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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 omnicronx on 10/13/2010 3:27:44 PM , Rating: 2
I fail to see your point.

I don't see how slower refreshes would dramatically impact overall Mac resale value. Perhaps within the timeframe between refreshes, but what would be your excuse for machines sold outside of this time-frame?

I.e you buy a Mac and one year later when the next refresh comes out, it is no more outdated than a 1 year old PC would be, as the Apple would combine a years worth of hardware upgrades in one refresh.

Apple retains a high resale value, because ... new Apple devices cost more.. You can't replace your 2 year old Apple, with a 300$ Apple because they don't sell Mac's at that pricepoint. Resale value is the price someone is willing to pay, and obviously many feel they get enough value out of an older mac to justify the higher price. (mainly for the reason mentioned, they don't have an alternative pricepoint to chose from unlike PC's)


RE: It appears my medicine has worn off....
By Luticus on 10/13/2010 4:19:36 PM , Rating: 2
for the most part i agree with you. My point is that you'll find newer more current hard ware on a pc more frequently than you will on the newest macs and therefore the majority of the time there is no disadvantage in buying a used mac except that it's used, where as with a pc your not only getting used hardware but it's no longer the newest stuff the platform has to offer. This may not apply in every case and it certainly isn't the only contribuiting factor, though i do think it has something to do with the market for used macs.


By Pirks on 10/13/2010 5:29:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
it's no longer the newest stuff the platform has to offer
yeah right, to buy ancient Mac with octo core Xeons from 2008... or a ultra modern new PC with ultra new core i3 from 2010? VERY tough question for people like you LOLOL

it's Core i3! it's Da Fresh! so it pwns all those lousy 2007-2008 octocore Xeon rigs from Apple, 'cause these Apple ones are SOOO OOOLD!!!

hahaha, post me some more plz, you're so funny PC fanboy :)))


"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer














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