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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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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).

http://maemo.org/downloads/


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
quote:
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.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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