Microsofts Windows Phone to be No. 2 Mobile Platform by 2015

Microsoft‘s Windows Phone 7 operating system isnt a big factor in the mobile phone market yet.

At least one research firm believes Nokias decision to adopt Microsofts platform and move off its Symbian operating system will be meaningful.

Framingham, Mass.-based IDC forecasts that Windows Phone will rank as the No. 2 operating system worldwide by 2015 behind Googles Android platform.

Up until the launch of Windows Phone 7 last year, Microsoft has steadily lost market share while other operating systems have brought forth new and appealing experiences. The new [Microsoft-Nokia] alliance brings together Nokias hardware capabilities and Windows Phones differentiated platform,” IDC analyst Ramon Llamas said in a statement.

IDC expects that the first Nokia devices to incorporate Microsofts platform will be introduced next year.

Windows Phone isn’t expected to make a big impact this year. IDC forecasts that Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile will control a modest 5.5 percent market share based on worldwide smartphone operating systems.

Android will lead market share with 39.5 percent, followed by Symbian (20.9 percent), Apples iOS (15.7 percent) and Research in Motions BlackBerry (14.9 percent).

The good news for all the operating systems is that the demand for smartphones continues to accelerate.  IDC forecasts that smartphone vendors will ship more than 450 million smartphones this year. That figure compares to 303.4 million units shipped in 2010.

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