Ballmer Hails Windows 8 But Not WP7

Microsoft’s head honcho, Steve Ballmer, was not due to make

an appearance at the company’s BUILD developer conference taking place in California this week, but he snuck in yesterday to hail the

popularity of its nascent operating system update, Windows 8.

We saw Microsoft go though an in-depth display of exactly

what Windows 8 is all about earlier in the week, before it made the preview

version available for download on Tuesday evening.

By the time Ballmer took the stage yesterday, we was able to

announce that 500,000 copies of the OS had been download overnight – however he

was wary to point out that Windows 8 is far from being the finished article.

Steve Ballmer BUILD

“We still have a long way to go with Windows 8,” Ballmer

warned. The big man had little else of note to announce to the audience of

developers, and said he only popped in as he was in town anyway to attend an

analyst meeting.

Indeed it was at this analyst meeting that arguably the more

interesting pronouncements from Ballmer came – in relation to its smartphone OS.

He said that while he was pleased with the response from partners and

developers to Windows Phone, the handsets have not exactly been selling like hot cakes.

“We haven’t sold quite as many as I would have liked in the

first year,” Ballmer said, speaking at the company’s financial analyst meeting.

Microsoft has remained very tight-lipped about sales figures for handsets with

WP7 since it launched almost a year ago.

HTC Titan

“I’m not saying I love where we are but I am very optimistic

on where we can be,” Ballmer said. “We’ve just got to kick this thing to the

next level.”

While Ballmer believes it has managed to create a viable

alternate ecosystem to Android and iOS, it is the addition of Nokia hardware which could

give them the necessary sales boost: “With Nokia we have a dedicated hardware partner

that is all-in on Windows Phones. They are not doing something on Android or

[any other operating system].”

With Nokia’s first Windows Phone handset still due to arrive before the end of the year and the Mango update due any day now, Windows Phone is certainly

in with a fighting chance in the smartphone wars, but unless it sees

significant growth of its market share, then Ballmer and Co. could be coming

under severe pressure from shareholders.

Source: AllThingsD 1, 2