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Windows Phone 7 market share slips: report

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(Read caption) Windows Phone 7 has seen its market share fall in recent months. Here, models show off Windows-powered handsets at an event in Japan.

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Windows Phone 7, the operating system rolled out by Microsoft late last year, was generally received warmly by critics. But the Windows Phone OS has failed to find a firm foothold among consumers, according to a new report from analytics firm ComScore. From March to June of 2011, ComScore estimates that the market share owned by Windows Phone 7 dropped from 7.5 to 5.8 percent, a loss of 1.7 percent.

Android, meanwhile, continues to gobble up market share, as does iOS, the operating system that powers the iPhone.

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As Nicholas Kolakowski notes over at eWeek, Microsoft has reason to be optimistic: the company's next-generation Mango operating system is on the way. But Kolakowski is far from convinced, "especially considering how Mango-loaded phones will likely hit just as one of Microsoft’s largest competitors, Apple, releases the newest iPhone loaded with the next-generation iOS operating system."

Moreover, Kolakowski continues, "Various Android manufacturers also continue to produce increasingly advanced smartphones. In fact there’s considerable risk that Microsoft will arrive at its 'Mango' plateau just as its rivals jump ahead to an entirely new level – leaving Redmond, yet again, in the position having to play catch-up." Which makes sense: Android updates are arriving these days at an incredible velocity.

And Android already has a serious foothold in the mobile market. Way back in December, Google announced that it was activating 300,000 Android phones a day, a boost from the 200,000 activations it had logged a few months before. Then in July, Google's Andy Rubin said a whopping half million Android devices were now being activated every day, another major milestone.

Nothing is impossible, of course, but Microsoft will have a major challenge catching up to numbers like that.