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Oo look! Microsoft mobile strategy might not be stillborn after all.

Just when we were all tempted to think it’s all over bar the shouting, a new bit of research seems to indicate that the presently struggling Microsoft mobile strategy has some run in it yet. That’s thanks to Appcelerator dishing out a report which shows that more IT executives reckon Microsoft shows mobile market leadership than any other enterprise vendor.

Yes, really.

Appcelerator is itself an app development house. It managed to inveigle its way into the lives of 770 senior-IT manager-types to gain some insight into who’s planning what in terms of app development; 87% of the lads (for techie types tend to be overwhelmingly male) reckon mobile apps will overtake desktop ones this year - hardly a surprise, given the relative maturity of the respective environments.

Back to the shocking outcome: while noting in its report (available for free download after sharing your details) that ‘respondents stated that none of the major IT vendors are showing leadership in the mobility space’, the good men and woman of technology went on to record that 28.3% of their number believe Microsoft is demonstrating leadership in mobile.

Of course, this is the enterprise we are talking about, not the consumer market. That becomes clearer when looking at the vendors against which Microsoft was evaluated: SAP is rated second, with 15.8% casting their vote the German way; Oracle is next with 10.8%, IBM at 7.3% and HP with 4.6%.

Right now Windows Phone accounts for something like 2% of global smartphone market share; however, BYOD and consumer power aside, enterprise is indeed a very different kettle of fish. This may also account for Microsoft’s blustery self-confidence in what so far looks like a faltering strategy into which it’s mobility offerings - Windows 8, Windows Phone and the Surface - slot. There’s more to it, too; developer platforms and tools are an important part of making enterprises mobile, and Microsoft’s got lots of that.

The longer game for Microsoft and mobility may well be in keeping those enterprise customers happy.

That’s an affirmation of TechDay’s view that while Microsoft may be enduring a harder time than it ever has since hitting the big time somewhere back in the late 1970s (read more in this month’s IT Brief), the full extent of its reach and use by business gives it clout that the likes of Apple and Google can only dream of.