Microsoft has welcomed Apple's iPhone as a good thing for the smartphone market.
Lynette Kucsma, senior marketing manager for Microsoft's Communications Business group, said at the launch of Windows Mobile 6.1 that the company is "not at all worried by Apple entering the market".
"Apple has opened up awareness of smartphones to a wider market and that helps everyone," she said.
Kucsma explained that Microsoft is also unconcerned about Apple's foray into the business market, maintaining that Apple has a long way to go before it could match Redmond on business software.
A spokesman at the Windows 6.1 launch pointed out that smartphones account for only 10 per cent of the total mobile phone market, but that IDC expects this to rise to 30 per cent within three years.
Microsoft's new release has also taken into account the Apple effect on the touch-screen market. Windows 6.1 will be available with a touch-screen interface, reflecting the popularity of such systems.
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