back to article Ballmer disses Android as cheap and complex

Steve Ballmer has predicted that the new line of Windows Phones coming out this Christmas can establish the company’s operating system and beat Apple and Android devices. Speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, an ebullient Ballmer enthused about the forthcoming phones, saying that the new handsets would be as well …


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  1. Franklin

    History repeats itself

    In 2006, Ballmer told us all that the Zune would beat the iPod. I wonder if history will be kinder to WinPho than it was to his music player.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      He ridiculed the iPhone price and mocked the fact that Apple believed people would pay $500 for a phone at the same time as predicting the Zune's imminent success.

      His time is up - there are other talented people at Microsoft... they need some real inspiring leadership...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Couldn't agree more.

        He is a COMPLETE ar$shole, who only opens his mouth to change feet.

        Gates must shudder everytime this moron speaks.

        1. exanime

          my jaw hurts

          ... from laughing at your very true statement...

          "only opens his mouth to change feet"... you are going to get me fired

          This guy is truly an ass... I could not believe they have kept this clown as long as they have

    2. Armando 123

      Keep Ballmer at MS

      He's Apple's greatest asset.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      The problem is IMO

      ...the fact that Ballmer has always been occupied with running the financials and business side of the company. The man has no feeling what so ever with regards to the technology itself. And quite frankly I also heavily doubt his commercial skills.

      At least he did see some things for what they were. "The cheapest phones will be android". Doesn't sound too flattering for Android huh? Well, you can also easily translate this into: "Our phones will be more expensive than those running on Android", yet that won't go too well with his audience.

      "A good defense if a good offense", you got to grant him that. The big issue here is how smart such a statement really was; esp. when considering the market share which both OS's hold.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Alan Sugar dismissed the iPod as well

      OK - he's nearly as bad as Balmer (perhaps more arrogant) but has a title. Oh, and he loves publicity.

      February 2005: "Next Christmas, the iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput."

    5. N13L5

      1) The more Ballmer is under pressure, the more he looses his grip on reality.

      2) The "move to the cloud" isn't just going to take years, its not going to happen at all with our looming global economic collapse. And the U.S. is doing everything in its power to make sure its not going to collapse by itself, or possibly hold the short end of the stick afterwards.

      So, who will seriously move their shit into the cloud, when you can't even tell if the vendor will still be in business next year??

  2. FozzyBear Silver badge

    Is the title optional now!

    “The biggest advantage we have over Android is that you don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone,”

    Yep and if your track record on Windows for PC is anything to go by, you won't need to be a computer scientist to hack, crash, hang and mangle the file system on the phone either.

    Thanks, but no thanks

    1. Robert E A Harvey


      I think there is some truth in Balrog's remark, taken in isolation.

      But the biggest disadvantage they have is that theirs was written by microsoft. It just won't work the same way 2 days running.

  3. Steve Ives

    Here we go again...

    Why are Microsoft always saying "This new thing we've got coming out sometime in the future? It's really great ." They seems to completely redesign everything every few years whilst implying that the last redesign wasn't very good, making you wonder why this iteration of the cycle should be any different.

    They need to come up with some coherent stretegy, keeping a similar look-and-feel, which wwoul dgive out the message that they are confident in the product, even if redesigning things under the covers, and then say "Here's the new version of X; it's familiar but better and it's available now."

    1. Goat Jam

      You Canna Teach An Auld Dawg New Tricks

      "Why are Microsoft always saying "This new thing we've got coming out sometime in the future? It's really great ."

      Well, that strategy worked well for them in the '80's and right through the '90's.

      More recently people seem to have glommed on to the fact that the rhetoric coming out of Redmond does not often match up to the reality, so it works less and less now.

      Ballmer has always been a bit behind the curve so he has yet to realise this.

      P.S. What does the "windows user" icon represent?

      1. Z-Eden

        "P.S. What does the "windows user" icon represent?"

        Foul Ole Ron? Buggerit Millenium Hand and Shrimp (which incidentally makes more sense than some of the error messages that MS products seem to enjoy putting out)

      2. Paul Crawford Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        @Goat Jam

        "P.S. What does the "windows user" icon represent?"

        I think it is a down-and-out with a can of cheap lager, but maybe I know nothing and am simply talking through the wrong orifice.

        Paris - choice of orifice...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Here we go again...

      They've got a coherent strategy: writing an OS that crashes all the time, has a bloated registry and which no-one really wants any more.

    3. ThomH Silver badge

      The strategy isn't so bad nowadays

      Windows Phone 7 is an extension of the Zune interface, so we're five years into it. Windows 8 takes essentially the same interface and ports it to the desktop. So Microsoft have seemingly settled on Metro as the strategy, and did so several years ago. And for my money the interface is distinctive and works very well on phones, though I'm not sold on scaling it up to the desktop.

    4. Armando 123
      Black Helicopters

      In this light, Apple's Soviet-like secrecy policy seems to make sense.

      1. hillsy

        In Soviet Cupertino, iPhone calls YOU!

        (...particularly if it's got Siri)

        1. French Tickler

          Depending on how it is being held..........

  4. Pirate Dave Silver badge

    Computer Scientist

    Speaking as a Computer Scientist, you don't have to be a dork to use a Windows Mobile phone. But it helps.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      So you believe complexity and exposing as much of the workings of a device is key to producing a good product?

      I'm guessing you're running a text browser from the command line then? why use a mouse and GUI when it's just dumbing down the command line.

      Why use ASCII when you can just enter 1s and 0s. Why program websites in PHP, .NET and JSP when you can use an exe written in x86 machine code.

      At the end of the day, a phone is a tool to do a job and if you think phone ownership is some sort of hobby where you spend hours tweaking and customising ROMs then you really need to get a life. Or do you think it's cool to have your phone crash out and miss an important call?

      You buy a product from a company and expect them to do a good job at creating the software. If the software sucks you shouldn't be required to waste your time correcting their mistakes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It just works

        It doesn't - what Apple do well is provide great support, training and assistance via the iStores that makes people know that they will never be left on their own struggling to work out how to fix their phone/computer.

        Buy a windows machine and your chance of getting support without forking out a call out fee or getting patrionised by the bloke in PC world is very small.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Whoa there

        I'm guessing from your faulty logic that you aren't a computer scientist but you are a WinPho7 user, by the look of things.

        All the more reason to get a sense of humour, I would have thought.

      3. teknopaul Silver badge


        you dont buy a phone and expect that one company to write 'the software', nowadays one expects apps written by 3rd parties to work, so yes exposing as much as possible is important. it all depends if you want to do something with your phone or if you are happy to let someone else tell you what you want to do.

        p.s. I do use lynx and wget from time to time IE's scripting apis are somewhat lacking.

        I'm guessing your primarily a windows user?

      4. Ian McNee

        @Giles "FUD" Jones

        Astonishing, Giles! Who knew that 40%+ of worldwide smartphone users love hacking their phone from the CLI and re-coding the apps?? And that less than 5% of smartphone users have the good sense to buy a WinMo phone that "is a tool to do a job"?

        You and Mr Ballmer are whistling in the market share wind, becoming a gale as WinMo rises without trace.

        Open eyes --> yawn --> nose --> coffee cup --> sniff. 'Nuff sed.

      5. Andy Jones

        @ Giles Jones

        You don't need to be a computer scientist to use Android. It just works. There is nothing else to it. It doesn't suck otherwise 10's of millions of people would not be buying it, and Android phones wouldn't also be outselling Apples iPhones.

        Ballmer is just being a dick. Stop protecting Microsoft.

      6. The Fuzzy Wotnot

        @Giles Jones

        "Or do you think it's cool to have your phone crash out and miss an important call?"

        No I most certainly don't but then I don't use a WinPho so that will never be a problem!

        1. Kay Burley ate my hamster

          All or nothing Giles

          Hey Giles, the world is not black or white.

          I'm an Android user, I've never dipped into the command line on my phone other than to ping. But you know what? It's not a requirement to use the CLI.

          The world works this way, Android is great in that it /lets/ you do more.

          Are you one of these people who says the system cannot change, if we don't have Capitalism we have to have Communism? F-off to the Evening Standard or the Daily Mail would yer. :P

  5. Martijn Otto

    Does anybody still believe the crap that's coming out of Ballmer's mouth?

    1. DJV Silver badge


      ...but only one. The idiot spouting it in the first place.

    2. Graham Dawson

      Everyone within chair range at least professes to believe it.

    3. Chris_C

      I think Ballmer does.


    4. John Sanders

      Does any body give a damm...

      about what Ballmer/MS says, or RIM/Lazaridisfor that regard...

  6. Martin Dunn

    Meanwhile back in the real world..

    Windows phone will never be as being as 'sexy' as the iProducts in the eyes of the average consumer.

    Personally I'm sad the Nokia went the WinPho route. An android phone with Nokia's build quality would be perfect!

    1. Chris 3

      I'm not sure

      I think the pace of Apple's iOS innovation on both UI and core technology side is slowing a bit. There *is* an opportunity for MS to jump in with something that looks really slick and has novelty value., perhaps.

      icon chosen pre-emptively.

      1. Jedit

        "The pace of Apple's innovatin is slowing."

        Run out of ideas to steal, have they?

      2. Tim Bates

        Uh huh...

        > "I think the pace of Apple's iOS innovation on both UI and core technology side is slowing a bit."

        Innovation in the UI? A grid of icons and a slide switch isn't exactly innovation. My Nokia 9210 has a grid of icons representing the programs I could load. And the slide switch thing isn't new either.

        They created a brand styled UI though, I'll give you that. But it's not new or innovative.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    "an ebullient Ballmer enthused"

    how wearyingly predictable

    “The biggest advantage we have over Android is that you don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone,”

    "Microsoft was focused on enabling hardware innovation,"

    it is hard to believe that anyone could be this deluded - I can only conclude that this imbecile will say anything in order to attempt brainwash the susceptible.

  8. wobbly1

    the distance between ....

    "Steveworld" and the rest of us seems to increase.... Whilst in the past Microsoft has conquered larger deficits in market share, they had a technologist at the the helm. The late Archeo-engineer, Fred Dibnah, noted that the Victorian equivalents of Microsoft (Armstrong's for one) lost their pre-eminence when the charismatic founder left the company and as corporatism took over form individual leadership, corporatism slowly strangled the organisations. Perhaps the best option for Microsoft would be the the mode lIBM sued when faced with similar levels of corporate torpor. and hive off as separate entities the individual divisions (IBM's printer division lives on as Lexmark and the consumer computing as Lenovo)

    Its better to do a few things REALLY well then be in every market as an also-ran.

    The option to buy the opposition inst available this time around and i bet he price ticket on Android , even if it was for sale , is not even in the same galaxy as Qdos.

    Personally i prefered the pre DOS Microsoft products to the post, I struggled at school with programming , Microsoft basic for the Commodore Pet soon had me flying and then programming in assembler.

    I'll get me Gannnex coat....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      And the difference between Steve Jobs and Steve Ballmer is that Job's Reality Distortion Field was aimed outwards.

    2. Ilgaz

      It is their way

      It is about the design. Microsoft tries to do everything while UNIX philosophy they stay away is do one thing but do it good.

  9. Richard 81

    Hot air

    "...the leading smartphone operating system Android."

    "The biggest advantage we have over Android is that you don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone"

    I didn't realise there were so many computer scientists out there.

    Nothing but hot air from a baffoon.

    1. Marvin the Martian
      Thumb Up

      I think most upvotes are for your quite brilliant neologism/portmanteau of buffoon+balloon. I for one will regularly be using "hot air buffoon" as a putdown from now on.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Balloon, buffoon, baboon, they all mix nicely to spell Balmer, don't they?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    shows how much he fears it

    In the past, the grunts from Microsoft has shown that they belittle a competitor that they fear, so this is good news for Android.

    1. majorursa

      Seems he tries to put Android in the same corner as the (other) Linuxes, the once so ridiculed Opensource alternative that ate their lunch in almost any market, except (maybe) desktops and some backoffice/

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Fucking idiot.

    who put this fucking idiot in charge of Microsoft?

    "The biggest advantage we have over Android is that you don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone,”"

    My 62 year old mother has no problems with her Android smartphone (a HTC wildfire) and she is not a computer scientist..

    Infact, Windows Phone doesn't allow ANY customizations, unlike Android, which if you wanted, you can install something like this:

    Balmer is a fucking moron.

    1. Craigness

      Big Launcher

      That launcher looks waaaay too complicated for my gran to use. She's not a computer scientist, you know!

      1. Jim 59

        Back to 1985

        MS tends to think people are thick. It assumes everyone is living in 1984, where only computer enthusiasts had any computer knowledge. It still builds that assumption into its products.

        Time has moved on. The average "housewife" sends texts and emails. Your grandad edits his own website. The average Joe uses wireless, satnav and MP3 on a daily basis. We are all "computer scientists" now.

    2. Wild Bill

      My girlfriend's HTC wildfire woke us up at half 2 this morning by deciding to repeatedly notify her about a Words with Friends move received hours earlier. It wouldn't stop until it was turned off. It also has a nasty habit of randomly deciding to resend every single one of her sent and received text messages to everyone in her address book.

      It is a piece of junk. If I were a computer scientist I would try and reprogram it to not have so many batshit crazy bugs.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        My mobile phone does that kind of thing a lot

        Alarms and notifications are usually repeatedly sent, except when I actually need them and they don't happen at all.

        It occasionally decides not to bother ringing when people call - I think I miss about 1-2% of calls.

        During winter time (UK on GMT), the clock randomly adds an hour to the time, especially if I'm abroad*. Oddly it doesn't do that during BST.

        There are no new applications for it because no developer wants to develop for a dead platform. (WM apps are completely incompatible with WinPho7.)

        It's massively underpowered for the applications it came with.

        Did I mention that this phone is Windows Mobile?

        *WTF is it with mobile phone clocks anyway? The cell knows the exact time to sub-millisecond accuracy, so why the hell can't the phone just use that? I put that question to *all* mobile phone operating systems and manufacturers.

        1. Ilgaz

          I know why

          Unless there is a huge bug in firmware or corrupt preference; your phone gets signal of an operator in another timezone and adjusts to it. That is why all phones (at least the ones I use) has preference to disable auto time update.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Why would that repeatedly add an hour?

            I could udnerstand it jumping to a nearby timezone and then back.

            However, receiving a "cell timezone is X" should never be capable of pushing the phone into the middle of next week.

            - Seriously, that did happen to it. Usually I spotted it and reset back to the right time before it got more than five or six hours ahead. It got so crazy last year's GMT that I had to put it in Airplane mode overnight when abroad to ensure the clock would be right in the morning.

            And this was with the 'auto update clock' option turned off.

            So yes, MASSIVE bug, and only possible if the writer doesn't understand basic features of a mobile telephony device - namely that it moves!

            I am dreading the end of the month.

        2. Thatvoiceinmyhead

          Yep, mine does this too

          But only after I've synchronised it with my Outlook tasks. Gotta love M$ applications.

          And my mobile is a superannuated Nokia N95 - I haven't yet found a phone I want to replace it with and El Reg haven't come out with their *promised* N9 (Meego) review this month. (Hey, Reg people, you listening?)

      2. Anonymous Coward

        No problems here.

        we have 2x HTC wildfires in your household, and neither have done this.

        I'm guessing you are posting on behalf of Redmond, as in addition to Balmer standing on stages talking this shite, Microsoft also invest very heavily in viral marketing with shills paid to protect Microsoft brands like Windows Phone, Xbox and the other sub-par products.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Who are you employed to 'shill' for Barry? Or are you just a general Fandroid Shill? Or are are just a garden variety nobber?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Mine's fine. Brilliant, in fact.

        I don't think that you can call a phone 'junk' on the basis of a sample of 1.

        Although I'd consider switching to 'airplane mode' when trying to sleep.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Wild Bill

        If you were a computer scientist, you'd be one of those computer scientists who doesn't have a girlfriend.

    3. Medium Dave

      My 7-yo daughter seems to manage, also

      I think he's confusing 'Computer Scientist' with 'anyone smarter than a radish'

      Which, come to think of it, would explain a lot of other things about MS.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      @Fucking idiot

      completely correct, Mr Shitpeas

      all this "that's too complicated for all us fuckwits, ain't it, fuckwits?" smacks of desperation (as others have said) but is typical of a lowest common denominator cretin like Ballmer.

      time for a lethal injection, methinks. No, nurse - the large syringe...

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      My partner has a Samsung Galaxy, it randomly doesn't ring. For the person dialling - sometimes it goes straight to voicemail, other times it rings out and goes to voice mail. It can be fairly crashy. I would say this is a one-off but a few of the guys at work also have android phones and all report random issues like this, one in particular, another Galaxy user said his phone was actually sending text messages to people other than those in the send to list. Most of the guys at work fixed problems by updating the phone's OS.

      If you ever have to connect your phone to a computer to do anything, I'd say that is too many times. I wouldn't say you need a CS degree, but the point stands that it's a phone, it should just work, you shouldn't need to upgrade OS (unless you want to) or connect it to a computer, you should just be able to make calls and use other phone functionallity.

      Oh and lay off the calling people names, "fucking idiot" and "fucking moron" don't make you look like you've written a particularly well considered comment.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll just run that through my Reality Denial Field parser:

    Ballmer will be plying his comedy stylings on the stand-up circuit sometime around the end of Q1 2012

    1. Armando 123

      The Pauly Shore of a new generation.

  13. James Hughes 1

    Complex and cheap

    vs simple and expensive.

    Hmm. Not sure that's the best argument he could make.

    Although I get the feeling that this new Windows might actually be pretty good.

  14. Peter Ford

    Complex is good!

    Some of us like complexity - we don't all want our computers dumbed-down.

    And cheap is always good :)

  15. Eponymous Cowherd

    Either Ballmer is a crap computer scientist.....

    or my 9 year old daughter is a genius. She gets on with Android just fine.

    And comments like that are a bit rich coming from the bloke that foisted the turdsplurt that is Windows Vista onto the world.

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Remember the old VideoPlus adverts? "It's so easy that even a grown up can use it." Nine year olds do tend to be better able to figure out how to use gadgets.

      I have a 60 year old PHB who needs to ask for help every time he tries to read or send a text message on his iPhone.

    2. Chris 3

      To be honest

      9 year olds are probably the *most* adept at working with badly designed interfaces - see historical jokes about small children and video recorders.

      Not saying that Android is necessarily complicated or badly designed, I'm just opinting out that your counter-argument is a bit weak.

    3. Someone Else Silver badge


      This forum has added "hot-air buffoon" and "turdsplurt" to my vocabulary! Thank you, El Reg!

    4. Graham 6

      Speaking as a computer scientist

      I have a BSc Computer Science degree.

      And Android phone owner (LG Optimus 3D).

      I owned a Nokia bottom end phone for years but decided to upgrade as smartphones finally seem to work as phones properly.

      Not lock up and crash when you are trying to take a call.

      I wouldn't have a Windows phone given.

      Tried it (O2 Exec/HTC universal).

      It was crap.

      Linux rules!

      Piss off Steve Balmy.

  16. Steve X

    cheap and complex?

    So, if cheap and complex is bad, does that mean expensive and basic is good? That could explain a lot about Microsoft's business moidel...

  17. muttley

    Anyone mention Zune?

    The deluded Monkeyman talked that fail up too.

    “The biggest advantage we have over Android is that you don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone,” he said.

    500,000 Android activations worldwide every day - that's a lot of computer scientists.


  18. Mark C Casey

    Irony, thy name is Microsoft

    Whilst the phone buying public disses windows phone as shit.

  19. Hugh Pumphrey

    Captain Obvious rides again

    Ballmer describes Android as second rate. In other news:

    (*) Pope states that Church of Scotland is watered-down Christianity

    (*) Tony Benn describes Ed Milliband as "not very socialst"

  20. Charles Manning
    Thumb Up

    Android's fine then...

    Ballmer's predictions for mobile products have a negative correlation with success.

    Ballmer dissed: iphone, Andoid

    Ballmer raved about: Zune, Kin, WP6, ...

  21. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Dear old "Barmy" Ballmer, he's a lad isn't he? Have to admire his optimism if nothing else!

  22. Piro

    Oh Ballmer..

    This time you've really put your foot in it.

    My 66 year old dad uses his Android smartphone just fine, thanks. He may not know all the functions, but he can use it - a cheap ZTE Blade - without being a computer scientist, or even that competent on the PC at all.

    It's far simpler to use than any iteration of Windows, and does he want to cast his mind back to the competition to Android at Android's launch? Windows Mobile 6. Oh, what a mess that is for usability. HTC had to cover it all up to make it even slightly pretty and usable.

    Ballmer, this is just retarded. Just shut up, make a good product, let it speak on its own. Because that statement just makes you look like a fool.

    1. Eponymous Cowherd


      Ballmer doesn't have to speak to look like a fool.

      Actions speak louder than words, as they say.

  23. DrXym Silver badge


    You don't need to be a computer scientist to use Android either. As 500 million sold devices could attest to. It's not hard to use even in its vanilla form and most common versions of it will be polished a bit more than that.

    In fact out of all smart phone operating systems, I'd say it is the one least tied to a computer at all. Windows Phone and iOS (at least version 4 and below) have an implied requirement that you own a computer to sync the device, install firmware updates etc.

    As for why it is available on cheap phones, that one is easy - because it doesn't impose high system requirements. Phone manufacturers can choose how much CPU, memory, resolution etc. they put in their phones and the price they charge. The result is a flourishing ecosystem of phones in various makes, shapes and sizes to suit all tastes and budgets. Perhaps Windows Phone wouldn't have had such a lacklustre start if it had been as flexible itself.

  24. John G Imrie

    How to save Micosoft

    1) Find out what ever Ballmer is medicating on.

    2) Bottle and sell it.

    3) Profit.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missed the Best Bit...

    “You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows phone and you do to use and Android phone…It is hard for me to be excited about the Android phones.”

    Ballmer is as good as saying that only Computer People like Android, and he isn't!

  26. Elmer Phud

    cheap - nice, complex - nice

    Just what I need, a cheap system that is complex enough for others to knock up some good apps

    Mr B - I think that's a win/win situation.

  27. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Balmer apparently needs to vent vast quantities of hot air from time to time, or else he might burst.

    (Oh bleeding hell, now I cannot get that image out of my mind).

    If he means what he says, Microsoft shareholders might be in for a rocky ride, if he stays at the helm.

  28. Ben Rosenthal

    So you want to be expensive and simplistic?

    but the fruity ones pretty much have that sewn up, and RIM seem to have the cheap and simple vote from the chav element....... have fun in 3rd or 4th place fella.

  29. TheOtherHobbbes

    Ballmer not pretty.

    Ballmer pretty not pretty.

    Ballmer fat and stupid.

    MS fat and stupid too.

    MS fail.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Please grow up, just because someone doesn't live up to your exacting stndards of appearance doesn't mean you should make fun of them.

    2. Armando 123

      Nice to hear from NASCAR Nation on this one ...

  30. Andy Farley


    I like the W7P interface.

    Ballmer needs to be pushed out the door though. The guy is an embarrassment. As a CEO you need to foster an environment of innovation - I can't imagine him doing that.

    Imagine having an idea and going to Steve Jobs (*ahem* previous to him dying), You'd think it through and if you thought it was cool you'd go and show it. He might like it, he might not. But you'd still feel good for asking.

    Imagine going to Ballmer. You just wouldn't.

    I bet his office smells.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I was going to ask, "Smells of what?", then it came to me, the fetid smell of defeat.

  31. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Just out of curiosity...

    ... can anyone play Devil's advocate and say anything positive about Ballmer? Just as an exercise in balance? Is there anything that can mitigate the impression that I, and all other Reg readers it seems, have formed of him?

    Really. HAS he had any successes?

    1. hplasm Silver badge


      dancing is without peer...

    2. MJI Silver badge

      I tried

      Can't find anything good.


      1. Armando 123

        "His dancing is without peer..."

        I dunno, have you ever seen a Cowboys fan have an epileptic fit?

    3. Robert E A Harvey

      Well, he helped me decide whether to sign up for Skype or not.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Well, as he runs one of the largest software companies in the world, I'm guessing: Yes, he's had a few successes.

      1. John Bailey


        Just like all those bankers who pissed away billions for years, and were shocked when it finally caught up to them..

        I think you place way too much emphasis on the figurehead, and none on the captain and crew.

        Running a big company is not so big a deal. Steve is a figurehead. He gets wheeled out for press and for corporate meetings, and that is about it. He doesn't code any of Windows. He doesn't really make the important decisions.

        Microsoft is a company that makes a product that is too expensive to move away from without a damn good reason in most cases. Microsfot is also a company who makes a product that is part of practically every PC that gets sold. It will take decades of epic and spectacular mismanagement and really horrible decisions for it to die. Not just a few dodgy press conferences, and the rantings of some fat bloke in a stage.

      2. Graham 6

        "Well, as he runs one of the largest software companies in the world, I'm guessing: Yes, he's had a few successes."

        He INHERITED one of the largest software companies in the world.

        The success was Gates's not Balmer's.

        Yes he successfully moved into that position, but I wonder what calibre of competition was available?

        Given the result.

    5. Armando 123

      You can't even use the "doesn't sweat much for a fat chick" line ...

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nice haircu...oh!

      Good choice of anti-perspirent...oh!


      Ah! Nice suit?!

    7. Mediocrates Silver badge

      He's not as wacky as Charli Sheen

      Oh, wait, that's a bad thing - Charlie is fun to watch.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Competitive job-market?

    I didn't know that the world has so many computer scientists.

  33. David 163

    Just because Balmer is an idiot don't dismiss Windows Phone.. its a great little OS. There are still things that need to be added but that will come with time.

    They have achieved a huge amount and what they have done they have done very well (apart form a few issues). I am very impressed with my phone and have been eagerly awaiting the Nokia phones.

    A lot of talented people have put a lot of work and effort into Windows Phone, its sad that people have this huge loathing for anything that's not "their favourite". This applies to everything in life.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's not about irrational MS-hatred

      but the fact Ballmer's predictions have proven to be a pretty reliable kiss of death

    2. Magnus_Pym

      Yes but what is the point of 'another' competent phone OS? What is it's unique sell point? Will people buy one because it is 'as good' as the one they already have but a little more expensive?

      Microsoft play catch up while the competition is moving on. MS can't compete with Android on price because they have to make a profit . They can't compete with Apple on 'cool', they've failed on that so many times. Blackberry have the business (MS office) user sewn up and look how much good it is doing them. They can't compete on apps, They are too late to the market. Zune player built in? Bing Maps built in? Bing search built in? Quite nice but so what, They are all so last decade. Maybe it will have have Skype built in but the ability to make calls over WiFi without paying the mobile service provider is not going to make them any friends unless they charge for skype and pass some of the profits on. Charge for Skype-to-skype call and you kill skype.

      It may be nice but really what is the point?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, There are still things that need to be added

      I agree with you, it is a pretty slick phone experience - but the market is brutal and you can't win by bringing along something slightly better if you are already way too late.

      The "things that need to be added" are apps. There are 2 massive platforms out there which have bazillions of apps, and are soaking up every available developer-hour already. What makes you think MS can catch up with this huge installed base of apps? Why would developers want to bother?

      It's also true that a lot of attacks on Ballmer are personal, but you can't fail to notice that his communications strategy seems to involve a lot of shouting and not much substance. People aren't falling for it any more, not even within Microsoft, so I think it's time for him to go.

    4. Robert E A Harvey
      Thumb Down

      I've said before,, and I will say again, they employ a load of clever people, and it would be quite surprising if most of the things they coded did not work quite well (sometimes not well enough, but even Chrysler built the ypsilon). I am actually surprised that this, their 7th (at least) go at a phone OS had stuff missing at launch. I was expecting it to be better than it is.

      It is the way they do business that really gets up my pipe. Forcing windows onto pc builders, taking and ruining publically published standards, etc etc etc.

      Look at all the business users stuck in winpho 6.5 never-never land (including my own employer, whose java based pda call-out suite can't be ported). I remember autoroute, whose software offerings other than the well-known routefinder included lorry delivery scheduling, solutions for the travelling-salesman problem, area based call management (for service engineers or emergency response). All scrapped when M$ took them over.

      I like c#. I thought they way they got .net turned into an ecma standard was laudible. Then they went and spoiled it by 'upgrading' and 'extending' it into proprietory space again.

      it ain't the coders I hate, its the management.

    5. Ilgaz

      reality check

      As you mention nokia. Check nokia 7650. That was my first smart phone and it did multi task flawlessly. Windows phone is a step back decade for nokia and will result in its liquidation.

  34. Alan Denman

    Simple and lacking is ovviously what they want us to have.

    Obviously the great duopoly's aim is to give us serious limitations so that their phones. tablets laptops are also a triple necessity.

    Android gives the user what they want, not what those great corporates want us to have.

  35. Danny 5

    if Android's so complex

    then why do i see so many technologically challenged people walking around with one?

    if Steve had said "Andriod's more complex then IOS", then i would've agreed, ease of use has always been a major strong point for any apple device, but to call Android phones complex in general is bollocks.

  36. ducksoup

    The Microsoft Salesman

    A woman confided to me that she had been married 3 times but was still a virgin.

    How so?

    1st husband was gay

    2nd husband died of a heart attack on their wedding night

    3rd husband was a Microsoft salesman and could only keep telling her how great it was going to be

  37. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      actually there are no disadvantages to android to the end-user

      Really? On my android phone I can't switch on gps without telling Google where I am. Is privacy invasion not a disadvantage?

  38. g e

    That's rich

    Coming from Steve Ballmer, the only thing in the universe currently able to do more damage to Microsoft Corp than Windows Vista.

  39. Anthony Hulse

    Take it as a compliment

    When Ballmer starts slagging off your products Microsoft are running scared of them.

    It's a shame really. Gates's Microsoft would have at least been able to compete in the phone market. Ballmer's Microsoft hasn't got a chance. Too unfocussed and inconsistent.

    1. Magnus_Pym

      Gates's Microsoft tried to compete in the phone market and failed. The offering available got itself a bad name. That's why this version of the Windows backed phone OS has been re-branded and re-launched.

  40. CheesyTheClown
    Thumb Up

    It's a huge race between Apple and Microsoft now

    It's a race to find out who will make the best PC platform for the phone.

    I carry a laptop and a phone with me almost everywhere I go. I bring the iPad if the kids come too. I want either :

    - An iOS device which can run all my desktop apps (Office apps... development tools are a big plus) when connected to a screen and keyboard.

    - A Windows PC which fits in my pocket and works really well as a phone and handheld device.

    The bonus features would be to connect to the screen and keyboard wirelessly. So, full 1920x1200 resolution and bluetooth (or something that actually works) keyboard and mouse.

    A MUCH BIGGER bonus feature would be wireless charging so I can install a charger in my desk chair so I can sit down at a screen and keyboard and not bother with taking my phone out.

    iOS has a REALLY long way to go to get there because it IS a phone OS. But it is running an ARM based version of OS X and there's absolutely nothing stopping Apple from enabling compiling for ARM OS X on XCode. So, they'd really only have to enable the full OS X on the HDMI port of the phone. So far as I know... OS X already has this kind of functionality... so Apple COULD do it.

    Windows 8... I haven't used WP7 it for any prolonged period as a phone. But if Microsoft releases a version of Windows 8 which has the phone UI on the internal screen and the desktop UI (sans the metro style hopefully) on the external screen.... they're pretty much there. Then all that would be needed would be an Windows Phone app capable of playing my iTunes media and letting my buy iTunes media directly from the Phone UI.

    I genuinely believe that Microsoft is years ahead of Apple on this one. Add to it that Microsoft development tools run on all PCs (even Macs with bootcamp or vmware) and they become a huge contender. Probably the best thing that happened to Microsoft is that they screwed up for so long that by the time they finally seemed to be getting it right, the telephone CPUs have become powerful enough to use for desktop applications.

    Now... most importantly... NVidia and Microsoft need to seed the developers on this stuff. I'll be first in line to write applications for both desktop AND phone.

  41. Kyoraki

    Whatever happened to..

    .. Admitting defeat at third place? Something tells me that stockholders weren't too happy about being underneath Apple and Google.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      As a CEO of a major software company, you should always aspire to be the best, resting on laurels saying "this'll do" isn't a behavior you want in a COE.

  42. JimmyPage Silver badge

    I saw the headline

    and thought "yes, while Windows is *expensive* and complex"

  43. pootle

    I want some of whatever cheesy is on

    Crisis? What Crisis

    wow that's some good cheese, should have the economic crisis reduced to the size of a small android phone in no time

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ballmer must go!

    Microsoft's dominance in the corporate world is well established, the products (mostly ) work fine and businesses seem pretty happy to part with cash for them but I don't think any of this is due to Steve Ballmer's influence.

    The consumer market is different, it's a big plus to have a front-man that captures the public imagination a little (think Steve Jobs and Richard Branson), especially when trying to break into a market. But Ballmer's a real turn-off and I can't see WinPho succeeding under his leadership; he has all the consumer-appeal of smallpox.

    Microsoft's shareholders need to recognise this and replace him with someone that can promote WinPho without referring to competitors; no-one is naive enough to take a comment like this seriously anyway, it just makes punters suspicious about the motives for making it.

    In the interests of a competitive market, I hope that WinPho is good and does have some success, but comments like these won't make that happen and do make me wonder if MS haven't something to hide.

  45. Anonymous John

    I can't remember when I last saw Windows phones for sale. A year or more? Once you leave a market, it's not easy rejoining. Too many will have switched to iPhones or Android and see no reason to switch back.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I don't know where you are, but in the UK the fist buyers of WP7 may just about be coming to the end of their first contract, if they had a short one. Basically there really hasn't been any opportunity for the WP7 market to have people leave it. I was one of the first to get a WP7, due to my old Nokia crapping out and I think that was either very late 2010, or early 2011.

      Also, if you want to see a WP7, try a mobile phone shop, they all sell them.

      1. Graham 6

        @Anonymous Dickhead

        "I was one of the first to get a WP7, due to my old Nokia crapping out"

        Says it all really.

        Windows Fanboy.

  46. Joe Montana


    Android is only usable by computer scientists? Millions of people are using android phones and having no trouble doing so...

    Personally i much prefer the Android way, a system which is usable by pretty much anyone but which also offers benefits to those of us from a more technical background... Ballmer seems to be saying that windows phone only caters to average users and does not provide any advanced features for more technical users to take advantage of...

    Very different from desktop windows, where although an average user can generally muddle along with basic functionality, anything remotely advanced requires a very high degree of technical knowledge.

  47. Gil Grissum

    Balmer needs to go

    Can't the just fire Balmer and be done with it? Leo Apotheker didn't last this long as CEO of two companies he failed at. Balmer has been screwing up since day one. The only half way decent product he's presided over is Windows 7. Just get rid of the guy please? What will it take for the Board to get rid of this guy??

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      "What will it take for the Board to get rid of this guy?"

      My guess is that he's safe as long as Bill Gates doesn't turn on him.

      My second guess is that Bill Gates doesn't care enough about the company anymore to bother doing that.

      On the other hand, he may be gone by 2018. (

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Ken Hagan

        Third guess: Bill G will not admit he made a mistake installing Ballmer.

  48. ML2MST


    How can a phone look attractive if it runs Vole's 1980's R^HMetro Tiles? Uncle Fester is totally in denial.

  49. Tom 7 Silver badge

    How great it will be

    Just when does vapourware get upgraded to flatulenceware?

    1. Soruk

      As soon as the first (of many) fart apps gets ported to the Windows Phone.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Complex is good...

    Complex is good, the trick is to hide the complexity while at the same time making it accessible to those who are capable of using it. My Nexus One never sends text messages more than once and never ever wakes me from slumber because some social-networking app decided that I really needed to see something.

    “The biggest advantage we have over Android is that you don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone,”

    Hmmm... I'm a computer scientist, I just press the "ON" button, then the telephone icon and dial the number, apparently Mr. Ballmer is too thick for something this simple, I'm beginning to think that a light switch would cause him consternation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      It was obviously a quip, he clearly doesn't think you need to be a computer scientist to use the phone, it's called making a point through exaggeration, people do it literally all of the time.

      Or do you have to have a degree in English to understand that?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 20:35 "obviously"

        " it's called making a point through exaggeration"

        actually, it's called spreading FUD through telling lies, Microsoft does it literally all the time.

        In answer to your question, I don't have a degree in English and neither am I a gullible apologist and I understand it perfectly - HTH.

      2. BitDr

        I don't think Ballmer's statement was a quip as it was neither sarcastic nor witty nor said with any measure of jest. No, I think his statement was put out there to seed a false notion, and that would be FUD, and an insult to the intelligence of the thinking person... unless of course that person has an interest in the Windows Phone being a success.

        Microsoft needs to make great products that people actually want to use and stop blustering about in front of their minions and the media going on about how great they will be at some point in the future.

  51. paulc

    Ah, the old vapourware trick again...

    don't buy Android, we've got something flashy coming up for Christmas ourselves...

  52. Adam T


    I quite like Metro, but it's clear that Ballmer is living in a world of make believe.

    When Steve Jobs went on stage and said something similar five years ago, he was laughed at. The big difference is, Apple delivered, and they did it in style.

    Now it could be that Microsoft can deliver too. Sadly, they're missing that latter part, something echoed in the personality of their CEO. No style.

  53. Paul Shirley

    "people want their phones to look pretty"

    Yet WP7 has the fugliest of all phone UI's and no credible options for users to make it look better or behave different!

    iPhone is as locked down but starts out looking good so no-one cares. On Android if you don't like the installed launcher, you can change it - install an app and it can look like iPhone,WP7 or something different and you can change it as often as you like, on the road. Root or unlock your Android bootloader and you can theme the entire UI.

    Ballmer needs to learn that things aren't 'pretty' just because Microsoft tells us they are. Especially when you have a product as fugly as his.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Steve Ballmer has predicted that the new line of Windows Phones coming out this Christmas can establish the company’s operating system and beat Apple and Android devices."


  55. Dirk Vandenheuvel

    He shouldn't really care that much about Android since a lot of Android makers are paying MS some good money for IP.

  56. Levente Szileszky

    Why Ballmer ALWAYS resorts to lying?

    "Ballmer asserted that Microsoft was beating Google in the cloud applications market"

    SERIOUSLY, just STOP. Enough of your stupid lies.

    Stop lying about even the most obvious things, thinking if you shout your nonsense loud enough it will stick - it won't and you will be standing there just like another ballmerian idiot... Oh wait, you ARE Ballmer, this chair-throwing, sweaty, fat, loudmouthed bald pr!ck, a clueless beancounter who's driving this company into the ground.

  57. Doug Glass

    Oh well ... come Christmas ...

    ... and I guess we'll see who among you is correct and who is not. Time and patience is the key... time and patience and all will be revealed. But as usual, everybody will be correct and there will once again have been no incorrect statements. Amazing.

  58. Charlie van Becelaere

    Cheap and Complex

    I think that beats Expensive and Complex hands down, no?

  59. Schist

    Somebody Shut him up

    Why is it that whenever Ballmer speaks I go off M$ a little more.

    Does he not realise he is patronising his customers?

    They really need to find someone with a passion for the product rather than the bottom line.


  60. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Reason for the WinPho8 delay

    You need to insert a floppy with the RAID driver on it during the install

  61. David Glasgow

    Y' see there's the problem....

    " Redmond recognizes that people want their phones to look pretty and was aiming for that target group"

    No. It isn't about "pretty". Most people don't want "pretty*", and if Redmond thinks that stylish, pleasing and functional design is "pretty", Redmond doesn't get it and never will.

    * My 16 year old daughter excepted.

  62. Neil Charles

    One of Microsoft's biggest problems

    Is that they sit in their ivory tower, slinging sh*t at successful competitor products, without asking themselves honestly what it is that's causing people to buy them.

    I'm reliably told that nobody working at MS would dream of owning a PS3, or an Android phone, or an iPhone. The best product is the Microsoft product, because it's the Microsoft product, so that's what they all use.

    I'm all for using what you build, but this isolationism really doesn't help. Ballmer should get his management teams into a room, give them an iPhone or a high-end Android phone each and then tell them that's all they're allowed to use for the next three months. Anyone who comes back after three months and says they still don't understand why people buy those instead of Windows Phones, gets fired.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      * iPhone users excepted too

  63. Richard Bijster

    I've changed from an iPhone to an HTC Radar - no regrets.

    After having an iPhone for several years, I decided it was time for a change and went for an HTC Radar Windows Phone. I have been using it every day for about a week now. As an actual user of a phone running Windows Phone Mango, I can only say that it is a very nice operating system, in which social media is exceptionally well integrated (all under one Tile updates from Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Windows Live & Google). The phone has not dropped one call. Getting used to Zune is simple and synchronisation of my HTC Radar in Zune is far quicker than my last iPhone synching with iTunes. So far, I have not come across any annoying bugs. The OS just seems to work and it works well.

    I can only say that that my experience of using WIndows Phone Mango in the real world has only been positive. I'm not going to bash the iPhone in any way here, as my experience with iOS was also positive but I was simply getting bored with looking at the same old operating system and fancied a change.

    Whether Windows Phone will now actually take off is yet to be seem. From using it daily, I can't see any reason for it not to. As for Android, I have no experience of using it and can't comment. I have no problems in recommending Windows Phone Mango as a nice, well thought out and reliable OS. I certainly have no regrets about changing from my iPhone to a Window Phone. Then again, maybe I'm no so prejudiced as the majority of posters here.

    1. Little Poppet

      Silly IT Support People

      I like your post/review. It was unbiased, which is refreshing, because a lot of people on The Register are so blinkered and rigid that anything that goes against or beyond their beliefs (Google Love Beliefs, for the most part) are instantly rejected.

      It is some kind of brand fundamentalism - The only form of IT type in my experience, that rejects the new, or finds difficulty in being flexible are those that are or have leanings towards IT Support!

      Far too rigid and unimaginative. They should be let out to pasture. forever.

    2. Graham 6

      "I'm not going to bash the iPhone in any way here, as my experience with iOS was also positive but I was simply getting bored with looking at the same old operating system and fancied a change."

      Ye see, there's the problem.

      Right there.

      Do you see it?

      iPhone became boring.

      To change it you need to buy a new phone.

      Windows Phone is following the same route.

      See Android won't suffer from this because you can upgrade and change the way it looks.

      Now do you see it.

      I'd like to thank the late Steve Jobs for showing Linux the way forward.

  64. Eduard Coli

    The kids are alright

    Guess Ballmer's kids want to trade in their iPhones for Droids.

  65. Microphage

    Galaxy Nexus running Android

    “The biggest advantage we have over Android is that you don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone,”

    If he wasn't at the Web 2.0 Summit he could have checked out the Galaxy Nexus launch in Hong Kong ..

    'Galaxy Nexus device running Google's latest Android 4.0 software – called "Ice Cream Sandwich"`

  66. markl66

    Computer Scientist

    Yes, I am a computer scientist and I do own an Android phone. I think what Ballmer meant was he is not a computer scientist and does not know how to use an Android phone.

  67. Old Handle

    What I don't understand is why M$ is trying to make WinPho a clone of Apple's locked down design. Windows was (apparently, for a great many people) a good balance between complexity and customization. Why not play to their strengths and do something like that? Surely there's a a market for a phone in the same tradition. Instead they're trying to do what another company does best, and will almost certainly fail at it.

    And maybe the worst part, is that they did apparently grasp the appeal of having giving phone and desktop users a consistent experience, but they've decided to do it backwards by making future versions of the desktop GUI look like a smart phone interface.

  68. Ramazan
    Thumb Down

    what an ugly excuse for a face

    does this ballmer have...

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The giant penis

    Mr. Balmer aka Giant Penis head has nothing to say of any significance.

    There the article is FIXED.

  70. atomic jam


    I'm not a smart phone user, but I'll watch this to see how it pans out for all OS's involved.

    Argh...I've got work to do.

  71. sisk Silver badge

    News flash!

    Balmer slams a product that competes with a Microsoft product in the consumer market.

    In other news, water is wet.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ignoring the fairly obvious, how exactly does he plan to cut down on the handset costs.

    I mean, the handset cost in an Android phone is just the phone (unless you count some patent bull MS have pulled on some manufacturers). In a Windows Phone, you've got your £19 (or whatever it is now) license for Windows... and I'm assuming they are fairly fond of that money they get. Surely the only cost they can reduce then is the quality of the phone, and hope the OS is good enough that people won't care that if you drop it it explodes into 30 tiny pieces.

  73. JaitcH

    Old sales adage: Don't knock the competition

    A salesman I worked with years ago in the days of Mohawk Data said to me 'never knock the competition' as it has the habit of turning around and kicking you in the spheroids.

    Ballmer should know better, Microsoft may be good but a Canadian company had such good software that Microsoft copied it - and had it's nose rubbed in the dirt by all levels of the US court system.

  74. MeBeTheTim

    What phone next for the girlfriend?!

    My girlfriend has a Nexus One, I have an iPhone. Hers does sometimes wake us up at random times because the clock just decides to change, no idea why, and then sometimes doesn't go off! She wants a new phone (the battery life on hers is terrible), so I think wait a while and get a new Icecream Soda one, looks pretty :). I was thinking about getting her a WM7 but I just don't trust MS anymore to have the courage of their convictions. Zune is alive, Zune is dead, Zune is alive, Vista is brilliant, everyone buy Vista, oh wait, Windows 7 is brilliant, Vista was crap, oh wait Windows 8 will be brilliant, and every thing that is not Windows based is shit. Don't trust them and don't want to buy a product with him t the helm.

    Girlfriend wants an iPhone 4 or 4S, I still keep telling her to wait for the next Googlephone, so now she wants me to wait and she'll have mt iPhone ... no thanks, I'll stick to mine ...

  75. Jazz Kilkullen

    Kiss of Death

    It was just a few months ago that HP was bragging in the press about how their new TouchPad tablet was going to be "BETTER than #1--we're going to be #1 Plus!"

  76. MS Rocks

    I love these threads. The google fanbois are out in force and once again they are demonstrating their startling levels of cluelessness. Classics in include ‘Microsoft have to make a profit and Android is free’. The fanbois seem not to realise that you have to pay license fees for most of the stuff that makes Android (kind of) usable, such as the marketplace, google maps, audio/video codecs, office file readers etc. You also have to pay a thumping great fee to MS itself to pay for the patented technology that Google stole from MS. Soon, no doubt, you will also have to pay Oracle money for the code that Google stole from Oracle. The list goes on. This is what will kill Android – it will become too expensive for HW manufacturers to license.

    Next, there is the fact that Android is a naff operating system. Two types of people buy Android. Geeks and poor people. Geeks (which is the category most Reg readers fall under) like Android because it is not locked down like iOS, so you can play around with it. They also have the (mistaken) impression that it is ‘open source’. Both of these points are fair enough reasons for purchasing an Android device. But, the massive, massive majority of people who end up with an Android phone are consumers who want an iPhone but cannot afford one. They buy Android devices ‘because they look like an iPhone and they are cheap’. Once they have purchased the phone, they realise that the software is buggy, that it performs extremely poorly in its core role (as a telephone) and that (in most instances) their device is as slow as a hobbled tortoise as it has been built as cheaply as possible and has a crap processor. They will also not have access to features like Marketplace as the device manufacturer wil not want to pay Google the license fee. The result is a horrific user experience. These customers will not stay loyal to the Android experience once a better option surfaces.

    Having used all three OS’s (unlike almost everyone who has posted on this thread) my thoughts are: a) If you want a beautifully designed device and are attracted to a platform because of the apps available, then buy an iPhone. b) If you want a device that is an excellent phone, does the basics like email/calendar/web browsing and Facebook well, then buy a WinPhone. c) If you are poor, or want to play around with your phones OS, buy an Android.


    1. Dante

      They also have the (mistaken) impression that it is ‘open source’

      Where do you get that from? Last time I looked the source was available.

    2. Graham 6
      Paris Hilton

      @MS Rocks err Sucks

      "But, the massive, massive majority of people who end up with an Android phone are consumers who want an iPhone but cannot afford one."

      I bought my wife an iPhone and myself an LG Optimus 3D, which is Android.

      I could have afforded an iPhone, but where is the 3D iPhone?

      If they had one, would I buy it? No.

      "The google fanbois are out in force and once again they are demonstrating their startling levels of cluelessness."

      Somehow, no.

      "Having used all three OS’s... bleh, bleh, stereotyping bleh"

      a) "If you want a beautifully designed device..."

      Android or iPhone.

      b) "If you want a device that is an excellent phone, does the basics ..."

      Android or iPhone.

      c) "If you are poor, or want to play around with your phones OS, buy an..."

      Android or iPhone.

      d) If you are a fuckwit and have no brain, or concept of technology or history.



  77. Thatvoiceinmyhead

    It's almost laughable

    "Ballmer enthused about the forthcoming phones, saying that the new handsets would be as well designed and attractive to consumers as anything Apple could put out"

    I'm sure that good ole Stevie B is right and that the handsets will be gorgeous - and then they'll be loaded up with that completely fugly M$ OS.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WinPho 7 is a superior phone operating system to Android for consumers.

    It is easier to use, faster, and more stable. The marketplace may be a few years behind Android but the games market in particular have been well seeded by Microsoft.

    It doesn't have the flexibility and customization of android.....but iOS shows this is not a big drag on sales.

    If Nokia can get some quality hardware out that can compete in the desirability stakes with Apple then WinPho is going to be a significant player.

    1. Graham 6

      "WinPho 7 is a superior phone operating system to Android for consumers."

      You're a dick.


      Have you been paid to say that?

  79. Parax

    More Computer Scientists? Yes Please!

    Computers are amazing tools Just imagine a world where everyone could be productive with them... a world where everyone can use a computer (properly) would be great! I don't get why Ballmer is bashing it.. perhaps, like his software, he prefers us to be idiot simpletons.

    No Thanks! Tech for all, No Tech divide, no Tech 3rd world, etc...

  80. mhenriday

    I understand that the translate feature

    in Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) has been updated. I suggest that to test it, one should input Mr Ballmer's «The biggest advantage we have over Android is that you don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone». In the event, «I can't seem to turn on my Android phone» comes out, one knows that the Android engineers have made the grade....


  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft's problem

    Well one of many is they are stuck in the middle.

    Android is open and the handset manufacturers are push the hardware envelope every way possible. It feels like every week there is a new, faster, better, more feature (or cheaper) phone in the store.

    Apple may only release a new phone every 18 months are so, but they own everything so they can be sure that the OS and hardware are moving forward in sync and the vision is implemented they way they want.

    Plus they have a fantastic number of loyal buyers and if you think that is not important then you are clueless abut marketing.

    Microsoft is dependent on other people to implement their vision and they have the platform so locked down so few new phones are being released and they are all to much the same (the fact no one wants to buy one may also be limiting how much the manufactures want to invest in the platform).

    I know what the Microsoft Many Minions (M^3) are going to say, just wait till...

    It think Microsoft should change the name of the OS to "just wait till". That is all they have been saying since the IPhone blew them out of the market.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The iPhone didn't blow Microsoft out of the market.

      It blew Nokia out of the market.

      Microsoft were never in the market.

  82. Gearhead


    balmer finally got 2 things right. Android is cheap (free) and complex (it will do anything you want)..

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