MWC: Industry Awaits Microsoft, Google, Nokia Announcements

Nathan Eddy is a contributor to eWeek and TechWeekEurope, covering cloud and BYOD

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With Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona almost upon us, excitement is building over forthcoming announcements from some of the sector heavyweights

Industry watchers are keenly anticipating this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, with Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s keynote address, and a big announcement from Microsoft regarding Windows 7 Mobile, attracting much speculation.

The show comes as the world economy has only partially recovered, since last year’s subdued Mobile World Congress (MWC) convention in Barcelona. And for many participating vendors, the future is still clouded with uncertainty.

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Companies like Nokia, which expects to sell 500 million mobile phones in 2010, are looking forward to continued expansion (500 million mobiles is roughly 40 percent of the global market) and gaining further traction, like Google and its open source Android mobile operating system. In addition, the conference kicks off with a Windows announcement regarding its mobile operating system, Windows Mobile, as well as releases by Intel in co-operation with Nokia. The show runs from 15 to 18 February.

Dozens of new handsets and accessories are expected to debut at the show, as always, however software may steal the spotlight from hardware this year, as Android, Windows Mobile and updates from Opera and Symbian draw attention.

All the attention on handset releases is likely to focus on touch screen smartphones, as was the case last year. New releases from Samsung, LG and HTC are expected.

Adding to the excitement this year are keynotes from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (who at last year’s keynote argued for openness and interoperability in the mobile community) and Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who is likely to argue the same.