NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- In just three years, the fast-growing smartphone market has narrowed to a two-player race between Apple's (AAPL) iOS and Google's (GOOG) Android. But try telling that to Microsoft (MSFT).
The Redmond, Wash. tech titan has been gearing up for the launch of its Windows Phone 7 operating system, the long-awaited and boldest attempt yet to re-enter into the mobile phone business next month.
The huge move will test two commonly held beliefs in tech. One, that Microsoft has lost its engineering wherewithal, which has lead to the ebbing of its leadership over the software sector.
And two, it would disprove the growing sense that the market has already picked its two winners, leaving Microsoft firmly planted in the dust.Microsoft, however, isn't going to let the mobile market slip through its hands. If nothing else, it has a huge pile of money -- $36.8 billion in the bank -- to make sure that won't happen. "You could buy your way in, if you are Microsoft," said Morgan Stanley analyst Ehud Gelblum, who predicts that Windows Phone 7 will attain 15% operating system market share in two years. "This is a market where a deep balance sheet will help Microsoft determine where they want to go." One good use of Microsoft's money is marketing and sales. A big ad blitz will likely get the Windows Phone 7 name in circulation; bankrolling a portion of the customer's phone cost would make both buyers and telcos happy. "With
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV