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The latest numbers from comScore Networks show Microsoft’s share of U.S. smartphone subscribers slipping again, to 5.6 percent for the three months ending in September. But the Redmond company can at least take solace in the fact that the rate of decline seems to be slowing.

The result is down a mere two-tenths of a percentage point from June  — a minuscule decline compared with the multiple-digit setbacks experienced by Microsoft over the past couple years. Microsoft had nearly 20 percent of the U.S. market just two years ago.

Microsoft is no doubt hoping that this is rock bottom, with the widely praised Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” now on the market, and the company’s Nokia partnership promising to bring some snazzy new devices to the U.S. next year.

Our recent poll offers a glimmer of hope, albeit a very faint one. It’s wholly unscientific and completely self-selecting, but more than 30 percent of respondents to our informal survey said Mango was the tipping point that would get them to buy a Windows Phone.

But in the meantime, Google continues to charge ahead, jumping to nearly 45 percent of the market in September, up from 40 percent in June, according to the comScore data. Apple rose more modestly, to 27.4 percent. Here’s a look at the chart.

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