Microsoft “all in” for Windows Phone as Ballmer reveals “very small” sales

By Tom Warren, on 12th Jul 11 3:30 pm with 70 Comments

Microsoft is “all in” for mobile devices despite “very small” sales according to CEO Steve Ballmer.

Ballmer discussed the state of Windows Phone during his keynote address at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles on Monday. “We’ve gone from very small to very small but its been a heck of a year,” admitted Ballmer. “A year ago, Microsoft had no Windows Phone. In the last year we’ve sold millions of phones.” Ballmer revealed that 9 out of 10 people who own a Windows Phone would recommend it to a friend according to the company’s survey results.

“It’s certainly a very busy active competitive market. We got a lot of work to do to break through. And yet, the people in the phone business believe in us. We’ve already had over 20,000 applications built for Windows Phone in 8 months, that’s a faster ramp than either Android or iPhone have.”

Ballmer also touched on Nokia and the future of Windows Phone in 2015. “Nokia, who had a choice this year to bet on themselves, to bet on Android or to bet on Windows Phone said for their bet, the company strategy, they’re going with Windows Phone,” said Ballmer. “They saw our road maps, they saw what we’ve done, they saw what we’re planning on doing.” Ballmer also revealed that Nokia is pushing Microsoft to go broader geographically with Windows Phone and hit new price points for devices. “They believe, others believe too,” he said. “Gartner and IDC both did predictions this year that said Windows Phone would be the number two phone in the market by 2015.”

Ballmer concluded his discussion on Windows Phone by promising that Microsoft will progress competitively in the mobile market as the company moves forwards:

“We know we’ve got a lot to do but like the Cloud, like NT many years back, we’re all in when it comes to mobile devices. And whether it’s phones or slates OR PCs or console devices, we’re certainly pushing extremely far and extremely fast.”

  • Grannyville7989

    I believe!

    • GP007

      Ditto, I see no reason not to, Mango brings WP7 up to the level of Android and iOS5, the rest is just new good looking phones, and more of them instead of just once a year like we’re doing now.

    • Impartial

      Yup now we need the sales reps in shops to push WP! I have mystery shopped a few in London and they were so bad!

    • Test1ngi23

      But I thought WP7 was so good that it didn’t need salesmen. I thought it was supposed to sell itself?

    • Impartial

      well, in my case I wanted to buy a WP, the sales rep said it was crap and not to buy and actually refused to show me a working unit or order one for me to test! he must have been a fandroid, a mactard or simply someone who loves to risk his job position by scaring customers

    • MSfan

      Again, here comes the whining about sales people.   People stand in line overnight to buy the competitors, there was not a thing sales people could do but ring up the sales. If WP7 phone was as compelling product that did not come to the market years to late, was not released half baked, did not have terrible marketing, did not screwed up first updated, spent way to long to wait for next update, and MS did not have poor carrier relationships, ALL THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MICROSOFT, sales people would have no effect on the success of the product.  Place the blame on WP7 failure on one group only… MS MANAGEMENT.

    • DaveSF

      Thank you for some honest and intelligent comments.  

    • detdream

      WP7 isn’t quite a failure. You are correct on many other things though, but you can’t deny that for the few instances where sales people actually do have control over it (like in this example, when a customer goes in and asks specifically about this product) they aren’t doing a very good job.

      I have been using Mango (dev unlocked) for almost 2 weeks now, and it’s the kind of thing you can’t quite tell why it’s better but you just feel like it is. Improvements are subtle, yet affecting the overall experience very much.

      I already loved my HTC Surround, but now it’s getting really close to the level of my old iPhone. The amount of apps isn’t great, but that shouldn’t be an issue. The real problem is most developers focus on getting the metro look right rather than the user experience. Everything looks great but very few apps have a good, simple flow.

      I am definitely one of those 9 people who would recommend it to a friend. Actually, one of my friends just recently got the same phone I’m using after he played around with it.

      7.1 is a very good step in the right direction, and I’m sure when 7.2 is around the corner, the OS will have fought up with competition. All that pretty quickly, actually.

      Bottom line, it’s a great product that doesn’t have a good reputation and that’s what MSFT has to work on.

    • Impartial

      well, in my case I wanted to buy a WP, the sales rep said it was crap and not to buy and actually refused to show me a working unit or order one for me to test! he must have been a fandroid, a mactard or simply someone who loves to risk his job position by scaring customers

    • http://twitter.com/PeterKremzar Peter Kremzar

      You see in these days it’s all about fanboys and religious worshippers. I think you understand that very good. That’s what Apple and Google have. It’s not the quality of the service.

      Just an example of the last month. I tried the new revolutionary service from Google -  a Google+ What I can say is that this is something like FaceBook 1.0 but there are lots of people on every corner who evangelize this service as the best service around. It was the same with Apple iPhone 1.0. It was just a feature phone which was only good to listen to the music, make phone calls and to browse on the web. There were no applications and nothing worked like it did on the real smartphones. But the Apple worshippers said it was the best phone ever.

    • phil jay

      Oh and did you hear of the all new “Windows Live” thingy? It’s crappy you say(Thats what I hear all the time)? It can do all facebook and google can do (or you just connect them) and you probably didn’t even realize that you’ve been using it for quite a long time now.

    • phil jay

      Oh and did you hear of the all new “Windows Live” thingy? It’s crappy you say(Thats what I hear all the time)? It can do all facebook and google can do (or you just connect them) and you probably didn’t even realize that you’ve been using it for quite a long time now.

    • Anonymous

      yea it doesnt cept when sales persons are actively trying not to sell you a wp7 phone it kinda brings a damper on things

    • Guest

      You think a lot of stupid sh*t. It’s what makes you you.

    • li

      very true, i went to the Phones4u at tottenham court road and asked the salesguy if they had the LG Optimus 7, he said no but they had the HTC sensation. I said that’s not what I asked and then he went on to ask to most ridiculous question that couldn’t have crossed my mind. He asked: What is the processor on the phone?’ caught me off guard.
      These sales guys are some android fanboys… they’re not selling PCs for peace sake lol!

    • TryllZ

      “Mango brings WP7 up to the level of Android and iOS5″…

      I find that Mango takes Mobile to the next level beyond Android and iOS5…M$ upped the game on Mango..

    • Eli

      I soo believe! I’ve had my windows phone for less than a week and must I say i love it, it is the ipersonal phone and Nokia made a good choice going with wp7 as their catch phrase goes: ‘Connecting People’

      I even tried a friend’s iphone4 today and suddenly realized how clumsy and outdated the os is.
      Its time to take a bite out of mango, apple sure isn’t tasty anymore :)

    • detdream

      My wife got a white iPhone 4 the day I got my HTC Surround so I still have access to an iPhone once in a while. I don’t use it a lot, but when I do I find it boring. I don’t like the folders (but I did when I was using an iPhone), I don’t like the keyboard, and I don’t like the menus (settings, etc)

      I do prefer the iPhone’s app support and screen quality but almost everything else, even if not as good in many people’s eyes, I prefer on WP7.

    • BiestleB

      It not about belief it is about execution and the fact is Ballmer and gang has not given us any reason to think that they can successful execute a campaign that will take WP7 anywhere above single digits for years to come; coming to the market years late with a good OS, poor marketing when introducing the product, poor performance with first up date, too long before mango update, not building quality relationship with Carriers and salespeople, and it goes on and on.  With this history of performance, we can not expect the future to be any difference. 

    • Anonymous

      What is this always with that “years late” blah blah blah? How can it ever be “years too late” to come out with a new operating system? It never was, is nor ever will it be “years too late”! We still would be stuck on Windows 3.11 otherwise! :)

      BTW, with Windows Mobile, Microsoft had a very capable mobile OS on the market. The only problem was that people simply were too lazy to learn how to use it. They wanted something shiny eye-candy and were willing to sacrifice functionality for that – sad but true!

    • Guest

      “he only problem was that people simply were too lazy to learn how to use it. ”   This is exactly the mentality of MS management and why they are now struggling to stay relevant in the smartphone market and why they had to be shown WM was dated and need replacing, too bad it took them so long to understand it.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001392294014 Stephen James

    Stupid thing is, is that in the UK where I live, only 2 of the 6 of the handset shops have a windows phone in them. And even then, there are only 1 model in each. Orange has the mozart & o2 have the HD7. Its not good enough.

    • Impartial

      agree, UK has been crap pushing WP, although customer satisfaction shows that WP customers are happy carriers are still not pushing them

    • Test1ngi23

      But I thought WP7 was so good that it didn’t need salesmen. I thought it was supposed to sell itself?

    • Anonymous

      It can’t sell itself it isn’t available or is hidden from view. People need to be able to play around with any gadget to see if it’s good and fits their needs.

    • MSfan

      It is up to MS management to influence the marketplace by building up Carrier relations and to create incentives for salespersons and to offer a product that consumers are demanding.  To blame anything else is simple looking for excuses for MS Management incompetence.   

    • Anonymous

      yea it doesnt cept when sales persons are actively trying not to sell you a wp7 phone it kinda brings a damper on things     

    • Et Jay

      I agree the product out there are not good enough.  If MS did not take so long to update with Mango we would have had better products by now.   It looks like WP7 is turning into another KIN or Zun.  :(

  • Anonymous

    For sure the recovery of WP market share will come with time. The device is there, the Software is great and Mango will only make it better (running the Beta now and believe it 100%). The problem is market adoption, time it takes for people to start to see it and finally pick one up on their 2 year upgrade. It is a long and hard road ahead but the big 3 will be going at it again.

    • Guest

      That isn’t guaranteed, and a lot depends on whether Ballmer is still around. He’ll stick it out for sure. He has no choice. But if he gets yanked, a replacement migth just cut their losses.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jesse-Garcia/100000361221634 Jesse Garcia

      i would cry if they stopped making windows phones. I dont think i would own a cell phone for a while.

    • detdream

      Well you could always keep the one you have right now. If they stop making it they won’t take yours back.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jesse-Garcia/100000361221634 Jesse Garcia

      i would cry if they stopped making windows phones. I dont think i would own a cell phone for a while.

  • The Black Mamba

            I am waiting for my Mango Nokia phone. Hopefully, it comes not later than December, I can wait since I already  have my HTC arrive to use. I believe too!!!!

    • http://ninlar.pip.verisignlabs.com/ Ryan

      I love my HTC Arrive, but I agree. I hope Nokia produces some CDMA handsets for Sprint.

    • http://twitter.com/karlcramer Karl Cramer

      HTC Arrive has been an overlooked model. It’s been truly excellent since I’ve had it.

  • Guest

    They had no phone a year ago? Um, they had plenty of WM ones. Ballmer is just trying to put a positive spin on what has been a badly blown and unsuccessful $400M launch. Let’s face it, Mango will now effectively have to be a relaunch. And MS will have to hope that this time, having finally gotten the software competitive, Nokia and other hardware vendors don’t let them down, again.

    • Anonymous

      What is WM? Windows Mobile right? 

      Let me check 2010 Summer… Hmmm no Windows phone, just windows mobile… 

      Okay let me check Summer 2011… Windows Phone !I see your confusion but it’s okay you will learn someday that 2 different words are not the same word.

    • Anonymous

      And you will (hopefully) learn someday that before making snarky comments, you should inform yourself and know what you’re talking about.

      Phones running Windows Mobile were officially named Windows Phones in 2009. In other words, there were quite a few Windows Phones on the market in 2010.

    • Robin Ashe

      But they’re not Windows Phone phones. You’re still wrong. That dual boot Symbian/Windows XP phone is also called a Windows phone. You gotta work on your capitalisiation.

    • Anonymous

      They were officially named Windows Phones (yes, that’s a capital ‘P’) in 2009. Sorry, but I’m right. You guys should get a clue before commenting, really – or at least stay friendly as long as you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    • zzz

      Sorry psymo you can not expect fanboys to actually try to be logical and think with intelligence there too blinded by faith

    • alexh2o

      Sorry but please could you clarify what you mean? Windows Mobile based phones, as far as I am aware, have never been referred to as ‘Windows Phones’. Some may have shortened the name as they are a phone running Windows, but it was never an official term. The app store was called “Windows Marketplace for Mobile” and the OS was called “Windows Mobile 6.x” – no mention of ‘Phone’…

    • Anonymous

      They were officially named Windows Phones (yes, that’s a capital ‘P’) in 2009. Sorry, but I’m right. You guys should get a clue before commenting, really – or at least stay friendly as long as you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • Guest

    If MS can figure out how to deploy updates they might have a shot.  I like the OS and it is different and better in some ways the the other competitors but the fact that my Samsung Focus (Rev 1.4) still doesn’t even have pre NoDo almost 6 months after the release of the  update is very very sad.

    • Anonymous

      This is the unfortuante problem of dealing with seperate, multiple, manufacturers. In this case though, Samsung unfortunately released different Firmware REVs without keeping everyone up to date…

    • Anonymous

      Hopefully they learned from it and will communicate better so it doesn’t happen again.

    • Anonymous

      Hopefully they learned from it and will communicate better so it doesn’t happen again.

    • Anonymous

      Hopefully they learned from it and will communicate better so it doesn’t happen again.

    • Anonymous

      Hopefully they learned from it and will communicate better so it doesn’t happen again.

  • Ced

    “A year ago, Microsoft had no Windows Phone. In the last year we’ve sold millions of phones.” hhhhmmmm what about Windows CE, Pocket PC, Windows Mobile… They have been doing smart devices OS for ages. And I believe they still don’t know how to do it. I’ve been using my WP7 for 10 days and went back to my beloved iPhone.

    • Impartial

      I think you need to give it a bit longer, I went from ipod touch to zune hd and the change was quite radical, but after using it for 3-4 weeks I have to say that the UI is fantastic, intuitive and very well thought!

  • Guest

    Interesting that the quote mentions “Phones, Slates, PCs and Xbox”.  Is it now 4 screens and a cloud?

  • Pacific

    I really don’t think it was all about Windows Phone 7 OS and MS.
    The REAL reason why they aren’t selling would be because of the lack of support from the sales person.  When you go into a phone store, and they tried to sell you iphone/android phones instead.  That is a FAIL system that I’m seeing.  I am glad MS is opening more and more stores, perhaps in time this will help to increase the sales of Windows Phone 7.

    • MSfan

      STOP WHINING about sale person,  if you need to whine direct it at management who is responsible for WP7 struggles.  

  • Anonymous

    very small sales.  very small marketing.  Compare the spots on tv to iphone and android and they pale in comparison.

  • Anonymous

    very small sales.  very small marketing.  Compare the spots on tv to iphone and android and they pale in comparison.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jesse-Garcia/100000361221634 Jesse Garcia

      this is why zune faild. I hope they learned from their mistakes. The more you drill something into someones head the more they are going to notice it and be more familiar to it. Its like songs on the radio, even a shitty song played over and over again will stick in you head. They need commercials on tv way more often then they do now. Which is never because i haven seen one since launch. People ask me what phone i have because they have never seen a wp7 before. So sad.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jesse-Garcia/100000361221634 Jesse Garcia

      this is why zune faild. I hope they learned from their mistakes. The more you drill something into someones head the more they are going to notice it and be more familiar to it. Its like songs on the radio, even a shitty song played over and over again will stick in you head. They need commercials on tv way more often then they do now. Which is never because i haven seen one since launch. People ask me what phone i have because they have never seen a wp7 before. So sad.

  • Test1ngi23

    HAHAHAHA!!!! You made my day Ballmer!

  • Anonymous

    Add in some top notch hardware with Mango. They’ll be at 10% share in no time. Nokia deal is going to help them outside the US.

  • http://twitter.com/jimmyfal Jimmy Fallon

    I believe!

  • Anonymous

    Surely they can. they have proven they could with the xbox. however it is going to be a long battle and I’m affraid they have the wrong guy heading it. as much as I like Joe B, I think he needs to be far more agressive. Mango should be out on retail today and we should be talking about what is next. he should be adding features in incremental smaller releases more frenquent than the ancient outdated monolitic yearly cycle of windows service packs. Last, MSFT needs to fire the entire marketing staff or firm in charge of WP7. I’ve seen better ads done by fans on youtube than the official wp7 ads that cost a fortune.

    with new marketing, more frequent updates, new leadership and the nokia factor, they can really reboot the lauch which was clearly screwed. And while they are at it, they should listen to the end-user feedback and spice up the UI while keeping it metro. something like what they are doing in the xbox dashboard update would go long ways to increase the shelf appeal of the device that looks a bit too generic, even if its functionality and usability put to shame anything google/apple do.

    • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

      Sorry but software development takes time, Blackberry, Apple, Google, etc. they ALL release major updates more or less on a yearly schedule. It’s for a reason.

      You have to worry about multiple types of devices, multiple carriers, multiple languages, and 500 new features that have to be tested and polished.   Not only that but it represents a major update for app developers, so they have another big development effort just to create the necessary tools and libraries and get those tested.  

      Carriers, app developers, manufacturers, are not going to appreciate changes every month because they have their own schedules to worry about.  It’s also wasted bandwidth. So you’re talking about a lot of wasted effort and confusion by trying to trickle out features.   I think one or two minor releases and one major release a year is perfect.

      I’m sure Microsoft has their hands full with Nokia and their special needs as well.

      In fact it’s impressive that Microsoft can do this with many many partners, supporting many devices, supporting many many languages all  in one year.  While in the same year Apple does the same for one device and basically a western market.

    • zzz

      nice to see a thoughtful comment 

  • Guest

    Blame it on market saturation, blame it on salesmen, blame it on the late mango update…..they’re all excuses.  The facts are simple:
    Compared to Google and Appl.e WP7 has a very small number of apps, many of which are priced much higher with less features.  Also, there are millions are androids and iphones already in consumer hands. Is there a compelling reason to switch?  …..NO 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jesse-Garcia/100000361221634 Jesse Garcia

      I bet a mac person could give you a ton of compelling reasons to switch from a pc. WP7 apps are great and have been exploding as of late, way faster than android or ios.
      Let me ask you this, if wp7 had every spec and feature of android and ios would you switch?

    • StockTrader

      For most people the answer would be no, for the switch cost (money invested in Apps and music which is the importantly of ecosystem) would not justify switch to something that does not offer more.  Now if WP7 becomes significantly better product, they yes.  But sadly at this point it is not quite as good and after mango it will be simply adequate not compellingly better.  

    • MSfan

      Finally someone who understand.   If most here would spend less time looking for excuses and start demanding MS management to perform better all all product would be better not to mention the stock price would finally do something positive.  

  • Anonymous

    I did not buy the first wp7 version cause i knew that 2g of wp7 ( MANGO) would be a lot better so i know there are some fans waiting for mango.