Microsoft Wins 500,000 Phone-Software Order

Posted by bink on April 5 2006, 12:02 PM. Posted in Windows Mobile.

Microsoft Corp. won its biggest-ever contract for mobile-phone software, an order from the U.S. Census Bureau that covers 500,000 handsets.

Microsoft, the world's biggest software maker, plans to unveil the deal today, general manager Scott Horn said in an interview. Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft expects to increase its mobile unit's sales to $1 billion in one to three years, from $337 million last year, and break the dominance of Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry.

``Up until now, BlackBerry had the market for themselves,'' Peter Knook, a Microsoft senior vice president, said in an interview. ``That landscape has changed.''

Sales of handsets with Windows will double to 20 million units in 2007 as corporate customers opt for those devices instead of the BlackBerry, Knook said. They still would be just a fraction of Microsoft's almost $40 billion in annual sales.

The company declined to disclose the value of the Census Bureau contract for Windows Mobile phones, which can link to the Internet, run Office, read e-mail and play music. Census takers will use them in collecting information door-to-door during the 2010 U.S. census.

Microsoft already won contracts to supply software for Palm Inc.'s Treo and Motorola Inc.'s new Q, after five years of delays and problems with its product.

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