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Microsoft: The iPhone envy is starting to show (already)

Microsoft said it will sell nearly 20 million Windows Mobile licenses in a letter designed to rally its smartphone partners. It's no coincidence that the pep talk comes just a few days before these the likely launch of Apple's 3G iPhone.
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Written by Larry Dignan, Contributing Editor on

Microsoft said it will sell nearly 20 million Windows Mobile licenses in a letter designed to rally its smartphone partners. It's no coincidence that the pep talk comes just a few days before these the likely launch of Apple's 3G iPhone.

Todd Bishop has the Windows Mobile pep talk, which is designed to steal a little iPhone thunder. Charles Cooper says it's quite a salute from Microsoft--perhaps the one finger variety.

Who can blame Microsoft? Apple will have all the buzz come Monday when CEO Steve Jobs delivers his latest sermon at WWDC (previews). And Windows Mobile developers will feel uncool--almost like the Vista guy in the Apple commercials.

Among the key excerpts fro Andy Lees, senior vice president of Microsoft's mobile business:

This fiscal year we will sell nearly 20 million Windows Mobile smartphone licenses, making Windows Mobile one of the most widely used smartphone software platforms in the world. We also sold more in the previous four quarters than RIM, and in the last quarter our year-over-year unit growth alone was greater than sales of Apple's iPhone.

Translation: Windows Mobile has traction. Don't go chasing the shiny new object. And oh by the way we thought we'd top 20 million licenses.

To our 50 handset makers building phones with our software, thank you. With your help, we give Windows Mobile customers nearly 150 different phone choices -- from phones with full keyboards to brilliant touch screens to convenient flip phones -- with rich email, picture and music experiences. 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.

Translation: Boy it irks us that Apple generates all this iPhone buzz.

To all our developer partners who continue to innovate and bring new experiences to people and businesses every day, thank you. It is because of you that our Windows Mobile customers have the richest application catalog to choose from -- over 18,000 applications to help pursue their hobbies, navigate life and work more efficiently. We're happy to offer some of these applications through the Windows Mobile Owners Circle and provide you the flexibility to deliver them to your customers in whatever way makes sense. Today, more and more competitors are jumping into the smartphone market or announcing upgrades, with features we delivered to customers years ago...

Translation: We interrupt Apple's App Store announcement to thump our chests about our own apps.

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