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Microsoft's long smartphone road ahead

IDC and Gartner's smartphone market share statistics detail a rough road ahead for Microsoft's smartphone ambitions. Windows Mobile is dying and Windows Phone 7 is still on the tarmac.

IDC and Gartner's smartphone market share statistics detail a rough road ahead for Microsoft's smartphone ambitions.

As Matthew Miller noted, Google's Android operating system put the big hurt on Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform. The news isn't that surprising when you consider that Windows Mobile is basically a dead-end. It's not compatible with Windows Phone 7, which will be Microsoft's mobile OS of record in the fourth quarter. Why would you buy a Windows Mobile device now?

So let's play this out.

Here's Gartner's market share standings today:

IDC's data is roughly the same.

Next quarter it will just get worse. As Windows Mobile plays out the string, Microsoft will transition to Windows Phone 7, a new operating system that will be starting from scratch.

As I noted before, Windows Phone 7 would be much more promising if it came out sooner. Windows Phone 7 devices won't land until the fourth quarter. By then the Android army will be bigger, a new iPhone will be rolling and Research in Motion will have new devices.

Simply put, Microsoft's prospects in smartphones look challenging to say the least.