Google and Microsoft are fierce competitors in the search market. That rivalry spilled over into the mobile phone OS market when Google launched the Android OS to compete against Windows Mobile.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Thursday that he felt building Android was financially unsound for Google. Ballmer said at an analyst's day for partner company Telstra, "They (Google) can hire smart guys, hire a lot of people, blah dee blah dee blah, but you know they start out way behind, in a certain sense."
Ballmer continued saying, "I don't really understand their (money making) strategy. Maybe somebody else does. If I went to my shareholder meeting, my analyst meeting, and said, 'hey, we've just launched a new product that has no revenue model!'...I'm not sure that my investors would take that very well. But that's kind of what Google's telling their investors about Android."
Ballmer believes that Google's vision for Android was to offer the OS for free to get its search onto mobile phones. The catch in Ballmer's mind is that he believes mobile providers will still expect to be paid for search. Ballmer and Microsoft maintain that Google is not considered a top competitor at this point.
At the same Telstra event, the world's first live demo of 21Mbps speeds on the Telstra Next G network failed. Ballmer joked that he had damaged the demonstration and claimed to have seen the demo work in a private display.
Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo says that his company is working with Sierra Wireless, Qualcomm, and Ericsson to bring faster mobile broadband modems to market. Trujillo says that external modems aren’t all Telstra is working on.
Handsets using the new fast network will be offered as well. Trujillo is quoted by CNET News saying, "We're not only working with companies like Sierra and working on the dongle data card side of things, but we're also working with the companies that are on the handset side of things. Yes, we will have devices...but I'm not going to tell you when, because we like competing to win."