Anyone looking for proof that with enough money, and time, even mediocre products can be successful, then they should look no further than Pocket PC. Microsoft’s handheld operating system, after many misses is now four years old, and has managed to catch up with Palm in the handheld sweepstakes. (But do handhelds really matter?)
According to Gartner, in Q1 of 2004 Windows Mobile Pocket PC tied with PalmSource for the lead in worldwide PDA OS market. Microsoft’s share increased to 40.2% while PalmSource slipped to 40.7%. From small beginnings with 2 hardware partners, 11% market share and the vision that PDA’s can do more to 30+ partners, a tie for #1 in the worldwide PDA market and software that is powering innovation and extending business value, Pocket PC has come along way.
Microsoft claims that it is working with more than 50 mobile operators and service providers around the world to bring Windows Mobile-based devices with phone capabilities to market. (Symbian, my Nokia 6600 experience not withstanding still rocks!) If the lousy MPx200 is anything to go by, well they have a lot of work to do. I might consider switching to Windows XP before switching to a Windows Mobile PDA or a Phone!