Ballmer on Microsoft, Windows Mobile and Windows Phones

by Rob on September 25th, 2009

Its rare that Microsoft has a lot of things cooking but you can’t deny that right now… they sure do. Of course at MobileRoar we’re most interested in the phones and there is PLENTY going on in regard to that – but let’s touch on a bit of everything. The best place to start is the recent interview Michael Arrington conducted with CEO of Microsoft – Steve Ballmer. Nothing quite like getting it from the horse’s mouth:

The most interesting part for our purposes comes at about 10 minutes and 20 seconds in when he explains why Microsoft will NOT create their own Microsoft branded phone and instead will focus on Windows Mobile software:

But when you get these categories that are 300 million, 500 million, a billion, a billion-five a year, the truth of the matter is you’re gonna want multiple points of manufacture, with a lot of innovation around it whether its supply chain, for geographic diversity, and our basic play with our software is to try and be super high volume. So I think you can have an Apple in the phone business, or a RIM, and they can do very well, but when 1.3 billion phones a year are all smart, the software that’s gonna be most popular in those phones is gonna be software that’s sold by somebody who doesn’t make their own phone. And, we don’t want to cross the chasm in the short run and lose the war in the long run and that’s why we think the software play is the right play for us for high volume, even though some of the guys in the market today with vertically oriented solutions may do just fine.

The whole interview is pretty darn interesting. A very “positive” interview with Microsoft’s outlook moving forward. But it isn’t all cheesecake and lemon pie for the company as Ballmer himself admits. At a conference (Venture Capital Summit) taking place just before the above interview, Ballmer faced the tough reality of their current failures in a Keynote Speech, expressing regret that Windows Mobile 7 isn’t already out.

This was according to a conference attendee who tweeted key points of the… key note:

Ballmer says they screwed up with Windows Mobile. Wishes they had already lauched WM7. They completely revamped the team.

He went further, noted in another tweet by another attendee:

Ballmer re: poor execution in Windows Mobile: “we’ve pumped in some new talent and said ‘This will not happen again'”

Hopefully Microsoft will be taking the fresh approach they’ve brought to their new search engine (Bing) and gaming console (XBOX Natal) to their Windows Phones.

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