back to article Ballmer: 'Google not a major mobile competitor'

Steve Ballmer has publicly belittled Google's fledgling mobile phone platform, saying the world's largest search engine ad broker is low on Microsoft's list of mobile competitors. At an investor briefing in Sydney today, Microsoft's chief exec said Google would not have an easy time convincing handset manufacturers to adopt …


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  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Well said Cade

    If the internet is all about websites and not about browsers then who gives a toss whether it's Windows, Apple or Linux as long as it's still googlemaps, googlemail and the rest of the googleverts? Personally I think they're all shit but I'm in a very small minority.

    Where's the Max Headroom icon?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No serious eh?

    Well the fact that Steve's talking about it probably means that they are taking it seriously in some measure.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    "I don't really understand their strategy"

    That is why you fail.

    I'd like to see the Android take off and dominate just for another chance to hear about Ballmer throwing chairs.

  4. Charles Manning

    Show me the Windows Mobile money

    For my sins, I have been involved in Windows CE OS-level development since WinCE 1 days (approx 1997 or so) before WinCE ran on ARM and was viable for cell phones etc.

    Perhaps Windows CE and Windows Mobile are now making some money for MS, but if so that's a recent phenomenon. WinCE has cost MS a lot more money than they've made out of it.

    So Ballmer, go look in the mirror!

  5. David Kelly

    Monkey Boy

    Ballmer doesn't understand any business other than a rip-you-off monopoly.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Steve "Crystal" Ballmer in the house!

    "There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

    Seems that Bill taught Steve everything he knew about predicting the future...

    Mine's the one with more than 640k of RAM in the pocket.

  7. P. Lee

    Direct sales isn't the only way of measuring success

    Sometimes its about brand awareness and stopping your competitors from winning. The two major cola companies pump millions into advertising too keep their brand at the top despite competition from store-brand colas.

    WindowsCE is not windows xp/vista as we know it, but MS has a "windows everywhere" strategy which tries to make "windows" synonymous with computers/gadgets. MS has to keep the brand and logos in front of people to prevent others from edging MS out of the market and confining it to desktop business PCs only. As the IPhone demonstrates, once you aren't locked into windows apps, people are happy to pass on the windows os.

    For Google, its about keeping the non-ms market alive, preventing windows lock-in and allowing apps to be moved from an ms-only platform to the web. Those apps are then easily accessible from PCs which breaks the windows-only dependency of pc applications and offers a way to leverage Google's strengths - scalability, global access and reliability to gain entry to corporate services and therefore corporate cash.

    Android isn't about making cash, its about promoting the internet in general over windows in particular.

    Tux, 'cos he's cool!

  8. EmperorFromage
    Gates Horns

    Android trounces windows mobile

    After 1 week of using the G1 I have almost been sold. I did expect it to be an half baked attempt at an iPhone killer. But it seems that what has happened is that Google set aim for the iPhone, missed woefully on that target, but hit windows mobile right between the eyes instead. As a phone, it completely trounces windows mobile (except if you have an absolute need to talk with MS exchange)

    Fear is what I hear in Ballmers voice.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Zune rings a bell

    "They've got some smart guys and hire a lot of people — blah-di-blah-di-blah," Ballmer said of his rival. "They start out way behind in a certain sense, and we'll see how they do."

    Could say the same about Zune, search, virtualisation.

    Mr. Ballmer is such an arrogant b*stard. I think we can see MS sliding into oblivion under his reign.

    This from a satisfaction report from JD Powers:

    the major makers sitting below the average were those who use Windows Mobile heavily or exclusively for their smartphones, such as HTC and Motorola.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why is it that everyone seems to think its a good idea for the mobile sector to be dominated by just one company? If one company "Wins", in the end, its the end users who lose.

    It's at least twice as annoying when people who do this then proceed to slag Microsoft off as a monopoly. "DURHUR I'M HAPPY WITH A MONOPOLY SO LONG AS IT ISN'T MS!"

  11. adnim

    New kid on the block

    "Steve Ballmer has publicly belittled Google's fledgling mobile phone platform, saying the world's largest search engine ad broker is low on Microsoft's list of mobile competitors."

    Yup low on a list where once it did not even exist. If Ballmer did not see the Google platform as any kind of threat, it would not even make that list. And as skelband noted he wouldn't be talking it down, he wouldn't be talking about it at all.

  12. Jeremy
    Paris Hilton

    M$ stock price must fall every time this guy opens his mouth...

    "'Hey, we just launched a new product that has no revenue model — yeah, cheer for me,' I'm not sure my investors would take that very well, but that's what Google's telling their investors about Android,""

    No, that's not what Google is telling their investors... Its all about Android Market and the ecosystem that it no doubt will become. Ballmer completely fails to see the bigger picture.

    "If somebody thinks the formula is you give away your operating system to get search (usage), the operators are much too smart; they'll know they can still ask to be paid to carry your service."

    Ballmer is about a thousand yards wide of the mark... again. Google wont need to pay operators to "carry" its marketplace. Ballmers comments are clearly illustrative of an individual who simply does not understand in any way shape or form any business model or marketplace where the operating system itself (Microsoft's cash cow and cocaine like addiction) is not your source of income. Ballmer is a dinosaur who can't get his head around any strategy that does not sound like, "How will this sell more copies of Windows ?"

    "Google doesn't exactly bubble to the top of the list of the toughest competitors we've got going in mobile,"

    Microsoft isn't a competitor in Mobile. It potentially loses half the market by default simply because it doesn't even have an operating system that runs on ARM processors. And in this market, most of its competitors are open source. Furthermore, Microsoft simply does not exist in the kind of market that Google aims to both foster and capture revenues from. Ballmer and the prevailing culture within Microsoft is not in touch with where markets and sources of revenue are moving, and I don't believe this corporation is really going to change any time soon. The day is coming when the value of Microsoft shares will be reported in terms of cents rather than dollars.

    Paris, because she doesn't get it either.

  13. Steve
    Thumb Up

    The Balltard does it again!

    He is worse than Palin!

    He doesn't get it, it's about opening up mobile platforms, Google will offer a more open platform and force others to join the party, we have seen this before.

    As for them being a late comer, so were MS and so were Apple but look around, MS has the business crowd mainly due to support for their proprietary protocols, and Apple got a lift from their cult members.

    Google will get a lift from their cool apps and simple way of doing things, I'm waiting for a decent Android phone, HTC make those awful MS mobiles after all.

    Watch out Balltard, if you don't get it, you wont get any.

  14. RichyS
    Paris Hilton


    "Hey, we just launched a new product that has no revenue model — yeah, cheer for me,' I'm not sure my investors would take that very well"

    You know what your investors won't take very well Steve? You being so bloody delusional.

    Surely he can't believe half of what he says. But by saying it, he's making himself look stupid. If I was an investor, I'd be really worried if MS actually didn't view Google as a competitor in mobile. So why say it?


    Paris, 'cos she's an interesting (revenue) model.

  15. Jussi Heinonen

    Get the party started

    "And with so many platforms already fighting for market share, you have to wonder if Google is much too late to the party"

    I see the party not yet even started. I'm not a developer but working closely with this bunch of freaks and for years I've followed how it has given a lot of headache for developers in mobile space to produce applications on various platforms with aim to provide same user experience on different handsets.

    Making the alreay messy situation messier by introducing another mobile platform is not too late at all.

    In 10 years time, when we (hopefully) have less platform-specific applications and more cross-platform compatible web services (like pointed out by Charlie Clark in earlier comments) the importance of the platform is getting less.

    Smaller players will die, merge or be eaten by the bigger players, leaving the strongest survivors on the market to continue the endless power-struggle.

    Join the party now when mobile market is getting mature and play your cards right and in 10 years time you may well be one of the survivors.

  16. Grozbat

    Android's unique advantage?

    Andoid could be uniquely placed to succeed. It offers a standard platform for third party apps, unlike J2ME Java or Linux Mobile which are balkanized by implementation differences.

    Also, all Android third party apps run in a memory-protected Java sandbox, unlike other platforms such as Windows, Symbian, iPhone and Blackberry, which all allow native apps. This could be crucial, because users are likely to be less tolerant of their mobile phone crashing than they are of their PC crashing.

  17. go


    Personally I have to say I sit in the middle on this one. Whilst some of Steve's arguments are vaugely viable I can see that he's being very short sighted.

    I don't think Googles attempts with Android are to get more people to "search" through google at all really, as pointed out I think it's about creating brand awareness but also putting something out there which ultimatley will probably be developed into a very powerful OS and like it or not knock WM. However I do have reservations, blackberry for example (in my experience looking after messaging for a large company) have an excellent platform, it's not perfect but in terms of handset stability, predictability and backend reliability it's pretty good. YES before anyone says anything I know we've seen the relay fall over a few times but actually those times are fairly limited compared with the number of times our mobile telco has randomly dropped data in our area and uptime is certainly more than our active sync users.

    Is it the iPhone? Nope,, certainly not, if it had blackberry connect would it be more attractive to enterprise? - yes probably, but I'm not so sure it will compete with blackberry handsets and software, 4.5 for the 83xx series for example wraps up a lot of previous issues and whilst RIM have generally failed to do anything groundbreaking the storm is a sign of things to come...

    It's a shame that Microsoft can't get Windows Mobile right, quite why they believe that medium/ent's want a bunch of devices they can't control and have no visability of hanging off the end of their network is beyond me, releasing an expesnive and poorly supported (in the handset market) BES equivilant (System Centre Mobile DM) is frankly just poor, they should have had this wrapped up a long time ago if they wanted to compete.

    Personally I can see windows mobile lasting on devices, not sure if those devices will be phones and then I think that's where Google can step up the game a little, or a very creative business can step in and develop a paid version of Android that picks up where windows mobile left off.

    The trouble with Microsoft it seems is that they are very polarised, some things they do are far too whacky and people fail to see where they fit in, and some things they do are so far in the past that people laugh but still go out and buy the stuff anyway, just because it's easier not to push the limits of what you are trying to do. Characters like Stevie boy don't really help their cause, but it does get them media exposure.

  18. Mark

    re: Odd

    What's even odder is that MS are not a monopoly because you can buy Mac, yet Google ARE a monopoly because there's no point going for Yahoo!.

    Or people like you, only concerned about monopoly badness when it's not MS.

    THAT'S Odd!

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