He was most recently confronted about his mobile strategy at Microsoftâ€™s shareholder conference, where he was asked why he does not team up with Nokia to fend of Android.
Steve Ballmer answered in full:
Small and important fact, we have greater market share than Google’s android. I remain dedicated to keeping higher market share, in fact quite a lot higher market share than Google’s Android, its a brand new product.
Of the smartphone market, which is the way these things would normally be computed, we would be 10-12%, Google would be 3%, Apple would be about 20% or so, Blackberry would be about 25%, Nokia would be some place around 45%, just to give relevant share.
And certainly our objective is to have the leading position amongst these players in the long term. It is a competitive game, we have just recently launched a new generation of Windows phones with new software. We are going to keep investing, I think we have a lot of opportunity to improve our product and our market position. I think we are early in the game.
I think we are on the right strategy, which is to focus in on the software that goes into phones, as apposed to building phones. I think that will allow us to offer a diversity of windows phones, just as there is a diversity of Windows PCs which is superior to anything you see from RIM with the Blackberry or with Apple.
We hope to, over time, to see what we can do with Nokia, we have a limited partnership with them,to start we are working together on office mobility, we spent a lot of time with them very much focussed on that, that aspect, but not at the Windows level, there is more work to do there, but undoubtedly we have our work cut out for us.
We are very focussed, we’ve really injected a ton of additional talent in Microsoft employees, very good thinkers, very good innovators, into that area, and we’ve got our heads down to do the best.
While staying above the Androidâ€™s current 3.5% may seem like a pretty unambitious target, Googleâ€™s Mobile OS is predicted by many to become the number 2 mobile operating system in the next 5 years, so Microsoft certainly need to do much to regain the hearts and minds of the worldâ€™s mobile phone consumers.