Microsoft's U.S. Smartphone Share Settles In At Mere 2.8 Percent

Before Microsoft can complete its plan to rule the world with Windows 10, it will have to figure out how to tackle the smartphone market, one that's largely eluded the Redmond outfit over the years. The latest data from market research firm comScore has Microsoft clinging to a less than 3 percent share of the smartphone sector in the U.S.

Specifically, 2.8 percent of smartphones in the U.S. are based on a Windows OS, down a hair from 2.9 percent in the previous quarter. That's still better than BlackBerry, which claims a scant 1 percent, but far removed from Apple at 43.1 percent and Android at 53.1 percent, the two of which combine for a 96.2 percent share of the market.

Windows 10 Mobile

Some perspective is needed. Even though Windows 10 Mobile is out, it's only available (in mass form) on Microsoft's Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL devices. That's just two handsets, and Microsoft didn't do itself any favors by making their launch exclusive to AT&T (Verizon claims it has no interest in Microsoft's latest flagships). The only other alternative is to pay full price for an unlocked handset.

Wider availability is needed. So is an effort on Microsoft's part to educate consumers on the benefits of Windows 10 Mobile, such as its nifty Continuum feature. Finding a way to attract developers is also needed. The good news for Microsoft is that none of this is lost on its CEO Satya Nadella.

"What you're referencing is what I'd call the elite developers, and a lot of them go to the volume platform," Nadella recently acknowledged in an interview with Buzzfeed. "There no question that in the case of the smartphone, today, we are not that high in share."

The other good news for Microsoft is that its strategy doesn't rely solely on smartphones, it's just one of many cogs in Microsoft's money generating machine. That's to say Windows 10 Mobile doesn't have to topple Apple or Android, it just has to be relevant.