Microsoft Corp., facing new competition from Apple Inc., is working with sellers of its Windows Mobile phones to cut prices below $100.
AT&T Inc. began offering the 3125 Windows Mobile model for $49.99. Another phone will go on sale for less than $100 next month, Microsoft said, declining to name the company selling the device.
Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, competes with Apple and Symbian Ltd. in developing phones that handle e- mail and surf the Internet. More consumers are buying such devices, so-called smart phones, which had been the domain of corporate customers. As competition grows, Microsoft is cutting prices to appeal to a broader range of shoppers.
Microsoft designs the phones’ operating system, while its partners build the hardware and sell the devices. The software is a smaller version of Microsoft’s Windows system, which runs most personal computers. That may be keeping some consumers from embracing the format, DeMichillie said.
Microsoft last year racked up more than 350 of what it calls “lighthouse wins,” cases where the order encompassed more than 500 devices or beat out a competitor. That surpassed its goal of 120 such wins, named because the company feels they offer a “shining light for others to follow,” Horn said.
Still, not enough companies are making large phone purchases, he said.
To make it easier, Microsoft formed a partnership with Enterprise Mobile Inc., a Boston-based mobile-phone consulting firm. Microsoft provided $10 million in financing to Enterprise Mobile CEO Morton Rosenthal, according to a filing in January.