Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has rarely publicly admitted that Microsoft has failed in any of its endeavors. So his admission that Windows Phone 7 hasn't yet gained any traction was a surprising bow to reality.
During his keynote speech at the 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2011) Monday, Ballmer spent a good deal of time touting Microsoft's successes, such as Windows 7 selling 400 million licenses in under two years, and Office 2010 selling more than 100 million licenses in that same amount of time.
When it came time for Windows Phone 7, though, he admitted that Microsoft simply hasn't gained any traction.
Here's what he said about sales numbers for Windows Phone 7:
"We've gone from very small to very small but it's been a heck of a year. You're going to see a lot of progress in that market."
He's certainly right that Windows Phone 7 sales have been anemic. The newest figures out from Nielsen show that Windows Phone 7 only has a 1 percent share of the U.S. market, compared to 38 percent for Android and 27 percent for the iPhone.
Nothing Microsoft has done has succeeded for the smartphone operating system. The Windows Phone 7 launch, which was supposed to lead to skyrocketing growth, fizzled. And things didn't get better from there.
So yes, it's certainly been a "heck of a year" for Windows Phone 7, but not in a good way. The only thing that may salvage the operating system is Microsoft's deal with Nokia. But even that isn't a long-range solution. Until Microsoft designs an operating system that consumers want, Windows Phone 7 will remain an also-ran.
This story, "Ballmer Admits Windows Phone 7 Has Failed So Far" was originally published by Computerworld.