Steve Ballmer is to the technology industry what gasoline is to fire. Put the man in a room with even the most cynical and jaded person on the face of the planet, and Ballmer will put forth so much enthusiasm that said individual will likely experience a severe case of nausea. That’s what happened just a few short hours ago at the Web 2.0 Summit. During his brief interview, the sweaty energetic mountain of man announced that Nokia is going to show a “bunch of new devices running Windows Phone” next week. We’ve been waiting for Nokia World for months now, so we’re glad that exactly one week from today we’ll finally catch a glimpse at what we think will be a portfolio of three Windows Phone devices. Curiously, when asked whether or not Microsoft would consider taking the Apple route, meaning that Microsoft should make their own hardware, Ballmer refused to say that such an idea wasn’t being considered. Instead he spewed forth the politically correct marketing drivel you’d expect his trainers to have rehearsed with him back stage:
“Our business has been focussed on enabling hardware innovation. We’re focussed on enabling hardware innovation broadly through our industry.”
Ballmer took no prisoners when talking about Android and iOS. With the former he said: “You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone, but I think you do to use Android.” With the latter he said consumers are frankly tired of wading through a sea of icons. All we know is that he’s in no position to say anything about the competition since they’re presently kicking his ass so severely that it’s becoming kind of painful to watch at this point.
Like we said earlier, all eyes are now on Nokia. They bet the farm on Microsoft and likewise Microsoft bet the farm on them.