Microsoft tout Windows Mobile wins, disses iPhone

Seattlepi.com have managed to get their hands on a letter written by Andy Lees, Senior Vice President of Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business to its Windows Mobile partner, probably to calm them before the howling 3G iPhone storm hits.

In the letter Andy makes a number of claims: That Microsoft will sell ‘nearly’ 20 million Windows Mobile smartphone licenses in the financial year from June 2007 to June 2008, that they sold more in the last 4 quarters past than RIM, and in the last quarter their year-over-year unit growth alone (at1.9 million) was greater than sales of Apple’s iPhone (at 1.7 million).

They also claim 50 OEM’s, 150 smartphones, 40 3G phones and 160 carriers, and seem to make a specific dig at the 3G iPhone by saying “You’ve delivered Windows Mobile phones with features like GPS, 3+ megapixel cameras, and voice activation — features that other operating systems have been slow to deliver.”

A further dig at Apple’s exclusive carrier contracts is contained in this phrase :

“We’re proud that we’ve been able to work with you to deliver more than 40 different phones that run at 3G speeds, at prices that meet a range of customer needs — something not all smartphones can claim. We believe the power of smartphones should not be constrained by price, geography, or any other boundary.”

Andy continues by claiming 18000 Windows Mobile applications, something the iPhone will clearly take a long time to beat, $100 million dollar iFund notwithstanding.

While this letter will probably not do much to dissuade the blogosphere that Windows Mobile is a legacy, over-the-hill OS, Microsoft has never really been a very public-facing company, and appear to have a very good relationship with their partners, with more and more companies, like Qualcomm, NVIDIA and Sony Ericsson jumping on board the Windows Mobile bandwagon.

Like Andy said, I too  look forward to continuing this adventure with you.

Read the seattlepi article here, or download the letter (pdf) here.

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