The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Competition narrows in handheld software sales "Microsoft, which has been boosting sales of software for handheld computers, is now almost tied for the top spot in the market as users buy devices with the company's programs for e-mail, researcher Gartner said.
Microsoft's share of the market for operating systems that run handheld computers rose to 40.2 percent in the first quarter, Gartner said. Leader PalmSource dropped to 40.7 percent.
The world's biggest software maker has eroded PalmSource's lead since 2000, when Microsoft had 11 percent of the market and the company then known as Palm had almost 85 percent. Microsoft gained by pitching its security and Outlook e-mail program.
"Palm still dominates the consumer side of the market, but Microsoft has come on very strong in the enterprise market," Gartner analyst Todd Kort said. "Palm is rapidly losing the enterprise."
Worldwide sales of the handheld computers themselves, however, fell 4.6 percent in the first quarter, Gartner said. Market-leader PalmOne's share fell to 30.5 percent, and No. 2 Hewlett- Packard rose to 21.2 percent. Research In Motion had the biggest gain, climbing to third place. Its share grew to 14.8 percent from 3.1 percent as people use its BlackBerry devices to send e-mail."