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Microsoft considering making own phones?

updated 10:35 pm EDT, Tue October 18, 2011

Ballmer doesn't rule out in-house hardware

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has hinted that his company is not ruling out the possibility of creating its own smartphones. Although third-party manufacturers currently produce all of the devices running Windows Phone, the executive carefully skirted around a question from a Web 2.0 Summit attendee who asked if the company would build its own phone.

"Microsoft will do what it takes to enable hardware innovation," Ballmer said, according to a Twitter post from ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley.

The executive noted that Nokia is preparing to show a range of new devices running Windows Phone next week at Nokia World in London.

Ballmer also took time to criticize the competition, claiming you don't need to be a "computer scientist" to use Windows Phone, "but I think you do to use Android." Aside from smartphones, he also claims Bing has risen to hold 15-percent market share and Microsoft is beating Google Documents "98 percent of the time" in the cloud productivity segment.

By Electronista Staff


  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004


    I like WP7

    But why does MS have to be run by such a s******?

  1. qazwart

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001


    A Microsoft Phone?

    Unless MS decides to buy Nokia, I doubt Microsoft will do that. Microsoft is too dependent upon their hardware vendors. Who's going to build all those Windows 8 tablets? It's going to be companies like HTC, Nokia, Samsung, and LC. HP isn't going to do it. And, I doubt that Lenovo or Dell will produce a decent consumer version. If Microsoft pulls another "Zune" on its partners, it might find it harder to get anyone to work on a Windows 8 tablet.

    Microsoft has a decent strategy: Unlike Apple who can only produce a single model of phone or tablet at a time (producing more than one version would mean losing cost advantages), there can be several good Windows 7 phones. (Yes, I know Apple is selling three models, but they're two old models and one new one). And, unlike Android which seems to be a wild west with hundreds of crappy models of phones and poor software implementation, Microsoft has much tighter control over their design.

    What Microsoft should be doing is wooing the major Android vendors and convincing them that Nokia isn't a division of Microsoft. These guys are smarting over Google's decision to buy Motorola and might be interested in producing Windows phones if Microsoft can convince them that Windows 7 phones can sell.

    That's Microsoft's real problem: They've waited too long and are still not moving fast enough. If Microsoft can't move phones, they won't be able to move tablets. And, if Microsoft can't move tablets, they might as well close down their software division and become a holding and investment company.

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