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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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Macs pay $500 for a Logo?
By macthemechanic on 10/14/2010 8:58:53 AM , Rating: 2
Is't that calling the kettle black? Windows are much more expensive. Microsoft charges more for the OS, then you have to buy all of the software to do office tasks. They may run on less hardware, but you can do less. If you upgrade your Windows computer hardware significantly, then you finally come into where the lowest Mac can perform. SteveB, is really not telling the truth here. I've been using Microsoft Windows professionally since the very first Windows 1.0 version hit the streets, and DOS before that. With today's Mac, I purchase the computer with the software and I'm done. Unless I want to pay Microsoft to buy Office, then, I'm back another $150-$200 dollars. OS X cost me $29 for upgrades, Pages, Keynote and Numbers are just as cheap to upgrade and work just fine for me. I don't have to have Microsoft software. I LIKE to have it at work with collaborating with coworkers that use those tools as it's easier to share documents without having to convert. But it is most certainly not required.
The Apple hardware is usually more expensive than say a Dell, Gateway, or HP. That being said, the hardware specs are more beefy on the Apple side. However, with Dell, HP and Gateway (among others) trying to use cheap inexpensive parts to lower the cost of their offerings, sometimes the gap narrows somewhat. What I have found in working with both operating systems and vendors for some 20 odd years with their GUI-based technologies, is that the Apple method of bundling OS/Hardware and apps together is better engineered to work together at a lower carrying cost per year than that of the distributed engineered method of the Microsoft and hardware vendor, and software vendor camps. The latter often forcing the end user into settling arguments between vendors to vie for software dominance over the Windows desktop computer. On my Apple, this is simply not the case. Then there is the lack of cost needed on the Apple for defragging options, SPAM, Spyware, Anti-Virus options. Even when you add some of these or all of these to the Mac, they are less expensive often times.
On the Operating Systems, the Windows architecture is based upon a series of underpinnings that hark back to early hopes and dreams of Bill Gates that have never actually worked. These are reusable code (Dynamic Link Libraries), BIOS and 32-bit DOS. Oh, and there's that nightmarish Registry mess, where Obscurity rules and Security is not present. Microsoft put all of their eggs into the Registry basket and failed to come up with a method to secure it. The DLLs, hark back from the failed IBM OS/2 joint venture for reusable code. It should have worked if there were a controlled set of vendors. However Microsoft let that genie out of the bottle when it gave ring 0 processor access over to developers. So now vendors can use reusable code, but often do not and there is not revision control system for code within Windows, and those same non-collaborative distributed vendors also have ring 0. It's like giving children the keys to your new Jag and a blank check to your savings. With OS X, there is a centralized architect at work instead of a group of non-conformist trying to out do each other's work on a desktop war that the end user must manage -- as is with Windows.

RE: Macs pay $500 for a Logo?
By Pirks on 10/14/2010 9:43:58 AM , Rating: 2
hardware specs are more beefy on the Apple side
not needed for mass home consumer, you're wasting like $400 if you're buying mac mini as a basic office/home machine for word/excel/internet/music/youtube/etc, I can assemble a $300 cheapo microATX slim desktop based on AMD, with the SAME speed in office/home tasks as mac mini but like twice cheaper, so why pay double for something "beefy" that you don't need eh? why do you think that word/web/music/youtube is going to be working faster on $700 mac mini than on my $300 AMD microATX box? I know my box is actually going to be as fast and actually better for video/movies/rips since the HDD is SO much larger and faster too. I don't understand your logic in this case, sorry
the lack of cost needed on the Apple for defragging options, SPAM, Spyware, Anti-Virus options
stupid lies, on PC all of this is free these days, ever heard of MSE? time to crawl from under your rock man, read some news from past couple of years, get back from 90s okay?
BIOS and 32-bit DOS
being replaced by UEFI and .Net, so again not an argument
there's that nightmarish Registry mess
doh, as if plist mess in OS X is any better, ask all those cleaners' authors that write Onyx and other OS X cleaners/defraggers/etc if OS X is any less messy POS than Windows, har har

anyway stop being that STUPID mac fanboy, get a little smarter and GET BACK FROM THE DISTANT PAST pleeaassee, it's not 1998 out there, it's 2010!

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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