Since 1996, Microsoft
has been writing operating systems for little computers to carry in your pocket. It was a lonely business until the company’s perennial rival, Apple
, introduced the Web-browsing, music-playing iPhone
. But now that smartphones are popular, Microsoft’s operating system, Windows Mobile, is floundering.Laptop Cop
Peter Yates for The New York Times
Andrew Lees, Microsoft’s vice president for mobile communications, says the company has altered its cellphone software strategy.
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News
Motorola is one of the cellphone giants switching to the free Android software. Above, the company’s Cliq smartphone.
More cellphone makers are turning to the free Android operating system made by Microsoft’s latest nemesis, Google.
Cellphone makers that have used Windows Mobile to run their top-of-the-line smart-phones — including Samsung, LG, Kyocera, Sony Ericsson — are now also making Android devices. Twelve Android handsets have been announced this year, with dozens more expected next year. Motorola has dropped Windows Mobile from its line entirely in a switch to Android. HTC, a major cellphone maker, expects half its phones sold this year to run Android. Dell is using Android for its entry into the cellphone market.