Microsoft: "We want to give our customers choice"

With Apple's iPhone 3G launch garnering so much media attention last week, Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business senior vice president Andrew Lees sat down with Dow Jones Newswires to confirm it will not follow its rival's lead and develop a branded handset of its own. "We want to give our customers choice," Lees said, reiterating that Microsoft anticipates the greatest growth potential lies in mobile software, not devices. Citing an International Data Corp. survey estimating that smartphones will represent 21 percent of the 1.4 billion mobile phones sold in 2011, Lees added "There is a very high growth potential, and we want additionally to gain market share."

According to Lees, Microsoft's Windows Mobile OS now runs on 140 devices from 50 different manufacturers, which he said makes Windows Mobile more successful than the iPhone. He referred to an IDC report stating that while 4.4 million Windows Mobile-based smartphones were sold worldwide in the first quarter of 2008, only 1.7 million iPhones were sold during the same timeframe. "The iPhone hype is completely disproportionate to the number of people that utilize phones that use our software," Lees said.

Lees stopped short of proclaiming his dad can beat up Steve Jobs' dad.

For more on Microsoft's mobile outlook:
- read this CNNMoney.com article

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