SOFTWARE REDEVELOPER Microsoft is feeling pretty confident that its launch of Windows 8 will push up sales of Windows Phone devices.
There is some sense there. The firm is hoping that Windows 8 will help its users become more familiar with the Metro interface. Whether that will happen or not remains to be seen, however.
Speaking to The INQUIRER at Mobile World Congress, the firm's senior product manager for Windows Phone, Larry Lieberman, said that while Microsoft is aware sales are still low, this will change in the future.
"The sales of Windows Phone could also be higher, but you have to remember it is a new platform. It is not a small investment from Microsoft, we believe that mobile phones are the future of computing so we are focused on bringing affordable technology to the masses," he said.
"The release of Windows 8 will help to drive sales of the Windows Phone platform as the Metro interface becomes common place on the desktop and we drive integration between the platforms," he said.
The comments were later echoed by the CEOs of HTC and Nokia, who both said they believe Windows Phone can compete directly with Apple's IOS devices and Android smartphones.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop used his speaking slot at MWC to reiterate his mantra that there is an opportunity for a "third ecosystem" in the market.
"Our number one focus is to compete with Android. If a [Windows] device goes into someone's hand and they use it for a few minutes, they love it. We want to establish beachheads country by country for Window Phone and focus on retail shops and sales representives," he said.
However, the Nokia chief was forced to defend its flagship Windows handsets, given the Lumia range's paltry sales figures to date. Nokia has shipped just one million handsets compared to the Samsung Galaxy S II, which has sold 20 million.
"We released sales figures during the early weeks of the launch process and we're seeing steady growth day-by-day, week-by-week," Elop said during the Q&A session.
"You are comparing apples with oranges. The expectation for the Samsung Galaxy S II was different as it was released in an established ecosystem (Android). The Lumia range had to start from scratch with Windows Phone."
Meanwhile, Peter Chou, the CEO of HTC, which also develops Windows Phone devices, said although its market share is low at this time, the customer satisfaction rate is very high.
"The new Windows is positive. Although it will not be like Microsoft's PC market share, Windows Phone will be a strong ecosystem," he said. µ