“Microsoft starts taking shots at Google’s Android” while speaking at the Australian telecom Telstra’s annual investment day. I don’t believe Ballmer holds any credibility when talking about the mobile market.
As this article points out, “Ballmer said it was Google’s first phone operating system and designing one wasn’t easy. ‘They can hire smart guys, hire a lot of people… but, you know, they start out way behind in a certain sense.’” I think Ballmer is under the impression that in order to build something great, it has to be as complicated as Windows is – which we all know is not the case. Google has a great track record of building very successful simple applications. Has Microsoft been paying any attention?
For companies like Microsoft, it’s hard to see the big picture. This sounds like a funny accusation to make for a company that has their hands in so many different sectors - and has such a big company to begin with that it seems they ARE the big picture. But that is precisely their problem. They’re missing the fact that they are not the big picture. Microsoft does not have the best and only method for producing or marketing an application. Other companies have so much potential to compete with the Microsoft Monster. Microsoft has spread itself so thin across different products and offerings (and even within these products, spread themselves thin across so many different features) that their company really isn’t a very “scary monster” (think cute and fluffy).
Ballmer was wrong about the mobile market just last year in April at the USA Today CEO Forum when he said of the iPhone:
“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get. ”
I don’t want to leave you with the impression that Ballmer is definitely wrong about Android, I just want to assure you that the certainty of his remarks provide no real insight into the future of the situation on the mobile frontier, or the popularity of Google’s new operating system. I get the feeling that Ballmer feels Google is going in the wrong direction simply because they don’t tackle problems the same way as Microsoft. Be assured that just because Google isn’t doing things the Microsoft way, this doesn’t mean they’re doing things the wrong way – in fact, it may very well mean the opposite.