Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) expects global units sales of its Windows Mobile software to grow at least 50 percent in the fiscal years 2008 and 2009, reports Reuters. It “expects to sell 20 million units in its 2007/2008 fiscal year ending in June, and expects to grow at least 50 percent annually over the next two years. It sold over 11 million units of its Windows Mobile software in its 2006/2007 fiscal year ended June”. The fastest growing markets for Windows Mobile are in Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Brazil, Russia and India (basically the fastest growing markets for mobile phones, minus China), although Europe and the United States are still growing. While that growth figure is pretty impressive, Reuters goes on to cite analysts saying that “global smartphone unit shipments grew 52.5 percent from a year ago to hit around 12 million units in 2007″, and the market is expected to keep increasing in high double digits. Ignoring the absolute figures given (the definition of “smartphone” is pretty slippery) the growth figures are similar for both MS and the industry as a whole.
On the topic of smartphones, Reuters has another piece on mobile phone security software, and how it is still small but but people are starting to see it as more than an extra feature on current PC-based software. “Symantec Corp Chief Operating Officer Enrique Salem estimates that it is currently worth a few hundred million dollars a year…It is growing. But given the number of handsets, the number of smartphones, you would think it would be growing at a much higher rate,” Salem told the summit. “I can’t give you an exact number but it is not as fast as you might think.”