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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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By Pirks on 10/13/2010 5:06:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do I really need to explain to you how close a Mac is to its PC bredrin?
Don't tell me that Lexus is light years away from Toyota, they are as close together as Macs and PCs are. See direct analogy here?
quote:
High end car manufacturers distance themselves with products that truly do cost more.
Now you imply that Macs "not-truly" or "fakely" cost more, right? Please explain, I don't get it. How come something is TRULY costing more and something else is FAKELY costing more. What do you mean?
quote:
Apple niche has more to do with good marketing than it does having a 'better product'. Perception is a powerful drug, anyone who knows about the underlying of Mac's and PC's know that the hardware behind it is essentially identical. Can you say the same when comparing a Ford to a Lexus?
Yes I can. If you think that your average ATX tower cheapo PC is exactly the same as expensive iMac, then I'll argue that Ford is exactly the same as Lexus. When you say that PC and Mac use same Intel CPUs with minor differences between them (clock frequency, cache, etc), I'll counter argue that in this case Lexus and Ford ALSO use same gasoline engines with minor differences (power, fuel consumption, etc). When you say that both Mac and PC have same cases with just a minor differences (shape, weight, materials, etc), I'll counter argue that Ford and Lexus ALSO have same bodies with minor differences (shape, weight, materials, etc). Got it?
quote:
prove the worth of a Mac over a PC when such worth is artificial and does not really exist
That's subjective statement. For me BMW is a useless junk, I'd never buy one and will sell it immediately if somebody gives me one as a present. I consider SAABs the best cars overall, but I know this is subjective. For you the picture may be the opposite, you treat BMWs as the best cars ever and think that SAABs are junk for idiots. So why are you trying to persuade me to believe your SUBJECTIVE statements? I'm not going to have same taste in machinery/computers/cars/music/movies/books as you do, so why are you trying then?


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