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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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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.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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