Speaking of success, he called the acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services businesses important to the future of Microsoft. The $7 billion acquisition is expected to close soon. While Kantar recently called Windows Phone the fastest growing OS in the world, the platform is coming off such low market share numbers that a small improvement results in a large percentage improvement.
While Windows Phone is just coming into its own now, there was a time when Ballmer was certain that Windows Mobile would be able to challenge iOS and Android in the touchscreen space. But for the fiscal year that ended in June 2010, the former CEO received only half of his maximum bonus award because of the missteps Microsoft was experiencing in mobile.
Ballmer also questioned whether or not WhatsApp will prove to be worth the $19 billion that Facebook paid for the messaging app. He said that if Mark Zuckerberg believes that the 450 million subscribers to the messaging app will generate enough revenue to make the deal worth it to Facebook, why should he doubt him?
The executive was speaking Tuesday at Oxford University for his first public appearance since leaving Microsoft.