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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 10/14/2010 8:46:50 AM , Rating: 2
techie and know your software and hardware

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

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.

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.

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.


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
you don't have to be a tech to not be an idiot
not true for mass consumers
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
security through obscurity is not security it's idiocy
mac users don't care as long as it works
cars have speed limits... computers don't
where's your 1000 GHz Pentium 7 huh? show me

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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