Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer yesterday unveiled what looks to be a two-pronged strategy for Windows Mobile - to offer end-to-end experiences and to target emerging markets.
In a day of news announcements from Barcelona, it won a commitment from LG to put Windows Mobile on at least 50 smartphones and released plans to offer Windows Live services through major emerging market operators and on SIM cards.
Ballmer said the release of Windows Mobile 6.5 OS is the first generation of what the company is now simply calling Windows phones. The new OS, which will be available later this year, features a new user interface and a richer browsing experience.
He said Microsoft's vision is to deliver one platform across the PC, the mobile phone, the web and the TV.
"Despite our successes, it's time to take our Windows Mobile business to the next level by bringing the full Windows experience to the mobile phone," he said. "The Windows phone has to be more than just a device. It's no longer about how the phone works by itself, but how it works with the PC and internet.
"We believe Windows Mobile 6.5 takes mobile phones to another level by sticking together the PC, the phone and the web and bringing those closer into a more seamless and simple user experience and breaking down barriers between devices and applications."
He noted that the downturn represents more of a fundamental economic reset then a recession, and that no industry, including the computer and mobile industries, is immune to this reset.
"But no matter what happens with the economic situation, none of that will slow the pace of technological process. In fact, the need for innovation that our industry brings is even more important. As people struggle to make every dollar count, they will expect the mobile industry to deliver devices and services that offer greater value."