Steve Ballmer: Windows Phone is “one of our most important targets”

While the news buzz today is about Steve Ballmer’s comment on disappointing sales for Windows Phone 7, his statements about the OS at the BUILD keynote from yesterday are much more indicative of the future of the platform.

Noting that the OS had significant momentum in terms of development and developer support, Ballmer found the problem was consumers did not “fully appreciate” the product.

I think Steve hit the nail on the head.  The reason Android is so popular is because it mimics the look and feel of the iPhone, which explains why Samsung has done so well and Sony Ericsson, who tends to make UI which are unique to say the least, is doing so poorly. 

With Windows Phone 7 Microsoft chose to take a radical departure from the icon-driven user interface, and this does not resonate with user expectations of an “iPhone-like” device. Microsoft’s task is to educate consumers regarding the desirability of this new approach, and of course Windows 8 buzz, as noted by Nokia SVP Marco Argenti, will go a long way in doing this.

Either way the Microsoft CEO confirmed their commitment to the effort, which I think stands a better chance than ever to bear fruit over the next year.

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