2 million short: Microsoft fails to hit Windows Mobile annual sales target

“Microsoft failed to meet its Windows Mobile sales target for its fiscal year 2008, the company said on Thursday,” Nancy Gohring reports for IDG News Service.

“By June 30, when the fiscal year ended, Microsoft had managed to sell more than 18 million licenses, less than its 20 million goal,” Gohring reports.

Gohring reports, “While the iPhone 3G didn’t hit stores until July 11, after Microsoft’s fiscal year ended, it could have had an effect on Microsoft. ‘The iPhone 3G is causing people to hesitate,’ said Bill Hughes, an analyst at In-Stat. ‘That doesn’t mean those 2 million all went to the iPhone.’ But some people likely decided to wait and see if the newest version of Apple’s phone could be more attractive to them than a Windows Mobile phone, he said.”

MacDailyNews Note: Apple sold over 1 million iPhone units in just its first weekend of availability.

Gohring continues, “ABI Research analyst Kevin Burden suspects that… the shortcoming in sales was due to a failure to make more headway among consumer users. While Microsoft has typically targeted Windows Mobile at enterprise users, it has recently begun talking more about the consumer-oriented features to the software. Microsoft may have inflated its potential Windows Mobile sales for the year based on hopes that it would gain customers attracted to the consumer-oriented message, he said.”

Full article here.

Dianne See Morrison reports for paidContent, “Though Microsoft wouldn’t single out any cellphone manufacturers by name, analysts speculated that delays of Sony Ericsson’s Xperia could have impacted the sales target.”

Morrison reports, “The iPhone was also a factor, with some speculating that the July launch of the new 3G device may have caused some to hesitate buying a Windows Mobile phone.”

MacDailyNews Take: Gee, ya think? Windows Mobile phones are caveman phones. Like Windows itself, Windows Mobile is just plain terrible. Don’t just take our word for it: Microsoft sycophant Mary Jo Foley: Windows Mobile is awful; avoid it like the plague – May 08, 2008

Morrison continues, “Of course, the other reason could be that Windows Mobile, which for years was targeted to business users, just didn’t have enough consumer appeal.”

Full article here.

Todd Bishop reports for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment & Devices Division, touted the 20 million-unit projection repeatedly during presentations at industry trade shows during the past year.”

Bishop reports, “The first clue about the shortfall emerged in early June, when a letter from Lees to the company’s partners said the company would sell “nearly 20 million Windows Mobile smartphone licenses” for the year, as opposed to the company’s previous promise of “more than 20 million” licenses sold. Asked about the change at the time, a Microsoft product manager said any shortfall would be nothing more than ‘a rounding error.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers too numerous to mention for the heads up.]

This is just the beginning.


  1. Being off by nearly 10% is just a “rounding error” to MS?

    I’d like to tell my engineering lead that I’m off by just under 10% but it’s just a rounding error.

    No wonder MS is beginning to flounder…

  2. I was talking to a Windows Mobile corporate user the other day, he wanted to have a closer look at my iPhone 3G. He was concerned about his exchange stuff, so I fully reassured him, showing the exchange logo available when you create a new mail account. He told me he was happy about it regarding mail, client accounts and office files but regarding “fun” stuff like photos and web it was lacking… a lot (just to report minimalist sentence)!!!

    It looks like next year, M$ won’t even sell 18 Million licenses….

  3. Leave it to MAC sheep to get all excited over a ’rounding error’. Fact is Microsoft’s wildly innovative Windows Mobile is selling at a brisk pace to consumers want to take the cubicle experience of the desktop Windows product with them in their pocket. How cool is that? Business moves at the speed of Microsoft. You I-Phone dorks might want to get out of the way.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  4. seriously though, 18M phones? That’s a lot. Why don’t I see more people walking around with WinMo phones? I mean, if I go to my mall, I will see iPhones everywhere, where are the missing WinMo phones?

  5. “Of course, the other reason could be that Windows Mobile, which for years was targeted to business users, just didn’t have enough consumer appeal.”

    What they mean by consumer appeal is that isn’t easy to use, and in fact any good. Business users typically can’t afford to care about those things because they have to use what they’re told to and/or given. Businesses use what everyone else uses and nothing changes and nothing gets better. Until now.

  6. @dallas
    18 Million is a lot of phones but that number is spread over 100s of models and very few people actually use the features because they interface is not optimized for the form factor, so you would have a hard time spotting them amongst the 2+ Billion Phones sold.

    As for the rounding error comment, thats Excel for you.

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