Windows Mobile On Track For 50% Growth

Will sell 20 million units this year

Microsoft said today that it estimates its Windows Mobile software to grow at least 50 percent annually through fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

"Fifty percent growth is the minimum," said Eddie Wu, Microsoft's managing director for embedded devices in Asia, in an interview with Reuters.

Wu said Microsoft expects to sell 20 million units in the current fiscal year that ends in June. It sold more than 11 million units of its Windows Mobile software in the previous fiscal year.

"We're actually still seeing very good growth (for our mobile software) in markets like Europe and the United States," said Wu. He said the fastest growth of Windows Mobile is in Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Brazil, Russia and India.

Microsoft faces strong competition from Apple, Blackberry manufacturer Research in Motion and Palm Inc.

"Even if Microsoft is growing at a rate of 50-60 percent, it doesn't mean they can gain that much share since Microsoft and Apple's mobile operating system is still much smaller compared to the Symbian system," said Citigroup analyst Kevin Chang.

"But they (Microsoft) are one of the few players which are offering touchscreen platforms so that is helping them grow," said Chang.

Microsoft announced earlier this year that it would introduce Web browsing capabilities for mobile phones in the third quarter of this year.