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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Annual Microsoft Day: MSFT Conquers Mobile

Stocks: (MSFT)(VOD)(VZ)

Microsoft has been working to get its software onto phones for a long time. Now, they seem to have hit a breakthrough.

Vodafone, the huge European mobile operator, which also owns a piece of Verizon Wireless, is going to put Microsoft's mobile operating software on a number of its phones.

The reasons behind the move are acutally quite compelling. Vodafone can save a great deal of money by having standardized software on its phones. Building furture applications that do not have to run on a large number of operating systems is also a big plus.

In a bid for simplicity in technology, Vodafone is cutting its software systems from 20 to 3. Symbian, supported by mobile giant Nokia, will be one. Linux, the open source software that is used by a programming community around the world is another. And, Microsoft is the last.

Symbian dominates the market for software on phones because of Nokia. But, Nokia's rivals may not be so keen on the software.

Microsoft has a huge opportunity to partially dominate the phone software market as an alternative for the Nokia product. With about one billion phones sold worldwide, MSFT may have finally found a market to dominate that rivals PCs.

It's a big win for Mr. Softy.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in comanies that he writes about.

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