Microsoft's Share Of The Mobile OS Market Continues To Erode


Microsoft's share of the smartphone operating system market has continued to plunge despite the company's efforts with its Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system.

Only 5.8 percent of all smartphone subscribers used devices powered by Microsoft software, including Windows Phone 7 and its Windows Mobile predecessor, in the three months ended June 30, according to statistics released late last week by Internet market researcher ComScore. That's down from 7.5 percent in the three-month period ended March 31.

Microsoft has been struggling mightily to turn around its fortunes in the smartphone arena. Those efforts are built around Windows Phone 7, the company's next-generation mobile operating system that debuted in Oct. 2010.

Going back one year to the three months ended Aug. 31, 2010, shortly before Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7, Microsoft held a 10.8 percent share of the smartphone OS market.

"There is always a range of projections and, of course, only time will tell," said a Microsoft spokesperson in an e-mail, when asked for comment on the ComScore numbers. "Another example is found in IDC’s most recent Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, where they projected Windows Phone to have a No. 2 rank and more than 20 percent share in 2015. We’re excited to bring Windows Phone "Mango" to market, as the update is a big step for Microsoft in the mobile space."

Last month Microsoft released "Mango," a major upgrade for Windows Phone that offers application multi-tasking, support for Internet Explorer 9, and a "conversation view" for managing long e-mail strings. That release should be in smartphones this fall, along with an update for existing Windows Phone handset owners.

Microsoft is also counting heavily on its alliance with Nokia, which is developing a line of Nokia smartphones based on Windows Phone 7. The two companies have scheduled a press conference for Aug. 17 that could mark the debut of Nokia's first Windows Phone 7-based device, but it's not clear whether that will ship later this year or sometime in 2012.

The ComScore numbers for the June 2011 quarter put the Google Android mobile OS on top with 40.1 percent market share, up from 34.7 percent in the March 2011 quarter. That was followed by Apple iOS with 26.6 percent, up from 25.5 percent from the earlier period, and RIM, whose market share dropped to 23.4 percent from 27.1 percent.