Windows to iPhone: been there, done that

March 17, 2009

Yes, yes everybody’s still talking about iPhone, but during Apple’s presentation of some new phone software today, Microsoft happened to call and couldn’t help mentioning that they’ve sold more phones with Windows Mobile, which has long had some of the stuff iPhone users are foaming at the mouth to get their hands on.

Despite the hype about the iPhone, Greg Sullivan, a senior product manager for Windows Mobile noted that Windows-based phones outsold iPhones in 2008, but he said…”If you talked to 10 people on the street I’m not sure how many people would guess that.”

However, not to sound like that unfortunate PC guy taunted by the Apple guy on the TV ads, Sullivan was quick to point out that while copy and paste, universal search and other features are new to iPhone, Microsoft has had them for some time.

“From where we sit, Windows phones have had that capability for some time now. We’re glad our customers have been able to take advantage of those capabilities on Windows phones, some of them for several years.”

Cut and paste was added in 2007 but the ability to have two apps running at once, like a game and a document, first hit Microsoft mobile devices as far back as 1996, not on a phone but in its pocket PC, he said.

He did concede however that Microsoft, whose system has been sold on more than 50 million phones, has yet to offer an application store on its cellphones. Its application marketplace will go live in the second half of this year for customers with Windows Mobile 6.5, its latest version of its mobile operating system.

Asked if Apple’s new software update would hurt Microsoft Sullivan said, “If we keep focusing on our customers needs, then we’ll continue to be in great shape.”

(Photos taken by Reuters’ Gabe Madway from the Apple event on Tuesday)


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Windows Mobile touch screen always had copy and paste, WM non-touch screen had it added recently.

Posted by Surur | Report as abusive

It’s true that MS has sold more WinMo phones…if they hadn’t then that would be pretty sad….what people don’t get is that Apple makes ONE model….MS doesn’t make any, but lots of comapnies use thier OS…so…MS indirectly sells more than one model of WinMo…
And with respect to having all those features…that’s also true…but due to the fact that WinMo is a slug compared to any mobile OS…those features are a nuisance to use…any smartphone OS is better than WinMo.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

Yes, Windows mobile has had certain features for years and I have used every flavor of WM since I had an iPaq back in the 90’s all the way up to the HTC touch phones. The thing is, with that long of a history, why isn’t WM the leader innovation when it comes to mobile OS? Even without cut, copy and paste, iPhone OS and touch screen are so much better than WM that there isn’t even a competition. It really worries me that Microsoft thinks the WM 6.1 (or 6.5) is good a OS. As far as sales – sure, they outsold iPhone, but then there is only one iPhone device and, what, 10 WM devices. Oh, and not all apps are compatible with all devices even though they run the same OS? What is with that??? They need to innovate and stop the “we have that already” game.

Posted by Remo | Report as abusive

Tit for tat. The iPhone is hot, Windows Mobile is not. Customers have spoken with their wallets and no FUD from Microsoft can change this fact.

Posted by truBlue | Report as abusive

I just wanna point out that not all Apps are compatible with apple either, :-( A2DP and MMS won’t be available on the iPhone 1st gen.

Posted by Ian | Report as abusive

Christopher Columbus to Neil Armstrong: “I already did that. Making a footprint on a new world.”
WinMo and iPhone OS are indeed worlds apart.

Posted by Thijzo | Report as abusive

Maybe Microsoft did have these features first…the difference is that with Microsoft you need an army of IT staff to make the feature work. And even when it does work it is so cumbersome and counterintuitive to use that in the end you don’t even bother to use the feature.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

This is really sad. Reuters are really allowing themselves to be used.

“Microsoft happened to call and couldn’t help mentioning that they’ve sold more phones with Windows Mobile.”

It’s preposterous that the next line of this article was not. “Of course that is comparing dozens of models of Windows Mobile phones with one single model of IPhone *and* WinMo still *barely* outsold the iPhone.”

Posted by Matty | Report as abusive

Just the usual Apple hype about anything they make. It’s always better and more innovative than anything else on the market. The Apple followers just act like lemmings and fall off a cliff whenever there is an edict from Cupertino. Microsoft just keeps trucking along, selling 9 products for everyone that Apple does. That’s how it will always be.

Posted by Dana | Report as abusive

MS always like that when they feel the heat from other companies instead of improving their products they starts to say we have that and that since bla bla bal by then of the day what really matters is the user experience I’ve been using WinMob since 2000 the enter face is sucks compared to the iphone and until this moment they haven’t changed that.

Posted by Hattan | Report as abusive

Yes, it is sad that this blogger is allowing himself to be used by Microsoft but the facts themselves are correct.

Still, people don’t buy phones because of the OS but rather because of how they operate as a complete solution. In this regard, for most consumers, the iphone is a better choice than any windows based phone.

I, of course, use a touch-screen Windows mobile phone and thoroughly enjoy cutting and pasting and all the other things it does somewhat seamlessly (but not always reliably). The iPhone’s inflexible OS is too stifling for my needs.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive