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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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RE: Steve Ballmer is Correct
By Reclaimer77 on 10/19/2011 1:05:48 PM , Rating: 5
I don't know how you can make such eloquent over-generalizations about Androids problems while also being completely ignorant to the overwhelming popularity of the OS and device adoption. If even half of what you said was the majority end-user experience, there's just no way Android would have the market share it does.

Apple had the easiest road. They simply ported the iPod touch OS to their phone, made a few changes, and bingo.
Android has minor issues, at best. Which will be fixed as the OS is improved on. ICS is a pretty good start I would say.

quote:
The problem is that Microsoft's marketing push has paled in comparison to Android being marketed hard by every single carrier and handset manufacturer out there.


That's because Microsoft wouldn't put their OS on phones people actually wanted to buy for the longest time! It also didn't help that Windows Mobile was such a huge failure, and people still associate that with any "Windows" phone. Don't blame the carriers, blame their Apple-esque walled garden approach. The carriers are in business to sell phones and lock you into a plan for two years, not to push a particular OS over another.

Also Android fills an important market segment that Apple and Microsoft apparently care nothing for. The non-smartphone mobile phone segment. Believe it or not, there's lots of people out there who just want a basic phone to make calls and text on and very little else.

Balmer is only saying this because Google is their biggest threat right now. In the next few years we're going to be witnessing a tech-provider showdown of historic proportions as Google and MS bash horns. Apple sells devices and makes lots of money, but so what? They leverage no widely used services like Google, Gmail and YouTube which can be leveraged through Android. They aren't as diversified. Their entire revenue stream depends on consumer devices and iTunes/App store.


RE: Steve Ballmer is Correct
By Reclaimer77 on 10/19/2011 1:09:20 PM , Rating: 5
p.s. I just find it ironic, and almost hypocritical, of Balmer to pull the "you need to be a computer scientist" tactic out of his pocket. Given their reaction to Apple using the same ignorant approach in the "Mac vs PC" add campaign. Just like Windows, the market is proving that everyone isn't a drooling mouthbreather, and they can "work" Android just fine.


RE: Steve Ballmer is Correct
By jiffylube1000 on 10/19/2011 5:17:25 PM , Rating: 2
Me too. Android certainly isn't more difficult to work than Windows. It's lines like these that are the reason why I dislike Balmer. He's just such a raging hypocrite.


RE: Steve Ballmer is Correct
By maven81 on 10/19/2011 1:42:46 PM , Rating: 3
"Apple had the easiest road. They simply ported the iPod touch OS to their phone, made a few changes, and bingo."

I hate to be defending apple here, but you do realize the iPod touch came after the iPhone right? Many months in fact, if I remember correctly.
What gets me is not this... it's that I recall them revealing at some point that the iPad project is what was started first, but then they realized the kind of demand they could generate with the phone and switched gears. If true, this makes all the talk about "innovation" laughable as the iPhone was basically a beta test for the iPad. Yet you'll see even documentaries on jobs claim that the iPad was a brilliant followup. Amazing really.

Anyway, getting back on topic... Microsoft is failing because they don't have enough hardware. I really, really want to play with a windows phone, but my carrier sprint had ONE windows phone that I could play with. Compared to something like 20 android models. You hear that microsoft? You want me to buy it, make sure the phones are out there!


RE: Steve Ballmer is Correct
By cjohnson2136 on 10/19/2011 1:44:41 PM , Rating: 2
Actually you should try the HTC arrive. I really liked and would still have it if not for having to cut back expenses and traded down to a dumb phone.


RE: Steve Ballmer is Correct
By maven81 on 10/19/2011 1:58:14 PM , Rating: 2
It looks great to me! I just wish it had a slightly bigger screen. 4" would be just about perfect.


RE: Steve Ballmer is Correct
By Chadder007 on 10/19/2011 4:42:37 PM , Rating: 2
Thats what Ive been waiting for also. Something with a 4-4.5 inch screen.


RE: Steve Ballmer is Correct
By The Raven on 10/19/2011 3:58:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
if not for having to cut back expenses and traded down to a dumb phone.
Where you at? Boost mobile. I just cut expenses myself and we just got a Samsung Galaxy Exclaim upgraded from a 'dumb' phone on Sprint. It is severely limited but much better than a 'dumb' phone.

How was that a savings? Well I am spinning it pretty good, but we had 2 phones on a $60/mo family plan (but averaged $80 due to overages). We cut it down to one smartphone and unlimited phone/data/text on Boost for $50/mo (which will shrink down to $35/mo after 18 months BTW).

Anyway I just like to tell people about it because I had no idea about prepaids and always thought they were just for people who can't pay bills lol.


RE: Steve Ballmer is Correct
By cjohnson2136 on 10/19/2011 4:11:19 PM , Rating: 2
I looked into Boost but I could find it being offered in my area. I went from Verizon to Sprint and that helped lower and then we dropped our data plan which helped lower it a little more.


RE: Steve Ballmer is Correct
By Arsynic on 10/19/11, Rating: 0
RE: Steve Ballmer is Correct
By omnicronx on 10/19/2011 4:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
Lies, iOS freezes all the time..

Would tend to agree about the Android pricepoint though..


RE: Steve Ballmer is Correct
By Reclaimer77 on 10/19/2011 5:02:01 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
How many Android users do you think are getting 100% out of their phones?


Hell how many people get 100% from their smart phones in general? Very few, on ANY platform. These things are basically PC's and most people talk, surf the web, and text and that's IT. What kind of argument is that anyway?

quote:
People have simply chosen Android because it was the cheaper alternative.


Before the iPhone 4S, Android had surpassed Apple in smart phone sales. High end models. So I think we can soundly disprove this argument.

quote:
I'm just speaking from experience which has been echoed by others. I never had to reboot my iPhone. I never had to kill a process that locked up my phone.


Good for you! Don't you think you're being a little myopic here? I've never had to reboot my Galaxy S2 yet either, so I guess that cancels your experience out.

You've never had to do those things because Apple has the most locked down approach and iOS is probably the worst multitasker on the market. Seriously, it's terrible. If that's a tradeoff you're happy to make, great. This has been debated ad nausea, it's easier to have a more unified experience when you totally lock everything and everyone down.

Apple cranks a single phone model out like once every 15 months, I mean holy crap, let's get real here. Anyone taking that long on something should release a polished and stable product. You guys act like they deserve a medal for this.


RE: Steve Ballmer is Correct
By sgtdisturbed47 on 10/19/11, Rating: -1
RE: Steve Ballmer is Correct
By TakinYourPoints on 10/23/2011 8:03:18 PM , Rating: 1
A well thought out and reasoned post with -1 votes. Nope, the fanboys don't rule the asylum here at all.


RE: Steve Ballmer is Correct
By jiffylube1000 on 10/19/2011 5:19:28 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah giving customers choice is a real drag.

Also, it's a bit misleading to compare "$200" Apple iPhones to "$0" Android phones, considering that you need to sign on to 2 or 3 year contracts to get those phones. When you drop the subsidies we're really talking about $300/$400 phones vs. $600 phones.


RE: Steve Ballmer is Correct
By TakinYourPoints on 10/23/2011 8:01:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't know how you can make such eloquent over-generalizations about Androids problems while also being completely ignorant to the overwhelming popularity of the OS and device adoption.


Popularity and quality do not automatically go hand in hand, if that was the case then Britney Spears should be automatically considered one of the greatest musicians in history.


"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson














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