Microsoft plans wireless software push | CNET News.com "Microsoft, Symbian and PalmSource are battling over what operating system handset makers use to build new generations of cell phones that combine the features of a personal digital assistant and a cell phone. For now, it's a very young market with about 2 million devices in circulation. By comparison, there were 400 million traditional cell phones sold last year.
But the market for the phones is expected to grow significantly. By 2006, IDC expects Symbian will have increased its market share in the powerful phones to 53 percent from its current 46 percent. Microsoft will have about 27 percent of the market, with Palm at 10 percent. IDC predicts that Linux could take as much as 4.2 percent of the market.
Microsoft considers its biggest competition the rival phone operating system from Symbian, a company owned by Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson and most other major handset makers. Even Microsoft concedes that Symbian is the clear leader. Microsoft may have signed up HTC and two small handset makers to make phones using its smart phone software, but most major wireless device makers are already developing Symbian phones, said Symbian Vice President Peter Bancroft."