Not that the CEO had much choice in the matter, as despite Microsoft’s reluctance to release numbers (itself a sure sign not all was well early on), independent data has clearly shown that WP7 has floundered like an OS out of water.
According to the Telegraph, Ballmer said of the new mobile operating system: “In a year, we’ve gone from very small to… very small.”
The paper notes that WP7 has a 1% share of the US market. Recent comScore figures indicated that in America Microsoft has a 5.8% share of the smartphone market, which is down from 7.7% over the last quarter.
Ballmer is confident of a recovery, though (surprise, surprise). He added: “It’s been a heck of year and you are going to see lots of programs in that market as we move forward. Nokia and people in the phone business believe in us.”
Hmm. Nokia might believe in you because they had limited OS options for the near-future to dump Symbian for, and you also bunged them a cool $1 billion, don’t forget that Steve. We’d happily believe in someone if they made us a billionaire, too.
Nokia smartphones running WP7 weren’t shown at the event, oddly, given that Sea Ray (essentially an N9 with Windows) is clearly ready having been shown off by Stephen Elop in a piece of footage leaked onto the net.
Instead, Acer, Fujitsu, Samsung and ZTE devices were displayed, at least showing there’s some breadth to those with Windows Phone 7 handsets in the pipeline.
Microsoft’s hope is that these news models, Nokia’s backing and the fresh Mango update for WP7 (with some 500 new features) will revitalise the operating system and get it properly launched (a year after launch). We shall see…