back to article Ballmer: Microsoft will power the mobile revolution

Steve Ballmer believes that Microsoft is the only company with "the wherewithal" to dominate the world of mobile computing. Appearing at CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment, a massive mobile tradeshow underway in downtown San Francisco, the Microsoft supremo told show goers that the company has the upper-hand on the likes of …


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  1. Abdul Omar
    Thumb Up

    Microsoft bang on again

    I quite agree with Mr Ballmer.

    I rely on a Psion 5MX for computing on the move.


    Because there is nothing as small, as usable and as productive. It even has an automatonic product manager.

    Only a company with the strength of Microsoft could better it. Many have tried and failed.

    Once Microsoft gets serious and makes a commitment to building hardware, it dominates the market in quality and innovation. Think Xbox. Think Zune. Think Microsoft Keyboards.

    I'm willing to bet Microsoft's Mobile Platform will have a usable keyboard and a touchscreen and a handy little stick.

    Go for it Mr Ballmer sir.

    I for one will be lining up all night to buy the first available one.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Sure, Steve

    Yeah, and Redmond, Washington is at the center of the universe, too, i'nn't, Steve?

    Off yer meds, again?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Hey Ball-mer!

    "Should someone tell him that Apple has opened up the iPhone?"


    Ball-mer, Apple has opened up the iPhone

    Oh and dude - Apple has close to 20% of the laptop market in the US.

    Put the chair down!

  4. LaeMi Qian

    The people that bought the world...

    ...the ingrained public perception that viruses, shoddy code, crashes, lost data, high prices, poor performance, etc. are 'normal' for computing devices are now setting up to bring the same into the mobile devices space.

    I can't wait!!

  5. Fozzy
    Jobs Horns


    I really want to know what drugs this guy is freebasing before he goes out on stage even Keith Richards would have to be waving this guy off "No man that's too hard core for me"

  6. Tim Bates

    What a talented man...

    He can dance, sing (well, chanting is sort of singing), throw things... And now he's really fine tuning the skill or talking out of his arse.

    Ballmer should just shut up once in a while. He's just making himself and his company look dumb.

  7. frank denton

    Glossary please

    Sometimes I wish there was a glossary at the end of articles.

    I'll assume that by 'automatonic' that the author mean 'animatronic' as a description of the hapless 'product manager' who was there to do the things that Ballmer found beneath him (or more likely couldn't do very well in front of an audience).

    I don't know what a 'life persona' is. Can anyone tell me? (and should i get one?).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    "Consumers will want phones that span all of their life personas."

    No,Mr Ballmer, what I want is a phone that I use for work, and when I'm not a work its turned off. I don't need a phone for work that takes photos, plays MP3s, has a radio and a built in can opener.

    I also want a phone that is my "personal" phone which.... oddly enough enables me to make phone calls... it doesn't have to do anything fancy because it gets carried with me everywhere and gets dropped etc.

    Having two completely separate phones mean that the morons at work can't phone me when I'm not working and I'm not tempted to do work when I'm not supposed to me.

    But then again, unlike Mr Ballmer, I actually have a life.....

  9. Ian Ferguson

    I'm enthralled!

    Ooh sexy... data sharing and VPN access on a mobile!! That's going to set the public's collective pants on fire, much more than this touchscreen / WiFi / video / widescreen / YouTube bollocks.

  10. Chad H.
    Thumb Down

    @Abdul Omar

    You'd think that, but you'd be wrong. Windows mobile devices have more bugs than your average termite mound. Heck, the biggest and most noticable problem is they cant even reliably draw the basic thinkgs on the screen properly (on my Vario, I was constantly having to push Screen-on screen-off in order for the start button to be pressable), and that isnt the only problem.

    Thank Goodness Microsoft dont make the back end of mobile networks, otherwise we'd never be able to make calls.

  11. Tim Hale
    Jobs Horns


    They've been trying this for years. They've been failing at it for years.

    I can't even take this clown seriously. Getting me to go back to a Microsoft device is possible but I'll want to see at least two generations of proven working-as-expected, no more having to hard reset just because it doesn't feel like syncing any more or completly losing the plot on it's bluetooth module or soft resetting because it's ground to a halt. No more duplicating all my PIM data because I had to reinstall *&%$! Windows again and had to set up a new partnership.

    Good luck Ball-mer, you're going to need it. You gimp.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    still playing catch up

    Great ... in at months SCMDM and Windows Mobile will be where RIM was 3 years ago

  13. Matt Bucknall

    You have got to be kidding me!

    Not so long ago I got a phone running Windows Mobile, figuring, it can't be THAT bad!?.... It is absolutely the worse phone I have ever had, to the point where I can't even comprehend how a company could think it was acceptable to deploy.

    I really hope Microsoft crash and burn in this mobile market, not so much because I dislike them, it's just a case of not wanting the market swamped with shit phones!

  14. Smell My Finger

    He might have a point

    Despite the vile caricature of Microsoft ("viruses, shoddy code, crashes, lost data") that lapse into dishonest clichés, Ballmer does have a point. To put it another way BlackBerry would be hugely criticised if it was a Microsoft product; it is massively proprietary, BES server is mediocre and the handsets are just pathetic. The difference in software from an ancient 7290 to a Pearl or 8820 is marginal at best. It is absolutely ripe for plundering by Microsoft, Windows Mobile is much more attractive and the BlackBerry OS, they have messaging integration across telephony, email and IM and all they need is a BES type product for the final step. They have a much bigger to hurdle to climb with the networks as BlackBerry is so deeply embedded even though it's not particularly good. I don't know whether the mobile networks would be that happy about offering another messaging product.

    The basic problem is that BlackBerry is parasitic from Microsoft's point of view. I think it's a reasonable bet most BES servers are just giving access to Exchange-based email (mine do) so from Microsoft's perspective that's money they should be earning. It must be a bit galling to be losing money to what's nothing more than a facilitator to their own product.

    I'm not sure whether going after a consumer product like the iPhone is a particularly good idea. Microsoft must know as well as anyone through the Zune and the XBox you lose millions on these products before they gain traction, if indeed they ever do.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    ... not bad for someone working for a convicted predatory US monopolist...

    ... that has a proven track record for a complete and contemptuous disregard for the law in most countries across the world!

    > "Consumers will want phones that span all of their life personas."

    Yes, but they will also want phones that WORK... so that kicks Microsoft's products off the stage, doesn't it?

    Oh, and re the first comment on this thread, from Abdul... "Microsoft bang on again"... I take it that the phrase "bang on" is being used as a verb, in the sense of "to bang on" = "to drone on and on without actually saying anything useful"?

    Abdul, your wit is so dry that after checking to make sure that you were taking the piss, I had to go and drink a glass of water! You need to write for El Reg!

  16. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Good idea

    Replacing phone keypad with Ctrl, Alt and Del, what?

  17. P Saunders

    A virus in every pocket...

    ...and across the desktop and throughout the server room.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One wonders...

    I might be the only person here with this point of view, but I will have a go at it anyways -

    Having Microsoft in everything we own is not something I look forward to with joy, or for that matter any company. I live in Denmark, and we can get our cable TV via a solution called TDC TV (IPTV via ADSL). Probably a somewhat okay solution. Software done by Microsoft. Then of course, I could get my music player - done by Microsoft. If I wanted to play games, then again that would be done by Microsoft. If I wanted to watch movies in high def, that would be Microsoft. As this point I think everybody can see what I mean by this. I for one actually like the idea of competition, and for that reason I am very glad that I am living in the EU, because they seem to be about the only institution with enough ball to actually stand up to Microsoft when they do break the law.

    Elsewhere, it just seems as it is okay for Microsoft to want the role of world domination, but when some other company tries exactly the same tactic, everybody cries. We should not cry when some other company tries the same tactic as Microsoft, we should instead when anybody, including Microsoft itself, tries those tactics.

  19. JC

    Why oh why?

    Why do people...

    A) Allow this guy to work, even for free.

    B) Give him the impression they're listening while he speaks

    C) Not just lock him out of the building.

    D) Like to watch monkeys

    E) Report on what monkey does, as if we haven't seen one before.

    F) Not just put a chair in front of Steve and see his natural compulsion to throw it like a Pavlov dog reaction. If nothing else he has entertainment value once in a while.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Given their track record and current position it's unlikely they will have the Office market in 5 years, let alone the mobile platform. Even Windows looks iffy in the 10-15 year timescale too now after Vista's flop.

  21. Nicholas Shaw
    Jobs Horns

    Accenture & Microsoft are innovative

    I know it is not directly related but it was fascinating. I was at the IoD to listen to how business can do business with the 2012 Olympics in London. The COO was asked 'is it worth small businesses with innovative products applying to do business with the 2012 Olympics?'.

    His reply: 'Of course it is, let me give you an example of our innovative thinking. When we went to market for the ERP solution, we all thought SAP would win. However the contract went to ........ Accenture for their innovative ERP proposal, using Microsoft software.

    We chose it because it matched our existing software and so would be easy to understand and it was the cheapest solution'.

    So lots of innovation there then, nothing like living your slogan of 'the everyman olympics'

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dipping mobiles into the same polluted Windows Desktop well

    "Replacing phone keypad with Ctrl, Alt and Del, what?"

    Well said sir. As a developer working with Windows Mobile 5 I find it totally unacceptable that you should have to reboot the damned thing depending on software you install on it. Reliability: the thing likes to crash a lot too meaning you have to get a pin/stylus to poke the hard reset button when the main button is no longer responding. One third of the time you get an exception on startup accompanied by the message 'Would you like to send this report to Microsoft'? because some power manager daemon has decided to shit itself.

    Ok, so we're all fed up of our desktop experience being poor, but we all hoped that a mobile device would not succumb to the same... too late.

  23. sleepy

    Just a reminder . . .

    that the Windows Mobile platform is in a loss-making distant third place behind Symbian and Linux based smart phones. Any success it has is provided by the Windows/Office monopoly either financially or technically.

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