Ballmer points to strong launch for Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 8.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has acknowledged that Windows Phone remains "relatively small" in the smartphone market, but believes Windows 8 will boost sales imminently.
While Google's Android mobile platform and Apple's iPhone has dominated the smartphone market for years, Ballmer believes Microsoft's relationship with Nokia, Samsung and HTC will finally push sales for incoming Windows Phone 8 handsets.
"With the work we have done with Nokia, HTC, Samsung and others ... there is now an opportunity to create really a strong third participant in the smartphone market," he said in Tel Aviv at Microsoft's first Windows 8 launch outside the U.S. "We are still relatively small ... I expect the volumes on Windows Phone to really ramp quickly."
He stressed that Microsoft will continue to market and advertise (in the region of $1.5 billion) Windows 8, its Surface tablet and Windows Phone more than for it's done with previous products. Ballmer reiterated that Microsoft sold more than four million copies of Windows 8 during its launch weekend last week.
"The initial reaction to these products has been really really phenomenal ... And if you look at how people will get Windows 8, the truth of the matter is more people over time will get Windows 8 by buying a new computer than by upgrading old computers," Ballmer said, noting that a total of 400 million personal computers are sold each year.