Todd Bishop at the Seattle PI has noticed some rephrasing going on in statements from Microsoft’ Windows Group: which reveals that Microsoft missed their very public 20 million unit target for Windows Mobile in fiscal year 2008 (which ended in June):
Microsoft sold more than 18 million Windows Mobile software licenses in its recently completed fiscal year — about 2 million short of its widely publicized 20 million-unit target — the senior vice president in charge of the business acknowledged this afternoon.
[Andy] Lees, a veteran Microsoft executive who moved from the Server & Tools unit in February, attributed the lower-than-projected Windows Mobile sales to some devices coming to market slightly later than previously expected. He declined to say which ones.
Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment & Devices Division, touted the 20 million-unit projection repeatedly during presentations at industry trade shows during the past year.
The first clue about the shortfall emerged in early June, when a letter from Lees to the company’s partners said the company would sell "nearly 20 million Windows Mobile smartphone licenses" for the year, as opposed to the company’s previous promise of "more than 20 million" licenses sold. Asked about the change at the time, a Microsoft product manager said any shortfall would be nothing more than "a rounding error."
Microsoft says the upside is that they were still able to increase the Windows Mobile share, the bad news is that Apple is coming on even more strongly and that Windows Mobile phones appear to be really only strong in the USA.