King of hype? Nokia CEO says Windows Phone "can be the biggest operating system in the world"

Windows Phone is bumping along with a market share in the low single digits, but Nokia CEO Stephen Elop claims that Windows Phone "can be the biggest operating system in the world." If that's not the definition of chutzpah, I don't know what is.

Elop was interviewed by Bloomberg TV at the Mobile World Congress. He was asked whether Windows Phone could become the second most popular smartphone operating system in the world. In response, he made this startling statement:

"It can be the biggest operating system in the world. We have a lot of work to do, jointly with Microsoft, to make that happen."

He didn't give a date when Windows Phone would rule the smartphone world, other than to say, "We have internal targets but we don't provide forward-leaning guidance on that."

Anything is possible, of course, but the most recent surveys show Windows Phone with a very low market share. The most recent IDC report says Windows Phone/Windows Mobile had a 2.6% worldwide market share in the fourth quarter of 2012, and a recent Gartner report puts that number at 3%. It's a long way from 3% to number 1.

In the enterprise, Windows Phone is failing, with a report from Good Technology finding that in the fourth quarter of 2012, a mere 0.5% of mobile devices activated in enterprises were Windows Phones. And there's also evidence that Firefox could end up a serious competitor to Windows Phone.

Elop certainly has chutzpah, and given that he had previously worked for the master of hype, Steve Ballmer, his prediction shouldn't be a surprise. But it's inconceivable his prediction will ever come true.

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