Finally, after years of bullying by Iphone and Android addicts, Microsoft seems to start harvesting its efforts- mainly through its acquired Nokia partner- in the mobile handset market in Europe.
The survey performed by Kantar Worldpanel clearly shows a recent quarterly take-off in Europe of Windows Phone based handsets: Windows smartphone market share exceeded 10% in Great Britain and France, two to three times last year’s position. So Europe, Nokia’s home market, provides some fresh encouragement, after years of efforts without results.
However the picture provided by Kantar for the US is quite different: Windows phone only achieved a 3% market share there while the Iphone widened its leadership. This is even worse in Japan, where Windows phone share is as low as 0.8%.
One can then think that Microsoft performs quite badly, especially as it has ruled without opposition the desktop PC market for years: its latest market share for PCs is over 91%! Even a 10% mobile market share seems rather unsatisfactory then.
But let’s look at the bigger picture: Microsoft does rule the business customer desktop market. As I tried to depict in an earlier post, 4G services provide several revolutions, one of which is that business customers will finally get true convergent fixed and mobile services. And telecom operators will have to provide true core convergent- IMS(IP Multimedia System) type- services. Of course operators could integrate heterogeneous fixed and mobile solutions, but Microsoft is uniquely positioned to provide fully integrated and convergent Windows fixed and mobile services. In addition to this technical advantage, Microsoft will be in a position to leverage its huge business desktop clout: hundreds of millions of business users accustomed to Windows features.
So the current early rise of Windows mobile in Europe is maybe good news for our continent: Europe has become the first and main convergent market for Microsoft, and so it may encourage Microsoft to target Europe and pull resources to make it really happen: position Windows as the main true fixed/mobile convergent solution for business customers.