Windows Phone 7 will do nothing to improve Microsoft's share of the mobile market, according to analysts.
The software giant is set to unveil handsets running Windows Phone 7 system later today, with phones expect to hit shelves within a month.
At the moment, Microsoft holds a five per cent share of the global smartphone market, according to research firm Gartner, compared with nine per cent a year ago. Rival Google's Android system has a 17 per cent market share, jumping from only 2 per cent a year ago.
In the long term, industry analysts are not optimistic about Microsoft's chances. Despite troubles at Nokia, they expect the smartphone market to remain dominated by its Symbian OS, alongside Google's Android.
Symbian is currently the market leader, with 41 per cent of the global smartphone market in the second quarter, according to Gartner, followed by BlackBerry-maker RIM with 18 per cent, Android with 17 per cent, Apple with 14 per cent and Microsoft with 5 per cent.
By 2014, Gartner expects smartphone sales to have more than trebled to about 875 million units, with Nokia and Android leading the market with about 30 per cent each, Apple around 15 per cent, RIM around 12 per cent and Microsoft around four per cent.
It's a market Microsoft will be worried about missing out on. Gartner expects almost 270 million smartphones to be sold around the world this year, up 56 per cent from last year. In comparison, Gartner expects only a 19 per cent increase in worldwide PC sales to 368 million units this year.
Microsoft, whose stock is trading at the same level it was eight years ago, has been struggling to find a footing in phones and mobile computing. Its share price has fallen almost 20 per cent so far this year.
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