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Day one of the Mobile World Congress and already Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) have delivered, massively. But they needed to, as they were being left well behind. In fact, Microsoft could have been reading this blog. What they have done is integrated many bits of Microsoft together to create a market leading product.

Windows Phone is a synergistic combination of Xbox Live, the Bing search engine, Zune MP3 player and the Windows Mobile operating system. All these elements have been upgraded to become state of the mobile art and to work together seamlessly. And it looks like Microsoft have designed it for real people instead of for “business,” which is a massive step in the right direction.

This has changed the smartphone game. The Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store may have lots of applications, but it has nothing like the user resonance the Xbox Live provides. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) may have lots of very nice proprietary software, but then so does Microsoft. Android may be used by many different phone manufacturers, but so can Windows Mobile.

So now the war has heated up, between iPhone / iPad, Android, Symbian/Maemo and Windows Phone. There are others such as Research In Motion (RIMM) (Blackberry), which is currently still the second most popular smartphone, but whose “business” bias and walled garden could see them left behind. Also Palm (PALM), who have their Treo operating system but have also used Windows Mobile, so they will probably major on the new Windows Phone O/S. And finally there is Samsung Bada, of which little is known.

This is going to be fantastic for consumers as the industry brings out new models, update their software and bring out new services and apps, all at breakneck speed. This is a billion handset per year business they are fighting for, so they are playing for massive stakes.

Disclosure: No position

Source: Windows Phone: Microsoft's Window of Opportunity