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back to article Office online and Windows Mobile: Ballmer's last laugh

It wasn't the glazed expression or the tired nod. It was the dismissive laugh that characterized how Steve Ballmer and Microsoft failed to fully comprehend the iPhone. "$500, subsidized with a plan!" That was the reaction of Microsoft chief executive to the unveiling of the iPhone by Apple wunderkind and control freak Steve Jobs …

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Gates Horns

Windows Mobile

"Microsoft lost market share, and now, it's pulling in every man Jack to work on Windows Mobile 6.5 and 7.0."

They. just. don't. get. it.

Do they?

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Alien

Is it just me...

... or is Steve Ballmer really Max Headroom in middle age?

Aliens, because Max Headroom should look much older these days.

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FAIL

ms web aps

Its funny, i recently was forced to start using MS outlook exchange via web access light. Can you believe this gem of an email ap doesn't even contain a spell check? Online office? ..hehehe, stop it...

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Alert

The calm before the storm

Something is brewing up....

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Megaphone

Speak up Gavin!

I can barely hear you

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Linux

I hate this think of a title game, I'm taking my ball and going home..

Think we're missing the point here slightly, the question isn't that Microsoft lost share, it's that Apple carved out a new section of the smartphone market and old school phone makes like Nokia lost out.

Microsoft probably lost a few people but look at the areas where apple simply can't get into because IT policy won't allow. Microsoft is still going strong.

And it's not as if Apple have even the guy on the street tech gadet market locked up, the likes of HTC and Acer are doing huge numbers in sales on Microsoft-based products, because if nothing else, they have a superior product.

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Stop

Clever marketing

There is nothing special about the iPhone, in relation to it's competitiors is there?! The trick which Apple pulled off with the iPod?

Nothing else matters other than making this thing, the "must-have" gadget of the moment. That's it! Nothing more complex than that!

Without iPhone, most people would have happily plumped for some £75 Nokia with basic facilities, but sell something simple, but fun with plenty of marketing pizzaz, tell everyone that they're a complete zero without out this supersonic-hydromatic gadget, before you know it the damn things are flying out of the shops with £35/month tariffs, before you can say "Uncle Steve is shrewed businessman"!

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FAIL

@AC 12:29

"Without iPhone, most people would have happily plumped for some £75 Nokia with basic facilities"

Sure, everyone was happy to phone the TFL help line to find out when their train was leaving because they didn't have a decent app to look times up.

Everyone was happy to browse crappy WAP sites instead of a having a proper browser on their phone.

Everyone was happy to carry around a DS/PSP because the java games on their phones were pretty lame.

Everyone was happy to listen to a whole voice message twice over because they missed the number someone gave at the end.

Everyone used map books or portable satnavs to find their way around an unfamiliar area.

I could go on and on.

Either you're completely stupid or have your head in the sand. Apple have raised the smart phone market to a whole new level and Microsoft have been left in the dust.

PS. I don't own an iPhone

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @AC 12:29

>Sure, everyone was happy to phone the TFL help line to find out when their train was leaving because they didn't have a decent app to look times up.

Actually the helpline is more accurate than the clusterfuck of a website and the iPhone app doesn't seem to be any better. My mate looked up the last train from his place on his iPhone - I rang the helpline. They disagreed over the times by about an hour. The helpline was correct.

I'm not sure everyone's life is miserable because they're on one side of your list and not the other. Just saying, like.

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FAIL

Bah.

"And it's not as if Apple have even the guy on the street tech gadet market locked up, the likes of HTC and Acer are doing huge numbers in sales on Microsoft-based products, because if nothing else, they have a superior product."

Cobblers. It's not about having a superior or inferior product as a phone. They're doing it because the businesses that are buying the phones in bulk have an existing investment in MS based architecure i.e. Exchange and MS based expertise i.e. All those MCSE's who can't cope with anything that doesn't have the words 'group policy' attached to it.

MS mobile succeeds at the corporate level for the same reason Office does - not because it's better than the competition, it's because the people writing the cheques and building the back ends know only that and are too bloody scared to look at the competition.

I could probably count the number of people who bought a phone with their own money because it had windows mobile on it and was therefore 'superior' on the fingers of one hand. And even they have to use voice dialing until they manage to chew through the straps. Quite a lot of people buy phones that are superior in spec to the iPhone then have to fight windows mobile to be able to use any of the extra power.

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Aye
Stop

IT comments

The Register is good IT news online but always criticizes Microsoft of US IT companies.

Does anyone know why ?

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Gold badge

Why?

"The Register is good IT news online but always criticizes Microsoft"

Because they deserve it? They make inferior products, then use a combination of momentum and illegal business practices to try to force competitors out of the market. (Recall they have been multiply convicted of anticompetitive business practices.. and done many other greasy things they have not been charged for.) They do give Microsoft credit when they do something right.

There are plenty of magazines and websites that praise everything Microsoft will do and has ever done (and are revisionist, claiming Microsoft invented the internet *or* that they invented the web browser, that Microsoft "brought PCs to the masses", that if it weren't for WIndows everyone would still be using a command line (ignoring the several other GUIs in development at the same time as Windows), and other untrue statements.). So the reg just takes the piss out of all that a bit.

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Gold badge

Simple reason why they don't understand..

Quite simply they have their heads up their own behinds and they have way too much belief in their products.

Ballmer bans his kids from using an iPod or iPhone, probably any other competitors product as well, PS3, Wii etc...

How on earth do you expect to learn anything if you never experience anything outside of your own product range?

Does he even try any of Microsoft's products? if he compared WM6 with an iPhone I'm pretty sure he would be fuming at how backwards it is.

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@Sarah Bee

"Actually the helpline is more accurate than the clusterfuck of a website and the iPhone app doesn't seem to be any better"

Can't blame the iPhone or National Rail app for that. Anyway I suspect that's fairly rare since none of my iPhone wielding mates have had anything but high praise for the NR app.

"I'm not sure everyone's life is miserable because they're on one side of your list and not the other"

Absolutely, just as nobody was miserable without the Internet before it became popular. But having experienced the Internet who would want to revert to a world without it?

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Comments on Podcast

Why didn't this podcast show up in the RSS feed? http://www.theregister.co.uk/software/microbite/headlines.atom

Could you work on the sound levels? I can barely hear Gavin and Mary-Jo booms.

The content is WONDERFUL.

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Ed
Happy

National Rail App

I use the National Rail app every day and I've never had a single issue with it - it tells me the platform the train will be on at the same instant that it's announced at the station, it does route planning, it saves data for offline use, it lets me work out connecting trains. It can help you work out things you'd have a really hard time trying to explain to someone on the phone - e.g. My train is running 10 minutes late, and I want to catch a connecting train at X or I can go to Y and connect another slower train - is the train from X on time or should I go to Y? etc, etc...

Either way, I had a Windows Mobile PDA a few years back and could see they were all changing into smartphones. I couldn't imagine why I'd want to pay an 18 month contract to be locked into Windows Mobile. The PDA got the job done, but it was hardly a 'joy' to use - frequent crashes, poorly made, easily damaged screen, stylus etc. I'm not saying the iPhone is perfect (background apps!), but in comparison...

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