Microsoft moves into India

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Business Standard is reporting that Microsoft is planning to compete with RIM for push email services in India. Althought they would not comment on who would partner with them to provide the service, Microsoft’s major Windows Mobile device-maker partners in India are iMate and HP, in addition to O2 and Eten. Microsoft did say, however, that they planned to offer their Microsoft Exchange Server service initially for 15 handset models.

RIM’s response to the new competition?

Norm Lo, Vice-President, Asia Pacific, RIM, says: “RIM welcomes competition. The more users are informed about the benefits of mobile email, the more popular it gets — which is good for us as the market leader. BlackBerry is really beyond email — our applications and solutions platform is driving more value and benefits for enterprise customers.”

Here are some numbers to help shed light on the upcoming battle for India:

– Microsoft claims to have already tied up with around 115 wireless operators in 55 countries and sells around 100 different models from nearly 47 device manufacturers.
– 2000 enterprises in India that currently host Microsoft Exchange servers.
– At the end of fiscal year 2006, RIM had five million BlackBerry subscribers the world over.
– Bharti Airtel is estimated to have around 40,000 BlackBerry subscribers in India.