Fewer Windows Mobile Devices to Come?

In response to fierce competition in the mobile phone market, a Microsoft representative recently spoke about the company’s plans to retool and beef up its mobile OS, and the company's intentions to cut down on the number of devices it's installed on in the process. According to a NY Times blog, Todd Peters, the vice president of marketing for the Windows Mobile division, indicated during an interview that Microsoft intends to limit the number of devices built with the Windows Mobile operating system.

There are currently about 140 devices running Windows mobile, ranging from cell phones to PDAs and other devices. According to Peters, Microsoft doesn’t want to have its efforts diluted over too many devices. By being more focused, Peters would like to see better integration between the phone and the operating system.

At a time where some of its competitors control both the hardware and the software, Microsoft faces a potential disadvantage because it only controls the software. As a result, Microsoft must offer enough value through the license to give manufacturers an incentive to build phones around the Windows Mobile operating system. For example, Apple designs both the hardware and the software for the iPhone. Likewise, Palm recently announced a new device, the Pre, along with a new OS called WebOS.

Peters also said that additional details concerning the efforts to focus Windows will emerge in the coming months and mentioned there will be a major announcement at the Mobile World Congress next month in Barcelona.  At that show, Steve Ballmer will deliver the keynote address and talk about how Microsoft can provide more value through new touch-screen capability and new service offerings.