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Microsoft is looking to follow up on Intel's iPhone dis with a few choice comments of its own

The iPhone is hard to escape.  Love it or hate it, the little device has invaded pop culture in a big way.  While most people might not know the ins and outs of the tech industry and its latest products, they know the iPhone -- it has reached household name status. 

At a recent developers forum, Intel employees publically insulted the iPhone, saying, "Any sort of application that requires any horse power at all and the iPhone struggles."

While Intel was quick to clarify that its comments were purely criticism of competitor ARM who makes the iPhone's CPU, the comments had already achieved a degree of notoriety.  Now Microsoft is fanning the iPhone flames of animosity with its own comments.

Robbie Bach, Microsoft's Chief Officer of the crucial $8B USD
Entertainment & Devices Division which includes the Xbox 360 business and the Windows Mobile phone business, was asked about his reaction to Apple's wildly successful quarter in which it saw the sale of 6.9 million iPhones.  These sales had surpassed analyst expectations by a couple million units, despite the fact that the analysts are typically very bullish when it comes to Apple sales.

Mr. Bach, without much prodding, proceeded to follow Intel's example and toss a bit more sand in Apple's eyes.  He said, "Apple had a big launch of a new product, and they launched at scale in a lot of new countries with a lot of new [wireless] operators. This quarter, RIM is having its big launch, and at some point we’ll have our big launch. We’ll have to see where things normalize," referring to the new RIM Blackberry Bold, set to launch November 4 (which does not feature a Windows OS).

He continued, "Does AT&T like having iPhone on its network? Sure. But they want to have balance in that ecosystem, where there’s three or four big partners. That’s why we’re so attractive to them—because we work with Samsung, Sony-Ericsson, LG, HTC, Motorola. Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone is a cool device. But it’s not about choice."

The comments by Bach are lighting up the blog community who already holds strong opinions on the iPhone's value.  However, more than anything they hark back to the classic playground-esque feud that Microsoft and Apple have carried out over the years, one that is mirrored in their commercials.  Microsoft has always argued that its products are great because they provide choices, while Apple's products are weak because they offer no choice.  Apple argues the opposite -- its products are exclusive so the quality and design is higher, while Microsoft is a messy conglomeration.

In the end, despite Bach's criticism, it's hard to argue the iPhone's success from a pure financial perspective.  However, that will likely do little to satisfy either Microsoft or Apple, which are always looking to get a one up on each other.

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Microsoft not watching Apple
By Funksultan on 10/24/2008 11:16:33 AM , Rating: 2
MS isn't watching Apple TOO closely. IMHO, they are much more worried about Google. They have the capital and connections to be more than an annoyance to Microsoft, whereas Apple, although cool, is still a boutique market.

A bunch of people showed up this week at the office with the new Verison Android phone. I gotta say, impressive. Better than the IPhone? Probably on par for the moment, but it's going far, and fast. Can't wait for my carrier to have one.

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By Grast on 10/24/2008 11:29:58 AM , Rating: 2
Well, Apple may be a boutique vendor in the realm of computers and laptops. But I have to conceed the iPhone is making a lot of headway. When the original was launched and had a price of basically $500 dollars, I held your view of being a niche market item. However once Apple released their basically rebranded/low cost to manufacture iPhone with a $300 dollar price tag, I have since changed me mind.

The reason the iPhone is a success is due to price and its a great phone. I have slowly watched everyone in my office buy a iPhone in the last 3 months. Many people which have not made the switch are simply waiting till their current contract expires or are saving up.

While I do not own a iPhone or share in the hype, no one can deny the iPhone is a successful, fantasitic, and correctly priced piece of technology. Microsoft retorich is just a ploy to keep their name in discussions when speaking about Apple.


RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By Alexstarfire on 10/24/2008 5:30:08 PM , Rating: 3
Other than a touchscreen there really isn't anything special about it, and it costs more than my phone that has a 5MP camera on it. My phone has a better battery life, 3G capable since it came out, plays MP3s, bluetooth stereo, etc... Only thing it lacks is a bigger screen really. I haven't taken a good look at any iPhone apps, since I don't have one... so I can't comment on that really. I'm sure there are a few good ones though. Ohh, and my phone can send text, picture, AND video messages. It can also do video calls... though I'm unaware of any US cell phone company offering it.

As far as I've ever been concerned.. the iPhone has never been anything but a gimmick.

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By rcc on 10/24/2008 5:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
lol, it would appear that a lot of people disagree. Judging by the sales numbers.

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By headbox on 10/25/08, Rating: -1
By Alexstarfire on 10/25/2008 7:39:49 PM , Rating: 2
Who said I was defending Microsoft? I sure didn't.

Who has Microsoft insulted? Can I get a list of names. I've yet to see Microsoft bash more than Apple has. Apple has countless ads discrediting Windows. Can you say the same for Microsoft?

BTW, I never said the masses were smart. There are countless instances showing the masses, ie average joes, are very stupid.

By themadmilkman on 10/24/2008 6:25:25 PM , Rating: 2
That's funny. For me, anything more than talking and texting is a gimmick. I guess your phone is a gimmick as well?

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By michael2k on 10/24/2008 6:51:14 PM , Rating: 2
So... does your phone capably browse the web? Since it has a smaller screen that would suggest it doesn't.

I have an iPhone and have sent text and picture messages on it. Unlike your phone, my iPhone also has a light saber, Net News Wire, and a panoramic photo app. Does your phone do Google Maps? How about VoIP or IM? Does it do YouTube?

There are plenty of special features of the iPhone, which is why it happens to be the #2 selling phone in the US (not smartphone, #2 phone) right now.

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By nitrous9200 on 10/24/2008 10:46:07 PM , Rating: 4
My phone browses the (mobile) web just fine, I think it makes sense on a mobile device to have just the content presented in a simply-formatted manner that loads quickly and is easy to access. Apple claims on their 3G iPhone site that it can load a page in 20 seconds or so, and they treated that like it was so amazing. 20 seconds for one page? I couldn't wait that long.
I also send text and picture messages on my phone and it's built right in, I don't need to figure out a complicated email address to send the messages to someone's phone.
A light saber...oooohh, wow, that probably keeps you occupied for 20 seconds before you get bored/annoyed of it. (Someone came into my store with their kid who had that app on there - it was REALLY annoying)
My phone can do google maps, YouTube, and IM - and I don't have to run the IM app in the foreground since it doesn't have some stupid restrictions on how apps can run!
There are plenty of special features of the iPhone, but most phones have them already - and when it's still missing basic functionality and locks you into one music and app store, I don't see the point. (BTW - I have a razr, the #1 selling phone right now).

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By nitrous9200 on 10/24/2008 10:50:47 PM , Rating: 4
Almost forgot - I can put on my own ringtones for free by just dragging and dropping them on to my memory card and can tether my phone to my computer via Bluetooth for mobile internet anywhere on a device that was designed for it. And I can add an extra capacity battery without needed something external. Oh, and it's got a standard mini-USB port.

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By Chaser on 10/26/2008 12:42:36 PM , Rating: 3
You don't have a clue about the massive open app development for the iPhone. We're not talking about basic phone features. The iPhone has hundreds of apps that take distinct advantages of the iPhone. More are released everyday and the snowball just keeps growing. A good iPhone app is a potentially huge money maker.

And a Razr? Don't make me laugh. I'm glad you're happy for whatever reason you feel you need not to own an iPhone. Enjoy your phone but leave your inadequacy arguments to yourself.

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By nitrous9200 on 11/20/2008 10:49:17 PM , Rating: 2
Oh sure, I feel really inadequate with my free assured I really couldn't care less. I know there is "massive" development for the iPhone/touch, including lots of garbage. And how open is it when you can only install the apps Apple specifically approves for the app store...umm, not really. The iPhone has shaken up the mobile scene, but they've just dressed up what the rest of the world has been doing for years.

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By robinthakur on 10/29/2008 6:36:22 AM , Rating: 2
I think that alot of people seem to have a strange view of the iPhone don't own one and haven't used one properly for a period of time. The features of the iPhone on paper are unremarkable, but I say once again that its the way they are integrated with the OS and used which makes it completely different and leaves the rest standing. Alot of the time companies use features as pure selling points which you use once then never touch again. Or do you think the other phone companies are racing to copy Apple on a whim? The new Blackberry Storm's menu's look like a monochromatic version of the iPhone's. As one example, the iPhone makes selling points like Google maps and the AGPS really useful, responsively touch controlled and removes all the worry that it won't work correctly like on my previous phones. It also allows apps to integrate the location data, and what you are seeing is something which Google touted at length a while ago where you can see location relevent data e.g. shops, taxi co's restaurants etc. The touch screen itself is another differentiator, its completely different to most other touch screens i've used before on Wimo phones as its very responsive and precise, something which does not apply to all such screens and the front is made of glass which feels better than squishy plastic over LCD.

I'm sure your RAZR was top of the line (in looks only) maybe 4 years ago, but now things have moved on. I know the US is slow for mobile technology but come on...! My wevbpages load much faster than 20 secs over 3G or Wifi so I don't know why it says that. The internet browser on the iPhone is superior to everything i've used so far and is properly standards compliant. I also miss flash though :(

When the music and apps store the iPhone locks you into are the best ones out there, you won't hear too many people complaining. Whilst I do love the light sabre app, you're right, its a 20 secs then bored jobby. Most of the Apps I've tried or bought have been really genuinely useful ones though, I've got 4 pages of them!

re: complication of typing in email you type in someone's number every time you send a txt or do you maybe use an address book?? I think the only annoying thing to me personally is the inability to add people to already running SMS conversations and inability to forward messages, which are quite frankly ludicrous. For everything else, its hands down the best I've used.

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By robinthakur on 10/29/2008 6:45:01 AM , Rating: 2
BTW as you still seem to think the RAZR is cutting edge after 4 years, note the following

"According to a survey by Mobile, 78% of RAZR users would not buy another Motorola handset because of poor usability. This figure was even higher for first-time users.[20]One company ranked it 11th out of 13 for ease-of-use, when compared to competitors' products — the RAZR required extra steps and had poor usability, meaning that users had a 47% success rate for a given task.[21] Also, many people dislike the interaction with it, saying that it's "awful".[22]

This contrasts quite nicely with the satisfaction of iPhone users with their purchase, though people like you would put this down to the Apple reality distortion field rather than the extraordinary possibility that they just like using the product...

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By anotherdude on 10/25/2008 1:00:18 PM , Rating: 4
Unless your iPhone is jail broke you ain't doing full youtube - youtube is flash based and iPhone won't do flash. You have the little youtube, very limited selection, not to mention all the other flash content on the web you can't view.

My PPC 6800 (mogul) does full web pages with magnification, full youtube (flash), stereo bluetooth, tethering to my laptop at 2 Mb speeds, and I can carry a spare battery that isn't an external brick making my phone about a foot long LOL. The iPhone does what it does VERY well but it is still a limited smartphone. A lot of people think iPhone invented smarphone but decent smartphones have been out a long time before Apple got into it.

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By Chaser on 10/26/2008 12:44:32 PM , Rating: 1
They might as well have.

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By Chaser on 10/26/2008 12:33:47 PM , Rating: 2
Nice specs, but nothing can touch the developer and accessory momentum that iPhone and iPods have world-wide today. There's far more to an iPhone than a "nice touch screen".

Nice go around. But try spending more time at an Apple store beyond the 3 minutes to feel better.

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By jeff834 on 10/26/2008 7:16:22 PM , Rating: 3
I cant spend more than 3 minutes in an Apple store, the whiteness (of the store and the people working/shopping there) hurts my eyes.

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By mondo1234 on 10/24/2008 11:40:01 AM , Rating: 2
MS is worried about both. They dont want another successful competitor (Android)in the market. Why does Bach say "But it’s not about choice"? MS has entered alot of markets because they believe the consumer needs a choice! MS is very competitive with every company in its marketplace, whether it is Sony, Apple or Google. Competition is good for the market. This sounds like sour grapes IMHO. Go Android!

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By Funksultan on 10/24/2008 11:45:32 AM , Rating: 3
Android is beautiful. If it's a testbed for Google to develop a desktop OS, both MS and Apple had better watch their backs.

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By vapore0n on 10/24/2008 12:58:55 PM , Rating: 2
not to mention the ipod.

MS entered the mp3 game too late to the game (as always) and lost it before it began.

Now with blue-ray they are also dragging their feet.
I hope windows 7 has good SSD support, cuz everyone should see that SSD is the future of storage.

RE: Microsoft not watching Apple
By rudy on 10/26/2008 12:41:31 AM , Rating: 2
They are watching everyone not making the right moves. I saw a funny thing today I saw like 50 apple ads not one M$ ad. And the ones I do see from M$ suck. Apple spews bs like you cant believe it was ironic that apply had the ad where they basically say M$ is putting all its money toward advertising and nothing to fix the TONS of problems apple claim vista has. But the thing is people believe it and M$ is never doing what it should and making a direct attack on apple. If M$ directly attacked apple in their ads apple would probably lay off the BS. BUt the thing is noobs believe that stuff and apple is having tremendous growth and yes they may very well start to become a major problem. 5 years ago you saw a handful of macs mostly in the hands of older people who had grown up and could not change now I am just seeing the numbers explode everywhere I go with all different age groups.

Trash Talking?
By Ilfirin on 10/24/2008 11:51:07 AM , Rating: 5
Am I the only one that doesn't really see the trash talking here? He actually complements the iPhone and just mentions that they have some things coming up too..

What's with the outcry?

RE: Trash Talking?
By on 10/24/08, Rating: 0
RE: Trash Talking?
By sweetsauce on 10/24/2008 12:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
The outcry is from Jason "I Want To Make Sweet Love To Steve Jobs" Mick. Hes in love with apple, and i assume he owns a shit ton of stock. The guy makes console fanboys look tame.

RE: Trash Talking?
By Pirks on 10/24/08, Rating: -1
RE: Trash Talking?
By Alexstarfire on 10/24/2008 5:36:04 PM , Rating: 1
I'd be far more curious to see how XP and Linux compare to OS X is battery life though. If they both did far worse than OS X then I don't know what I'd think. It doesn't make much sense that the OS affects it THAT much. I mean, it's more than a 20% difference. Does OS X downclock and undervolt every component or something. You can't make physical improvements out of software.

Monkey bars at 3:15
By chmilz on 10/24/08, Rating: -1
RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By JasonMick on 10/24/2008 11:17:06 AM , Rating: 4
Well Microsoft does have its OS on many smart phones, so technically its a competitor of Apple in the phone market, as Apple's phones are of course on OS X.

Of course I agree if you're trying to say Microsoft has an inflated image of its role in the phone industry (see Ballmer's "welcome to Microsoft's world" comments).

Really Apple and Microsoft both have such egos when it comes to the phone business, so its funny to see them overall being whooped in sales by hardware/software companies like RIM and Symbian, which have virtually no household name recognition. Not that Apple and Microsoft have bad products, its just they have a ways to go before their walk matches their talk in the phone biz.

RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By murphyslabrat on 10/24/08, Rating: -1
RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By zaxxon on 10/24/2008 1:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
meaning? that you think that the iPhone is NOT running OS X?

RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By aharris on 10/24/2008 2:47:48 PM , Rating: 3
iPhone OS X.
"Despite all the various reports that insisted that the iPhone could not possibly run anything resembling Mac OS X and that Apple was just branding it as “OS X” to mislead or otherwise distort the reality of its customers, the iPhone is very plainly running a streamlined but quite complete version of Mac OS X."

Check the date - this has been old news for over a year.

RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By vapore0n on 10/24/2008 11:21:20 AM , Rating: 1
Ive used the iphone and a Windows mobile phone, and the iphone was better at everything. Sleeker looking, easier to use, better working browser, lots of apps, typing was just as easy as a normal keyb. I got used to the screen type in 5 mins.

I can see why cell phone companies try to imitate it, and haters like Intel and MS bash it.

RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By jimbojimbo on 10/24/2008 1:37:31 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, I love how when you're doing something in an app the only buttons that do anything are volume control and kicking you out of the app. Form over function. My HTC Wing had a full keyboard and actually buttons instead of blank black space so you can actually perform actions immediately instead of having to click around on the screen. Yeah, the iPhone sure is better at it. The only thing it's truly better at is fashion... well, I admit, the zooming is nice.

RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By anotherdude on 10/24/2008 2:34:33 PM , Rating: 4
iPhone is great at what it does, it really is a game changer, but until I can run my bluetooth stereo headphones, tether to my laptop and surf at 2 Mb, stream internet radio more than 3 hrs before the battery dies and I have to plug in an unwieldy external spare, and watch flash video I will stick to my primitive WINMO HTC 6800.

RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By Maharajamd on 10/24/2008 4:22:31 PM , Rating: 2
I agree out of the box some things were done wrong. So Jailbreak it. Fixed 3/4 of what you just complained about.

And the battery life? Come on, how can you expect to run a device like that and have it run for days? Be responsible and plug it in when you sleep, or are at your desk, problem solved?

Fanboy "haters" crack me up.

RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By anotherdude on 10/24/2008 5:13:41 PM , Rating: 2
On my phone I don't need to give up streaming or surfing after a few hours. I plug in a spare battery. no can do on iphone unless you plug in an external brick. but you got some nice style lines for that sacrifice

RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By sprockkets on 10/24/2008 5:18:13 PM , Rating: 5
Oops, I don't have to jailbreak my phone to enjoy it.
Oops, I don't need Att either.
Oops, I don't need itunes to get music on my phone or ringtones to work.

Disciples of Steve Jobs crack me up.

RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By Chaser on 10/26/2008 12:52:14 PM , Rating: 2
Your stylish phone choice are far more superior that those millions of lost sheep that mail checks to Steve Jobs instead of you.

Tell us more about your insightful phone enlightenment that illuminates your deep persona. Oops we can't wait.

RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By zac206 on 10/24/2008 11:24:35 AM , Rating: 2
Actually they are not producing any phone. They are just buying different parts from different providers to make a phone. What they really make themselves is the OS and the design. Nothing more.

What they are really good at is marketing and that is what makes all the difference.

RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By michael2k on 10/24/2008 12:09:46 PM , Rating: 2
So... would you argue that you aren't cooking because you are buying ingredients from different producers? What weird definition of "make" do you have? The fact that it isn't an off the shelf phone qualifies as "making" the iPhone to me; the case design is unique, the component design is unique (at the time 2G+WiFi was uncommon to say the least, as well as having a touch-screen, accelerometer, light sensor, and only a single button), and finally the OS is unique.

Anyway, marketing crap only sells you once; bad reviews then cancel the marketing, or have you forgotten the N-Gage, Gizmondo, Daikatana, etc? There is substance there (heck, you must have read Anand's review of the iPhone!) and everyone is literally scrambling to catch up.

It's the iPod all over again, seven years later.

RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By zac206 on 10/24/2008 2:05:09 PM , Rating: 2
Well, it was in responce to a post which said that microsft where doing just the OS. For me, that's exaclty what apple is doing as well. The rest, they buy it from others.

There were alredy touchscreen phones on the market, as well as phones which accelerometer, and wifi, but nobody really knows those. Of course, they don't have the fame Apple has.

And I don't say that apple's products are not good. They are good (and overpriced but that's another story)

just like cooking, there are good chefs and bad chefs, even if they use the same ingredents.

RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By zaxxon on 10/24/2008 1:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
So Dell is not making computers.... neither is HP.... OK!

RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By AmbroseAthan on 10/24/2008 11:34:57 AM , Rating: 2
While not a perfect iPhone Killer, the HTC Diamond from Sprint (Windows 6.1 & Opera 9.5) makes a good run at it; not to mention I have landscape texting/email on the Diamond. All the rest of the iPhone's features it has also (YouTube Application, Sprint TV, GPS Nav, push email, IM, etc).

And HTC's new beast (HTC TouchHD) will be a very strong competitor to the iPhone (and runs Windows 6.1):

RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By Jack Ripoff on 10/24/2008 12:28:42 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Monkey bars at 3:15
By Chaser on 10/26/2008 12:53:50 PM , Rating: 2
I'll stick with us ignorant lost sheep. Thanks.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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