Microsoft (MSFT) Set to Release Its "Me-Too" Phone

April 6, 2010 10:10 AM EDT
While Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) may not be grabbing the headlines that it's main rival Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is getting these days, the company is set to make a move to gain back some market share in the mobile-phone market.

CEO Steve Ballmer of Microsoft announced some of the details of the company's Windows Mobile 7 at the Mobile World Congress in February in an effort to garner some attention in the smart phone industry.

A report from the Wall Street Journal citing people close to the situation said that Microsoft is setting up to release a new line of mobile phones with social-networking capabilities which will be targeted at young consumers.

The phones, which are a part of the technology giant's development project code-named "Pink," will be made available later this month in the U.S. and will be on the Verizon Wireless network, a part of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone Group PLC, according to the unnamed sources cited by the Journal.

Microsoft is seemingly getting more involved in the hardware side of the mobile-phone market, as competing companies like Apple and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) have already carved out a substantial presence with products designed by the companies.

The sources in the report said that Microsoft has invited media to an event on April 12 in San Francisco which will focus on the release of the new phones.

Microsoft has seen its market share for smartphones in the U.S. drop recently, as comScore Inc. reported Monday that the software maker current has 15.1 percent of subscribers using Microsoft software as of February, which fell from 19.1 percent in November. Meanwhile Apple’s iPhone is used by 25.4 percent of smartphone users, and Google’s Android based line of phones is growing fast, up to 9 percent from 3.8 percent.

Shares of Microsoft are down 13 cents to $29.14 in early market movement on Tuesday.

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