Ina Fried

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Ballmer on Windows Phone: “We Haven’t Sold Quite as Many as I Would Have Liked”

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said on Wednesday that although he is pleased with reaction from partners and developers to Windows Phone, the products have not been flying off store shelves as well as he hoped.

“We haven’t sold quite as many as I would have liked in the first year,” Ballmer said, speaking at the company’s financial analyst meeting.

However, he insisted the company is making progress and has more up its sleeves including improved browsing as well as bringing new features like DirectX graphics to the phone.

“I’m not saying I love where we are but I am very optimistic on where we can be,” Ballmer said. “We’ve just got to kick this thing to the next level.”

What Microsoft has managed to do in its year on the market, Ballmer said, is create “a very strong third ecosystem” to offer an alternative to Android and the iPhone.

Most importantly, Ballmer said, the company has landed, with Nokia, a hardware partner that is fully committed to Windows Phone.

“With Nokia we have a dedicated hardware partner that is all-in on Windows Phones,” Ballmer said. “They are not doing something on Android or [any other operating system].”

Nokia has said it hopes to introduce its first Windows Phones somewhere in the world this year, but has yet to announce any details on where or just when the phones will arrive.

Microsoft recently wrapped up work on Mango, the first major update to Windows Phone 7. That software is making its way to new and existing phones. Fujitsu has launched a phone in Japan while AT&T said it will start selling three new Mango-based Windows Phones from HTC and Samsung later this year.

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle