Microsoft's greatest successes and biggest failures

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2. Mobility futility

nokia-ms-600x450_1.jpgREUTERS/Paul Hackett
A man holds the new Nokia Lumia 710 smartphone at the Nokia World event in London October 26, 2011.

The tech world is littered with the corpses of hand-held devices that tried and failed to run scaled-down versions of Windows. In 2004 nearly one of four smartphones ran a Microsoft OS. Today, less than 2 percent of smartphones sold this year run Windows Mobile or Windows Phone. Yet all is not entirely lost. Windows Phone 7.x has won respect, if not market share, and Microsoft's deal to put it on Nokia smartphones will expand its footprint internationally, where the Finnish handset maker still dominates (for now). Gartner even predicts that Microsoft-Nokia phones will outsell iPhones by 2015. Meanwhile in the tablet space, Windows 8 might just provide the iPad alternative enterprise geeks are longing for, provided it won't already be obsolete when it appears a year from now.

Can the Lumia 800 Windows phone save Nokia?

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