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Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 still needs to dig itself out of a big hole in the smartphone market, after sinking into single digits in U.S. market share as Google’s Android rose to the top of the heap. But a new survey from the NPD Group shows that Microsoft is succeeding in getting its phones noticed.

NPD says in a news release that “Android market momentum is unquestionable — comprising at least half of all smartphone purchases for the past three quarters.”

However, the researchers add, “Android’s continued market dominance is in no way guaranteed. In fact, 44 percent of smartphone owners, and those who intend to buy one, are considering purchasing a Windows Phone 7 (WP7) device.”

That’s the good news for the company. Here’s the challenge, as explained by the NPD report …

Even so, there are a number of hurdles. For example, 45 percent of consumers are still not aware of Windows Phone 7. Furthermore among the 50 percent of consumers who plan to purchase a smartphone in the next six months, but who are not interested in Windows Phone 7, the most popular reason given also centered on lack of awareness (i.e., 46 percent felt they “don’t know enough about it”). The second most offered reason was OS ecosystem lock-in (i.e., 21 percent said they have “too much time or money invested in another smartphone OS.”)

Microsoft is banking heavily on its upcoming Mango update to Windows Phone and its partnership with Nokia to help turn the tide.


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