Microsoft's Ballmer dishes on Nokia deal and the future of PCs

'We have almost no share' in the smart phone market, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has acknowledged. 

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gestures during his keynote address at the Microsoft 'Build' conference in San Francisco, California in this file photo from June 26, 2013.

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced it would acquire cellphone maker Nokia – and the right to license its lucrative patents – in a deal worth an estimated $7.2 billion. The move was widely seen by analysts as a way for Microsoft, which has struggled to drum up interest in its Windows Phone mobile software, to better compete against rivals such as Apple and Android.

But in a meeting yesterday with financial analysts, Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer acknowledged it would be an uphill battle. "We have almost no share" in the mobile phone market, he said, according to The Verge. (In the second quarter of 2013, 80 percent of all smart phone shipments were comprised of Android phones, Strategy Analytics recently reported. Apple's iOS was second with 14 percent; Windows Phone was third, with 4 percent.) 

Still, Mr. Ballmer, who has said he will soon retire from Microsoft, expressed some cautious optimism about the Nokia deal in a conversation with Tom Keene of Bloomberg TV. 

"Nokia counts for well over 80 percent of Windows Phone volumes today, so I think we are in a position to accelerate through this acquisition," he said. "Certainly acceleration in Windows Phone is only good for Windows PCs and tablets and our partners in the PCs and tablets business seem to be quite enthusiastic because what is good for phone should be good for tablets and PC." 

But let's go back for a second to the financial analyst meeting. Despite the growing popularity of tablets, in the meeting, Ballmer argued that PCs should and would remain popular for computer and business professionals. 

"We must do the job to ensure that the PC stays the device of choice for people when they're trying to be productive in life," he said, according to PC Pro. "It doesn't mean that people aren't going to buy some tablets to be productive, but if you look at the bulk of the tablet market today it's moving actually to smaller tablets."

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Microsoft's Ballmer dishes on Nokia deal and the future of PCs
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today