Microsoft's Ballmer remains enthusiastic about Windows Phone

The understated CEO of Microsoft, Steve “there is a kind of hush” Ballmer, is said to be upbeat about Windows Phone’s chances, despite a caning given in the marketplace.

Of course, if Ballmer was not enthusiastically optimistic about anything we would be surprised, but with so much riding on Windows Phone, and the fact it has a weak market share, might cause other CEOs to be a bit more circumspect about its chances.

Not so with Ballmer. According to Eweek,  in a keynote speech at Vole’s Worldwide Partner Conference, Ballmer admitted that Windows Phone’s market presence is “very small.” However, he insisted that people should look not look at the quality, but the width.

Ballmer thinks that other metrics for the smartphone platform are looking jolly good

Ballmer claimed that “Nine out of 10 people who bought Windows Phone would absolutely recommend it to a friend” although we’re surprised that ten people had bought the phone at all.

Ballmer seems to be pushing the fact that people in the phone business trust what Microsoft is doing.

Microsoft’s deal with Nokia, which will see Windows Phone ported onto the latter’s devices, is one of those.

He said that Nokia could have bet on Microsoft, bet on Android or bet on Windows Phone, but went for Vole after “they saw our roadmaps and saw what we did,” Ballmer quietly mimed.

Research outfits IDC and Gartner, have suggested that Microsoft will eventually claw its way past RIM and Apple by 2015, he said.

But other reports have suggested that Microsoft’s smartphone market share is dropping, despite a marketing push from Microsoft.

Between February and the end of May, comScore estimated Microsoft’s U.S. share dipping from 7.7 percent to 5.8 percent. All this has been to the advantage of Google’s Android platform. Apple has remained static and RIM has been sliding. Theoretically Microsoft should be taking advantage of Rim’s fall but that is not happening yet.

Microsoft seems to be banking on its “Mango” update. The cunning plan is that it will increase the platform’s appeal to consumers and businesspeople.

The new version of the OS is due for release sometime later this year. Samsung, HTC, LG Electronics and Nokia have all committed to building new Windows Phone devices preloaded with Mango. Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE have agreed to produce Windows Phone units for the first time.

Ballmer needs time for these agreements to kick in. The only thing that could go wrong for him is that users look at the phone and say “no thanks”.