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back to article Ballmer: Windows Phone can win third place in mobile!

Sales of Microsoft's smartphone operating system are lagging and Redmond needs to step things up to win third place, Steve Ballmer has said. Yes, that's right: not first, or even second... Ballmer is aiming for third. Microsoft's chief executive broke the news of disappointing sales and his strike for the bronze medal during …

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wag
FAIL

Being "a third ecosystem" just means that there are two other ecosystems. It doesn't place them in order. It is not "a third-placed ecosystem". This is a complete non story.

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Completely agree

Exactly what I thought. Nowhere does he suggest that Windows Phone will come last of the three or he is aiming for third or whatever. He just recognises that at present there are two dominant mobile phone platforms and he aims to put WinPho up as another one.

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If Ballmer thought they'd get to number one or two

He would be making huge claims of dominance and doing the monkeyboy dance.

Ballmer has always over-sold MS products. His muted response just shows he hopes for the bronze at best, but the realistic part of him probably expects another Zune.

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Anonymous Coward

3rd place

in the failure stakes, behind

Bada

WebOS

That's very ambitious of Microsoft, as I would put them last place behind those...

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Windows

Oh how the mighty have fallen...

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hardly...

hardly "the mighty" - when did WinMobile ever really have the lion's share of the market?

Nokia have fallen, and iPhone & Android have risen.

Things never stay still (apart from maybe Windows' crown on the desktop) and in the future the top dog in mobile will no-doubt change again.

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FAIL

Err what?

"In doing this, Microsoft can potentially have hardware makers like HTC end up selling Windows Phone in addition to Android."

I've had an HTC Mozart sat on my desk for months!

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My sympathies.

Perhaps the emphasis was on "selling" as it "getting people to buy". You know. More. Compared to Android.

Bit disappointed the article says Microsoft need to improve how they sell WinPho7. Improve how you MAKE it surely? After WinMo6.5 and Vista - I've learned my lesson. Diabolical.

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Anonymous Coward

@Martin

"Improve how you MAKE it surely?" Completely correct but Ballmer is a salesman and a thick one and that - it's the only job function he can grasp.

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Pirates Of Silicon Valley

I loved the portrayal of Ballmer in that movie.

Very much the clueless loud mouth buffoon that I imagine him as being.

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FAIL

HTC (or Samsung) didn't have a choice.

Make these, or be sued...

That was the ultimatum

DO you think either of their companies would bother making Windows Phone 7 that nobody wants, when they have industry leading Android devices flying off the shelves?

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Unhappy

It'd help if phone salespeople knew anything about the phone

went into a major phone reseller, and the Windows phone rep thought they had one in the back, but it wasn't setup. no posters, nothing on show. 2 were technically on sale according to their brochure, and they scored higher on stuff than many of the phones on show.

I don't think British phone shops know anything about it - a lot of assumptions about it to break.

Kids at school talk about iPhone being best or 'HTC' (they mean Android, but don't know it!)

the message isn't getting through to kids or to the salepeople.

anyone see a Windows Phone advert in the window of their local phone shop? didn't think so.

such a shame

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"Scored higher on stuff"?`

Are you suggesting that having a WinMob phone will net you more "Stuff" when you try to "Score"?

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What would (possibly) really help is if Microsoft or their small band of fanbois could explain what WP7 *does* better than the rest. Hell, if they took time to explain what it does at all it would be a step forward!

M$ have tried desperately hard to create a buzz about the *brand* but never once condescended to explain the platform or devices. While I'm a great fan of style over content in film and TV, it doesn't work for tech, even Apple tell you it's a great phone, show you a great UI and the glamour is just the finisher. M$ show you a deadly dull UI and talk about everything but what the phones do.

A mobile is a working tool, every buying decision starts with "does it *do* what I need" and finishes with "how cool is it", M$ failed at the 2nd part and don't even attempt the 1st. If the creator cant explain the product why expect minimum wage salestaff to understand it or bother selling it?

[Arguably M$ had no choice before Mango, actually explaining what WP7 does is essentially describing how WP7 is inferior to every other smartphone OS unless you're buying a business phone and need strong Exchange support... and you probably want to go Blackberry for business use anyway!]

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Stop

@ Paul Shirley

essentially describing how WP7 is inferior to every other smartphone OS unless you're buying a business phone and need strong Exchange support

That's funny cause WP7 actually has weaker Remote Admin/Exchange support than 6.5 or 6.1. I know my corp refuses to allow WP7 on Exchange just for these reasons.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh Lord

I used to have a manager who preached, "Runner up is the first loser!". I don't think he would have got on well with Ballmer and his current attitude!

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Anonymous Coward

To put it in perspective

The volumes of sales will be:

1.......2...............................................................................................3

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oh look, it's Mystic Meg.

People said that about the XBox.

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Anonymous Coward

Ranker

I think Android may be further out in front than that.

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Yep and world wide sales are looking like WII will be first, PS3 will be second and Xbox will be 3rd by the end of this generation, although to be fair to Microsoft it will be a close 3rd behind PS3. An they have caught up to Sony compare to where Sony once was.

The next generation of consoles sale figures will be interesting.

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WTF?

Some Windows fans appear to be in denial

Judging by the vote downs, there seems to be some Windows fans on here who are in denial of the fact Windows phone sales are in 3rd place and even Ballmer is admitting it.

In fact if you wish to split Linux usage from Android usage, when working out the user base of each operating system (based on widely available sales data from multiple sources all saying the same thing), then within the next 2 years, Linux, Android & iPhone operating system usage are all set to have more users than Windows! So windows will be in 4th place as an OS and not just as a mobile phone OS, but also its desktop usage taken into account as well. For example,

(1) Linux usage spans everything from hundreds of millions of embedded devices (including a lot of industrial embedded devices), to also being on the vast majority of servers.

(2) Then we have the latest sales figures on Android which show it now has over 650000 new phone activations per day! and well over 150M Android phones are already in the market. Ballmer was only saying yesterday about how Windows could end up with 500 Million users. Well Android will hit 500 Million phones within around 540 days from now, even assuming no more increase in their rate of sales. Which is extremely unlikely considering Android activations were just 160k in Q2 2010 and now one year later, they are over 4 times as many sold per day, which is currently over 650k phones sold per day. So sales are speeding up a lot. Therefore even if Android sales can just rise to 1M activations per day, then Android will hit 500M phones within about one year from now.

(3) Also iPhone is set to over take windows in OS usage figures as well. Its because a lot of phones (iPhone and Android) are sold. Far more than windows phones based on current sales figures. For example, in the case of iPhone based on current sales figures, if iPhone sales just double one more time (and they have doubled in sales each year for the past 2 years running) then even just one more doubling would mean iPhone would also hit 500M phones within the next 2.3 years, so probably given their current rates of accelerating sales, they also would hit 500M phones sold within less than 2 years.

So within the next 2 years, Windows usage figures will mean it'll easily be in 3rd place and very arguably will be in 4th place! ... within just the next two years.

What it means is the market place is changing very rapidly. The once perceived near omni-dominance of Windows is no more. Other operating systems are over taking it in their own markets. Windows still dominates in usage figures on specifically just home & office desktops (not servers) but that desktop market is becoming small compared to the amazing growth of all the other ARM dominated markets that are rapidly growing up around it. All sales data shows this is what is happening to the market.

Is there anyone closed-minded enough to still be in denial about what is happening to the changing market?

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Anonymous Coward

Since when has Windows mobile ever had dominance in the market? Windows has never dominated the mobile market. You make a big post about the current mobile offerings and then compare it to the Windows desktop market, why? That's like me saying 'I sell shoes and I sell way more than HMV do' Surprise surprise there are more mobile phones than desktops worldwide. How many homes just have 1 pc - quite a lot. How many people have a mobile - nearly everyone meaning in one household alone there are more mobiles than desktops. I just don't get what point you are trying to make.

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FAIL

Who cares about sales

Some of the best selling products are shit. The Xbox360 for example.

Microsoft can sell any old shit, because they have more money than God to spend on marketing it.

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Silver badge

Negotiating from a postion of weakness.

"Nokia, meanwhile, is actually cutting off one it its routes to market. Chief executive Steven Elop, a former Microsoft executive, is reported to have decided Nokia phones in the US will only be available ready locked into carriers' networks and that unlocked phones that let you – the consumer – pick the network you want will no longer be sold."

Translation: The only way the carriers will give Nokiasoft phones any decent exposure is if they are given exclusivity in the US. Currently both Nokia's situation and that of MS in relation to WP7 mean that they have little or no leverage in negotiation with the likes of AT&T, Verizon etc. Nokia has not cut anything off - it just currently has no bloody choice in realation to the US market. The US carriers, given the chance, will do anything they can get away with to ensure that customers do not get a chance to pick and choose. Nokia's current situation means that they can get away with it with regard to Nokia's phones.

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Windows

Ye Gods and little fishes...

Only locked phones in US?? IS ELOP MAD?? Nokia's struggling in the US, to say the least! "Oh, let's restrict our pathetic sales even more".

If this is true, Elop should've stood on his 'burning platform' with a violin, and fiddled while Nokia turns to ashes.

We hate that guy here in Finland. Can't believe he moved here. Never, in many discussions, have I heard a good word. I'm old, with a pension coming up, and I know I'm going to get a lot less when it comes into force.. So are a lot of others I know.

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MJI
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Pity about Symbian

If it wasn't for Nokias stupidity Win mobile would be 4th

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Pity about Maemo

If it wasn't for Nokias stupidity Win mobile would be 5th

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MJI
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Whoops

I really like that phone as well

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Anonymous Coward

Optional title omitted (oh damn)

All this ratings/placings of products reminds me of an old, sort of, joke (and I may have got bits of it wrong). No offence to either country or it's citizens - you have to have disclaimers on everything these days, pah!

The Americans and Russians decided to have a car race and of course the Americans won the race, so they reported in the papers that they had defeated the Russians. The Russians reported that the glorious motherland won the race against the Americans because they came second, but the Americans were next to last.

Well something like that... it's been a long week.

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re It'd help if phone salespeople knew anything about the phone

This is true... but then the Brits are famous for employing underpaid, undereducated, lazy and ineffectual sales staff.

It 'saves money' if you have a bunch of 16 year olds wandering aimlessly around spouting bull or ignoring customers.

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Windows

Zune-like-

Nobody cares...

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Funny

"The Brits are famous for employing underpaid, undereducated, lazy and ineffectual sales staff"

Britain is a well-known country, true, but I always thought it was because at one time we owned the largest empire in history. But now I know the real reason. Thanks!

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used to be number one

better than aiming for third I suppose.

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FAIL

Marketing...

Windows phone has a mountain to climb, like windows mobile before it but even worse...

Windows is associated with crashing and viruses... It only sells in the desktop space because people don't see any alternative or are locked in and unable to make a choice anyway... In the mobile space it's a newcomer, and why would anyone want to saddle their phone with the same crap that makes computers such a hassle?

And the desktop situation is reversed in mobile, both android and iOS have huge catalogs of applications, while windows phone has very few.

They also have the legacy of windows mobile to deal with, people who gave it a shot despite the name got left with a sour taste in their mouth...

Ask the average guy on the street if they'd want a windows phone and they'll say no and usually for the above reasons.

Had they branded it something different they might be in with a shot, look at the xbox... no windows branding, reasonable sales... Would it have sold at all if it was branded "windows game" or something? Probably not, people want consoles that just work, and windows has a reputation for not working and generally being a hassle.

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Bang on...

As ever, it's all in the branding.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Don't forget

Windows phone 7 follows hot on the heels of windows phone 6.5, which was complete rubbish.

So they have to build the customer base from scratch again because no-one using the old system will bother staying for more.

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"Windows is associated with crashing and viruses..."

Thankfully Google is trying hard to take over this mantle and are well on the way to associating Android with crashing and viruses instead.

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Elop and Nokia

I am undecided about Elop...

a) Was he a careful plant by Microsoft to devalue Nokia to the point it could be bought for 2'6d

or

b) Was he chucked out of Microsoft for being useless and has just continued in the same vein in Nokia

Difficult to decide. Either way he seems an error prone lunatic. Kill off the worlds best mobile OS because he can't see that what is really needed was a severe kick up the rump for the non-existant marketting team (come now - a blind guy photographing a roller coaster hardly stacks up against the continual barrage of iPhone adverts - especially those annoying ones that say 'you can only do xxxx with an iphone' that ignore totally the fact that S60 phones were doing the same thing at least a year or two earlier.

Now he is going to sell fewer by restricting a consumers choice? Doh, its not like Nokia is an American company - because Americans don't like us Europeans at all they are really looking for an excuse not to buy a Nokia, Elop has handed them one on a plate.

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MJI
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Killing off Symbian

Perhaps it should be Elop

N8 here did have X6

I rather liked my X6 as well

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Understanding the world market

The great thing about having a Canadian in charge of Nokia is that he understands the US and the rest of the world.

This is very unusual in mobile phone executives.

Only selling locked phones in the US will not show as a dent in sales. I bet they sell so few the infrastructure and stocking cost far exceeds the margin. The US doesn't do unlocked phones, it's not even possible on the CDMA networks.

The Rest of The World thing is important because he understands the value of distribution. Nokia has significantly the best reach in the world.

Third place is aiming low. First place should be possible.

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Nokia will have better luck outside of the States.

In the U.S., the 'Nokia' brand has zero traction; the last time they were relevant there was around a decade or more ago.

Adding to the platform's existing branding problem, anything in carrier phone stores saddled with both 'Windows Phone' AND 'Nokia', will generally be ignored by both consumers and sales clerks.

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serves them right

Because they have fingers in so many markets, they spoil each new market by trying to tie it to the old market.

Active-sync would sync OE bookmarks, music, other files and everything in Outlook. But ONLY outlook. Because they wanted to promote Outlook and office.

What they really did was cripple the take-up of active sync and simultaneously the usability of their phones.

Where was the Thunderbird, Firefox or Sunbird sync? Where was the opera and Lotus Notes sync? No-where, so that's where their phone is now.

Their marketing strategy REDUCED the phone features for everyone who didn't have windows+office.

It was deliberate strategy, and it hurt them. The lesson - stop trying to control people and make them GLAD to give you money don't try to make then HAVE TO give you money.

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MJI
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Having a read

Definately tied to everything Microsoft

Search uses their toy train search site - no choice of Gooogle or Yahoo.

Integrated into Xbox live only - none of the other gaming systems (Steam PSN ect)

No idea what a Zune is.

As to not syncing with common browsers ect - not very good.

Next contract renewal we have all said Android (after 4 or more Nokia phones).

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JDX
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re:Oh how the mighty have fallen...

You mean from when they were a leading power in phones? That was never.

Or do you mean from being the giant majority for home PCS? That is still the case.

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Facepalm

Shot in the arm or in the head

Can someone please explain why in mid-September 2011 we have not yet seen a Nokia Winphone?

Has Ballmer just managed to write off Nokia?

Surely one of the biggest cock- ups in corporate history.

I say this in the context of the depressing scenes inside the Nokia shop near my office. Used to be all hustle and bustle less than a year ago.

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Simple

Because the first one needs to be done perfectly otherwise it really will be one of the biggest cock-ups in corporate history, as opposed to merely being a cock-up in your own head. Also, nothing was promised until at least Q4, and September is in Q3

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WTF?

How Long Exactly

. . . do you think it takes to design an entirely new phone from the ground up?

Every pundit I've read has stated all along that there was no chance in hell that Nokia would get a WinPhone out the door before 2012,.

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Nobody (except Apple and maybe Nokia) design phones from the ground up.

These days almost all the low-level design and OS integration is done by the chipset vendors (Qualcom et al). To get people to use their chips, the chipset vendors supply reference designs using their chips. These are fully functional phones but just laid out in road-kill format. Dressing up the reference design software is typically not much more than a skinning exercise.

As for an OS change, that's not such a big deal. The electronics are no different. Branding etc might need new plastics and the there is need for the marketing people to plan an ad campaign.

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