Microsoft (s MSFT) is apparently going to counter the Android and iPhone offensives on the mobile market with a new strategy: confusion. The company will allegedly continue to sell its increasingly less relevant Windows Mobile 6.5 for a lower price when it launches version 7 in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The fourth quarter of 2010? I mean, does Redmond expect Google (s goog) and Apple (s aapl) to go on a yearlong vacation? No wonder Microsoft is becoming irrelevant on the mobile platform. As I have pointed out in the past, Android is going to kill Windows Mobile.
We have been writing about the troubles at Microsoft Mobile for almost a year now. That trend hasn’t quite changed. Microsoft’s smartphone operating system share continued to drop year over year to account for 9 percent of the total market in the second quarter of 2009, according to research firm Gartner.
Windows Mobile 7 will be the premium platform that will compete with the iPhone while 6.5 will rival Android, according to a report in Taiwanese trade newspaper Digitimes. If that is the case, then the folks at Microsoft should call their friends at T-Mobile USA and have them send over a few Google phones. That would make them face their delusion. With Microsoft’s not-so-loyal hardware partners — Motorola (s mot) and HTC are already cheating on it — it seems the company might have unfortunately lost the plot.
(Related research report: Check out our latest GigaOM Pro report, “Google’s Mobile Strategy” (subscription required). We will also be discussing this topic as part of a free Research Roundtable Webinar on Aug. 27, 2009. Register here.)
Windows Mobile 6.5 photo courtesy of Microsoft