We're just over two weeks away from retail availability of Windows Phone 7 devices in Europe and Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, has begun putting his unique stamp on the launch.
Speaking at the UK Tech Days event today in London, Ballmer slammed Google's Android phone software. "Unlike Google, if you write an app for Windows Phone 7, it will work on all Windows phones" said Ballmer. The Microsoft boss was also quick to admit that Windows Mobile wasn't perfect. "We got ourselves in to a little bit of a pickle with phones, but now we're on track" he said.
This isn't the first time that Ballmer has spoken ill of Android or Google. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, the Microsoft chief claimed that Android wasn't free and contained hidden patent fees that the software giant is attempting to squeeze out of Motorola. Ballmer also claimed that Google are copying Bing in a recent Seattle Times interview.
Despite the cheeky comment, Ballmer has a point. The longest running complaint about Google's Android OS is fragmentation. With an accelerated development roadmap, carriers are finding it harder and harder to keep up with offering the latest version of Android on their devices. Usually, smartphone users have to wait a few months after Google releases the latest version of Android before their phone's manufacturer can get the update ready for their devices. This fragmentation means you can't always be sure you will get the same device experience from a HTC Android device versus a Motorola device. Microsoft struggled with fragmentation on its Windows Mobile range of devices, sometimes offering too much choice and customization for device manufacturers comes round to bite you. It's possible that Android may end up in a similar situation if Google doesn't address this quickly.
Aside from the Android bashing, Ballmer also confirmed that Windows Phone 7 devices will be available in the UK in two weeks. Neowin exclusively revealed that Microsoft plans to introduce Windows Phone 7 devices on a range of mobile operators in the UK on October 21. Microsoft is planning to partner with a big London based radio station in the UK to promote Windows Phone 7. Orange, a long time Windows Mobile partner of Microsoft's, is also expected to be a close launch partner for Windows Phone 7.
Image Credit: Adam Bonner (@abonneruk)