A lot of Silicon Valley executives would just smile like Mona Lisa at this bonus, considering Microsoft's profit margins. The diminishing market share of the aging Windows Mobile OS (halved to 5% in just a year), and the costly experiment that has been the KIN phone took their toll on Ballmer's compensation.
With that out of the way, noone is saying that Microsoft should be underestimated in the mobile world. It might have missed a generation, trumped by Apple and Google, but the unveiling of Windows Phone 7 is set to take place on October 11th. There is a central event in New York, but the actual presentation is rumored to be at satellite events elsewhere, presumably in London on the same date.
The launch event will be seeing AT&T take centerstage in the marketing effort as well, as the initial exclusive carrier for WP7. Rumors are that AT&T has ordered 8 million WP7 handsets for the initial launch set four weeks later, on November 8th. The launch portfolio will include one smartphone from each major partner for the fledgling Microsoft's mobile OS - LG, HTC and Samsung. Microsoft has also been gearing up for the launch, updating its Zune, Xbox Live, Hotmail and Office Mobile franchises for the mobile experience.