Microsoft's Smartphone MisstepsBy Reuters | Print
Microsoft's CEO promised the world would see a Windows-based tablet computer or 'slate' by Christmas to counter Apple's iPad.
Microsoft has also failed to make much headway in the smartphone market, where rivals like Apple and HTC are growing fast, while Research in Motion captured the corporate market with its BlackBerry.
Microsoft's Windows phone software had 8.7 percent of the smartphone market last year and that is expected to decline to 3.9 percent by 2014, according to Gartner.
Microsoft also ditched a feature phone aimed at teenagers in July after just three months.
"The job right now is we've got to get back seriously into the game of phones," Ballmer said.
Ballmer did not get his maximum bonus for the last fiscal year despite scoring the company's highest-ever sales, mainly because of missteps on phones and tablets.
Microsoft is due to launch its new Windows Phone 7 software later this month, after unveiling it a year later than expected at this year's Mobile World Congress in February.
"We've got to have a comeback against the competition and I think with our new Windows phones we really have a beautiful product," Ballmer said on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Hans Peters)