Nov 8 - Microsoft adds four new smartphones to the Windows Phone portfolio, focusing less on apps and more on experience, as it tries to build its small take of the global mobile phone industry. Jill Bennett reports.
Microsoft says it has created a people centric phone that makes information relevant to the user and allows users to connect and share information seamlessly through social media. The Windows Phone portfolio includes four new phones from HTC and Samsung, and debuted on AT&T and T-Mobile networks. Andrew Lees, President, Windows Phone Division at Microsoft Corp: SOUNDBITE: ANDREW LEES, PRESIDENT, WINDOWS PHONE DIVISION, MICROSOFT CORP. (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We connect up to the all of the things you use whether that's Facebook or whether it's email or messenger or chat, all the things come together and then we present you with your friends. So if you take a picture we automatically tag it and post it to Facebook, if that's where you normally post things with your friends there, so as a result we built all the software in to do that so you don't have to go app by app it's just much easier to communicate." Yet, smart phone users have become accustomed to apps and Microsoft's 35,000 apps are well behind Apple's half a million. Microsoft is new to the smartphone sector, currently dominated by Google's Android phones and Apple's iPhone. IDC forecasts market share for the Android to double to more than 40% this year from 2010 while Apple's iOs is expected to increase to 20%, a 5% jump from last year. Still, CNET Senior Writer Roger Cheng says there is time for Microsoft to catch up. SOUNDBITE: ROGER CHENG, SENIOR WRITER, CNET (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Microsoft has a war chest and they fully intend to use it, Microsoft is a software company, everything is going mobile including software so Microsoft needs to have Windows Phone work and so they are going to spend what it takes to kind of get back in the game." Cheng says Microsoft has a strong chance of eclipsing troubled Blackberry maker Research In Motion for third place but it needs more marketing support from the wireless carriers and most importantly, it needs customers to get excited about a phone that isn't an iPhone. Jill Bennett, Reuters