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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer argues that he'd rather have Windows Phone handsets be like Apple's iPhone than like Android phones.  (Source: Telegraph)
"You ... need to be a computer scientist to use... an Android phone" -- Steve Ballmer

Is Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android to complicated for the public?

The tens of millions of smartphones it is unloading on the U.S. market and its dominant market share lead would seem to suggest otherwise.  But that didn't stop Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) boisterous chief executive, Steve Ballmer, from sharing his thoughts with whoever would listen.

At the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, California, he told reporters, "You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows phone and you do to use an Android phone…It is hard for me to be excited about the Android phones.

Mr. Ballmer had kinder words for Apple, Inc. (AAPL), with which it hopes to via for second place in the market.  Mr. Ballmer revealed he's a fan of Siri, the "humble personal assistant" found in the iPhone 4S.  He comments, "Apple is a good competitor, but a different one.  Both [an iPhone and a Windows phone] are going to feel very good in your hand and both going to look very beautiful physically…"

"But when you grab a Windows phone and use it… your information is front and centre… and you don’t have to scroll through seas of icons and blah blah blah.  A Windows phone gets things done."

The one thing it can't seem to get done is generating market share.  Despite a promising Mango update, Microsoft remains a distant fourth place in the platform wars behind Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM), Apple, and Google.

Despite his love for the iPhone, Mr. Ballmer says that Microsoft won't opt to follow in its footsteps and release first-party hardware.  He comments, "We are [only] focused on enabling hardware innovation…We have been very successful enabling hardware innovation and will continue to do so."

Source: Telegraph



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In other words...
By dgingerich on 10/19/2011 12:26:05 PM , Rating: 4
In other words, he thinks most people are too stupid to handle an Android phone. Never mind that Android phones are selling hand over fist. My younger sister's family all have them, from the 12 year old gamer that barely gets passing grades in school to the 20 year old waiter to their restaurant manager father. They aren't stupid, but they aren't technical people, yet they love their Android phones.

Ballmer is just blowing marketing smoke. He's an arrogant ass trying to sell his product.




RE: In other words...
By acer905 on 10/19/2011 12:35:09 PM , Rating: 3
Yet the biggest question is have you or they ever tried WP7?

The experience is much different, both with regards to the speed and performance, as well as the way that information is displayed. With WP7, you can very easily glance at your screen for a second, and be completely up to date on all your info.

And the way that the hubs group things is awesome. Want to play a game? go to the games hub and you don't have to pick out what is a game and what is a productivity app.

Once you realize how simple using a phone can be, going back to Android seems like going back to Windows 95... (or even 3.1 :P )


RE: In other words...
By AmbroseAthan on 10/19/2011 1:14:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And the way that the hubs group things is awesome. Want to play a game? go to the games hub and you don't have to pick out what is a game and what is a productivity app.


Did you really need help to figure out which icons to click to play a game?...


RE: In other words...
By cjohnson2136 on 10/19/2011 1:16:24 PM , Rating: 2
It's for organization. Same way that you have folders on a desktop to organize what is where.


RE: In other words...
By seamonkey79 on 10/19/2011 6:28:48 PM , Rating: 2
I have folders to take care of that, thanks. Before I had folders to do it (and when I had fewer games), I had screens devoted to it... It's not really that big of a deal.


RE: In other words...
By dark matter on 10/19/2011 1:18:30 PM , Rating: 2
"Yet the biggest question is have you or they ever tried WP7?"

Shouldn't Ballmer be asking that question, and then doing something about it rather than bitching.

If his product IS better then show people.

You don't have to be a genius to work it out.


RE: In other words...
By Belard on 10/20/2011 2:41:27 AM , Rating: 3
WP7 (Metro) interface is excellent for a phone. With my Android, I downloaded a WP7 "skin" launcher that gives me most of the interface of WP7, without it being WP7.

But honestly, I do recommend it WP7 for people, it is slick. Android 4.0 (Ice Cream) is very SLICK, looks like Goggle did a pretty good job, but I don't think they went far enough.

Going with 5 tiny button at the bottom for the BASIC function of the launcher (Phone / Contacts / Web / Messaging / Menu)... SUCKS!!

With the WP7 Launcher, the buttons "Tiles" are bigger... and they tell me things. How many phone calls I missed, email messages, voice mail, TEXT.

The pages of apps just looks like garbage, even thou they do look great in 4.0... its just messy. Is the icon I'm looking for on page 1, or 3 or 7?

I didn't actually like my Android phone until I installed Launcher 7. Froyo upgrade fixed a lot of things, but also made life harder, like some idiot at Google was hired to mess with people. Like the PHONE log that shows Text logs.


RE: In other words...
By TakinYourPoints on 10/26/2011 6:25:06 AM , Rating: 2
Excellent post. WP7 really is nice


RE: In other words...
By omnicronx on 10/19/2011 4:33:18 PM , Rating: 4
Marketshare does not somehow magically imply ease of use.

I find that for non technical users, Android's main draw is the price.

I'm an Android proponent and don't plan on switching anytime soon, but I would tend to agree with the central points Balmer made.(though he did take it a bit far).

If I were to give a new smartphone user 3 new phones (iPhone,Windows phone, Android device), I would not be at all surprised to see Android ranked lowest based on learning curve and ease of use.

A good example of this is something like default applications. Once you have one set, novice users have absolutely no idea how to switch back. This entire concept of resetting defaults and states is completely beyond most users.

Great OS, and Ice Cream Sandwich will help improve on a lot of things, but in its current state it can be very confusing and is certainly the least user friendly of the three in many cases.


RE: In other words...
By Jeffk464 on 10/19/2011 11:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
Androids main draw is that its a totally open platform and supported by just about every phone manufacturer except apple. You also can't overlook how well it integrates with all of your google services, nope its tough to beat. Sure iphone and WP7 might be better for people with learning disabilities because of their simpler user interface.


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