Microsoft expects global sales of its Windows Mobile software platform to grow 50% or more annually over the next two years. 'Fifty per cent growth is the minimum,' Microsoft's managing director of OEM embedded devices for Asia, Eddie Wu, told Reuters during a press conference in Taipei.
Microsoft expects to sell 20 million Windows Mobile units this fiscal year, which ends next month. The company sold 11 million units of Windows Mobile software in the fiscal year that ended June 2007. Wu added that the platform is 'still seeing very good growth' in Europe and the US, but noted that Windows Mobile has been growing fastest in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Brazil, Russia and India.
Analysts believe Microsoft faces a tough challenge in its efforts to take market share from the dominant Symbian platform, which controls 67% of the market (compared to Windows Mobile's 13%), according to research firm Canalys. Symbian-based operating systems are used by Nokia and LG. Apple's iPhone, RIM's BlackBerry and the future threat from a mobile Linux system all present serious challenges to Microsoft's mobile endeavours.