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Verizon: we like Microsoft, but not Windows Phone 7

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America's largest wireless provider has thrown a cold, wet blanket on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 event, scheduled for next week in New York.

Verizon chief operating officer and president Lowell McAdam doesn't see Microsoft as a major player in mobile, saying the future lies with Android, Blackberry, and the iPhone.

McAdam, whose company sold Microsoft's hyped then aborted KIN social phone earlier this year, appeared to base his view on a lack of innovation from Microsoft.

The comments come ahead of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 event in New York, which will involve America's number-two wireless carrier AT&T. T-Mobile, the US number-three, will also talk about devices it plans to ship once Windows Phone 7 is available.

Asked by Cnet, here, whether Verizon will offer devices on its 4G LTE network, coming later this year, McAdam said: "I can't really say which phones we'll offer yet. We like our relationship with Microsoft. But clearly in the US there are three major mobile operating systems: RIM, Google, and Apple."

Does he see Microsoft as a major player in mobile? "No, not at the moment. Microsoft is not at the forefront of our mind," he answered.

McAdam said this had nothing to do with the Kin debacle. Verizon offers phones where suppliers can demonstrate they're on the leading edge. "If they are not leading edge, then we can't afford to carry them in our stores. But if they are innovative, we'll offer them," McAdam said.

Verizon is rumored to be next in line for selling Apple's phone in the US, although McAdam wouldn't comment on whether this will debut on the planned Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network. Meanwhile, you can buy Droids through Verizon, and its network is ripe with Blackberries.

Android is the fastest growing mobile operating system. The iPhone's carved out a quarter market share in US smart phones in just three years. And Blackberry has a third of the market.

Gartner said that Windows Phone 7 will provide a fillip to Microsoft's worldwide mobile market share, pushing it up from 4.7 per cent this year to 5.2 per cent in 2011, but it's share will fall again to 3.9 per cent by 2014.

By 2014, Gartner expects open-source platforms will account for more than 60 per cent of the market for all smart phones, and Microsoft will be relegated from fifth to sixth place behind MeeGo from Nokia and Intel. ®

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