Some time ago, Microsoft announced to the world that their mobile ambitions weren’t going to be hindered by this or that touchscreen smartphone hitting the market. Microsoft wants to snag 40% of the global smartphone market by 2012. To that end, Redmond announced that they were looking to ship at least 20 million Windows Mobile licenses by the end of June 2008.
The sales goal was based on a projection of sales growth from the previous year’s shipment of 11 million Windows Mobile licenses to 20 million units. Unfortunately, Microsoft missed their target by 2 million licenses. With 18 million Windows Mobile licenses sold in the past 12 months, Microsoft has certainly grown their mobile platform business considerably, but sales goals are sales goals and Microsoft missed their own goal altogether.
Microsoft apparently projected their sales data based on the assumption that certain hardware would make it to market in time to give Windows Mobile last-leg boost in sales. Redmond blames handset launch-delays on their missed sales target, but stopped short of pointing out specific device manufacturers.
On the flip-side, Microsoft could just be losing the battle for finicky customers looking for more appealing user interfaces and more innovative designs. The iPhone could definitely have put a dent in Windows Mobile’s target demographic, not to mention the enterprise-oriented BlackBerry offerings. Still, it’s important to note that 18 million Windows Mobile sales represents significant growth. Microsoft’s next big mobile platform, Windows Mobile 7, is widely expected to revamp the aging mobile operating system and bring more consumer-friendly features to the table. Here’s to another year of strong Windows Mobile sales.