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Steve Ballmer admits Windows Phone’s lack of market share, considers it an ‘upside opportunity’

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

During Microsoft’s Financial Analyst meeting today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted that Windows Phone lacks market share in the smartphone arena. However, Ballmer considers this lack of market share to be an “upside opportunity” for the Windows Phone platform.

“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,” Ballmer stated during the meeting.

This is where Nokia comes in. Microsoft recently acquired Nokia’s devices and services division and is looking to challenge Apple and Google in the smartphone marketspace. Microsoft wants to “capture the gross margin upside” and “make even owning Nokia.” With the Nokia acquisition, Microsoft can now streamline hardware and software development when it comes to the Windows Phone.

Ballmer also admitted that he regretted not focusing on phones back in the early 2000s. “I regret there was a period in the early 2000s when we were so focused on what we had to do around Windows Vista that we weren’t able to redeploy talent to the new device called the phone. That is thing I regret the most,” Ballmer explained.

Ballmer touted the Windows brand during the meeting, adding that Microsoft knows they have to “do a great job.” Microsoft has apparently placed a lot of time and energy into the overall Windows brand, which includes Windows Phone.

Microsoft is still searching for a replacement to Ballmer and no news about a new CEO was revealed during the meeting. 

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