Microsoft says Windows Mobile smartphones are great

Windows Mobile phones are still the way to go, according to Scott Rockfeld, group products manager for the mobile communications business at Microsoft. Despite all the ballyhoo surrounding the iPhone 3G launch, almost 20 million Windows Mobile licenses were sold for Microsoft’s fiscal year ending June 30.

Microsoft’s visibility in the business sector has always been well noted, which Rockfeld pointed out in a recent interview. By citing strong security features and the ability to encrypt removable data storage cards, he noted it was predicted by IDC Corp to expect Windows Mobile phones to continue to outsell the iPhone 9:1 in business utilization. But for now, the point may be moot, as BlackBerry still remains the ubiquitous leader when it comes to business usage.

Windows Mobile phones were purchased by seven out of ten largest companies in the world (as ranked by Fortune), while sales of at least 500 phones were tabulated at 325 different companies.

Rockfeld criticized Apple’s decision to limit, at least for now, the number of developers who could create apps for the iPhone. He further noted that there are over 18,000 publicly available applications for Windows Mobile. By comparison, the Apple App Store has about 500.

While the Microsoft/Apple war always seemed to center around business applications, it will be interesting to see how it shapes up in the mobile market. While Microsoft may have growing numbers to back it up, the mobile landscape is set to be redefined if Google’s (sort of) open-source Android platform takes off.