, which responds to voice queries via text messaging and related visual solutions.

While neither Gates nor his associates alluded to the release of Windows Mobile 6.1, Bach did address Microsoft's mobile advertising efforts: "The mobile advertising market alone is going to be about $11 billion in 2011, and I think with all the work we're doing we're very well positioned to take advantage of that," he said. "We are taking advantage of new opportunities in mobile to continue to build [a] great business. All of this is being done in the context of building community services and new advertising and business models."

For more on Microsoft's upcoming mobile efforts:
-read this CES keynote transcript

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