Print 41 comment(s) - last by Tanclearas.. on Nov 15 at 9:01 PM

Steve Ballmer would like to welcome Android OS to "Microsoft's World  (Source: Microsoft)
Ballmer has some more interesting insight into looking at the world through Microsoft-colored glasses.

At a recent Tokyo press conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had some interesting things to say about Google and its new Android OS, the mobile phone OS that Google has in development.

Ballmer has a penchant for colorful remarks; for example. he recently likened his relationship with Microsoft founder and good friend Bill Gates to a marriage which has produced many, many children.

Ballmer was at it again, raining harsh criticism on Google, dismissing Android OS as nothing but a press release.

He also stated that he would like to welcome Google into "Microsoft's world," apparently referring to the mobile phone market.

He said, "Right now they have a press release, we have many, many millions of customers, great software, many hardware devices and they're welcome in our world."

His remarks seem slightly curious as Microsoft is dominated in market share of the mobile phone market by the more widespread Symbian OS.

Ballmer refused to comment on the Android software itself, instead simply sticking to a general critique of Google policy.  He said that he felt that Android OS was vaporware at the present and could not be compared to Microsoft's mobile phone OS, Windows Mobile.

"Well of course their efforts are just some words on paper right now, it's hard to do a very clear comparison [with Windows Mobile]," he said.

Perhaps he might be able to comment soon, as Google has released a concrete initial version of its Software Development Kit for the Android OS, something that competitor Apple Inc., still has been unable to do for the iPhone due to alleged security issues.  Google also spread even more love by offering a $10 million USD bounty for "Cool Apps" from third parties for the platform.

Ballmer says he is not threatened by Google, but that Microsoft is watching them like a hawk.

"So we have great momentum, we've brought our Windows Mobile 6 software to market, we're driving forward on our future releases and we'll have to see what Google does," said Ballmer.

Google's Android OS is based on Linux and is under a modified open-source Apache license.  It is being co-developed by "the Open Handset Alliance," which includes industry giants such as T-Mobile, Sprint Nextel, Samsung Electronics, and LG Electronics.

Google's Android OS generated a tremendous amount of buzz in the online community months before its true nature was unveiled.

Ballmer is not the only one who has been making comments deriding Android OS.  Symbian OS CEO Nigel Clifford, also made a similar remark at a Tokyo press conference several days prior.

"One of the reactions [to Android OS] is, it's another Linux platform," Clifford stated. "There's 10, 15, 20, maybe 25 different Linux platforms out there. It sometimes appears that Linux is fragmenting faster than it unifies."

Whether Android OS will be a hit or miss remains to be seen, but it appears to be making competitors slightly antsy and generating some new interesting comments to add to Microsoft's colorful public relations history.

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By howtochooseausername on 11/14/2007 12:02:29 PM , Rating: 5
"There's 10, 15, 20, maybe 25 different Linux platforms out there. It sometimes appears that Linux is fragmenting faster than it unifies."

Only too true.

RE: Linux
By sprockkets on 11/14/2007 12:35:43 PM , Rating: 5
yeah, like how many different platforms can you develop a phone off of linux? greenphone? vaporware's Palm's stuff from their software arm? Motorola's ming platform?

Linux's greatest strength is their greatest weakness.

RE: Linux
By Tanclearas on 11/14/2007 12:45:37 PM , Rating: 3
Ummm... when was it ever the intent that Linux unify? The very nature of open source is that you can adapt it for specific purposes.

One of the exciting things about Android OS is the large number of really cool open source apps already out there that could potentially be adapted for use with it. Just take a look at what the community has done with Nokia's Internet Tablets (770, n800, and now the n810).

RE: Linux
By TomZ on 11/14/2007 2:43:01 PM , Rating: 3
The value of unifying the platform is that it attracts more resources to it and makes it better. This reality seems to have been lost on a large number of Linux advocates. Nobody is going to write any serious applications for a phone OS that has, e.g., 1% market share.

Google's Android OS can only succeed if it does in fact unify the Linux OS market or if it can take significan market share away from Symbian and/or Microsoft. I would guess the most likely outcome is that Android succeeds at the expense of the other Linux mobile distros.

RE: Linux
By FITCamaro on 11/14/2007 3:25:39 PM , Rating: 3
Google's Android OS can only succeed if it does in fact unify the Linux OS market

I don't know about that. I mean its a phone OS. It doesn't have to work with every flavor of Linux for PC. Or any for that matter. Really if its going to succeed it needs to sync with Windows and OSX far more than it needs to sync with Linux.

RE: Linux
By TomZ on 11/14/2007 3:39:28 PM , Rating: 2
My point really isn't about synchronizing with desktop Linux. It's more that applications written on one Linux mobile distro be portable to another. For example, if you look at the block diagram of Android, it is very clear that an app written for Android will only run on Android, and not any other Linux flavor.

Therefore, if a company or individual thinks about writing an app for a particular platform, either they will want to stick with one of the more popular platforms, or else they'll have to invest tons more resource in making it work on lots of platforms. In this respect, it is better to have fewer platforms in the market compared to more. To the extent that Linux fragments this market it is therefore a bad thing.

RE: Linux
By FITCamaro on 11/14/2007 4:41:04 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you there. Standardization is good.

Just the previous comment you made that I quoted I didn't view to be try. It's understandable that a phone OS has to differ from a version that runs on a PC. And that applications written for a desktop wouldn't work on a phone.

Between desktop Linux flavors though, yes, applications should work.

RE: Linux
By Tanclearas on 11/14/2007 5:03:54 PM , Rating: 3
"Unifying the [Linux] platform" in the manner you describe is hardly applicable in this case. Android OS will be able to attract more resources in ways that are far less likely/possible with any of the other mobile platforms that exist.

Windows Mobile integrates with Windows (and pretty much only Windows), but requires completely different resources from any used for Windows desktop/server OS.

I don't know a whole lot about Symbian, but I am guessing it requires completely different resources from anything out there.

Apple has apparently done a good job of unifying things for their mobile OS, but they are doing very little to encourage or enable 3rd party development.

The potential for Android is incredible, and I'm guessing developers world-wide are excited about the possibilities. As for getting it to play nice with Windows/Mac/Linux, the Linux community already has extensive experience in making this happen.

RE: Linux
By TomZ on 11/14/2007 5:19:30 PM , Rating: 1
Again, as I said in another post, integration with the desktop OS is not really a big factor with these OSs.

What will drive people to or away from Android is the development experience as well as the size of the available market (e.g., number of devices out there).

So far from what I can tell the development experience probably sucks, especially compared to Windows Mobile, so we'll have to either hope for a large market share, or just people getting sucked into google's "buzz."

RE: Linux
By FITCamaro on 11/14/2007 5:47:18 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know. I installed Eclipse and downloaded the SDK for Android. Seems pretty well built to me. Bout the only thing it needs is a good GUI editor so you don't have to write them all by hand. Just a matter of time before one is released.

RE: Linux
By TomZ on 11/14/2007 7:22:14 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. And in addition to that, I'd say that good GUI designers are pretty few and far between, especially in the Java world.

Contrast that to the same development experience in Visual Studio - design forms, place components on them, hook up event handlers, write a little code. Works for desktop Windows as well as Windows Mobile in the same way.

RE: Linux
By Tanclearas on 11/15/2007 9:01:54 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps you didn't read my post, or follow up on the provided link. Relatively speaking, the market for Nokia's Internet Tablet is minuscule compared to the cell phone market. Despite that, the number of applications available for Nokia's Internet Tablet OS is incredible.

What Google is proposing will definitely have developers excited, and deserves far more "buzz" than anything Microsoft has planned.

RE: Linux
By mondo1234 on 11/14/07, Rating: -1
Pointless articles...
By Connoisseur on 11/14/2007 10:19:29 AM , Rating: 5
I don't understand why a competitor's comments on a yet-to-be-released app are newsworthy. What do we expect MS or Symbian to say? "Boy that Android OS sure blows us out of the water". Of course they're going to downplay it. It could be the greatest thing since buttered toast and they'd still downplay it. Now if these comments are posted just to poke fun of Ballmer later when Android is dominating, that's understandable.

RE: Pointless articles...
By mforce on 11/14/2007 10:33:04 AM , Rating: 2
Couldn't have said it better myself. You don't really expect them to say that they're sh*tting thei pants , now do you ?
A statement from Ballmer : "We know our Windows Mobile is lagging behind Symbian , we have some smartphones build using it but they aren't really going through the roof in sales and this things looks cool , it's build on Linux, free , open source. Yeah , sure we have Windows Mobile 6 that just came out but it's the same boring Windows Mobile just a new version of it." . And then hell froze :).
I bet both MS and Symbian had these statements prepared and just realeased them cause they knew what they were going to say no matter how cool Android would be.
And about downplaying , the best example I can think of was when Intel was using it to say 64 bit is useless for consumers. A bit later on the came and announced EMT 64 which is nothing more than a copy of AMD 64 which was people didn't need , right ? :))
I don't even know why they bother with these things ... Who cares . They're probably scared, both MS and Symbian cause they know this thing is a real danger to the way they do business. Even Nokia which has 48% of Symbian admitted it may one day use Android so we'll see.

RE: Pointless articles...
By CheesePoofs on 11/14/2007 11:05:52 AM , Rating: 1
So then don't read it. It's not like you're obligated to.

Personally, I found the article interesting and slightly amusing.

RE: Pointless articles...
By Hase0 on 11/14/2007 11:55:06 AM , Rating: 4
How do you know if something is worth reading if you dont read it all first. All it takes is one sentence to make a article worth reading. I really hate when people say "WELLZ, dont readsss it gai!!1" it's like punching someone in the face and saying it's their fault for not standing where you punched.

Honestly please come up with rebuttals that doesn't rely on the concept "ignorance is bliss" since it obviously isn't working that well for you.

O BTW FYI i actually enjoyed reading the article, despite some people thinking it not newsworthy

RE: Pointless articles...
By ted61 on 11/14/2007 12:25:56 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that it is a pointless article but I always like some good quotes from Steve.

I could not bring myself to even look at the AMD or whatever box art revealed. Now that is pointless.

Maybe the writers strike has struck Daily tech as well.

RE: Pointless articles...
By aos007 on 11/15/2007 1:41:42 PM , Rating: 2
How do you know if something is worth reading if you dont read it all first.

Exactly! Shouldn't the role of news sources be to FILTER the irrelevant/boring/useless stuff so that readers only get the important stuff? There's too much information out there for any human to be ingesting. Just like in newspapers they probably go through all their feeds and only print stuff they think would be interesting. Now Daily Tech may be more of a "raw feed" than an edited news source but still there should be some basic rules. Really, something like this happens many times a day in all industries and in vast majority of cases the answers are some kind of textbook downplay or perhaps "no comment". If the journalist or analyst or whoever got to ask CEO a question was compelled to ask it, at least the rest of us shouldn't need to read it - unless something unusual was said such as "expect a new announcement from us next week". Or such as Divx CEO comment from today, where it appears he jumped a gun. Now THAT'S new information.

Maybe the problem is that journalists/bloggers feel forced (by editors, work ethic, whatever) to post SOMETHING even when there's nothing be posted that day.

RE: Pointless articles...
By murphyslabrat on 11/14/2007 1:10:09 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. I, literally, just finished watching Pirates of Silicon Valley -- in-class -- and my first thought was, "Huh, he really is like that..."

On that note, I was amazed that they stuck to any facts. It's kinda weird watching a movie or documentary about something you know very well...I really don't recommend it.

Who cares about the article...
By PLaYaHaTeD on 11/14/2007 12:16:38 PM , Rating: 3
...when the clear gem here is the editor's pick for the story's thumbnail. That picture is worth a thousand laughs, and sums up Ballmer perfectly.

RE: Who cares about the article...
By Bioniccrackmonk on 11/14/2007 1:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
Developers, Developers, Developers... :)

RE: Who cares about the article...
By memex on 11/14/2007 3:22:44 PM , Rating: 2
The Android platform is using the same open API strategy as Facebook. Form a community by allowing developers access to the APIs, this openness strategy is bound to push innovation & competition in ways we have yet to see. I know with the prize money now being an incentive something good has to come out of it! All it takes is for one of the US cell carriers to get a surge in customers because of a Google-phone/OS and the others will soon follow.

RE: Who cares about the article...
By TomZ on 11/14/2007 3:27:16 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way in the cell phone market. The big providers basically decide what kinds of phones to offer to customers. Obviously customers will decide which of those models will be more successful than others.

But it's certainly not a grassroots-type super-democratic situation like the Internet/Facebook. The barriers to entry in the cell phone service market are so large as to make it to where there are just a relatively few big players calling all the shots. This is unlike the Internet where anyone can put up a web site/service with little cost of entry.

By InsaneGain on 11/14/2007 1:14:59 PM , Rating: 2
Haha yeah, that thumbnail made me think of an enraged gorilla making an aggressive charge display to scare off intruders and protect it's band. Very fitting for the article.

RE: Who cares about the article...
By mondo1234 on 11/14/2007 7:18:50 PM , Rating: 1
Steve is very insecure about his company. If he were secure, he would say "Well, we'll see"....
Instead, he thinks he can sway the market with an interview. Sorry Steve, you are not William Gates III (but you can play him on TV)

Microsoft is watching them like a hawk.
By bupkus on 11/14/2007 11:01:03 AM , Rating: 4
Ballmer says he is not threatened by Google, but that Microsoft is watching them like a hawk.

Comes as no surprise as MS has a habit of waiting for someone else to innovate and then to copy it.

By Oregonian2 on 11/14/2007 2:53:13 PM , Rating: 2
Just surprised that patent infringement wasn't waved (or maybe it just wasn't reported on).

By FITCamaro on 11/14/2007 4:43:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yes no one else looks at something others have done and tries to copy it....

No new Mobile Devices for me.
By Mitch101 on 11/14/2007 10:31:32 AM , Rating: 4
The biggest drawback for me is that most portable Windows mobile devices are not upgradable or upgradable only 1 os release at most but then quickly abandoned and replaced with a newer device to repeat the cycle again which is very costly.

I have had 3 portable devices like this dating back to Windows CE and my last one was an iPAQ but before I really got into the device Windows Mobile moved to a newer version and my Mobile device was not supported for the newer OS. It had relatively the same power as all the newer devices but wasnt supported. This was very dissapointing because I would be forced to buy a new portable device to use the new OS.

If Mobile Devices worked more like a PC where you could upgrade the OS then I might consider a mobile device again. Otherwise I can live without them.

So if web apps are going to be the way the google devices worth then Microsoft has a lot to learn about future proofing portable devices. I can actually still use my iPAQ if I WiFi into a web based application but I cant use any of the new Microsoft software because the device cant be upgraded.

RE: No new Mobile Devices for me.
By TomZ on 11/14/2007 3:20:43 PM , Rating: 2
While I understand what you're saying, you need to realize that something like Windows Mobile is configured to be very specific to a particular hardware product (phone), and the configuration is subject to a lot of testing before being sold as a product. This type of configuration, integration, and testing requires a decent level of skills and takes quite a bit of time to complete. It's not really a good end-user upgrade.

That's different than for example desktop Windows that is designed to run on nearly any PC.

Because of this, handset manufacturers and mobile service providers tend to focus their development efforts on new products rather than engneering upgrades to "legacy" product. And the market seems to support this, with most users buying a new device every 2-3 years. This replacement rate is pretty close to the rate of new mobile OS releases, coincidentally.

So, I'd say toss and replace your old device, or get used to the idea that it is not really upgradeable like a PC is.

One frightening creature.
By SavagePotato on 11/14/2007 6:23:58 PM , Rating: 2
Someone could probably devote an entire site just to collecting bad Steve Balmer pics.

I especially love the attack of the sweaty fat man pose on this article. What it's totally lacking is a Mohawk, and a great big spear, maybe a great big ring through his nose like a bull. Add in a few shrunken heads of open source programmers on a chain around his neck.

RE: One frightening creature.
By SavagePotato on 11/14/2007 6:45:10 PM , Rating: 2
What happened to GPhone?
By WilsuN on 11/14/2007 2:57:44 PM , Rating: 2
What happened to the GPhone people said they were going to develop? Has that been cancelled or is this OS a step towards it?

(Sorry if this is a redundant question. I havn't been catching up on mobile news...)

RE: What happened to GPhone?
By HighWing on 11/14/2007 5:56:43 PM , Rating: 1
well it was my understanding the the "Gphone" was basically the rumor of what Google was up to. And now they have publically said THIS is what they are up to.

And in my opinion making it an OS rather then a specific phone is setting it up to be an iPhone killer. Because now you can have the same OS across many different style phones. Ones with keyboads, without, etc...

By fzkl on 11/15/2007 1:05:37 AM , Rating: 1
There is a good reason why Microsoft seems to be heading downhill these days - a CEO immature enough to make premature statements about anything his competitors do. I guess the age is showing on the man.

RE: Immaturity
By mondo1234 on 11/15/2007 6:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, did he welcome the Wii to his world also?

By stonemetal on 11/14/2007 9:53:11 PM , Rating: 2
So any word on how long it is going to be in beta? Any word if the openmoko guys are going to use it?

and to all iPhone owners....
By HighWing on 11/14/2007 5:53:55 PM , Rating: 1
I can't help but thinking what things will be like when this comes out and it turns out to be a real big hit.... And what all the iPhone owners locked into 2 year contracts are going to be thinking. especially if At&t does not offer it on any phone...

with the SDK released before the iPhone's this is already poised to be a huge release.

Welcome to Apple's World
By rupaniii on 11/14/2007 9:30:58 PM , Rating: 1
A world where Gadgets are small, lightweight and PERFORM WELL! Android looks like the open source Iphone everyone's been hoping for. Apple's got the nifty patent on slide lock maybe and multitouch, and ok. But, if a windows mobile platform would just work well, which they don't, then, we wouldn't probably be drooling over the Android platform work.
Someone, remove all the shit code from open office and we are good. Opera Mobile would be real nice. Hell, i can create, wait for it, CUSTOM WORKPLACE APPS FOR MOBILE INTERATCION. Oh,and, theres memory space for it to execute too. I can create for win mobile, but, theres never enough of even the limited resources available.

hey steve...
By inperfectdarkness on 11/14/07, Rating: -1
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