Microsoft Muscles Into Cell Market With New OS

Firm will offer Windows Mobile on 50 smartphones
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2009 5:41 PM CST
A Large display is shown at the LG booth at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Friday, Jan. 9, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – Microsoft is pushing deeper into the cellphone market with a deal to put a new operating system on 50 LG smartphones, the New York Times reports. The company unveiled a more user-friendly OS—"We were dinged for not having a friendly consumer interface," an exec says—and plans to open an online store selling 20,000 apps. Microsoft hopes to lure users by backing up their personal data and photos for free online.

Why the big play? Windows operating systems are used on 90% of personal computers, but only on 13.9% of handsets. Symbian, developed by a consortium headed by Nokia, is the most popular mobile OS with a 52.4% market share. "Mobile operating systems are the biggest battleground of the mobile industry," one analyst said.