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Ballmer: Microsoft needs to find the right path to travel in mobile

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Ballmer: Microsoft needs to find the right path to travel in mobile
There is no question that Microsoft's smartphone business strategy is, well, unfocused. And nobody knows that better than former CEO Steve Ballmer. Sure, the L.A. Clippers owner has different problems to attend to these days (like Blake Griffin), but he still keep tabs on the company that he used to lead. According to Ballmer, Microsoft needs some direction when it comes to mobile phones.

Ballmer said that when it comes to mobile, he had put the company on a path which was changed when the board decided to buy Nokia Devices and Services in 2013. Current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella needs to have a "clear path" when it comes to mobile, according to Ballmer, and he is sure that Nadella will eventually get there.

There are some who believe that Nadella and Surface chief Panos Panay have made things difficult on purpose for the Lumia line so that the company could concentrate on building a Surface Phone. All signs do point toward a launch in the second half of the year for a Surface Phone handset. In fact, if you go to www.surfacephone.com, you will be redirected to Microsoft's Global Surface website.

"And the company really has to chart a direction in mobile devices. Because if you're going to be mobile-first, cloud-first you really do need to have a sense of what you're doing in mobile devices. I had put the company on a path. The board as I was leaving took the company on a path by buying Nokia, they kind of went ahead with that after I told them I was going to go. The company, between me and the board, had taken that sort of view. Satya, he's certainly changed that. He needs to have a clear path forward. But I'm sure he'll get there."-Steve Ballmer, former CEO, Microsoft

A report released late last year indicated that the Surface Phone would focus on productivity, not specs. And based on Steve Ballmer's comments, this wouldn't be the path that he started when his name was on the CEO's door. But that is all water under the bridge. Windows Phone is a distant third behind iOS and Android and it is going to take something extraordinary to change that.

source: BusinessInsider

58 Comments
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posted on 06 Feb 2016, 17:18 12

1. Lycan155 (Posts: 248; Member since: 24 Nov 2013)


You said it ballmer the solution is DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS , APPS APPS APPS

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 17:22 11

4. lyndon420 (Posts: 3878; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


ADVERTISE ADVERTISE ADVERTISE

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 19:48 5

14. joevsyou (Posts: 683; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


thats not going do anything. You would have to literally have to give them away to make any sort of dent in the marketshare

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 23:33 5

24. jroc74 (Posts: 5987; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


While I kind of agree I havent seen a single Win Mo ad, commercial in months.

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 06:58 2

39. elitewolverine (Posts: 5090; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Neither have I

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 18:44 5

9. Wiencon (Posts: 1784; Member since: 06 Aug 2014)


Wut? The only thing I remembered from this speech was SWEAT SWEAT MORE SWEAT SWEATY SWEAT

But it was cool, at least he was convincing and original as oppossed to all thise lifeless Apple's conferences

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 19:41

10. Unordinary (Posts: 1194; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


Devs cant even make enough money on Android. Its why Apples App Store always gets better looking/better working/better functioning/better updated/better speed/better everything apps. Developers make better money on iOS, and this has been proven. You all can look up developer data / money statistics in case its too hard for you to find the studies / concrete evidence posted out there.

Its hard to make money when its so easy to pirate an official app, let alone the headaches from working extra just to make sure said app needs to run "perfectly" on all those hundreds and hundreds of devices. Saturation is to blame.

If MS can fix its app game, I believe they would have a truly amazing feature-phone. Great camera. Great hardware for the most part. Potentially great software (update issues). etc.

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 19:46 3

13. joevsyou (Posts: 683; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


ok... Thats why companies don't just close down after their first app. Thats why there is thousands upon thousands of apps. Thats why goddang flappybird was pulling in over $60,000 a day

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 19:58

17. Unordinary (Posts: 1194; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


Yet there is (just for reasonable discussion) no Snapchat app, or wasnt even an official IG app for the longest time. Two of the top 10 apps these past years. I never said for MS to shut down their mobile division. I wish them the best because I believe if the conform to todays standards / needs or developers, they can have one heck of a phone.

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 20:16 5

20. joey_sfb (Posts: 5361; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


What Microsoft need to build is trust. Their current Windows 10 spying is giving even my company pause on adopting it.

Come clean, tell us what is the sort of data that is collected and what would it be use for.

There are reason why many people have a personal low opinion on Microsoft.

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 20:56 1

21. Unordinary (Posts: 1194; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


Idk...What about Google with Android then? Many people are fine with this man so idk.

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 03:35 1

32. joey_sfb (Posts: 5361; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


I am ok with Google because the data collected are anonymous but Microsoft ones are not..not according to many reports.

http://www.techradar.com/sg/news/software/operating-systems/microsoft-must-do-better-more-questions-raised-over-windows-10-privacy-1312443

http://betanews.com/2016/01/08/if-youre-fine-with-microsofts-approach-to-privacy-in-windows-10-youre-out-of-touch/

http://www.networkworld.com/article/3010268/microsoft-subnet/microsoft-windows-10-update-privacy-spying.html

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 07:04 2

40. elitewolverine (Posts: 5090; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


As stated, Google has the same policy. In fact Google data may not always be anonymous, especially if you link any accounts. Ad services were getting 'anonymous' data but through simple checks were able to pull names, emails etc of your personal information.

Lets not forget the Onedrive vs Google Drive Where google can literally use your files to sell ads. This includes pictures, documents etc. Nor forget their endorsement adsense where your picture and name would come up on product ad pages found through search....anonymous ftw.

posted on 08 Feb 2016, 00:42

53. joey_sfb (Posts: 5361; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Plus I have to purchase Microsoft software with my money. What give Microsoft the right to snoop? It's much easier not to use Google product and service if I am uncomfortable with Google.

But how does one avoid using Windows which is a paid standard software?

posted on 08 Feb 2016, 01:14

55. joey_sfb (Posts: 5361; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


https://www.google.com/policies/privacy/

Where is Microsoft statement on their Windows 10 user privacy assurance?

Those that read windows 10 software license claim that we have already given Microsoft 100% permission to data mine data stored on my win10 machine for whatever purposes Microsoft deem fit.

Is this true? elitewolverine. Can I use windows 10 without Microsoft capturing my every key stroke and every file?

posted on 08 Feb 2016, 07:21

57. elitewolverine (Posts: 5090; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Seriously can't search?

https://privacy.microsoft.com/en-us/privacystatement/ Hell you only had to put, Microsoft privacy policy and the first link is it....(using bing)

Looking at them side by side there is nothing different. And no you cannot turn everything off in Google, especially their google drive. You can also look at the stuff you cannot turn off in android like: "telephony log information like your phone number, calling-party number, forwarding numbers, time and date of calls, duration of calls, SMS routing information and types of calls. "

Windows:
"However, we do not use what you say in email, chat, video calls or voice mail, or your documents, photos or other personal files to target ads to you. "

Difference in optout pages:
http://choice.microsoft.com/en-us/opt-out

This one is laughable its a blank page:
http://www.google.com/policies/privacy/example/limit-sharing-or-visibility-settings.html
Following learn more link:
https://support.google.com/plus/answer/3403513?hl=en

Again, neither company is 'private' and if you think you are private with android, chrome OS or anything Google more so than MS...you seriously have drank the koolaide

posted on 09 Feb 2016, 06:49

59. joey_sfb (Posts: 5361; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Still didn't explain what give them the right to collect user information like the way Google does..

Google services are free vs office 365 services are paid.. Microsoft started this privacy witch hunt via a well funded Microsoft's Scoogle campaign end end up being the same beast that they are hunting.

The worse part is taking their customer money as well as the advertising company money.

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 02:12

30. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


I have a low opinion of microsoft... they need to distribute free devices to increase market share and to attract developers, advertising will not work... instead of wasting money on advertising and marketing, they should use this money to distribute free devices

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 21:31 3

22. sgodsell (Posts: 3257; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


Unordinary talks through his @$$.

"Developers make better money on iOS, and this has been proven. You all can look up developer data / money statistics in case its too hard for you to find the studies / concrete evidence posted out there."

Too bad you didn't look up the information for yourself before looking like a complete idiot. On Android a ton of developers make lots of money from free apps or in app purchases. Android has billions of users. So guess what a free app with ads can makes tons of money. But I guess Unordinary likes to prove to the world that he is an idiot.

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 00:32 1

27. Unordinary (Posts: 1194; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


Don't get so mad. Billions of users yet developers are still getting paid the most on iOS. Tell me, how much money does your 84% market share pay out to devs; compared to what they could be paying. Stop getting so angry at the truth. I know it hurts lol.

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 03:43 1

33. joey_sfb (Posts: 5361; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Enough for them to keep doing it.. I know a free lance mobile developer that he receive a lot of project offer to develop custom mobile app to replace their PC counterpart.

The reasoning is everyone carry their smartphone even off duty hours.

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 02:23 1

31. Inotamira (Posts: 173; Member since: 06 Feb 2016)


My curiosity is why people like tedkord even bother with people like Unordinary and the other guy I'd rather avoid....whats the point, they probably know good and well but like a street preacher will just make things up on the spot to try and win the argument because they just can't get off without lying out their bum.

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 07:27 1

42. Unordinary (Posts: 1194; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


http://theappsolutions.com/blog/development/ios-vs-android/

http://bgr.com/2015/10/30/ios-vs-android-apps-development/

http://savvyapps.com/blog/android-vs-ios-which-platform-to-build-for-first

There are hundreds of more links. I never said Google Play devs don't make money with Android app development, like all you babies are crying about. I said developers choose iOS over any other platform for specific reasons. I'd keep linking concrete graphs and income charts but I must be getting to work soon. Tootles

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 23:14 5

23. tedkord (Posts: 10292; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Stop trolling. Every app I have looks/works may as well as the IOS version. Developers are making plenty of money on Android apps.

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 05:57 2

34. mayur007 (Posts: 563; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)


Yes
1 they need quality apps most
And Windows looks like a dumb os.
2nd thing it needs smart dialing even a few hundered bucks have smart dialing features
3rd they never priced there product rightly they are very expensive.
4 even they are not supporting there os
Slow updates and upgrades...
5 if they had to launch surface phone they should have done already stop playing with Windows phone fans

I am no longer windows phone user nor fan of it

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 17:18 9

2. Rafishant (Posts: 210; Member since: 13 Oct 2015)


Nokia was supposed to be the right path, but you shamelessly destroyed it via your trojan horse.
Shut up losers.

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 06:47 2

36. 47AlphaTango (Posts: 273; Member since: 27 Sep 2015)


You meant stephen elop right?

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 06:54 1

38. itsjustJOH (Posts: 232; Member since: 18 Oct 2012)


He did mention the "trojan horse".

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 17:19 10

3. Zylam (Posts: 663; Member since: 20 Oct 2010)


Yea, how about actually showing some respect to your loyal fans. Bought my dad a Diamond 2, Mozart, Titan, 1020 and an 830, not a single promised Windows update came on time, November for Windows 10 you say? It's February and nothing.

Also changing kernels between 7 and 8, breaking app compatibility for older devices was such an insult to the already wafer thing app store. Ms are even worse than Android Oems when it comes to support. In the 5 years my dad and I have used windows phone/Mobile, apart from folders, notification center and being able to change the wallpaper, nothing of value was added to the platform. Meanwhile Android went from 2.3 to 6 and iOS from 4 to 9.

Ms didn't just show up late to the party, they progressed the slowest too, no wonder apps are actually being discontinued for their platform. Also the 950's are the worst Lumias every made, I went there day one to have play with one, Held off on a 5X to see what the new Lumias would be like, cheap feeling plastic with washed out screens that cost 1100 Aud, yea Ms at its finest, screwing over their own fans. Happy with the iPhone 6S, did windows phone and Android from 2012 to 2015, and the support iOS devices get is beyond incredible, got nothing to worry about.

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 23:41

25. jroc74 (Posts: 5987; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


+1 million.

That 2nd paragraph says it all. But many told me that support, updates would be sooo much better than Android.....

And not only did changing the kernel screw many over...many also took that change to reset MS's mobile strategy/time on the market. (aka moving goalposts.) After that happened the launch of WP/Win Mo magically changed from late 2010 to the kernel change date....

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 07:14

41. elitewolverine (Posts: 5090; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Why did you not talk about apps breaking in 2.3 to 4.x change or to the 4.4 change or 5.x change. Yes they break. I deal with it daily of an app that 'used' to work for customers until the latest 'update'. Or just look in the app store and see how many apps no longer support old code.

Washed out screen? You do know you can adjust it...but I bet you didn't even go into the settings.
Plastic: not a huge fan but you can change it, plus my plastic 1520 is holding up better than the metal clad devices
Talk about over priced and then you mentioned the iPhone? seriously? Though I defend iphone all the time this is highly ironic.

I have windows 10 for a year, old phones are still stuck on carrier update lock ins. You know like how the note 3 doesn't have android 6, and how android 6 has 1% of the market share of android.

As a windows fan, I don't find the 950 a screw over at all, I get continuum support, I get windows hello (which we use on the surface all the time), I get a camera that is top notch, sd card support with most app install support to sd, even some of the preinstalled ones.

Also all the old windows 7 phone apps worked on windows 8, well perhaps not all there was probably some weird one that failed. But you could develop for 7 and it would work.

Just as a side thought, even the 810 which TMO stopped supporting some years ago and didn't even get the 8.1 update, can run windows 10 through their insider app.

Although enjoy the 6S, not a bad device.

posted on 08 Feb 2016, 00:57

54. joey_sfb (Posts: 5361; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


I feel Windows 10 violate my trust by spying on me. There is no way in hell I will use WP10 phone.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/aug/13/windows-10-sends-identifiable-data-microsoft-despite-privacy-settings

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 17:58

5. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS (Posts: 220; Member since: 29 Sep 2015)


What Microsoft needs to do is make competition if you don't have a youtube make your own to compete. Don't have Snapchat make a better version and include it with skype. Make a Surface Phone and a Surface Phone mini in blue, gray, black all metal. Watch the people come and partner with all laptop OEM to make their own phone to match imagine Del xps phone on windows 10 mobile boom. Then advertise it and you will win.

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 18:13 2

6. Charlie2k (Posts: 24; Member since: 11 Jan 2016)


"Windows Phone is a distant third behind iOS and Android and it is going to take something extraordinary to change that."

Really strange way of putting it. Did notice Alan wrote the article.
Ain't iOS and Windows Mobile both distant? The gap between Windows mobile and iOS is none existent compared to the gap between iOS and Android. Android has +85% of the market.

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 18:36 1

7. darkkjedii (Posts: 19808; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


We all know that. Are you just trying to go at Alan?

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 19:45

12. Unordinary (Posts: 1194; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


But "more sold doesnt mean sh*t!!!! "

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 20:08 1

18. darkkjedii (Posts: 19808; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


You do know, that Apples business model is not based on market share right? Profit margin pal.

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 01:33 1

29. Charlie2k (Posts: 24; Member since: 11 Jan 2016)


You mean they are focusing on selling cheap products for high prices... got it.. nice company!

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 18:41 2

8. darkkjedii (Posts: 19808; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Windows needs to get that eco system growing. Android and iOS dominate, due to vast eco systems, and even more so for iOS with its smaller market share, compared to android. Specs only carry a device so far nowadays, it's all about who caters their services to that devices eco system, and iOS and android have that on lock.

Every high end phone has good to awesome specs, eco system matters most.

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 19:44

11. joevsyou (Posts: 683; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


there is no path, the market has been claimed by android or apple LONG TIME AGO.

A: you infuse win10 into a android version

or

B: you live with your -5%ish of the marketshare

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 19:51 4

15. joevsyou (Posts: 683; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


i say they give up until they can make the next big thing in the industry because the smartphone market is pretty tapped out unless apple or google just does something soooo freaking stupid to run their business into the ground

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 09:12

47. elitewolverine (Posts: 5090; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


They need the division because its a patent haven for them. If they spend a billion dollars on it but make 4 billion off patents...its not a loss 'technically'.

MS relies on patents for a big chunk, they can't exit any part of the Mobile game.

However, market can say otherwise. But they need carrier love, right now there is zero carrier love except from ATT.

posted on 08 Feb 2016, 01:33

56. joey_sfb (Posts: 5361; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


More reason that Microsoft is the worse of the big three. They use apple hardware pricing to charge a high price for their hardware such surface 4. Lock down Xbox to license third parties hardware.

Use Google ad model to data mining user data for profit and have not address user privacy concern unlike Google.. Till this day have not give a clear statement on what they are collecting and how it will be use.
https://www.google.com/policies/privacy/

Still charge a high price for their software such as os, office, server licenses.

So what do you say to that, elitewolverines.

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 19:52

16. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1524; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


Folks If Surface smart phones are going to be for productivity they will have to be "Continuum" mode capable smart phones no matter if they use an ARMS CPU or an Intel Atom x3 C3445 CPU smart phone which may also run full Desktop PC programs and well as Universal Apps.
Folks Remember MS CEO Nadella said there would be Business class Windows 10 smart phones it looks like the Surface smart phone will be the Main Microsoft Business class smart phones.

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 06:54

37. 47AlphaTango (Posts: 273; Member since: 27 Sep 2015)


But it will be useless as it will require a keyboard and a mouse. Running windows based on a touch based isn't fully optimized yet. Accessing websites particularly will used flash as windows is the only platform supporting it. And what about the fact that it shares a common problem with its bigger cousins like the desktop and the laptop means its not totally system crashproof. Or what about the fact that if the registry of the OS gets corrupted. Upon starting the unit. You get the "Please insert windows DISC" such as this one:
http://www.scoopnest.com/user/mikko/289716949267652608
Now How would a windows user do to repair his/her windows mobile device since the fact that windows 10 is a free OS upgrade and there's no CD?

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 09:16 2

48. elitewolverine (Posts: 5090; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Well that image was from a corrupt boot of windows 8 mobile...

you cannot stop full system crashes, ever. No OS lives without this, whether it be windows, android, ios Linux, etc etc.

A mouse and keyboard is nothing if your used to carrying a laptop. Continuum is already helping a friend of mine leave their laptop at home for this business he runs. This alone will save future investment for what he does by limiting both the laptop and phone upgrades.

I do want an x86 mobile chip on the surface phone. I want an AMD APU to be exact

posted on 06 Feb 2016, 20:10 1

19. ibend (Posts: 3548; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


right path will be android, lol

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 00:28

26. cnour (Posts: 573; Member since: 11 Sep 2014)


The solution is to do Android phones.

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 01:19 4

28. Chuck007 (Posts: 1041; Member since: 02 Mar 2014)


Who's he to give Microsoft advice? He almost destroyed the company with the Windows 8 fiasco.

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 07:45 1

45. yoosufmuneer (Posts: 1493; Member since: 14 Feb 2015)


But he is MS single largest shareholder tho

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 06:14

35. BlackhawkFlys (Posts: 172; Member since: 07 May 2014)


I own a windows phone and I don't like it one bit. The only reason I have it is its camera.

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 07:41 2

44. garciano (unregistered)


not much reason to have a phone! maybe you need to stop taking so many pictures of yourself.

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 13:24

50. elitewolverine (Posts: 5090; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Depends on the phone, I am happy with the top end androids when they work. I would kill puppies if I was stuck with a Leon, Grand Prime and more.

Same for windows, I wouldn't be happy with a 435 (though working amazing for the kids right now), the 640xl is about as low as I would go, completely happy with the 1020, 930, 1520's

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 07:28

43. wildfiregt (Posts: 166; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)


They never release a top-notch specs smartphone that can compete with recent smartphones. Adding to this, no good advertising. Their mobilesoftware offers less feature and is less user-friendly

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 09:07 3

46. Baracus (Posts: 223; Member since: 15 Sep 2012)


Windows needs to hurry up and get full Windows running on ARM CPUs to lessen the barrier between desktop and Mobile which at least for me would tempt me more to a Windows Phone.

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 14:57

51. Mikey21 (Posts: 7; Member since: 07 Feb 2016)


Poor Windows Mobile is dying, so many dev's leaving. The end is near for MS in the mobile sector!

posted on 07 Feb 2016, 16:05

52. atlvideoguy (Posts: 62; Member since: 24 Feb 2012)


Microsoft needs to take a page out of Blackberries playbook and just make quality android handsets.

posted on 09 Feb 2016, 01:51

58. raiter (Posts: 9; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


There must be more (propper) Advertising. And the work on phone dealers and/or mobile service providers.
Currently, if the potential buyer comes in to the shop, the salesmen will bring the Andro and iPho first. And the comments or advise will ALLWAYS be in fevor od Android or iPhone. There will be arguments, that Andro/iPho has more than X-million apps, faster hardware, more GigaBytes, 2K screens, TV, media and even a car connections. So the buyer is left with no choice (or no chance) to get Windows Phone.

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