WSJ Reports on MSFT's Phone Strategy

Let's shoot down some rumors and relay some facts about Microsoft and smartphones. The Wall Street Journal reports here that the Redmond software titan will start playing catch-up to Apple's iPhone app store by offering similar phone-friendly gizmos for the new Windows Mobile 6.5. One such service, to be called My Phone, will be formally introduced on Monday, Feb. 16 at a Barcelona tech conference by Steve Ballmer himself. Says the WSJ, "Microsoft is widely perceived to have lost technological ground to Apple's iPhone and Google Inc.'s Android software." And that will surely make Ballmer angry, very angry. Win-Mo currently has about 13 percent of the smartphone market--more than Apple, though Apple profits handsomely by selling iPhone apps to its dedicated customers. And when it comes to syncing and backup, Microsoft "will offer My Phone for free, while Apple charges $99 a year for MobileMe." That's one way to gain market share in a hurry. Can anyone remember the last time MSFT gave something away for free?

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