While Apple has become synonymous with mobile marketing in light of the digital advertising-friendly mobile devices and platforms that the Cupertino-based company has introduced to the masses, Microsoft is said to be gearing up efforts of its own to become an ever bigger player in the mobile ad space – a situation that certainly bodes well both for mobile marketers and the industry of mobile marketing itself.

According to a report this week in the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is planning a “shake up” in the overall direction and management of its division focused on videogames, mobile phones and other devices. The reason for the upheaval is the “increasingly bruising competition” from Apple and Google in the bustling market of mobile devices.

Microsoft, of course, is also interested in the growing potential of mobile marketing, a field that is getting ever more crowded by the biggest names in the tech world. Apple, which recently unveiled its iAd mobile advertising platform, will have to work much harder than originally anticipated to dominate the mobile marketing landscape in the wake of Google’s regulatory\’ clearance to buy AdMob Inc., a deal that has effectively created the largest mobile-advertising company.

Mobile marketing will likely prove far too opportunity-rich and financially enticing for Microsoft to ignore as the company prepares to further entrench itself in the mobile space, particularly with the expected launch later this year of the new Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system.