In an interview with Maria Bartiromo at USA Today — primarily about Kinect — Ballmer gave out a bit more about numbers for Windows Phone 7, but still didn’t give quite the detail everyone is asking for:
Q: But it seems like everyone is talking about smartphones. Tell me about the Windows Phone 7. How is it going? What are your expectations in an environment where you’ve got so much competition from Android and Apple, among others?
A: There’s a lot of competition, but we’ve got the best-looking phones on the market. We’ve got the greatest range of alternatives, the phones, the software, the craftsmanship. It is as good or better than anything out there. We have a lot of work to do. But, we’re in the game. We sold 1.5 million into the carriers.
Once again, Ballmer cites numbers sold to carriers, not to users. This number is exactly the same as what we heard before Christmas, and doesn’t really tell us anything.
It’s a bit of a Catch-22 for Microsoft, if they release the actual numbers, they’ll doubtless be slammed for not selling well, even on an infant platform. If they don’t release the data, they’re accused of trying to cover things up.