@ MWC: Microsoft SVP Andy Lees Says The Focus Is Moving From The Phone’s Hardware To Software

imageMicrosoft’s Steve Ballmer first attended Mobile World Congress in 2006, and this year he’s back for a second appearance with a keynote tomorrow and press conference this afternoon to reveal a litany of announcements that are likely designed to show how dedicated the software company is to the wireless industry. The announcements include: A new version of Windows Mobile 6.5; a deepening relationship with LG (SEO: 066570), which is committing to developing 50 new Windows Mobile phones by the end of 2012; the beta launch of MyPhone, which backs up the data on your phone to the internet; the upcoming release of Windows Marketplace for Mobile, an application store for the phone; and a series of new devices. (See our previous post for more details.)

Last week, I got a chance to sit down with Andy Lees, SVP of Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business to talk about Microsoft’s broader goals in mobile. He addressed the question that everyone is asking: Will Microsoft’s latest technology — some of which won’t release until later this year or in 2010 — be too late? His one word answer: No. Lees: “We shifted our strategy a year ago, and now it

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