Considering Microsoft just launched Windows Mobile 6.5 last month, hitting 30 new or upgraded phones, they are increasingly under fire from many in the industry, especially following those market share figures.

The latest is 'Wired' who writes that Microsoft had a lot of advantages but, quoting others in the business, they concentrated too much on enterprise (not consumers) and really let their platform lag, especially considering they started Windows CE in 1996.

Even Kinoma's CEO Peter Hoddie had some thoughts when he said

The sad part for Microsoft is that in terms of operating systems, they have a great one, and they had it long before anyone else did... Their first problem is the built-in apps are uninspiring, so that sets a very low bar for developers who are coming to the platform.

In essence, it was the iPhone that really changed the game, bringing consumer-level appeal to an industry focused on enterprise function.  Indeed, many of us purchased one of the first 3G Windows Mobile 5 devices (HTC PPC-6700 Apache) because we saw that the mobile internet and computing was the future.  However, it wasn't always a joyous ride with sparse updates, terrible transition from WM2003 to WM5 and buggy software.  There has always been that disconnect between what we wanted and what was offered: enter XDA Developers.

Actually, nothing in the 'Wired' article is really new or profound--in fact it is pretty obvious: Microsoft has been in this for the beginning, had hardware partners and a great head start, but failed to offer something  tangible for the mobile-ready consumer.  Sure we all know a Touch Pro 2 can smoke an iPhone in terms of functionality, power and even hardware, let alone a HD2, but at the end of the day, it is about branding, marketing, consumer appeal and making it desirable.  And Android so far doesn't do anything that Windows Mobile can't.

At least the news coming out from Mobius is positive and we're getting anxious for Windows Mobile 7--lets hope they deliver.  Read the full article here.