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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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Monkey bars at 3:15
By chmilz on 10/24/2008 11:09:07 AM , Rating: -1
I hate Apple worse than the kids that used to beat me up in elementary school, but where's the M$Phone to back up the smack talk?
Apple produces a complete product. Microsoft produces software used in many products. They're not even competitors in that regard.

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.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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