As part of his Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference speech, Microsoft chief exec Steve Ballmer has admitted that Windows Phone 7 is not flying off the shelves as fast as the firm would have hoped.
While still enthusiastically explaining how successful Microsoft is, there were concessions to its trailing position in the area. “We’ve gone from very small to small,” Ballmer reportedly said (though this actual line doesn’t appear to be in the keynote video).
Unsurprisingly, the recent deal with Nokia was held up as a huge advocacy of the system, He also pointed out that a year ago, Microsoft had no Windows Phone, but that in the last year it’s sold millions. Describing the market as “busy and competitive”, he admitted the firm “had a bit of work to do to break through.”
Snapping back into more typical corporate bravado, Ballmer went on to say according to its survey, nine out of ten users would recommend Windows Phone to a friend, and that 20,000 apps have been made available in eight months – claiming this represents a faster ramp up than either Android or iPhone.
This may be true, but it does seem to imply Microsoft would like us to believe its business in mobile phones started with Phone 7 last year, disregarding the less popular previous version Windows Mobile 6.5, and all the forerunners before it. That’s it’s prerogative of course, but the stat that stands in the wilderness somewhat, since Google and Apple don’t restart the clock each time they bring out a new version of their respective OS.
Comparing the launch of Phone 7 to the entire business models of rivals is arguable the same as comparing the launch of the Froyo update to the launch of the iPhone years before. In other words, not terribly representative of the full picture.
Ballmer added that Nokia was continuing to push Microsoft into wider geographical areas and to multiple price points. This would make sense, since these days Nokia’s real strength lies not in the smartphone market, but in the cheaper, feature phone market, which proportionally tend to do better in emerging markets – or weaker economies – around the world.
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