Microsoft is making big plans to ensure it gets a good share of the mobile phone market which in recent times has been, and is still being, dominated by Apple Inc. (the makers of iPhones) and, arguably, Samsung (the leading Android smartphone makers).
In the past, Microsoft has struggled to make significant impact in the mobile phone industry with its operating system (OS) running on various mobile devices. In 2008, Microsoft reorganized the Windows Mobile group and started work on a new mobile operating system. The product, Windows Phone, was to be released in 2009 but several delays prompted Microsoft to develop Windows Mobile 6.5 as an interim release. From then, Microsoft has gone on to partner with various mobile device vendors to launch its Windows OS on different devices such as Ericsson, HTC, Motorola and, most recently, Nokia.
On June 20, 2012, Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8, a new generation of the OS, due for release later in 2012. Windows Phone 8 will replace the previous Windows CE-based architecture but this seems not to be enough.
As it stands, in a bid to gain shares in the handheld device market, Microsoft is planning to build its own phones and not put its fate in the hands of other mobile device vendors. A source says the company is considering building mobile hardware as a back up, in the event that its current approach of providing software to handset makers fails. However, Microsoft has not yet made this news public knowledge.
In an effort to remain active in the mobile phone market and combat Apple’s iPhone 5 launch, Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, last week announced the latest version of Windows Phone OS available on Nokia and HTC devices. Technology minds have started to wonder if this is a good move by Microsoft who is the world’s largest software maker.
In my opinion, Microsoft should stick to what they know best and concentrate more on improving and marketing the Windows phone OS as a competitive mobile phone OS. I say this because the mobile device market is currently very competitive with more companies struggling rather than succeeding in the hardware department.