The world’s leading software firm Microsoft is now focussing on the fast growing smartphones market in India after the netbooks segment - a new category created to brigde the gap between mobiles and laptops - received lukewarm response from buyers.

“We have heavily invested in that space and will continue to do so. It is still a very competitive space,” Microsoft Corporate Vice President (OEM Division) Steve Guggenheimer said.

Smartphones, high-powered mobiles with computer functionalities and big screen, constitute less than 10 per cent of total cellphone market in India.

According to industry estimates, out of the 130 million devices likely to be sold in 2009-2010 only six million would be smartphones. Out of the six million, only 2.5 lakh phones run on Microsoft’s operating system.

Guggenheimer said, Microsoft works with several mobile handset manufacturers like Sony Ericsson, HTC, LG and Samsung except Nokia, which uses Symbian operating system.

Although Microsoft’s Windows-based smartphones have come up in the past few years, they face stiff competition from the likes of Nokia, which uses Symbian OS and Blackberry.

The competition got hotter with the entry of Apple mobiles and Google’s recently launched OS, Android, not to talk of spread of mailing device Blackberry.

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