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back to article Ballmer says Windows will shame iPad

The race between Microsoft and Apple to dominate tablet computing is "on", according to chief executive Steve Ballmer. Today, Ballmer poo-pooed the iPad, saying that although Steve Jobs delivered some good work, the iPad is general-purpose, while Windows tablets will adapt to particular uses. We're in an iPad "bubble," Ballmer …

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Bronze badge
Gates Horns

As It Happens

After reading the other news item, about applications being banned from the iPad because they include things that look like widgets in their interfaces, I am inclined to favor Windows Mobile for portable devices over the App Store.

But when I hear that a Windows tablet will be "more beautiful than the iPad, I put its face to shame", I am reminded that, like Marjoly in the video game Rhapsody, Microsoft is evil!

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microsoft vs apple

Anyone following my posts knows that I really don't want to go with windows, especially in new environments which don't benefit from backwards compatibility.

However if the choice is an unlocked windows platform and a locked apple one, then there's no contest. Apple's terms treat other developers as adversaries. Whereas microsoft is much more developer friendly.

Microsoft is by no means innocent, I'm still furious at the DRM they've used in the windows kernel to stamp out open source drivers. But the difference is clear, apple want 100% control of literally every app & developer, whereas microsoft merely want the developers to choose their platform.

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Silver badge

Luckily, that's not the choice

It's shaping up to be Apple v Android in the immediate future, Apple v Chrome in the longer term. Ballmer has no vision and no artistry, and is single-handedly ensuring that Microsoft's fortunes are closely tied to that of the PC. Which is probably why there have been so many Apple v Google stories of late; both sense that there's a lot to play for while Microsoft sit idly by.

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WTF?

"Anyone following my posts"

... Realy... You think people follow your whit and wisdom?

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Re: Luckily, that's not the choice

Yes, I agree entirely, and I agree with the down votes as well. There's simply no winner if consumers are stuck with just microsoft and apple, the monopolist versus the monopolist wannabe (since those were the focus of the article). However as you pointed out, we do have more choices. I sincerely hope consumers educate themselves enough to support non DRM platforms. I doubt many iphone users realize how uniquely awful apple's developer terms are.

http://developer.apple.com/iphone/library/documentation/Xcode/Conceptual/iphone_development/145-Publishing_Applications_for_Testing/user_testing.html

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Anonymous Coward

The thing is...

"I doubt many iphone users realize how uniquely awful apple's developer terms are." I doubt they'd even give a shit if they did. I doubt it'd change many consumers opinions either.

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Re: microsoft vs apple

Consumers do not really care if the precious developers are treated as princes or paupers. They also would support a company that treats them--the end user, the one who pays--as their customers, and give them the priority they deserve as such; as opposed to treating their distributors, developers, and retailers as their clients.

-dZ.

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Developer terms

>> "I doubt many iphone users realize how uniquely awful apple's developer terms are."

I don't think they care. I know I wouldn't. Ultimately, the developers will gravitate to the platform with most users--isn't that what people always claimed regarding Windows vs. Mac OS? So far, developers have shown great tolerance to the "hardships" Apple imposes on them.

I'm sure you're thinking that they will jump ship as soon for the Android platform, but only if the customers follow them too. So far, end-users keep on purchasing Apple devices without a hint of care or awareness to this alleged developers' plight.

-dZ.

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Re: The thing is...

"I doubt they'd even give a shit if they did. I doubt it'd change many consumers opinions either."

That's a good question, I wouldn't know where to get the answer though. I suspect some would care if they knew, but it is an unlikely topic for the general media to cover.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't think they would...

It's not as if the conditions are that bad, to be honest. The actual volume of rejections vs. accepted apps is small despite the media noise. For every app store failure there is at least a couple of equivalent success stories. If a dev doesn't like the terms there are plenty of other options and that the way I think the vast majority of consumers will see it. Android is providing the iPhone *and* the others an excellent level competition. Google are on the Crest of a wave with PR at the moment, so it's pertinent to remember that Android devices do have their problems too, as does development for the platfom. This is a particularly interesting thread on the subject http://goo.gl/6RyS. It's long, but some of the stats make for interesting reading; piracy rates for the app developers particular app are 35% for Android and 13% for iPhone with a revenue split of ~$2500 and ~$7500 per month respectively. Sadly, the thread has be hijacked by fanbois from all sides, but the information presented there is interesting none-the-less. Despite the opines of fanbois for any of the platforms on this and other sites, all the solutions are quite remarkable when one takes the time to think about it. Unfortunately we live in a society that is obsessed with the cult of celebrity and web 2.0 user generated content has basically be taken over by the trolls. Sad times...

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Gold badge

Just ignore Ballmer

He just sounds off about Apple and says it won't catch on. He said it about the iPhone.

It's funny how Microsoft are on about making even more restricted products than the general purpose iPad.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Just ignore Ballmer

I already ignore much of the tripe that's spouted at Microsoft.

Microsoft already have a tablet computer OS and it crashed and burned. Are they going to bring it back from the dead? It won't work - it was crap then and it's still crap now!

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Anonymous Coward

True

Also if Apple are to be believed they sold 2 million iPads in 60 days. Now what ever you think of the product you have to admit that its a pretty damned impressive number.

Ballmer just made himself look stupid and arrogant with his comments over the iPhone and it looks like this is just another one of his foot in mouth moments.

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Bronze badge

Well... He has a partial point.

Much as I hate to admit it.. Ballmer is right. Apple does not really have a business presence. MS does, but technologically, nothing that any body else can't do, or do better.

iPads are not going to be good for non domestic applications. Little Stevie Jobs may do quite well in the domestic sector, but in the business sector, forget it. Even he knows this, and has not suggested that iPads are business devices

Can you imagine a delivery driver turning up with an iPad for you to sign? With what.. Your finger?

How about turning up with a low powered company configured android or win based tablet with GPS built in, and the time/date of delivery, route taken, signature recorded so they can track misdelivered packages better? I've even signed a few where someone was using a run out biro instead of a stylus. A capacitive stylus on the other hand.. Forget it. Cost of replacement alone is too much to make it viable.

Stock control? Rugged cased tablet with a replacable plastic touch screen instead of a glass one? Drop it and it keeps on ticking.

Palm (now HP) also has some pretty good patents on handwriting recognition. Personally I'd take a graffiti panel over an on screen keyboard any day.

And how about medical uses.. An operating theatre with a sterilised cover on an iPad might work, but it complicates things. A watertight display that can be doused in disinfectant, no problem.

And non Apple companies work as system integrators. Selling entire solutions from servers to POS units to companies. They can do their own branded generic units with their own software.

Apple can do pretty. Apple can do sleek.

Apple refuses to do generic.

Apple can't do cheap. So a nearly £500 device used in place of say a £200 or less device.. Do the math.

Many many others can do cheap. And many will. I can even see a £100-150 tablet coming to market within the next few years. And to be honest, a 6-7 inch one is much more practical for portable use than a 9 inch screen with a big bezel. Especially when the battery can be removable. Unlike some tablets I could mention.

If tablets are the future, somehow I doubt the future is Apple.

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somehow I doubt that

"If tablets are the future, somehow I doubt the future is Apple."

You make good points about tablet applications for industrial use, but it's just plain ignorant and short sighted to not admit that the iPad is soon to corner the _consumer_ tablet market (hell already has since it's pretty much reestablishing it), and that this is where the lion-share of tablet money will be made, therefore your undoubtably correct observations do not seem to support your conclusion.

Much as I hate to admit it... a consumer targeted Android tablet would stand little chance of ever breaking out of the "alternative to Apple" niche sector of that market, unless they plan to occupy the bargain bin.

I would still write consumer targeted apps for Android even if it remained a niche market, assuming that wouldn't get my apps banned by the Appleschtapo, as a smaller market can offer a greater share of attention for an app.

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FAIL

Pass the popcorn

Fantastic, MS are probably looking like a distant third in the tablet stakes right now, so Uncle Fester's dickwaving is particularly amusing. Still, it's almost nostalgic to see a story about Microsoft.

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again?

Please tell me again why anything that Steve Ballmer says really matters any more.

I'm surprised he is still at Microsoft. Sure, the legacy cash-cows are OK but MS has signally failed to deliver anything that's forward-looking. And *that* is his job, and has been for some years now.

They have nothing but a pile of fail.

If the future is so rosy, why did they just kill Courier?

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Gates Horns

Madness of King Ballmer

They had to kill the Courier because it didn't run a full version of Windows, and didn't run a version of Office ... after all, everyone wants full Windows and Office on every electronic device no matter what the size. Don't they?

Actually, I don't. Why would I ever want to: edit a PowerPoint presentation on my phone, or open a spreadsheet model on a tablet, or install Photoshop on a netbook? Madness. I am quite happy to have my phone Office free, and my tablet as a big web-browser.

That's why I think they didn't take Courier any further, there seems to be a dogma of Win/Off on everything at Microsoft.

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Pirate

Meh

while Apple's head-in-ass attitude may be horrible, there's no way any el-cheapo tablet running Windows will hold much of the public's interest for long. Ballmer is just fluffing himself like he always does. Didn't Billg predict the age of the Windows tablet about 10 years ago? And aren't we still waiting for that day to arrive?

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Gates Halo

Aliens vs Predator

Whoever wins we lose.

Microsoft have good touch tech, but no decent touch UI (don't know about Win mobile), and they're fast becoming a victim of entropy. Apple are crap, Google becoming evil, we're fscked.

Come back Bill we need a hero!

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Stop

Linux, BSD, wxWidgets, Lazarus

...just four alternatives

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Anonymous Coward

Ha ha

Please name this good tech from Microsoft because I don't know what it is. Everything seems to be Meh! Just a copy at most. No doubt you'll say Windows and Office but these are just average, and severely bloated. You might throw in some SQL Server but since I work with it I can tell you it is really not that good. Even their new Mobile operating system is a couple of years behind everyone else!

I keep hearing about Google becoming evil but it will take a lot for them to surpass Microsoft. Microsoft are still being bastards in the tech arena but they produce a smidgin of goodness once in a while that seems to fool their fanboys. Google still have not put a foot wrong in my opinion. Well, they made a mistake with Buzz but still ...

Microsoft will fail in the tablet arena once again. They will bully their way in via the OEMs but this will be another notch in their coffin, along with their disgusting behaviour in the way they ousted Linux on netbooks, and their behaviour with the ISO and OOXML. Plus their is their famous 'patents' they are blackmailing companies with. The cookie will crumble, believe me.

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Silver badge
Stop

Why....

Why does every speech by Steve Ballmer make it clearer that he simply just doesnt get technology today. If we take Steve Job's analogy bit further, I think Steve Ballmer would be the guy still selling horses when everyone is moving on to cars (and trucks).

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The Furious Furniture Flinger

What's with this guy?

Whoever operates his controls needs to drink less. Or more. I'm not sure which.

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Linux

Can't wait

I can't wait for these to hit the market, so I can wipe out windoze and finally get the Linux tablet of my dreams.

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Thumb Up

To be fair though

Google is a behemoth in search - MS as a whole has more employees but surely spread over more diverse areas?

You couldn't take the head of a subsidiary in a global group company to task for describing a competitor in his/her specific market as bigger just because the group their sub is part of is very large. So when Ballmer talks of that one part of the MS group he's right. Which doesn't happen too often, admittedly.

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Jobs Halo

He still doesn't get it

The best thing for Apple is Ballmer.

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Anonymous Coward

@Chris Hatfield

If Microsoft delivered 1/2 of what they promised, they'd be delivering true magic. They talk up products they are working on, blow through their dates, deliver late and deliver a small fraction of what they promised.

Remember Ballmer used to be head of marketing - he's all about the promotion, and not about delivery or build. Whip the world into a frenzy about some future release and marketing has done its job.

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Just shut up

Every time this man opens his mouth, it just gets more embaressing. In Bill Gates' day, Microsoft could make money by copying other people's ideas, now they can't even do that.

My personal investment in Microsoft skills is going down the gurgler with this idiot.

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Silver badge
Heart

Yea Verily

For sooth, Ballmer is the best thing going about Microsoft.

While he is there I worry far less about the future of the world.

The guy is one great big sweaty mound of fail.

Albeit one who has more money in his petty cash tin than I will ever see in my life but that's life in the industrialised world for you I guess.

For some reason the shit always rises to the top of the tank.

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FAIL

What a goon!

Steve = scary for shareholders

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this reminds me of a song

it goes something like this:

Same old story, same old song and dance, my friend.

If the clues are not big enough to see yet, know this, Microsoft has failed at everything which has not been tied to their desktop and server OS. That's right, they've lost billions and continue to lose billions on everything not tied to the PC Windows OS. And Apple has all but stripped their bones clean in two segments, the multimedia player and the phone platform. It already looks like Apple is on another tear with the iPad while Pen for Windows had its start in the late '80s and Microsoft has tried over and over and over again to get people excited about it but failed. You think maybe it has something to do with Windows itself?

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Stop

Ahem

xbox?

And are they actually loosing money on windows mobile? They might be making less than they would like to but thats not the same as loosing money

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XboX

Wow - that's actually turning a profit now - quick search says that it first started turning a profit in 2008... I suspect, overall, it's nowhere near paid for the investment yet though - still it's about the only thing that MS do that actually has a thin veneer of "cool" about it.

No matter how many ads they pump out - an OS and Office suite is never going to be sexy - maybe MS should stick to what they're good at, getting businesses to fork over huge wads of cash and leave the consumer devices to Apple, Sony et al.

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Headmaster

Xbox???

Aye, Xbox is turning a wee profit now. It'll be many decades before it pays back the billions of losses its cost Microsoft at that rate though. You think Xbox360 will still be making a profit in 20 years time?

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hmmm

Balmer needs to retire.

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Anonymous Coward

@Justin

Retire? No, the board needs to throw him out on his arse. He will spell doom for Microsoft if they don't get him out and fast.

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FAIL

Uhhhhh

If Ballmer is really this thick about the competition (i.e why there crushing them in phones and succeeding, with tablets, where they failed) then MS are in genuine trouble.

The kind of trouble that means you're not really around ten years from now.

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Joke

Poo-pooed

One thing I've learned in the IT sector is to never ignore a pooh-pooh. I knew a guy, who got pooh-poohed, made the mistake of ignoring the pooh-pooh. He pooh-poohed it! Fatal error! 'Cos it turned out all along that the guy who pooh-poohed him had been pooh-poohing a lot of other guys who pooh-poohed their pooh-poohs.

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Gates Horns

Ballmer is nuts.

I was part of a focus group for Windows Mobile back in '08 - a group that used Motorola devices with the Windows software... it was awful. It took me 3 hours the morning I received it to just get the XP machine I was running to sync up with the darn thing.

My favorite feature was their "send a smile" function: push the camera button extra-long, and it would give you the ability to send Microsoft direct feedback - either a 'smile' or a 'frown.' I send no smiles - always frowns, and especially when I used my phone in the presence of my friends with iPhones.

They ended the focus group after 6 months (was supposed to go for 12), and I FedEx'ed the phone back to Bellevue... in the box from my new iPhone.

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FAIL

Are we talking about the same Steve Ballmer?

The same Steve Ballmer who said "the iPhone is a loser"?

Oh, right. Nothing to see here, then. Carry on!

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Silver badge

well to be honest I can believe Ballmer

not because MS is doing anything right, but because Apple is doing everything wrong. Remember the Apple ][.

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Alert

Steve Ballmer

I don't trust him and find him quite an unnerving individual. The way he leaps around the stage, shrieking, then goes into an interview badmouthing a load of products that are better than his own is pretty unprofessional and blinkered. He was wrong about the iPhone, overconfident about Courier and the HP Slate, and that ridiculous Windows advert from 1985 will haunt him forever.

Microsoft haven't been the same since Bill Gates left. He really knew what he was doing and I wouldn't be happy owning Microsoft shares or even working there under Ballmer as he has apparently developed a reputation for being a bit of a dragon and a hothead.

I have this suspicion that Windows Phone 7 will be a lemon as, so far, it seems to be lacking quite badly compared to Android and iPhone (no third-party multitasking? Even Apple are putting that in) at and the handsets will likely be quite pricey. Windows Mobile has lost a lot of market share and popularity, will the new version really bring people running back?

Microsoft are definitely showing signs of a gradual decline, while Apple and Google are bubbling to the surface. Steve Ballmer is being overconfident and mouthy again, and I highly doubt that any Microsoft tablet will be able to unseat the iPad and any other Android/Web OS variants.

They're a tired company who are out of ideas.

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Thumb Down

Macs have a 7% share? Where, exactly?

Maybe Macs have a 7% share in the USA (they don't, actually; they just constitute 7-8% of sales, which is different), but they certainly don't have 7% *worldwide*. Ballmer's quote (3%) is closer to the truth.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/02/mac-market-share.ars

Scroll down to "Worldwide Macintosh sales".

The ~3% is confirmed here:

http://community.winsupersite.com/blogs/paul/archive/2008/04/24/mac-q1-2008-market-share-3-26-percent-worldwide-6-26-percent-in-the-us.aspx

Also, bear in mind that office machines (99% of which are PCs) are updated less often than home machines, laptops or workstations, so the actual share of PCs is higher than the number of sales would suggest. In other words, in terms of existing systems (not yearly sales), Macs are likely to be *under* 3% worldwide.

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Workplace machines...

.... in the Uni. dept. I work in are all being replaced by Macs, we have lots of students, ALL of them have a Mac, and because I could get an educational discount, guess what, I now also have a Mac*

*although I bored with it and now want a gaming PC!

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Stop

Utterly irrelevant.

What *is* your point? Apple have surpassed Microsoft with their overall worth and they are more profitable *per employee* than Microsoft. That Apple sell less and effectively make more than Microsoft these day speaks volumes about Ballmer as a CEO. The whole "Ha ha, Apple's share is ridiculously small" is moot. It's a dinosaur of an argument that shows that Microsoft and their fans just aren't moving with the times. Even your sources are way out of date; and citing fanbois like Thurrott doesn't help your cause either--you'll be asking us to accept what the Daily Mail prints as gospel next!

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Silver badge

Market shares

Actually my personnal nmap-enabled crystal ball shows comparable «market shares» for Windows and Linux while Macs are more than an order of magnitude below (i.e. in the low 1-digit range). When I Iook at my web logs, however, Macs suddently jump to a low 2-digits share while Linux almost disappears... go figure.

Of course, if I factored in utility devices such as routers and all that stuff, both MS and Apple «market shares» would probably look ridiculously low when compared to Linux but hey, some companies have to keep the FUD up to get money flowing from the shareholders.

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Silver badge

Dear Mr. Balmer

This is a clue. Get it.

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Ballmer's talking out of his ass.

Was a PC user for over 17 years. Bought a MB Pro last year. Now I'm kicking myself for not switching 10 years ago.

Used a Palm since the Pilot came out in 1996. Loved Palm devices. Until the Pre came out. My new iPhone is much more awesome than my Palm was.

Sure there are things about Windows and it's programs that I like. Sure I miss a few things that the Palm did. But overall, the hardware Apple produces is by far, superior to any Dell, HP, Alienware, or Gateway has produced. The operating system works flawlessly. Tech support from Apple is by far better than any I have ever encountered, hands down. And I didn't really need them. There wasn't a problem with the software. I was the one doing something wrong and couldn't get the program to work the way I wanted. An Apple tech showed me what I was doing and problem solved. Never once did I hear "It's not a hardware problem, call the software company." Nor did I hear "It's not a software problem, call the PC manufacturer."

Keep talking, Ballmer...Maybe somebody will believe you. "An Apple today keeps the blue screen away."

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