MS gets slice of mobile pie
Microsoft Corp, the world's largest maker of software, captured 6 percent of the market for advanced mobile-phone software in nine months, faced with competition from Symbian Ltd, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, citing Canalys.com Ltd, a UK researcher. Of the 1 million Smartphones shipped in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the second quarter, 94 percent ran software supplied by Symbian, a joint venture between companies including Nokia Oyj, Motorola Inc and Psion Plc. Microsoft and Orange SA, Europe's No. 3 mobile phone company, started selling the first Smartphone running Microsoft software in a few European countries in November, the paper said. By selling Smartphones, Microsoft is seeking to tap the US$100 billion wireless market.
Toyota raises sales targets
Toyota Motor Corp, the world's third-largest automaker by sales, raised its vehicle production and sales targets for the year, on demand for products such as the Sienna minivan in the US and expansion in other markets. Aichi prefecture-based Toyota now expects global output to rise 6 percent to 6 million units this year and sales to increase 6 percent to 5.85 million units, the company said in a release. The company is also expanding in markets such as China and Europe, leaving it less exposed than rivals to a slowdown in global auto sales. The automaker forecasts overseas production to rise 19 percent to 2.55 million units this year, while it expects to build 3.45 million units at home, a 1 percent drop. Toyota forecasts overseas sales to jump 7 percent to 4.12 million units and domestic sales to increase 3 percent to 1.73 million units.
HP expands in India
Hewlett-Packard Co, the world's second-largest computer maker, will expand its business in India through increasing its software developers, the Economic Times said, citing Siaou-Sze Lien, senior vice president in Asia Pacific. HP has about 4,000 developers in India, including its Indian software unit Digital GlobalSoft Ltd, the newspaper said. It didn't say how much it planned to expand its Indian business. HP has identified India, China and Korea as its fastest growing markets, the report said. HP, IBM and other companies are expanding their Indian units to take advantage of a large pool of English-speaking graduates and skilled workers available at about a fifth of the cost of a similar hire in the US.
Web surfing grows in China
China's Internet users rose by 48.5 percent from a year ago to 68 million as of the end of last month, according to a survey posted on the China Internet Network Information Center Web site. The world's most populous country lags only the US, which had 178 million Internet users as of May, according to market researcher AC Nielsen. China's user growth is helping drive demand for Internet companies such as Sina.com, Netease.com and Sohu.com, which have seen their US-traded shares jump since last year after venturing into online games and text messaging for cell-phones. According to the China Internet Network Information Center survey, 46.9 percent of China's Internet users go online primarily to obtain information, followed by 28.6 percent who use it for entertainment such as online games.