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Microsoft tries to throw some cold water on iPhone

Computerworld has some interesting information about Windows Mobile vs. Apple's iPhone:

Companies -- lots of them -- are still buying Windows Mobile smart phones, and Microsoft doesn't want to let iPhone mania make them forget.

During Microsoft's most recent fiscal year, 325 enterprises purchased at least 500 Windows Mobile phones, with many buying many more, said Scott Rockfeld, group products manager for the mobile communications business at Microsoft, in a Friday interview.

"From the armed forces to the U.S. Court System, people are not just trying Windows Mobile, they are buying them," Rockfeld said, in apparent reference to a statement by Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs last month that 35% of Fortune 500 companies were beta-testing the iPhone.

Moreover, seven of the 10 largest companies in the world, as ranked by Fortune magazine, bought Windows Mobile phones, including one enterprise that bought 100,000.

Windows Mobile smart phones actually outshipped iPhones by a margin greater than 2 to 1 in the first quarter of 2008, according to Gartner Inc.

And before anyone chimes in on that statistic, Q1 is before Apple stopped selling iPhones to make way for the iPhone 3G.

For the fiscal year that ended June 30th, Microsoft sold nearly 20 million Windows Mobile licenses, according to a letter last month by Microsoft Vice President Andy Lees.

And despite the iPhone 3G's strong opening-weekend sales, Rockfeld noted that technology research firm IDC predicted that Windows Mobile will continue to outsell the iPhone 2 to 1 in the consumer market by 2012 and in the business space by 9 to 1.

"So you can see the hype versus the reality," he said.

Or at least the estimates versus the widespread speculation.

Still, something to consider before you fall into the hype-r-bowl.

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