Steve Ballmer

Ballmer sees an “upside opportunity” in having almost no market share with Windows Phone

This evening, Microsoft is hosting their 2013 Financial Analyst Meeting, addressing shareholders about the current status of the company and its future. Most of the discussion, which is ongoing as we write, has focused on cloud computing, Xbox, Windows and all of Microsoft’s services.

Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage within the last hour and elaborated on many of these areas, including Windows Phone. While not a lot of time was spent on the growing division, Ballmer did of course talk about the recent Nokia purchase.

Below are Ballmer's verbatim comments:

“Mobile devices. We have almost no share. I don't know whether to say that with enthusiasm or kind of uncomfortable tension. But I'm an optimistic guy. Any time we have low market share sounds like upside opportunity to me. We're paying to do it all day every day…It's getting after it and really making sure we deliver the kind of revenue and gross margin upside that's certainly there.

The Nokia deal is a lot of things. One of the things it is, is a way to make sure we can capture the gross margin upside because we're making most of the investment today, that we need to make even owning Nokia. We're very excited to have a chance to capture the gross margin upside...”

The admission by Ballmer is fascinating if only because Microsoft appears to be facing the reality that Windows Phone, while promising, still has quite a long way to go before it is a profitable and successful business division for the company.

The Nokia deal should help streamline the manufacturing of Windows Phones by knocking down walls between hardware and software development teams. There should also be “fewer secrets” as Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore recently mentioned about the deal.

Nokia has recently taken the lead in Russia over Samsung, Windows Phone has maintained a number two status in India and the OS has experienced explosive growth in Mexico. However, market share in the US has remained below 5% despite an aggressive campaign through AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Overall, shipments for Windows Phone are up 77% year over year.

Will Microsoft be able to pull it off? In theory they have everything they need to make a successful comeback in mobile. But there are a lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ that could affect the outcome for Microsoft. At the very least, they seem keenly aware of how much work is left to do.

Source: Microsoft


Reader comments

Ballmer sees an “upside opportunity” in having almost no market share with Windows Phone



I'm confused. If Apple has everything to lose and it happens soon...What is then left to lose later?

I agree they can't give up and will win eventually.  But that's a ridiculous comment Steve.
Well, I'm flat broke, my house was foreclosed, and I'm bankrupt.  But I feel great because look at all the upside earnings potential in my future :/

That would be true Spicymikey if MS were in "your" situation, broke, but MS is the opposite of broke. If you're broke you have little tools to turn the tide. Analogy fail.

Maybe, but I think you missed my point.  I'm talking about the ridiculous notion of being happy/enthusiastic about the idea of having almost no market share because, as Balmer said, all the great upside potential.
Again, it's like being broke and being happy because of all the upside potential.   In either case, both parties are just lying to themselves, or trying to lie to everyone else, to suggest its a good thing.  It's not good.  It sucks.

So Balmer is the glass half full guy, and you are the half empty guy.
Which of you is Microsoft's CEO again?

No not really. Bad metaphor.

In competition you should never be happy with last place. I know what he was trying to say but it sounded stupid. It was an unscripted comment and I suspect he regrets it.

this is a bad situation he has out this company in. He should not be joking. He should be up there saying "this is unacceptable". He should be saying "we need to do better".

I'm not a Balmer hater but this is just one more example of how he's just a C+ grade leader. He would be great as CEO of Ford or GE but he's not "urgent" enough for this company.

THATS what I'm saying. Everyone stop being fanboys

I don't think anyone's being a fanboy, your analogies just didn't quite pan out... What he's saying is that it's a good opportunity to capture market share. That's a true statement and not a joke in any way.
Basically, in business it's typically easier to capture market share when you have very little and you have a few other competitors that hold most of the market share.
It doesn't make it good, and I don't think that's what Ballmer was getting at. He's just being optimistic and pointing out the upside of the situation. The company is obviously aware that they're not where they want to be.

I think maybe you missed his point.. he got the point you were "trying" to make... just the way you went about it was a fail.

Maybe I did.  If so I'm glad.  He should never be making light of this situation.  It's war.  Be serious about your failures. 
Again, Balmer seems like a good CEO, better than average.  Just not the right guy for this company at this time.  The Board finally saw it and forced him out.   Now they need to find a wartime CEO like Steve Jobs, or Andy Grove, or even Bill Gates, because these next 5 years will possibly determine the role MS will play into the future of computing.  
The enemy is at the gates and threatening to overrun your base camp (the Windows OS) which virtually everything that defines Microsoft is all about.  They have to get this right.  There can be no more mistakes or shortsighted leadership.     There needs to be more urgency.   Unfortunately as long as Balmer (as good as he is) remains in control, Microsoft will continue to be run like a company who thinks they are in the lead with time to spare (like they were 10 years ago) rather than from behind.   That is what Elop did so well with Nokia.  He changed their perspective of themselves.  MS needs that new perspective to have any chance of fighting successfully.  They need to fight like their survival depends on it, not make light of the situation.

I agree completely. That's A LOT of missed opportunity! Cheerleading has its place but people come for the game and not the cheerleading. 

Comprehension fail. The analogy compares Microsoft's phone market share to being broke, which isn't unfair.

I'd like to say the same. Windows Phone offers something unique and simple compared to Android and the newly-reskinned iOS.

No. That MUST NOT give up. If Windows Phone dies, that leaves me the choice of what??? Getting a virus phone or being an iSheep? No way I can deal with that dilemma....

US smartphone owners are already over 65% of all mobile phone users. There is very little room to manuever except with existing owners. Outside the US there are lots of people moving to smartphones everyday. Analysts predict 1+ billion new smartphone users in the next 2 years. Thats where Microsoft will grow marketshare. If the rest of the world adopts it, the US will hopefully follow.

If i was ms i would be tempted to just forget the us market. Still sell there, but you know, just stop caring.

WP is getting big in Europe, its massive in south America and is poised to smash India. Screw the us market and there "we only buy apple". Who needs 300million apple fans when you have 1.5 billion Nokia fans.

I'm in the states and I can't help but kind of agree sadly. All the promotions they offer here in the states should be directed to where their market share is.

I third that notion. Despite all my high school peers being underwheelmed by the iPhone 5S, tons of kids are still planning on upgrading to it, and everyone has been going bat shit crazy over iOS 7 (which, despite me /showing/ people how it copied Windows Phone, obviously, no one cared, and said that this was the "Android Killer.)

It seems most people just aren't rational in supporting their OS choice. If you can give me a valid reason for choosing one OS over the other, ok, great, awesome. I can respect that, *AS LONG AS YOU GIVE A VALID REASON(S)*. I hate people who say they'll buy one product over another, "just because."

Don't buy something just to conform, buy something that expresses your uniqueness and appeals to you. If that happens to be Apple or Android, awesome! Just so long as you have some legit reason for doing so. Sadly, most people in the US don't seem to grasp that concept, hence why Apple is so popular here.

Yep. Most of your HS friends are followers. That's most of the world really. Don't follow the crowd. Think for yourself and make decisions based on facts and critical thinking. It will serve you well in the second act of your life, which is closer than you think :)

Love it, much like Apple's famous "Think Different" campaign. Well, they stole our OS, so let's steal their slogan.
Much more fitting for Windows Phone anyways. That's one reason I love it, Windows Phone mirrors my view of my personality in that it's unique, fun, a tab bit quirky, and overall: Different. 

You could suggest to MS to turn that around to "Deceptively innovative" to get their new slogan. Not that it is true.

yes this would be a good thing to do I totally agree.  No one wants to be called a fool.   It's apowerful motivator to make people think and take actiion.    Samsung did it last year with their ads targeting drone/stupid people standing in line to buy the iPhone4 with its "new" features which were really old news.   It works. 

Why does anyone need to justify to another how they choose to spend their money? If someone wants an iPhone just because, then let em. Same for Android, WP, BB or whatever it may be.

           Because this herd follows its shepherd even if he's dead.Iphone when it first came out probably was the best phone of the day,but in time it created a social status.It was and for some still is "cool" to own and be seen with an iphone,For these people it doesn't matter that there are other options outhere (phones and OS's).
              LOL ,yes ios7 is a killer,it will kill itself,it won't affect a bit android or wp.I am not surprised that a lot of americans just jump to buy the newest iphone,they also jump in 2 year contracts thinking that they get phones for 99 or 199$ when it is obvios that they will pay a lot more for their phone in those 2 years,so there is a lot of differences between american and other markets.

While I agree with you and it does annoy me that so many people buy Apple out of pure ignorance, the thing is, it probably is the best phone for them nonetheless. Until WP gets all the apps iOS has, it doesn't matter that the OS itself is easier to use.

They can't give up on the USA.  It's almost 25% of the entire worlds economy.  To put it in perspective, the #2 economy, China, is HALF the size.  Russion is like 1/10th.  They are not only #1, there's no one even close to them.  It's like Secretariat in the '73 Belmont Stakes.  To say he came in first is an understatement.  He was crossing the finish line when the rest where still coming out of the clubhouse turn :)
So no, they can't give up on the US market.  It's the center stage for marketing products.  They have to win here.  In fact, they need to double down not give up.

Gaining popularity in the rest of the world will go to great lengths in helping Microsoft. The US is a tough shell to crack, Apple has dominated here for years, it's only been very recent that any Android manufacturers have finally managed to break through and gain some form of traction in the US.

Microsoft would be much better off in focusing all ad campaigns elsewhere. Obviously, they shouldn't stop selling here or cease advertising altogether, just not spend so much on ads. Microsoft can then secure the future market, that is to say: everyone with a feature phone looking to get their first smartphone. As we've seen, the Lumia 520 is a popular choice amongst that crowd. If Microsoft and Nokia can push that device in key developing markets, they can get people hooked on Windows Phone and ensure a continuous revenue stream (much akin as to how Apple gets away with such meager annual upgrades). Once they get the rest of the global market secured safely within their grasp, then it will be time to launch the campaign to penetrate the US.

Don't get me wrong, the US is a key and highly influential market, it's just not the best course of action for Microsoft at present. Microsoft has tons of potential in the upcoming smartphone boom, they need to quickly position themselves to be ready to intercept all those upgrades, or else lose them to the Android crowd. Blegh.

I strongly agree with you, it boggles the mind why they MS goes that far! AT &T exclusives, first to get the latest phones, e.t.c, yet the majority in other country just wait & wait for the handset, when apple releases a another version thats when they rush to make it available to the rest of the world becoz they would be afraid that customers would end up buying  iphones,
MS please, know where your bread is  buttered.
They "FOLLOW THE CROWD" NOT on buying the phones ONLY but on every thing they do. they have been conditioned to do that so that they can be easily manipulated, and its not easy to change that.

In the Us they need to get more of them out on the low end carriers and it would be huge if they can get the L625 and L520/521 out to that older people carrier(forgot it's name). and have ad's in the AARP news letter

MS said during the Nokia announcement that the goal for WP is 15% worldwide market share by 2015 if that tells you anything.

Yeh, and adding to that excluvity shity deals, I dont understand why US carriers have to have unique phones, like 521, 822, 928 and so on.. What's the point? They could just get the exclusivity to a specific phone already made.

That fault lies more on the fact that Nokia is (was) desperate for cash to alleviate the cost of advertising, in tandem with the fact that carriers are still convinced exclusive devices bring in customers. We all know that isn't true (especially when Nokia remakes every phone for every carrier), but as we know, carriers aren't the most rational bodies around.

Also, Windows Phone doesn't have a large market share yet. Apple can bully the carriers into submitting to what Apple wants, because all the carriers know if Apple doesn't get its way: it will instantly leave the carrier. And should that happen, it will be instant suicide for the carrier, as consumers will leave in droves seeking service for their beloved iPhones. It's sad, but true. Hence why iOS remains a perfect gem on all carriers, because Apple has enough authority to dictate they may never touch it.

Samsung can also roll out their premier phones in relatively one piece, because as we know, Samsung has been catching on lately, so they're only (mostly) free from the tyranny of the carriers. Meanwhile, should Nokia try to play hardball, the carriers will just leave them out to dry, so Nokia isn't exactly in a strong position (and also why we're at the mercy of the carriers for software updates).

Hopefully, with the upcoming acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft, Nokia will finally have access to the resources (aka: $$$) required to advertise effectively on their own. Sadly, the market share problem might still be an issue, but maybe being directly backed by one of the world's largest companies, that also possess the fastest growing mobile OS globally, might help discussions at the bargaining table.

Still, for the time being, it seems we're just going to have to take what we can get, and deal with carrier exclusives.

There is also still a sales rep issue as well. at&t doesn't seem so bad but t-mobile and Verizon still need training. My friend had me go with him to get the 928 the day it came out because he was sick of Android and the lady begged him to get the S4 instead because "over the past few months everyone who had bought the 928 returned it". I called her out on it and so she resorted to saying he wouldn't be able to get on facebook or watch Netflix if he got it. He knew better and still got it but how many people are still being mislead by sales nonsense.

That's hilarious, because Windows Phone was the first to get Netflix in 2010. Netflix was built on Silverlight so it was an easy migration.

These sales people are horrible. People should start recording them and embarrass them on YouTube. Its quite pathetic.

Yeah, it's pretty awful. AT&T has improved greatly from the Lumia 900 launch (I still remember them trying to sell me an iPhone 4 because the Lumia 900 had "antenna issues." Apparently, the sales rep forgot about Antennagate).

So while AT&T has come a long way, they could still use improvement (the sales reps will ONLY talk about the Lumia 1020's camera. While that's a killer feature, most people won't care unless they know it also acts as a solid phone). But yeah, if Verizon and T-Mobile are anything like AT&T's Lumia 900 launch, Windows Phone growth won't be happening anytime soon, because poorly trained sales reps will be misleading consumers. It's sad, really.

I think every carrier's store should have an equal number of sales reps trained to each sell a specific OS. That way, everyone store will have at least one guy pushing iOS, at least one guy pushing Android, at least one guy pushing Windows Phone, and at least one guy pushing Blackberry. Obviously, each rep will be trained to relentlessly push their own OS, and explain the pros about it. Then they'd point out the cons in all the others.

I feel this would create a balanced playing field and allow consumers to get a fair idea about each operating system, and make a fair choice from there.

Mind while android and ios selling like crazy , i love wp n im a fan but dam ms is slow , theres so many little features that we missing ,hope wp8.1 finally take care of all of that.

This is a serious question. What features do you miss? Not trolling or having a go. Genuinely interested. Personally all i miss is good audiobook support, and maybe torrents. But mainly just audio book support. Cant say as i "want" for anything else really.

I have plenty in mind. Just to name a few, orientation lock, message / email notification tone, ability to attach more than one doc to an email, ability to view photo details (more than just the month and year), ability to rename photos, ability to group photos into folders, ability to attach videos to 3rd party apps.
Don't tell me that it's coming. Tell me about it when it's finally here. Until then, all these are still valid.

There are apps that show photo details, and you can make as many pic folders on SkyDrive or Facebook as you want. You can even make a group and add photos to that to make the seporate, but yeah, would be nice to move the "saved pics" about a bit.

Well, I don't have Facebook and I don't use SkyDrive for my photos. Why can't the phone have it? It's something very basic. Also, I need an app to actually see photo details? This is absurd!
MSFT is really dragging their feet with the updates.

I'm not sure if this has been addressed yet, but a different volume setting for ringer and music would be nice and an auto download for music when using bing to get a song title off the radio. I'm subscribed to zune music and that would be a nice little option.

There are yea, but not ones that i can drag and drop to. I have to upload my audio books to SkyDrive and download them to the phone. Its a pain.

Ill try the torrent apps

Yep... Actually, we only need a way to open it, hence: File Explorer. I like the way I search for the files to open them, not using the app first to then open them.

I'd like to be able to do something I could do even on my old Pantech "dumbphone" from 7 years ago; use custom tones for ALL my notifications, not just my ringtone. Also, I'd like to be able to block certain numbers from the phone itself, that was something my old Motorola Razr was even able to do.

Not many IMO either. Just needs custom notification tones and then its perfect in my eyes. Although the X for closing apps is nice as well.

Tell you what I miss. Reliable and mature podcast apps (XBox Music is neither nor are the other apps I have tried), custom tones for messaging and email, bookmark synching and organization features that are equivalent to the competition, and then possibly some Google apps (which I would like but can live without). Also, I wish that some of the exercise apps weren't missing many features available elsewhere, some are simply things that need to be developed in what are currently immature versions of the app -- Runtastic is what I use -- other features are OS limitations such as low power Bluetooth support. I love windows phone 8, but there are legitimate things lacking.

Podcaster and i podcast are pretty good podcast apps.

I'm fat though, so cant help you with fitness apps im sorry

I like Podcast Lounge but until I have GDR 2 it cannot automatically download podcasts.  Also, I wish that it would give me the option to sort my podcasts by the date that they have been updated.
Once I have GDR2 I will probably be happier.  I used BeyondPod on Android and Downcaster on IOS and they are both more mature.
Like I said though, I do love my Windows Phone.  I am not a trolll :).

Seriously...there is something that I see WP have that makes it a contender: its own apps. I have WELL over 75 apps on my Lumia, some of which you can't get in iOS OR Android. As for lack of apps? Sure some are missing...but it only gets better week after week. I LOVE my 928. I don't have to have the bloatware carriers install on Android, and I find I DON'T NEED APPS to do what I need to do! Facebook, Twitter, social media, email, text, messaging. ALL that is done right within WP8, all without needing to use an app. It is amazing!! Microsoft is the sleeping beast, and one day, it will explode. I have firm belief that will happen ;)

Me too.
Exciting stuff coming with GDR3 for the holidays and then WP8.1 early next year.
I think it's important to remember the audience that Balmer is speaking to.  They care about financials.  So Balmer is putting on his salesman cap to pitch things in a way that that audience will like.

Why does everyone care? If you don't want to use the feature, then don't. I don't see why we should discourage features that are completely optional.

I agree that we need a little more customization. Nothing major, but like a wallpaper behind the tiles (like w8.1) would be pretty cool.

Why? You could still retain the Metro or Modern UI and all the pivots, just make a skin pack, maybe a Halo skin pack or theme. Maybe a glow under each tile as you press it, maybe a background for the messaging section. There are visually no difference from 7.8 to 8. Your average customer sees the exact same screen on every WP. Live tiles has nothing to do with some customization. It will come to Windows 8. The sooner Microsoft releases a customization skin or theme pack is when WP will take off. Not the hardware. Hardware upgrades are perpetual, customization and OS aesthetic maturity hasn't been. The only aesthetic upgrade has been the shell (hardware). You can thank Nokia for that.

Yes I love my WP but what is wrong with having more customization?..that's why android sells so many phones because people nowadays dont like to feel limited...and lets face it we are limited on wp..there is nothing wrong with more options at all...people can say what they want and in my opinion i would live to be able to change the layout& background wallpaper...because it gets really boring having only two options of background color.

Are you actually saying it would be bad to have optional themes or skins for the home screen that wouldn't affect people who don't want to use it in the slightest?

The code is already essentially there - we can choose between dark and light. If Microsoft doesn't want to put in the resources, I'm sure other developers would do it for free if Microsoft would give them the necessary libraries.

I think with the recent buying of nokia, ms now has the ball, no pun intended, in their court and can now add more and better features to the WP lineup.

That will be true if they start leaving other OEMs in the dust. Balancing between allowing external OEMs to get inside testing and giving their Nokia division all of the goods needed for success will be tentative. Walking that line may mean we're not in that much better of a place. Hopefully, MS is highly competitive and does whatever is necessary for MSNokiaWhatever WPs to take off big time and start really gobbling some market share, making WP profitable and solidified in the market.

Every time a buddy of mine goes into an att store they always talk him out of buying a wp8 Ms needs to attack the stores as well

Yeah lol they never recommended at all , that's killing them like crazy and mostly because of the apps , they always say , wp is nice and smooth but no instagram , no this no that .

I don't blame them though. I like Windows Phone and I hope it succeeds because overall I think MS is in a great position to build an awesome ecosystem. But I'd never recommend WP to anyone because it's not going to cover most people's needs and I don't want to hear well it doesn't have Siri or Google Now or this app or that app. So if I were in sales I wouldn't recommend it either unless you really like the MS platform and that's probably not what most people come into the store seeking.

Actually, here in Manchester CT, the guys at the store "secretly" carry Lumias and still direct people to Android. They tell me they are WP guys but are told to promote Galaxy and similar toys.

I remember about 3 mo after the 920 came out they didn't even have a real device at the local att it was a paperweight essentially I guess to see what it looks like and how heavy it is

I went to the mall last week and walked up to a Sprint kiosk to see their new Windows Phone. I didn't see it displayed so I asked a rep if they had one on display. He started looking around like he had never been asked that before and finally reached down from under the counter and pulled out a box with a new phone in it. He took it out and let me look at the HTC. It was nice looking but hadn't ever been tuned on. Next we'll hear that familiar tale from Sprint about Windows Phones not selling.

Unfortunately many sales people, not all of course, are not very well educated about the products. I'm a WP guy and when I go into stores and ask them about WP, they just give me a bunch of untrue information. They turn people away from WP for literally no valid reason. Someone needs to discipline them. I think it's great that there're going to be Microsoft stores in Bestbuy. At least these guys will be properly trained on the products.

I think the Ben guy from the Windows phone challenge ads, needs to go to stores and punch these kind of people in the face. God knows how many people ended up picking an android phone just because the rep doesn't know anything about the WP ecosystem. Really sad. 

parity in features, parity in app availability and parity on new app releases, and also over exaggerated needless specs. 
  Doesn't matter if the specs help, but a 48 core processor and 12 gb of ram is a seller!

I think Windows Phone will grow at a much faster pace now that Microsoft owns Nokia. At least in the US it will. They'll be more aggressive with marketing and getting flagship devices on all Major carriers at the same time. I just think that Windows phone will,be a distant 3rd for a long time in the US. But 10-15% is a good enough goal

That's the problem. While in the US that may happen, in the rest of the World (specially in Europe and India) the effect will be exactly the opposite. People trust Nokia and buy because it's Nokia in Europe, for example. Nokia has a weight here far far superior than any attempted Microsoft Phone (Microsoft has a serious image problem). If Nokia is gone, people will go elsewhere.
So, if they destroy the Nokia brand on smartphones, there's 98% of chances that, for every consumer they gain in the US, they lose two in Europe.

Microsoft has to be 1 step ahead of Android and iOS... sure they can add notification center and folders, etc. ... and then?

It doesn't make any difference from the other OS... I love my lumia 920, and the updates that are coming looks great, but nothing that will make a person goes... OOOH that's so cool... 

What they need is a speedier OS development team that can continue to bring innovation to the OS. Nokia has been innovating at a faster pace on the hardware (I.e. Camera) side, and the OS team needs to catch up to the pace. Cortana is one of these promising innovations to the OS, but we need more. We can't have the OS team spending a whole year developing "catch up to other platform" features like notification center. Innovation, and addressing existing shortfalls, needs to happen in parallel.

Couldn't agrre more. Also no excuse as WP can't have my empathy when they keep talking about the future and yet they are being told repeatedly on their own website what is needed to be successful. This is by people who are not getting a salary from MS. For example: to not have a lock feature for the rotating screen is at this point an embarrassment for MS. There is only so long you can say we are listening and we care and still have nothing. You are either in the business or not...MS is most definitely not...They remind me of fake politicians...a lot of talk and really absolutely nothing of substance.

Microsoft already had a speedy OS development team for Windows Phone but it's the slowpoke Ballmer that keeps holding them back. When Ballmer's gone, I can guess everybody and every division in Microsoft whom he pissed off with the exception of Stephen Elop and certain allies of his will be very happy celebrating while Joe Belfiore and his team will roll over their office floor laughing.

I'm sorry for being off topic but it has said on the Nokia update page for a month that amber is available but every time I check it says I am up to date. Will I ever get updates?

Are you sure your phone isn't branded? If it is branded, you'll have to wait for the carrier to which the phone is attatched to release the update.

It is slowly rolling out, depending on your phone and carrier. Verizon's two phones (822 & 928) have gotten it but at staggered times. I have the 822 and we got the Amber update and GDR2 at the same time. AT&T seems to be a little slower with it. Carriers around the world are still just now getting it.

I think devices like the 520 will result in a pretty significant increase in market share in the US

im going on the side that it is not. 
Growth in the u.s. will be very difficult in general and a low cost device from windows phone probably wont fix that. 

No it won't, people will just stick to iPhone, just like the Nokia faithful stick to Nokia despite the constant disappointment. You have to blow your competition out of the water for an average Joe to leave an ecosystem he is invested in.

I think MSFT is committed to WP. The partial Nokia acquisition went a long in proving that. Now we need to continue having great devices and fix all the missing features.

With iOS and BlackBerry losing market share year over year and only Android and Windows Phone gaining market share year over year I would say the future is bright. Especially once 8.1 and XBOX One get into full swing.

Just improve the OS, that's the Achilles heel, lacking features on the competition. All this talk has been going on from say one, time for action.

"not a lot of time was spent on the growing division"

With this sentence, you resumed basically Microsoft's attitude towards the division. Not a lot time spent there, not a lot of work either. 3 years and 2 OS versions in and WP still lacks tons of basic stuff. And don't dare blame Nokia for that. Some of those features were part of Nokia's OS's for ages.
I commend Ballmer for his optimism. But optimism is terrible on someone who wished to triumph over others, has Napoleon has abundantly said and proven. Ballmer's clearly misguided here. Specially as to the consequences of the Nokia deal if, God forbids, it comes to fruition. He hopes to increase WP market share with it because he thinks America is the World and the perception the average American has of the things is what applies elsewhere. Completely false when it comes to Nokia. So, well, unless there's a 180º shift in the way the WP team works and they rethink the deal and simply buy the whole of Nokia, keeping the brand and everything under their domain (like Google with Motorola), he can for sure kiss his wishes of further growth goodbye.
Yeah yeah, and now it's the time MS-fanboys come to attack because they refuse to admit the simple fact that is the "Nokia" brand on the phones that sells them and not the OS inside them. Go ahead. I'll be here waiting for time to prove me right. As per usual. (and this last sentence was purposely arrogant. Call it "preventive strike").

And I strike your preventive blame on the Windows Phone Team. For how many times can you please blame Steve Baller instead of Joe Belfiore and his WP Team?

Belfiore and his team had already done his best to please us the Windows Phone users but with Ballmer controlling them as CEO, the WP Team are at his mercy and basically cannot do how and what as they like without Ballmer's approval. Also one more thing, we are consumers using Windows Phones and we DO NOT internally represent Microsoft, we only represent them externally as WP users like the carrier sales reps.

NOKIA IS CRAP! This is coming from someone who has owned like 10 NOKIA devices, starting with an E71(Beautiful device btw), all the way up to 920. They didn't even exist in the US before WP. Only Fanboys like you and me knew about them.

Although I believe they offer the best value for your dollar, my experience with them from a technical point of view has been subpar. Every single device I've owned from them has failed, with maybe the exception of N900, at least not that I recall. I thought it would be different on the WP front so I gave them a chance with the LUMIA 920 and I got the "GEARS!"

While, I'm happy they're onboard, due to their influence overseas...I will be reluctant to ever buy one again.

So you're saying that the infinite rotating gears, caused by a reset attempt via software and not hardware (you should inform yourself before screwing things up), is nokia's hardware fault? My guess is you never really owned a nokia  ;)
It may be caused by an OTA operating system update too, by the way. Even not nokia's hardware problem

That's the logical way to look at it. But for me it has been the same throughout. When I owned their Symbian based phones, I would get random reboots, the screen would go black, it would drop calls, etc. Like you, I thought it was software, and it most certainly could be. But like I said "my experience" has been subpar with NOKIA. So, if you're happy and it has "always" worked "perfectly" for you, congrats. For me, it has never been rosy with them. Even their OVI SUITE would crash. Personally, I had never had any issue with WP, until I got the LUMIA 920.
Anyways, you don't have to believe me, just go to AMAZON and read the reviews for NOKIA phones prior to WP. It's pretty obvious that WP has raised their "star" rating.
You just keep supporting NOKIA, I'll just keep supporting the underdogs of our platform. It all works out.

How come it take so long for them to release amber update here in asia particularly here in phillipines..?? They need to come up with the same strat releasing those update simultanesouly..i love wp...

The sad thing is if MS put more effort on the software side of it it would have more market share.  In three years the OS should be more mature.  People that have them love it.  Get on it MS!

Dude, EVERYTHING takes about 5 years to really be a hit. Even though the iPhone was an instant smash, it only really hit is stride once the app store blew, same thing. It'll be our turn to be the hipsters soon lol =P

Just as long as some nut doesn't just come along and sabotage the whole operation, like SOME people...(Leo) looking at you HP! O_O

IMO the jump from CE in wp7 to NT in wp8 and not having a better transition for those on wp7 (Some got 7.8) stunted the growth, I mean 2 years in then abandoned, it discouraged me. Btw I'm still rocking a Lumia 900 but my GF just got the beautiful Lumia 1020, I'm in a financial slump so I have to wait till next August to upgrade. Getting back on track, if MS had a better transition plan for those on CE then perhaps they might have better market share now. I only got my Lumia 900 a couple of months before wp8 launched because my Samsung Focus crapped out.

They need to hold big press releases for updates and update on a regular basis. And update everyone at the same time. They need to act like their updates are breathtaking and they invented it first! Apple always act like they were to the first to do everything.

Agreed, Microsoft needs to get back the customer focus, doing things that customers loves easier and better, for all their products. Quit sucking up to the pinpricks at the NSA.

Well copy all features from IOS and then you may be 90% there. Podcast support sucks, built in support worldwide. Be able to tell what apps are draining the battery. Bed to be able to allow phone calls at night only from a specific group. No alerts/notifications between certain hours. Location, time, cell tower, WiFi conditional based events. Had this on Symbian for automation. Miss it loads. Permanent battery indicator. Email program that shows more messages. Calender app that can schedule meetings every week, 2 weeks or 4 weeks. Calender widget that shows better info! Configurable snooze time. Configurable tones for everything. Configurable download limit over 3g, 20 mb is annoying. Ability to save passwords in Internet Explorer.
Local app support, banking apps, video apps for cable tv etc. spend some money getting local companies to support wp.

"However, market share in the US has remained below 5% despite an aggressive campaign through AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Overall, shipments for Windows Phone are up 77% year over year."   I like the part that says that AT&T have done an aggressive campaign promoting the phones and the OS. Yeah right!!!!!!!

Well, at least AT&T were the first to give them a chance. Where else have you seen so many WPs? Correct me if I'm wrong, but Verizon just got on WP Bandwagon when WP8 came out, while AT&T has been there from the get go.

Actually I have seen more advertisements on websites for the 1020. Is it great, no, but it is an improvement, and they do offer the largest selection of windows phones.

If they would start advertising features like Apple and Samsung does then it would be a succes, only then! Because those two companies are very smart when it comes to marketing, sure the advertisings of Microsoft, AT&T etc are not bad but they don't give the 'wow' effect that Samsung and Apple are giving consumers (Only the Lumia 1020, what costs alot on contract in the US). Also Microsoft needs to update the Windows Phone OS with all the latest feature's + feature's that are not seen on other OS's. But they don't need to add useless feature's such as Kids Corner, come on !! We live in 2013, every child has a smartphone for it's own nowadays ... Correct me if i'm wrong ;-)

You are wrong.
I love kids corner, I have a ton of young nephews, nieces and friends kids that love playing with my phone. With kids corner, I can hand it to them and not worry about them doing anything to it.
The only thing I have to monitor is how much of my battery they are using up. LOL

I'm sorry, personally i'm much more worried when kids are holding my phone with or without Kids Corner, why? Because they can drop the phone easily, make it dirty etc etc .. But that is just my opinion ... 
& yeah they use a lot of battery agree lol :)

Dirt wipes off, and I'm not letting them run around outside on the concrete with it. Besides it's a Nokia, I'm not worried about drops.

Yeah, MS has been terrible when marketing.  It's either some jingle or humor ad.  If they only showed substance.  If they would just have a "This is why WP is better than XYZ" ad.  But no, MS marketing and PR is asinine. 

   Good things come to those who wait. The Xbox division only became profitable a few years ago and now they're one of their most profitable divisions. If I recall correctly, they lost money on every system sold with original Xbox because of the built-in hd and that's why they decided to sell the 360 with and without one.
   Not to mention the fact that PC sales aren't what they used to be and with tablets and smartphones becoming lighter, faster and more powerful each year, the trend is only going to continue so Microsoft really needs to put more emphasis on their mobile/tablet division and purchasing Nokia's Devices and Services division is a step in the right direction and re-affirms that commitment.

American carriers have been aggressively marketing windows phones???? All I've seen them aggressively marketing is NOKIA'S camera technology. This may be part of the problem, non adoptors see it as a camera because there's been no emphasis on many of the great apps the may not be an instagram or any of the supposed, "I can't live without apps".

A few things need to happen, and they are big things. 1st is that the exclusivity and different versions of the same phone for different carriers has got to stop. It's killing them. The 920 could have sold well had it come out on 3 or 4 carriers at once, 3 or 6 months later is too late. Exclusive versions of the same phone on each carrier is bad too. I expect these things to end once the deal goes through as I believe Nokia had to agree with these exclusive contracts for financial reasons. Reasons MS does not have.
2nd is that they do need to buy the Nokia name and HERE services along with it. The Nokia name is huge for them, it IS Windows Phone, even more than Samsung is Android and that's saying something. While I think a high end Samsung WP could sell well in the states, they need the Nokia name overseas and in the emerging markets desperately. The HERE services are a big part of that as well and are something that I think they need to own, not just have a license to use but own along with Nokia.
3rd is that they really need to get on the retailers who are not giving Windows Phone any shelf space or positive word of mouth. Now, I am getting really tired of hearing how the retailers and sales people are just uneducated when it comes to WP. That's not the case. The issue is that the carriers have contracts (with Apple atleast, maybe Android as well) to sell a certain amount of phones over a certain amount of time. See here..
As long as this is the situation, WP doesn't have a chance. They are already fighting public perception which is negatively influenced by a biased press. Having to also fight the fact that carriers are going to push other OS's because they need to sell a certain amount of them is almost an impossible hurdle. It doesn't help that you go into a store, see the iphone staring you in the face, see 40 Android's spread around the walls and the have to hire a search party to find the 1 or 2 WP's stuck in the corner like the redheaded stepchild noone wants to claim. Unless it's Best Buy like the ones near me that won't even put 1 WP on display. I'm not sure what can be done with the carrier situation but they need to try much harder to have their phones pushed or atleast more prominently displayed.
Get more phones out there on shelves, Maybe start giving phones away with other MS products. Buy an Xbox 1, get a 920. Buy a Surface, get a 520. Get them in as many customer's hands as you can. Create some attention that you are not getting from the press. Even thought about starting a street team to go out and report on places that don't display WP or actively talk us out of buying them. Not even sure if MS would do anything about it though.
These issues are what's holding it back. The OS is great, once people use it they like it. The OS and the little issues it has at the moment are not what's hurting it. If that's the way it worked, Android would have never even made it to Froyo. It was awful. Sure getting instagram will help, But fixing these things will have a much bigger impact on it's success than any app or customization option could ever have.

WP team has to do more,as most of the devs are from U.S., it has to gain momentum to attract more devs and to do that it needs to sell more and to sell more It requires features that ppl are used to like notification center,individual volume control,screen orientation lock ,making the UI more visually attractive like making the live tiles glow or do some funny things when it receives notifications to catch attention and to bring some basic apps like opera mini to end users and enthusiastically participate in making the OS future proof.

I see WP more then ever before.  Esp with the 1020.  It's becoming the cool and different choice, once people get bored with Apple and Android.  The 521 is a godsend for people who want a cheap phone and realize how awesome WP is.  Keep up the momentum.  It's turning.  I can feel it.  Balmer just needs to shut up!  

Windows Phone has a very promising future. Mistakes now are good. That way they can improve from them, and by the time it's the majority; It'll be perfect.

Time and time again, THE REPS IN THE CARRIER STORES are killing WP growth.

Sooo many times I have gone inside mobile stores and you hear so much BS man lol its so sad. And it sucks because your average consumer looks up to these associates and believe everything they say -_- if only most of us here can take up 3 or 4 sales associates positions lol I wouldn't be bias but just to inform the buyer everything each OS is capable of, I am positive WP would get picked 2 out of 4 times.

Yes they are! My sister went to upgrade her 4s to the Lumia 1020 and the jerk said "why waste your time its basically a really good camera on a phone. Just get the iPhone 5s or C in two days" so naturally I stepped in and started asking 50million windows phone questions and the dipsh** was almost clueless and when I was telling him the capabilities of the phone he didn't believe me when he should know so at that point in ready to fight(not really) I get the Okeechobee Blvd store in West Palm Beach Fl manager to come over who did actually know and who was clearly not pleased with the young iSheep. Any way may sister who is a PC fan and uses office all the time is pleased with her 1020!

Haa good! that is the same thing I do when they try and get slick lol

funny enough, I live here in Miami, by FIU :) so at least we're tryna affect south Florida little by little lol.

you know to pick a smartphone over another for good reason I wont argue that, but when a customer picks a smartphone over another because he or she was fed lies. It just isn't fair.

Don't throw in the towel just yet WP users! Its a long road and that road has been dominated by Android and iOS for too long. Its time for the nonbelievers to jump on board either as Devs or operators and boost the App availability count and phone sales. We need to show the world why Windows Phone is worthy of 33.333+% of the market! Our commercials are top notch are OS is imitated our Lumia colours are to die for (figuratively) security, stability and style. The coolest smartphone owners on this side of the milky way are using Windows Phone 7.X and beyond!

Don't throw in the towel?
You mean keep sitting around hoping that someday Microsoft might address the pile of glaring issues?
I really dislike Apple, but they CRUSH Microsoft in user experience. Their sync is better, their polish is better, better apps available, their store interface is better, and overall they offer more features.
Android can be more hit and miss, but my wifes Galaxy 4 is better than my 920. I like the build of the 920 a lot, but that Galaxy just does so much.

Regardless of certain things I could have on android or ios that i don't have on WP (yet) I'll remain a windows phone user because i honestly love the os. I love my Lumia 920!


I like the os but the big issue i believe is not been able to keep up with the joneses'. Where's my lightweight 1080p quad core phone. MS need to have a smart phone come to market that ticks all the boxes, not just the camera and a promise its fine with less horsepower. Remember old cpu's etc should be cheap and sadly the descent windows phones are not.

GDR3??? It's the end of September and AT&T still doesn't have GDR2 to me. Ill never see another update on this phone at this rate.

Windos Phone OS is a great os, but Microsoft need to put more weight of development into it. If developers won't join just yet, well, guess what ballmer? Microsoft needs to step in. Hire, pay, contract, french kiss developers to at least have one app in each category. I feel sad that I can't even find a subpar PDF app in the store. Subpar. The only ones that are available read only, and even that makes them choke and shut down. 

I have had no problems with adobe reader, plus Microsoft has PDF reader. I know they have limitations but I can open files on my NL 920 with no problems

You cant even bookmark a page on Adobe Reader.
if youve ever used ezPdf on the other platforms, youll laugh see the abysmal difference. What is preventing Microsoft from approaching those developers? I see disney pumping out awesome games into WP, why cant they forget about ganes and start pushing for real apps? I see why ballmer is leaving

Have you tried PDF reader, I thought it had bookmarks. Lol, no such a small division wouldn't be why Ballmer left. Wish that were the case.

I got my Lumia 925 and before that I was on a HTC Mozart at the beginning. In between that time I had Android & iPhone devices. In all honesty I will probably be going back to an iPhone 6 they're released. To this day I still get random crashes, freezes, restarts, shutdown or just looping on my 925. I've reinstalled apps, reset to factory etc and no fix. I'm more disappointed because I love my Surface RT & my Win8 PC :[

Long live Windows Phone! Death to seas of icons and hello amazing tiles! Now USA? Wake up...explore. You'll love it ;)

WP8 has some great ideas. Microsoft is doing a horrible job supporting their OS. I doubt we will see Windows Phone challenge IOS or Android anytime soon.

Nice talk. After living with WP8 for almost a year now, I can say that Microsoft has demonstrated their lack of ability or desire to compete.

There should have been quarterly updates addressing the major issues users reported.

Microsoft should have been even more active on getting apps on their phone. Nokia manages to bang out quality apps amazingly fast while Microsoft still has Facebook In beta.

There are lots of small usability issues. Most alone don't seem huge, however together it feels bad, unpolished, and beta level software.

Why in the world would I trust Microsoft to change? As an Windows Phone enthusiast, Microsoft has let me down.

theres a couple of things MS needs to do to get me back as a customer. Give me a unbranded, unlocked phone. I am done waiting on AT&T for updates. I went Android and get OS updates when they come out.  Push out smaller more frequent updates. They cant wait to hold an event and announce an update is coming out. lastly just pay devs to bring some of the more popular games to WP. Waiting it out and offering incentives isnt cuting it. I think all this is pretty reasonable.

As a newcomer it's very very hard to gain marketshare. However, over the months june and juli WP had a marketshare of 8,7% in western Europe, against 3,6% in the same months the year before. That's more than twice as much and I guess i will continue growing. A newcomer in a saturated market needs to get publicity. Since I have one, two of my close friends want one and a class mate already got one. But again, not before they played with mine.
I'd like if WP gets a bigger market share, say up to about 20%. It would be much better for app-development.