Ballmer Owns Up To Windows Mobile Missteps

On Thursday at Microsoft's Venture Capital Summit event in Mountain View, Calif., Ballmer told an audience of about 200 that Microsoft is well aware that it dropped the ball by allowing Windows Mobile development to slow to a crawl.

Some VCs in attendance posted Twitter messages describing frank comments Ballmer made on the state of Windows Mobile, according to the enthusiast blog

In one Twitter post, 'pjozefak' offered the following insight: "Ballmer says they screwed up with Windows Mobile. Wishes they had already [launched Windows Mobile 7]. They completely revamped the team."

In another Twitter post, 'Beninato' said Ballmer told attendees that Microsoft has "pumped in some new talent" to the Windows Mobile team and assured VCs that, "This will not happen again."

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Ballmer's comments come at the close of a busy week for the Windows Mobile rumor mill. The emergence of photos of prototype devices purportedly from Microsoft's top secret Pink smartphone project, as well images of a possible Microsoft tablet device called Courier, have rekindled speculation that Microsoft is dead set on raising its profile in the mobile device market.

The consumer mobile device market has been a tough nut to crack for Microsoft, and the software giant has watched as a parade of shiny new smartphones from Apple, Palm, and Research In Motion have relegated it to the shadows of the mobile industry.

Ballmer's comments show contrition on Microsoft's part, but now Microsoft will have to get new devices on the market quickly to show that it has, in fact, righted the Windows Mobile ship.