Aug 27 - Microsoft's Windows phone could be the dark horse to watch in the race to win share in the mobile device industry, in the wake of Apple's U.S. patent victory against Samsung. Sasha Salama reports.
Apple's patent victory against Samsung lit a fire under stocks connected to mobile computing. In addition to Apple, shares of Nokia, Research in Motion and Microsoft all rallied. The verdict comes as competition heats up in the mobile device industry. Google jumped into hardware for the first time in July with its Nexus 7 tablet. And Microsoft is expected to roll out its new touch-friendly Windows 8 software in October which will run on its own tablet, called the "Surface" device, as well as on its own smartphone. The Windows Phone could be the dark horse to watch in the mobile race, according to Lance Ulanoff, Editor-in-Chief at Mashable. SOUNDBITE: LANCE ULANOFF, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, MASHABLE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We already thought that 2013, late 2012, could be Microsoft's time for Windows Phone. So now, they've got a little something extra in their pocket. They go: You want something truly unique that Apple isn't going to go after? Take a good look at the Windows Phone." Despite a tie-up with handset maker Nokia, Microsoft still has less than 5% of the U.S. smartphone market. Analysts say it is possible the Windows phone could catch on with consumers and eventually quadruple its market share. Michael Walkley of Canaccord Genuity. SOUNDBITE: T. MICHAEL WALKLEY, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, CANACCORD GENUITY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think the first step is to get to 10% if they can do that even exiting 2013. If they're able to succeed from there, maybe into 2014, 2015, they could build toward 20%." But analysts are cautious, saying the trick for Microsoft is not so much the software that goes into the phone but the design. SOUNDBITE: LANCE ULANOFF, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, MASHABLE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Consumers are funny. They've got to get excited about something. They have to feel the product is super-useful and super-sexy." The challenge for Microsoft is to use this window of opportunity to get consumers excited about its smartphones - especially as some analysts expect Samsung to delay product launches as the company tries to design around Apple's patents. Sasha Salama, Reuters.