Robbie Bach, president of Microsoftâ€™s entertainment and devices division, was grilled about, amongst others, Microsoftâ€™s Windows Mobile business during a presentation at an all-day meeting with financial analysts and investors.
Admitting that Microsoft could have done better, despite growing unit sales between 2008 and 299, Bach said â€œTo date, we havenâ€™t done as good a job as I would like building relationships and getting the right integration with our hardware partners,â€ Bach said. â€œYouâ€™re going to see dramatic improvement in integration.â€Â â€œYouâ€™ll see our execution rhythm pick up and the quality of our execution improve,â€ he said.
“If I have a critique of the phones today, it’s that the experiences are very good in the business case … but if you have consumer scenarios like browsing, media, video, our experience isn’t as rich as it needs to be,” he said. With version 6.5 and beyond, users will find more of a focus on those types of capabilities, he said.
â€œThe fundamentals of our strategy are based on the idea of choice and selection. It is our view that one model, one type of phone is not going to build volume into that critical mass that we think we need to make the business successful,â€ Bach told FAM attendees. â€œWe have people who are going to want Qwerty keyboard, touch keyboard, big screen, people who want small screens. People who will make trade offs on battery life to do media. So it is our view we need to work closely with Samsung, LG, HP, HTC, Sony Ericcson and others to build a broad selection of phones with different price points and different functionality.â€
Despite seeing a slip in market share, Microsoft remained upbeat about the future. “There’s an opportunity for us to be a for-profit, software-only player,” said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO. “I think it’s a winning approach, the right niche, the right way to get 50, 60 percent market share.”
Microsoft expects the first Windows Mobile 6.5 devices to ship in October.