Skip to main content

More mobile phones on the way

Software and operating system maker Microsoft has held a Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles, where their keynote to open the second day contained some interesting facts about the mobile phone – which is set to overtake the number of computers being sold.

Microsoft aired some retail figures at the event that showed 305million mobile phones were sold last year, where the IDC predicted figure for 2012 is set to increase to 57-percent where the actual number of computers being sold will be down to 39-percent, from last year’s 347million – highlighting the focus is now on the mobile phone, along with Microsoft’s too.

The President of the Windows Phone Division, Andy Lees, mentioned the average cost of a smartphone last year was $400, where this year it is $200 and next year he predicts a handset running Windows Phone 7 will only be $100-$150. This is thanks to a reduction on the manufacturing costs, where more features are now built into a single chip, than ever before.

The development of the ‘system on a chip’ is at the heart of the new low cost drive, where a whole computer can be reduced to a single chip. Microsoft aired new motherboards for the next generation of computers that will run the upcoming desktop Windows 8 OS at CES this year, these were the same size as an actual mobile phone and includes everything a computer needs to run – also GPS and a camera.

Microsoft has confirmed there will be a single familiar user interface in their portfolio of platforms, from the computer to the mobile phone to the Xbox. They will also share key common technologies, which will first be seen in the Windows Phone 7 ‘Mango’ update that is due to arrive later on in the year. This includes the new version of the mobile web browser IE9, which has the same core technology to be found on the desktop version and not just a similar variant.

Microsoft demonstrated at their event aspects of IE9, along with how faster the browser performs. Windows Phone Division Senior Product Manger Derek Snyder had on a show a number of different mobile phones, running 'Fish', which is a 3D animation running on HTML5. The BlackBerry Torch ran the video at 9 frames per second, the iPhone 4 with iOS 5 beta 3 ran at 40fps, whilst an HTC Windows Phone 7 device running 'Mango' produced 50 frames per second, thanks to the hardware acceleration.

Windows Marketplace has now reached 222,000 applications, in just 8 months since launch. Microsoft stated this is the fastest growth in a new OS ever and has now overtaken Research In Motion's App World, which has been around for over two and a half years.

It was also confirmed at the event that Windows Phone 7 won’t be appearing on a tablet device, unlike with Google’s Android and HP’s webOS – who are using the same OS, across handsets and tablets. Microsoft instead will be using their desktop platform as the key operating system for the much larger touch screen products, as the Seattle based company see it as a conflict and believe a tablet is a ‘sort of’ PC – although one single UI could offer up a seamless user experience.

Originally published at

Rob has worked in the affiliate industry for many years with large publishers, and previously worked as a journalist on titles such as Wired, PC Magazine, ITProPortal, The Register, The Inquirer, Pocket-Lint, Mobile Industry Review, Know Your Mobile and The Gadget Show.