Windows Mobile 8 like mana from heaven -

The shy and retiring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has been in the Promised Land claiming that the sales of Windows Mobile 8 will be a success of Biblical proportions.

While many analysts are saying that Windows Mobile 8 has years in the wilderness before they can take it seriously, Ballmer is claiming that the newly launched Windows Phone is to become a strong challenger in the smartphone market.

Speaking in Tel Aviv at Microsoft's first Windows 8 launch outside the United States, Ballmer said that he expects sales of Windows Phone to grow fast.

The key to all this is to have tribes of partners like Nokia, HTC, Samsung and others sign up to the operating system, he claimed.

He told Reuters that there is now an opportunity to create a really strong third participant in the smartphone market.

He had better be right. Finnish phone maker Nokia will go under if Windows 8 does not take off and Ballmer might also be required to fall on his sword if it does not work.

It seems that Ballmer is aiming low with Windows 8 too. While it was impossible for Microsoft to stop the Android juggernaut, it should have been possible for Microsoft to take out Apple as the second place ruler of the market.

Apple's share of the market is only 14.9 percent and is only made by one supplier. With Windows 8 appearing on multiple vendors, Microsoft should be able to take a significant chunk of that away.

Ballmer said that there will be more marketing and advertising around Windows 8, its Surface tablet and Windows Phone than for any previous Microsoft products.

Ballmer also thinks that the four million upgrades of Windows 8 in the first weekend after its launch should help the roll out of its mobile cousin.