Steve Ballmer slams Android

To say that Microsoft has yet to take a big slice of the smartphone market is an understatement. The company released Windows Phone 7 a year ago but smartphones with the OS installed still take up only a few percent of the entire smartphone audience. On the other hand, Google's Android operating system has been highly successful. Since launching in 2008, the OS has gone through three generations, been installed on a ton of phones and tablets and is arguably the most popular of the smartphone operating systems. Google announced its newest version, Android 4.0, a few hours ago.

But if you made that argument to Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer, he would likely laugh in your face. The executive was questioned at the Web 2.0 conference on Tuesday and according to Business Insider when asked about Android-based phones he said, "You don't need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone. I think you do to use an Android phone."

He did admit that the cheapest smartphones that go on sale this year will be ones that run on Android and that Microsoft will "have to do more work" in that area. He also praised another smartphone maker, Apple, saying it's, " ... a good competitor, a different kind of competitor."

But he made it clear that he thought that Microsoft's solution was the best, saying, "The notion of putting your own information front and center...it's not seas of icons and blah blah blah...". He also confirmed that Nokia will be showing off "a bunch of new devices running Windows Phone" sometime next week, presumably at the Nokia World conference in London.

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He didn't slam Android, he said "you don't need to be a scientist to use WP7, but you do to use Android."

I see it as a compliment. Shows that smart people use Android and dumb people use everything else, especially iPhone. lol

Why can't you guys take it? He's not bashing you. Would a CEO vote for and continually praise the competition or would he be loyal to his own. Steve Jobs would have done the same in his own way. Google would also. Not good to get all wired up here.

That's right, just live in your own fantasy world Ballmer and ignore the reality. The same is happening for other Microsoft products which are far disconnected from what its users actually want (Hint: Windows 8 on a PC).

I really dont think Android is hard to use. I think WP7 is rediculously easy though. Its a really nice OS. The thing i seem to love about it is the elegance. Its responsiveness and clean UI hint at an underlying code base that is written from the ground up and implements intelligent modern paradigms. I understand this is just conjecture on my part, it may be substantiated by recent developments by microsofts such as minwin. The biggest problem with Microsoft software in general for the longest time was their refusal to rewrite software from the ground up leading to slow insecure applications, which i think has not been the case lately.

I'll say this, People comparing JB iphones and Rooted androids, can't compare it to wp7 which barely has a homebrew scene... WP7 is a pretty neat mobile os, it just lacks user base IMO, i've used a Android (rooted), iOS JB and WP7, IMO even though iOS "flows", I feel WP7 is more complete as a "whole" if that makes any sense.

As of July 2011, Android device activations were at about 550000 devices per day (as reported by Larry Page in Google's Q2 earnings call) . Based on my own estimates for the past few months (device activations per day for each month of 2011), I'd say the number of Android devices activated this year would be nearing a 100 million right about now.

The United States has a population of 309 million (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html)

Europe has a best guess population of 731 million (Googled)

India has a population of 1,155,347,700 million (Googled)

China has a population of 1,331,460,000 million (Googled)

The point I am trying to make is that the large number of Android devices being activated everyday can directly be attributed to the fact that affordable Android devices are available to so many people around the World, especially in low income countries like India and China. Android wouldn't have these numbers if devices were available only in certain parts of the world. One cannot also forget the fact that Android has a free/open source licensing model (does not mean that fees are not involved, but it is more than likely much lower than say WP7 licensing). This makes it very attractive to a large number of device manufacturers.

Even with the iPhone, while the 4 or 4S are not necessarily the most affordable phones, the previous versions of the phones are cheaper, but I am not sure if they are available in the market for low income consumers to purchase. Carrier support is another thing, but again, I don't have those figures.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Windows Phone 7. There aren't many WP7 devices out there for the low income consumer.

However, when Nokia and ZTE begin to ship devices to markets like India and China, I believe we will begin to see the numbers change for Windows Phone 7. Between India and China, if Microsoft can pump out some low cost WP7 devices to these markets, I am curious as to what the response there would be.

WP7 may not have the numbers at the moment, but it is a great OS. People complain about how the WP7 hardware is old and outdated and low spec and so on, but the reality is that the OS runs brilliantly on them.

Microsoft has come out with a great mobile OS in WP7. They are late to the game, but that does not mean that the whole endeavour is a failure.

Ballmer need not be making comments like this. He/Microsoft has to just be silent and take all the heat from everyone and just be patient and wait. Meanwhile, focus on marketing and make improvements/updates to the OS. Get the word out. Be innovative. Get more device manufacturers on board. Mudslinging is not very becoming of anyone.

To all the WP7 supporters: don't retaliate no matter who says what. Spread the word.
To all the WP7 haters: give the WP7 OS time to mature and for more devices to come out.

In the end, time will tell. That's my take anyway.

So he criticizes iOS for aiming at "unintelligent" people and now he's saying that Android requires you to be a computer scientist. This idiot will do anything to justify how WP7 is the perfect platform. He's a major joke and if I ever met him face to face I'd slap some sense into him.

and why don't you post the video??

I mean obviously it was a joke, just like when he said something about VMware and Salesforce guys at Dell World.

if people don't understand CEOs don't say good things about competition and they make "mean" or whatever called jokes they make about competition... while of course they sell their product.
then oh god. people should go to world; go out of their moms basement like if google or apple or whatever is paying to them, and then see how this world works.

You can see where he's coming from though, it's a feature rich mobile OS, it isn't as easy to use straight out of the box as the others. "Computer scientist" was the wrong thing to say though, OH STEVE.

OH MY GOD!1j1 He like totally just slammed Android!!11 *cry*

Oooo it was such a huge dig at Android. He didn't say that Android is a POS or anything. Grow the **** up already.

The problem with Android is that it's so bloody fragmented. You have to know exactly what you are buying or you're going to get f'ed. There have to be 8 different versions of the OS floating around with no guarantee that updates will be supported by your phone. With WP7, there's only one OS so when you buy a phone you know exactly what you are getting.

WTF Ballmer? Are you going to slam the best source of phone income MS has? Aren't you even aware of MS dealings with Android phones?

Joey S said,
Says the man who's sold 5 WP7 devices total LOL.

haha i laughed, wp7 is decent but it didn't take off like ballmer thought it would.

Joey S said,
Ballmer must be such an embarrassment to Microsoft and its workers. Does he even think before he speaks?

ive said this for years now. bill gates needs to come back.

I love Android, and although Ballmer's statement was a bit of a stretch, he has a point. I've been using an Android phone for a year and a half and sometimes I wonder what I would've done if I didn't have a strong computer background. It doesn't help that companies like Motorola are making glitchy ROMs that will further tarnish Android's background.

"The company released Windows Phone 7 a year ago but smartphones with the OS installed still take up only a few percent of the entire smartphone audience." Not to mention that Windows Mobile 1.0 was released in 2000 while Android 1.0 was released in 2008...

Oh Ballmer, you are an idiot. Wait until if/when your phone because popular to make such statements. I am looking forward to WP7 to actually make more of a presence, but they are SLOW to come out with anything. Get your ass in gear.

And my mom uses an android coming from using plain old cells for years. Never had a problem adapting. My friends grandma has a android...she didnt have a problem. You know, its hard to open up the app drawer, read, and select what you want..../s

Ballrog might be exaggerating (for obvious reasons) but he's not that far from truth.
It's very much like the ageless Windows vs Linux debate. Blondes and moms and can use both soon enough but making Android worth the price requires hell of a tinkering.

I completely agree with Ballmer's statement. Of course it's hyperbole, but he is citing my exact problem with Android.

With Android I need to be cognizant of what the device is running, and how that will affect battery life. You also have to have an understanding of the device beyond, ooh shiny and it makes phone calls.

Anyone using an Android phone who doesn't have a rudimentary background in Computers, aka Windows PC since Win9x owner or linux user is NOT getting the most out of their device.

There is an inherent amount of cognitive friction in all consumer electronics devices, but somehow Microsoft have managed to reduce it in their phone platform in ways that the competition still can't grasp.

Until the competition realize that not everyone who wants or uses a smartphone has even G12 education, the market will reach a point of saturation.

There are a great number of MSR projects working toward bringing technology into the hands of people with 0 formal education. It's lessons learned from these projects which will enhance computing for generations to come.

Other offerings are content to churn out the same old paradigms that are not comprehensible to all levels of education.

When i meet someone who tells me that they "don't get" smartphones, its because the barrier to entry and understanding is quite high. I then tell them to try a Windows Phone.

300+ referrals to my local incumbent wireless provider and counting.....

dotf said,
I completely agree with Ballmer's statement. Of course it's hyperbole, but he is citing my exact problem with Android.

With Android I need to be cognizant of what the device is running, and how that will affect battery life. You also have to have an understanding of the device beyond, ooh shiny and it makes phone calls.

Anyone using an Android phone who doesn't have a rudimentary background in Computers, aka Windows PC since Win9x owner or linux user is NOT getting the most out of their device.

There is an inherent amount of cognitive friction in all consumer electronics devices, but somehow Microsoft have managed to reduce it in their phone platform in ways that the competition still can't grasp.

Until the competition realize that not everyone who wants or uses a smartphone has even G12 education, the market will reach a point of saturation.

There are a great number of MSR projects working toward bringing technology into the hands of people with 0 formal education. It's lessons learned from these projects which will enhance computing for generations to come.

Other offerings are content to churn out the same old paradigms that are not comprehensible to all levels of education.

When i meet someone who tells me that they "don't get" smartphones, its because the barrier to entry and understanding is quite high. I then tell them to try a Windows Phone.

300+ referrals to my local incumbent wireless provider and counting.....

I'm not sure how you don't know this but in the USA at least, but almost everyone has rudimentary knowledge of computers. Unless you really think that people are still writing papers on typewriters or using encyclopedias to do research. I would assume, my opinion here, that anyone that doesn't have a computer probably has no intention of getting a smartphone.

The other thing I disagree with is how you have to have a G12 education to use it. My 13 yo niece has no problems using her iPhone and my 4 and 5 yo sons have no problem using my Droid X(rooted) or my wife's Incredible (stock). Sure the fact that they can't really read prevents them from fully using it, but they have no problem picking a phone up and finding a game to play or making a call in case of emergencies.

Aww, that's so cute. He has to resort to insults to try to gain support for WP7 which has been flopping since release.

Google will of course just ignore this childish remarks, I mean you can't honestly think any grown ups will retaliate to such childish behavior?

UndergroundWire said,
Aww, that's so cute. He has to resort to insults to try to gain support for WP7 which has been flopping since release.

Google will of course just ignore this childish remarks, I mean you can't honestly think any grown ups will retaliate to such childish behavior?


You should take it as a compliment. He called you and other Android users, computer scientists!

FMH said,

You should take it as a compliment. He called you and other Android users, computer scientists!

haha, true true...but I would hardly call myself that.

UndergroundWire said,
Aww, that's so cute. He has to resort to insults to try to gain support for WP7 which has been flopping since release.

Google will of course just ignore this childish remarks, I mean you can't honestly think any grown ups will retaliate to such childish behavior?

Flopping since release almost identically to Android?
"Research company Canalys estimated in Q2 2009 that Android had a 2.8% share of worldwide smartphone shipments."

"The HTC Dream (also marketed as the T-Mobile G1 in the US and parts of Europe and as the Era G1 in Poland) was released in the US on 22 October 2008."

To clarify, from Q3 2008 to the end of Q2 2009 android had 2.8% market share. Sounds familiar.

+Shadrack said "They have 2-7%... I don't see that as a "big slice of the smartphone market" hence it is an overstatement."

FMH said,

You should take it as a compliment. He called you and other Android users, computer scientists!

I actually am . Which is why I'm smart enough to pick the right operating system for me.

Invizibleyez said,
BLAH, BLAH. HISTORY Can Repeat itself.

That's all I got out of your little rant. Will give it two years then? Will see how it does. Is that cool with you champ?

I actually see his point. A friend recently deleted her camera app from her HTC Incredible 2. Gone from the homescreen, gone from the app list, but still visible under the manage applications screen. No way to fix it other than root and reinstall or reset the phone completely back to factory.

He also brings up a good point about an endless sea of icons. My Evo is a mess with factory installed applications that I'll never use. "blockbuster movie pass???" My HD2 (modded to run Windows Phone 7) is one of the fastest and nicest phones i've ever used. Beyond simple and superior to this android mess I carry around. My next phone won't be an Android based device.

So your friend removed the camera app and it's the fault of the OS? That's a lame excuse no matter what OS you're on. About the endless sea of icons... I've never met anyone using iOS or Android that leaves their home screen stock. If you don't know how to move icons around, shouldn't be using a smartphone.

To say that Microsoft has yet to take a big slice of the smartphone market is an understatement.

Don't you mean overstatement?

FMH said,
No, understatement makes more sense to me.

They have 2-7%... I don't see that as a "big slice of the smartphone market" hence it is an overstatement.

ir0nw0lf said,
So, based on what Steve said, I conclude that sweaty, monkey-dancing CEO's are too dumb to use Android...

Android isn't much of a different concept that Windows Mobile was. It is "Ice Cream Sandwich" that will change this.

Wasn't computer scientist a term that was applied to pretty much anyone who used a computer in the early days of computing?
If so then Ballmer is suggesting we are looking at the same potential pattern?

It is true, I love Metro UI. It puts the most important information right there. My iPhone friends/and Android friends had a sea of icons, which makes for a terrible UI (android much less so since you can customize it). But the iPhone UI is ****, and it's so stale. It's not 2007 anymore.

I saw an elderly couple just the other day in my work texting and calling on a pair of basic Android handsets and they seemed to be doing just fine. If they can use Android I've got faith that most others can as well.

Hollow.Droid said,
I saw an elderly couple just the other day in my work texting and calling on a pair of basic Android handsets and they seemed to be doing just fine. If they can use Android I've got faith that most others can as well.

You're missing the point maybe they used to major in computer science. You don't know /s

Hollow.Droid said,
I saw an elderly couple just the other day in my work texting and calling on a pair of basic Android handsets and they seemed to be doing just fine. If they can use Android I've got faith that most others can as well.
The manufacturer probably made the UI for old people.... lol

I might get a samsung or nokia... Am waiting to get my phone january. I hope by then i'll have more choice to choose from.

"You don't need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone. I think you do to use an Android phone."

Why use such hyperbole when it's apparent he's wrong? A 10 year old can use one. At least some claims like "Fastest phone yet" can be debated, but that's just flat out wrong.

Northgrove said,
"You don't need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone. I think you do to use an Android phone."

Why use such hyperbole when it's apparent he's wrong? A 10 year old can use one. At least some claims like "Fastest phone yet" can be debated, but that's just flat out wrong.


He is having fun, wouldn't you if you were a CEO of a Cellphone OS maker and some reporter ask you these questions?

Chicane-UK said,
If you can't beat em, slag em off in public.. that's the Ballmer way unfortunately!

Because Google executives are totally different. /s

The Stark said,

Because Google executives are totally different. /s


I actually haven't seen a Google excutive go off like Jobs and Ballmer. Seriously, please post a link so I can know Google does it as well (and I'm serious, not being a fanboy or anything)

htcz said,

I actually haven't seen a Google excutive go off like Jobs and Ballmer. Seriously, please post a link so I can know Google does it as well (and I'm serious, not being a fanboy or anything)

“There's this thing that's happening right now in user interface design that I find kind of shackling. The faux wood paneling trend, and the airport lavatory signage trend.” He laughs when he says this and pulls up a slide on his computer, a split screen of an Atari 2600 and… airport lavatory signage. It's an obvious dig at both Apple and Microsoft.

http://thisismynext.com/2011/1...ream-sandwich-galaxy-nexus/

Chicane-UK said,
If you can't beat em, slag em off in public.. that's the Ballmer way unfortunately!

Hey - I didn't say that Google and the others aren't as bad at this. And of course we all know about how Apple likes to push BS. But I just meant that Ballmer is pretty notorious for it!

No fanboyism here.. I'm really agnostic about platforms / OS's / etc... in fact I fancy a Windows 7 phone next, to replace my Android one!

giga said,

“There's this thing that's happening right now in user interface design that I find kind of shackling. The faux wood paneling trend, and the airport lavatory signage trend.” He laughs when he says this and pulls up a slide on his computer, a split screen of an Atari 2600 and… airport lavatory signage. It's an obvious dig at both Apple and Microsoft.

http://thisismynext.com/2011/1...ream-sandwich-galaxy-nexus/


First, its a HUGE article.
Second, this is acutally a guy that works on the user interface. Ballmer and Jobs do absolutly NOTHING.
Third, it could be a dig at both Apple and Microsoft but maybe at Android's own (third party non Google) apps as well.

This guy is NOT a Google executive . So my point still stands

Computer Scientist? Ah of course, that is why at this moment in time Android enjoys a predominate share of the Mobile OS Market while Windows Phone 7 has yet to make a major impact.

thechronic said,
Computer Scientist? Ah of course, that is why at this moment in time Android enjoys a predominate share of the Mobile OS Market while Windows Phone 7 has yet to make a major impact.

Maybe WP7 is for complete idiots. I would agree that under 6% of people globally could be complete idiots

UndergroundWire said,

Maybe WP7 is for complete idiots. I would agree that under 6% of people globally could be complete idiots

nope those the 6% of people who don't like to waste their time and pick something that actually works unlike the laggyDroid even with dual Core Processor lol

lol WTF. My MOM uses an Android phone and she is as far from a "computer scientist" as you can get.

Good job Ballmer.

Lexcyn said,
lol WTF. My MOM uses an Android phone and she is as far from a "computer scientist" as you can get.

Good job Ballmer.


My parents also use one, and they are as computer literate as you can get. But then again, this is coming from the guy who predicated that the iPhone and Android would not succeed. LOL.

Lexcyn said,
lol WTF. My MOM uses an Android phone and she is as far from a "computer scientist" as you can get.

Good job Ballmer.


Yeah. Why is he bitching all around? MS has great deals with Android, so he should be supporting it not slamming it.

SirEvan said,
lulwut? Sweet I suppose I can add "Computer Scientist" to my resume, since I have no issues with android phones.

I guess 550k people also can do the same thing everyday...

SirEvan said,
lulwut? Sweet I suppose I can add "Computer Scientist" to my resume, since I have no issues with android phones.

Well we can't expect Ballmer to make logical statements now can we What he fails to realise is that people actually like to use their phone despite Microsoft's best effort to convince us otherwise with their "glance and go" nonsense.

Ballmer and Microsoft have lost touch with technology, innovation, and consumers these days.

Joey S said,

Well we can't expect Ballmer to make logical statements now can we What he fails to realise is that people actually like to use their phone despite Microsoft's best effort to convince us otherwise with their "glance and go" nonsense.

Ballmer and Microsoft have lost touch with technology, innovation, and consumers these days.


What you don't realize is that when change comes around people will try to repel it until it becomes mainstream. It's that repelling brick wall that Microsoft needs to break down. Microsoft has a lot of work to do to break down that wall. People have a hard time accepting change. Change is what moves us forward into the future.

M_Lyons10 said,
Cool. I really can't wait to see where Windows Phone goes. It's easily the best OS I've ever had on a smartphone.

One of the best I can agree but to call it as best ever on a smartphone...

trollonknoll said,

One of the best I can agree but to call it as best ever...

I've used iOS, Android, WinMo, and WP7... Out of those, it's easily my favorite. It's a personal preference I suppose.

M_Lyons10 said,
Cool. I really can't wait to see where Windows Phone goes. It's easily the best OS I've ever had on a smartphone.

It seems you're alone in that opinion if the sales numbers are anything to go by.

Joey S said,

It seems you're alone in that opinion if the sales numbers are anything to go by.

Sales will increase. Just let the first batch of Nokia and second batch of others slip in the market and then we'll see.

Muhammad Farrukh said,

Sales will increase. Just let the first batch of Nokia and second batch of others slip in the market and then we'll see.

MS employed posters please buzz off...

Joey S said,

It seems you're alone in that opinion if the sales numbers are anything to go by.

Actually you are left out here. Because I can't wait to see what WP7 will bring.

Joey S said,

It seems you're alone in that opinion if the sales numbers are anything to go by.

So WP7 has sold 1 unit world wide is what your saying?

I for 1 am with the WP7 wagon... By far the best OS i have seen in awhile... The integration built into the phone is great

Borix said,

MS employed posters please buzz off...


so because he replayed with something you don't agree with he became ms employee
rofl

trollonknoll said,

One of the best I can agree but to call it as best ever on a smartphone...

First off, he said it was the best OS on a smartphone he has ever had. He specifically said "I've" and in referring to himself.

Typical fanboi....can't read or understand context at all.
Read what is there.