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Google Grabs Mobile Share from Everyone (Especially Microsoft)

One of the key themes Microsoft will hammer out at its Worldwide Partner Conference next week will be the opportunity to develop and sell solutions based on the new Windows Phone 7 platform for smartphones. The latest data from comScore Inc, a Reston, Va.-based firm dedicated to measuring digital usage trends, doesn’t help Microsoft’s pitch to partners.

ComScore on Thursday reported figures for total U.S. smartphone subscribers in May that show Microsoft, Apple, Research in Motion (RIM) and Palm all losing share to Google compared to February, the last time comScore released its metric. Microsoft’s loss of nearly two points of share was the steepest drop. The Google Android platform’s gain of four percentage points was both the largest change in absolute terms and the only positive movement among major players. Other losses of share in percentage points were Apple (-1.0), Palm (-0.6) and RIM (-0.4).

Overall percentage share for May was 41.7 percent for Blackberry-maker RIM, 24.4 percent for Apple, 13.2 percent for Microsoft, 13.0 percent for Google and 4.8 percent for Palm.

Coming as they did in May, the figures reflect neither Apple’s iPhone 4 problems, nor Microsoft’s Kin cancellation. The figures show Microsoft is severely struggling against Google, hanging onto a 0.2 percent lead in market share with all the momentum trending toward the Android platform. In November 2009, Microsoft’s share was 19.1 percent to Google’s 3.8 percent, according to comScore (a year before that, Android had no share as Google had yet to deliver it). Granted, much of Microsoft's sharp decline in share could be the fact that the existing Windows Mobile 6.x won't be compatible with Windows Phone 7, thereby further eroding the appeal of the company's existing platform.

Nevertheless, Microsoft's poor showing further pressures the company to deliver not only a hit, but a grand slam, with the Windows Phone 7. Are you waiting to see what Microsoft delivers for partners in Windows Phone 7, or are you moving the mobile aspects of your business to other platforms? Let me know at sbekker@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 09, 2010 at 11:58 AM