Ballmer is candid about Windows Phone but seriously, what’s next?

The Verge reported today that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made some very interesting and candid statements regarding Microsoft’s current position in the mobile space.

….CEO Steve Ballmer was refreshingly realistic about the company’s struggles in smartphones and tablets. “Mobile devices. We have almost no share,” he admitted on stage, before noting he didn’t know whether to be enthusiastic over his admission or uncomfortably tense.

“But I’m an optimistic guy, any time we have low market share sounds like upside opportunity to me.” That upside opportunity is the key reason Microsoft moved to secure Nokia’s phone business.

It’s clear that Mr. Ballmer feels somewhat liberated to speak freely about Microsoft and their position in the world in light of his impending departure but there are serious questions about what benefits this Nokia acquisition will bring.

I’ve been saying for years now (much to the chagrin of many of you) that Windows Phone just wasn’t happening. It’s a little vindicating to see Mr. Ballmer acknowledge that but it seems that there is nothing but a set of very tough choices ahead for Microsoft.

I continue to see the greatest challenge for the company as the fact that their ecosystem plans are set.

The ecosystem has to have a Metro, It has to have a Windows Phone with tiles, it’s too late to change any of the core pieces at this point. This all begs the question – what if Microsoft really needs to take a step back and re-evaluate things?

If a piece of the plan isn’t working, can Microsoft make any radical changes at this point?

They have acquired a phone maker now but we already know that it’s not going to be some new piece of technology that wins the mobile wars, it will be the design and User Experience that people are passionate about. Heck even Apple had to bow down and admit that UX is everything with IOS 7.

If Microsoft don’t have that basic flexibility, it’s kinda hard to see where they go next.

What do you think?

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems. In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of EyeOnWindows.com, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. (www.learnabouttheweb.com).

  • Ray C

    First, he never said Windows Phone “wasn’t happening.” He said the mobile share is extremely. But heck compare to Android, iOs is only doing a little bit better. It’s just like the article on another site where it says Microsoft “get’s real.” It’s a third option in a market already dominated by two extremely large competitors. It’s a lot of easier being first or being the first competitor, than it is being the third dog in the race. And actually it’s mainly in the U.S. where Microsoft has “almost no share.” We’re just different than other markets. Everything here is based on hype, style, favoritism, and fanboyism. They’ve made strides and will continue to grow as long as good hardware keeps coming out and they continue to improve the software with each update.

  • Rodney Longoria

    People spend way too much time on their phones as it is. Onuora, I do not agree with your view on Windows Phone. It might take awhile for people to switch but I think it’ll happen. Like cars, I hardly ever buy from the same manufacturer time and time again.

    I checked out the new iPhones and they look so boring (and cheaply made) to me. Same as Android. I could care less about all the apps out there, and perhaps I’m in the minority here. It would only make a difference to me if I were in another ecosystem, such as Apple, which I’m not. Just like music groups who do not have much of an audience here in the States but have a great following otherwise, does not mean they’re losers.

  • Michael Paterson

    Personally I love Windows Phone 8. I used Android for like 4 years and just got tired of it. The WP8 UI was a refreshing change. There are relatively few apps that aren’t available for WP8 (at least in regards to the apps that I use).

  • Mike Greenway

    I think that it is often the case with humans that their opinions exceed their wisdom.