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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer shows Ina Fried his "delightful user interface".  (Source: CNET)
Microsoft chief disses on Apple's strategy, but begrudgingly praises its tablet success

If there was one party ideally poised to deride, mock, or otherwise belittle Apple's strategy, it would be Google who is surpassingng Apple in terms of smartphone growth.  However, Google has for the most part taken the higher road.  

Microsoft, on the other hand, is on much more tenuous footing, with its own mobile market share in shambles and its hopes solely pinned on this month's launch of Windows Phone 7 (next month for U.S. customers).  That didn't stop its CEO Steve Ballmer from ripping into his Cupertino rival in a recent question and answer session with Ina Fried, writer of 
CNET's "Beyond Binary" column.

In the video interview Fried asks Mr. Ballmer about why Microsoft is forcing Windows Phone 7 partners to adopt a minimum hardware spec.  Fried presses Mr. Ballmer on whether this limits choices.  

Mr. Ballmer replies, "I think you clearly have a lot more variety than Apple has. There's really only one choice in the Apple world.  I think the problem, if you don't have a minimum kind of standard […] the brand means nothing to the user. Our brand means something to the user. It means something to the developer. It implies a certain level of consistency and high quality, which I think is important for the Windows Phone."

Mr. Ballmer, who has in the past derisively compared Macs to Mac Trucks and said that Apple users pay $500 extra for a logo, did begrudgingly admit that his fruity foe is doing exceptionally well in the tablet sector.  He comments, "You certainly see more. You certainly see more than I would like. One is more than I would like."

Despite recent studies that show the iPad to be cannibalizing users' PC time, Mr. Ballmer is confident that the tablet will not replace the PC.  He states, "Certainly someone who wants to sit and do an interview and take notes and scroll around, they are unlikely to find that device very comfortable. It doesn't stand up on its own. It doesn't have a big screen and keyboard. I'm not taking anything away from what Apple has done and certainly we have our work cut out for us."

Mr. Ballmer refused to answer questions on how Microsoft might match Apple's instant-on iPad capability and the device's long battery life.  He would only say that you would see tablets "essentially around the holiday", a little bit of an ambiguous statement, to say the least.  He was full of optimism and enthusiasm, though, about Windows Phone 7.  

After be docked part of his bonus for the failure of the Kin smartphone line, Mr. Ballmer is convinced the new OS will be a hit with customers.  He comments, "I think we're moving fast. We've got to see how the market responds. I think we are going to get great response to the new Windows Phones and that's the key. If we get that done and we keep up the pace of good work that we are doing, I feel pretty good."



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RE: It appears my medicine has worn off....
By Luticus on 10/13/2010 2:31:21 PM , Rating: 2
I never said it was some massive jump, just that Windows machines (due to the fact that there are many more manufacturers of windows boxes than there are mac boxes) are refreshes significantly more. That coupled with the fact that windows machines are also much less expensive for low to midrange systems makes it much harder to resale a pc for a decent price. Why buy old when new is only 300 - 400 for a somewhat decent laptop?

Second the word "fanboy" is a word only used by those who lack the inelegance or class to simply say "i disagree with you" which is what it roughly translates into. It's like calling someone a “cock-a-poo-poo” on the kindergarten playground, or a “noob” in a video game... it literally has no real meaning because everyone at some point has earned the title from someone else.

Now that I’ve established the transparency and irrelevancy of your comment i can ask why? Why the insult? I basically agreed with you and was merely providing my hypothesis on a possible cause for that particular anomaly. Were you implying that macs hold value because they are somehow "better" than windows machines? If that's what you are implying then based on my experience on both the windows and mac platforms, "i disagree"... see how easy that was...

And lastly, you are indeed correct; i am a huge fan of personal computers and technology in general. Don’t get your hopes up as i make no distinction between pc and mac. Mac is a pc with an apple stickered on the side of it running what amounts to a weird version of BSD... no difference.


RE: It appears my medicine has worn off....
By Pirks on 10/13/10, Rating: 0
RE: It appears my medicine has worn off....
By Luticus on 10/13/2010 3:04:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Premium goods


Laughable, my premium windows7 machine, which cost me about 1500 dollars (not counting peripherals, just what’s in the unit itself) 3 or so years ago (which has had some minor upgrades over the past few years) and still plays the most demanding games today (crysis, etc) on max settings in 1920X1200 resolution with a second monitor and a virtual debain running, i wouldn't sell that thing for less than a grand... i have a brand new macbook pro. best one you can buy on the apple website and there's NOTHING about it better in any way than my windows 7 box which is ~3 years old. in fact the only features that i could see as being a reason to purchase the machine (it was provided to me by my job, i did not buy it) is the track pad, which if i cared i could get any laptop to function almost exactly the same with simple hacks, and the dc jack which i will admit is superior as it isn't as likely to break. even with these two features it's still not worth the price. the backlit keyboard is nice but it's not mac exclusive. the screen is pretty but i've seen system with screens just as nice. the os is annoying, though useable... but in no way "premium".

i'll agree with you that buying older high end is a good idea sometimes, personally i don't buy used electronics.

quote:
Lexus is Chevy


The difference here is that Lexus actually has a hand full of features that can somewhat justify it's cost (in some small way). Personally i'll stick with my honda cr-v, heated seats, 6disc changer, xm radio, sunroof, tilt/retractable steering, power everything, cruse, more airbags than i want, usb/mp3 player input, traction control, average of ~24mpg (i know because it tells me)... all for about 30k, not a bad deal eh?


RE: It appears my medicine has worn off....
By Pirks on 10/13/10, Rating: 0
RE: It appears my medicine has worn off....
By Luticus on 10/13/2010 4:12:04 PM , Rating: 2
i'm not comapring a notebook and a desktop... i'm comparing osx and windows, the only hardware comparasons i've made are generalized, i own 3 notebooks and a tablet... i think i can gague a fair comaprason out. I was simply saying that i have a highend windows machine that would surely sell pretty decently if i were to try to part with it... though i wouldn't.

Lack of malware is free... run windows 7 + microsoft security essentials + ie8 and actually use its security features + don't be a complete moron on the internet + don't try to get things for free that shouldn't be free + don't porn surf.

THAT'S IT!!! i figured out why mac is premium... you can PORN SURF safely!!!! OMG!... lol, no really... that's just stupid, the virus/spyware/malware argument is hightly outdated. mac's are not more secure and only someone who doesn't understand security would believe so.

mac has no features that justify it's cost, hence apple's profit margin on them. get over it man, there's no hope here. argue with someone who's dumb enough to fall for it.


RE: It appears my medicine has worn off....
By Pirks on 10/13/2010 5:24:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
run windows 7 + microsoft security essentials + ie8 and actually use its security features + don't be a complete moron on the internet + don't try to get things for free that shouldn't be free + don't porn surf
which equals to "be a techie and know your software and hardware, and you'll be fine", hardly a news these days
quote:
THAT'S IT!!! i figured out why mac is premium... you can PORN SURF safely!!!!
and you can insert USB sticks safely and you can download and run stuff safely and you can browse safely without a chance to get a drive-by download malware and you can use your computer in general without a fear of being infected by some kind of malware that ravages PCs via USB sticks, holes in Windows and god knows what else
quote:
the virus/spyware/malware argument is hightly outdated
gazillions of todays infected PCs and botnets and spamnets are also highly outdated, so what? does it change squat?
quote:
mac's are not more secure and only someone who doesn't understand security would believe so
the value of Macs is that they are more secure for those who don't understand what security is, i.e. mass consumers. you can argue with this obvious fact for all you want, doesn't change squat.
quote:
mac has no features that justify it's cost
yeah Lexus also has no features that justify its cost, who would pay for safety/silence/comfort eh? only the dumb people who have no clue, right?


RE: It appears my medicine has worn off....
By Luticus on 10/14/2010 8:46:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
techie and know your software and hardware

you don't have to be a tech to not be an idiot.

quote:
insert USB sticks safely

i've been doing this for years... on xp/vista/7 and even before then and haven't had a problem. Especially today. as long as you keep your system patched (windows updates automates this... all you have to do is click go....) and keep a good antivirus up-to-date (which microsoft provieds a lightweight one for free that's actaully very good) and you're good to go.

quote:
gazillions of todays infected PCs and botnets

are running older unpatched operating systems like windows xp. if you run xp you should atleast patch it. it's no secret that xp runs an out dated security modle hence vista/7. if people would atleast try to stay current then we woudln't have half the "problems" we do. mac osx is great when compared to something like xp (which is out dated) and even then its questionable. osx (in my opinion) doesn't hold and candle to windows 7 and i use both regularly.

quote:
the value of Macs is that they are more secure for those who don't understand what security is
they aren't more secure for anyone. security through obscurity is not security it's idiocy. if you enjoy being a moron then good for you... i have more faith in humanity than that.

quote:
Lexus

i'm not talking about cars, i'm talking about computers... cars have speed limits... computers don't, cars can kill you, it'd be tough for a computer to do the same...


By Pirks on 10/14/2010 10:13:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
you don't have to be a tech to not be an idiot
not true for mass consumers
quote:
i've been doing this for years... on xp/vista/7 and even before then and haven't had a problem
conficker does NOT care what YOU have been doing, I'm not talking about just YOU
quote:
security through obscurity is not security it's idiocy
mac users don't care as long as it works
quote:
cars have speed limits... computers don't
where's your 1000 GHz Pentium 7 huh? show me


RE: It appears my medicine has worn off....
By JakLee on 10/13/2010 6:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
some people (like rich executives/artists/designers) would pay a LOT for the lack of malware, so for them OS X is VERY premium


Then why buy a mac? Though not as riddled with malware and viruses as the more used windows machines, they are hardly free of them. And for a PREMIUM you can buy much better hardware and have a custom version of linux, or for that matter a custom written OS. There is your premium, protection, and performance all rolled into one.

Mac's hold their value for their percieved value. Not due to any actual physical supperiority.


By Pirks on 10/13/2010 6:47:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
a custom written OS
Why pay million bucks for a custom OS when you can pay 500x less and get the same effect? Your option is a waste of money, Mac is much better in terms of value per invested dollar than writing your own custom OS.
quote:
Not due to any actual physical superiority.
Only if you avoid weight/thickness/battery life/performance/ergonomics metrics taken together as a whole.


By PrezWeezy on 10/13/2010 7:14:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And Lexus is Chevy, just with a different logo


Actually, Lexus is a Toyota with a different label and more "upgrades". Leather seats, GPS, etc. But the main car is still a Toyota. Similar to how a Mercury is (was) still a Ford, and yet costs more for the Mercury sticker. Or, perhaps more aptly, a Plymouth was still a Dodge, but cheaper because it said Plymouth; and Plymouth customers wouldn't spend the same ammount of money on a car that Dodge customers would.


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