Microsoft's entry into the mobile market began well over six months ago with its Windows Phone 7 OS platform, which has faced various bumps in the road. We detailed the first six months and expressed our thoughts on their next six months, but no one really knows the exact sales number---well, until maybe now.
Although Microsoft reported a strong fiscal Q3 earnings report, they neglected to include any specific sales numbers for their Windows Phone devices. In January, they boasted shipping 1.5 million Windows Phones to carriers, but according to Russian tech analyst Eldar Murtazin, the actual number bought by end-users is only 674,000 units.
The number is based on 2010 data gathered from operators and retailers. It's difficult to say how accurate this is of an estimate, but Murtazin does have a record of digging into Microsoft and Nokia's businesses. He was noted as being the first to report that Nokia would choose Microsoft over Android and he was also one of the first to review Nokia's Symbian S3 system that got him sued for obtaining a pre-release version of the Nokia N8.
Murtazin also most recently tweeted that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will likely retire by the end of 2012 once the Windows Phone transition completes, and we certainly won't know yet how that goes.