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A shopper talking on a mobile phone passes an advert for the new Nokia N8 on Oxford Street in London, in this file picture taken September 30, 2010. Nokia planned to launch its first smartphone using Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 at the end of 2011, according to Taiwan's Commercial Times, Reuters reported on May 25, 2011, which did not identify a source. (LUKE MACGREGOR/Reuters)
A shopper talking on a mobile phone passes an advert for the new Nokia N8 on Oxford Street in London, in this file picture taken September 30, 2010. Nokia planned to launch its first smartphone using Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 at the end of 2011, according to Taiwan's Commercial Times, Reuters reported on May 25, 2011, which did not identify a source. (LUKE MACGREGOR/Reuters)

Nokia move to help other handset vendors: Microsoft Add to ...

Microsoft expects Nokia's adoption of its mobile software to encourage other handset makers to make more use of Windows.

"The market validation that Nokia has put on Windows Phone is fantastic and it will help Samsung and LG and Fujitsu and all our other hardware partners," Brandon Watson, director at Microsoft's mobile unit, told Reuters in an interview.

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Windows Phone received a major boost in February when Nokia , the largest phone vendor by volume, said it would swap its own Symbian platform for Windows Phone.

The first handsets from Nokia using the new system are set to reach the market later this year, Watson said.

Nokia's move has attracted thousands of new developers and wide publicity for the platform, which currently has only a 2 per cent share of the handset market.

Handset vendors including Samsung Electronics, HTC, LG, Sony Ericsson and Motorola Mobility use Microsoft but only in a small portion their range.

The U.S. software giant stepped up its push into the cellphone market earlier this week with the launch of new software codenamed Mango, which it hopes will help it close the gap on smart phone leaders Google Inc. and Apple Inc.

Google and Apple together control more than 50 per cent of the smart phone market.

Watson, who is in charge of developer relations at Windows Phone, said easy-to-use software tools were the key in trying to lure over developers from established platforms like Apple and Google.

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