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MSFT CEO: Apple Products Too Expensive, Android Too Wild

By - Source: CNET | B 39 comments

Windows Phone hoping to make its mark in the smartphone market.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has shared his thoughts on the software giant's competitors, with the executive labeling Apple products too expensive and Google's Android too wild due to its openness.

Speaking with LinkedIn co-founder and venture capitalist Reid Hoffman at a Churchill Club event, Steve Ballmer commented on Microsoft's competitors in the mobile market. "The ecosystem of Android is a little wild," he stated, referring to malware and compatibility issues deriving from several versions of Android. "Conversely, Apple's system looks highly controlled and quite high prices," he added, noting the $1,000 cost of an iPhone in Russia. "How do you get quality not at a premium price with not quite as controlled an ecosystem."

"The best of both worlds is available to us," he stressed. Ballmer explained that phone operators around the globe want three vendors, not two. "On the high end, they have Apple and Samsung and a sea at the low-end. We have a customer set that wants an alternative, and it's a different opportunity strategically...the product has to be great. Windows 8 is the most personal smart phone. When you whip out your phone, you want to see the things that matter to you."

Ballmer, however, acknowledged that it's still an early stage: "If anyone thinks hardware innovation in pocket devices is ending, they are nuts." According to analyst firm Gartner, Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile operating system attributes to only 2.4 percent of the smartphones shipped worldwide in 2012's third quarter.

That said, Ballmer doesn't expect Microsoft's mobile operating system to become an instant success. "There is unmet need from operators and, from a consumer perspective, a lot of room for innovation. The challenge is to get 10 percent of the smartphone market, and then 15 percent, and then 20 percent. We aren't trying to get to 60 percent overnight."

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    hrhuffnpuff , November 16, 2012 12:21 AM
    MSFT CEO: "Apple too expensive, Android too wild, Microsoft too stubborn to listen to vendors and customers."
  • 23 Hide
    house70 , November 16, 2012 12:19 AM
    Don't abandon your customers/devs again, and you might have a chance...
  • 21 Hide
    A Bad Day , November 16, 2012 12:12 AM
    MSFT has a long way to go. If you can't get a software ecosystem to grow, then it's usually game over.
Other Comments
  • 21 Hide
    A Bad Day , November 16, 2012 12:12 AM
    MSFT has a long way to go. If you can't get a software ecosystem to grow, then it's usually game over.
  • 23 Hide
    house70 , November 16, 2012 12:19 AM
    Don't abandon your customers/devs again, and you might have a chance...
  • 23 Hide
    hrhuffnpuff , November 16, 2012 12:21 AM
    MSFT CEO: "Apple too expensive, Android too wild, Microsoft too stubborn to listen to vendors and customers."
  • 17 Hide
    xpeh , November 16, 2012 12:27 AM
    My cousin from Russia came to visit me in America for summer. He bought about 10 iPhone 4's for 3 thousand dollars and I unlocked them. He went back to Russia and made about 8 thousand dollars.
  • 0 Hide
    Chewie , November 16, 2012 12:33 AM
    I don't see them having much of a chance here. Even if they had all their programmers writing apps, they couldn't match the Android coder base. Its the same reason they are so panicked about Linux in the desktop space (try googling halloween documents). Once you've got an open environment, its bloody hard for one company to dominate the apps.
    Personally, I'm still hanging out for someone to make something like a virtual windows box that'll run on linux for the non-code-monkey types like me.
    Hell, maybe there already is one, but I don't know about it. Inertia has me using windows, 'cause I play lots of games. That's all there is to it, and I'm sure I'm not alone.
  • -7 Hide
    mrmez , November 16, 2012 12:57 AM
    Good old M$. Nice to see they are still full of sh!t making excuses.

    Apple is a rip off but they still sell out of any new product in half an hour worldwide.
    Android is wild and out of control, but sleighs the competition with no sign of stopping.

    Boo hop, poor M$
  • 5 Hide
    bavman , November 16, 2012 12:58 AM
    I agree with Ballmer to an extend.

    Apple is definitely overpriced, but its also so so closed of a system that it doesn't give people wiggle room on what they want. Its a one-size-fits-all kind of system which is unappealing for a lot of people including myself. The upside to this is that Apple can provide a more thorough product; support for its products is very very good because they only have a handful of models at a time that they have to maintain.

    Android is at the other end of the extreme. Its so so open that just about anyone can make a tablet/phone/whatever and load android on it and sell it. And while there are some freaking awesome android devices there is also a lot of crap that should never have been made/allowed to sell. You get stuff like $50 tablets coming out of china that are so crappy and underpowered they can't do anything, and are usually full of bugs/etc. A lot of manufactures also release several products and neglect most of them except the top tier devices or just the flagship devices. But android as just an o/s is very nice because its so open to development and has a huge span of applications.

    I think if microsoft can find the middle ground between the two major players right now it can become a major powerhouse in the mobile sector.
  • -2 Hide
    acerace , November 16, 2012 1:04 AM
    tonym14Steve Ballmer is stupid !!!


    *You're.
  • 1 Hide
    bebangs , November 16, 2012 1:48 AM
    Last time i checked MSFT phones are also expensive and aint worth compared to android and apple products. They are also so wild that i couldnt find anyone using it.
  • 8 Hide
    tpi2007 , November 16, 2012 2:02 AM
    Ballmer certainly knows how to twist reality. He tells us about two premises and then draws a conclusion that has nothing to do with the premises:

    1. Apple's system looks highly controlled and quite high prices;

    2. Google's Android too wild due to its openness. Malware and compatibility issues deriving from several versions of Android.


    Let's address this:

    1. Windows Phone phones are not exactly cheap, while you can buy a previous generation iPhone for affordable prices. Surface RT is not by any means a cheap tablet either - $499 without the Touch Cover; the ecosystem is also highly controlled, you can't install apps other than the ones available from the Microsoft Store. The exact same thing for Windows Phone.

    2. Compatibility issues ? What about several versions of Windows Mobile and Windows Phone ? Apps designed for Windows Mobile 6.5 (The first one to have the main screens - but not the rest of the OS - designed for touch) work with Windows Phone 7 ? Apps designed for Windows Phone 8 work with Windows Phone 7 ? Malware issues ? It's easy to talk when nobody uses your OS. Everybody knows that the most popular platforms get the most attention from hackers. Linux can also brag about being more secure than Windows. I like Linux, but I'm not going to pretend that a big factor behind the fact it is more secure, besides arguably more robust security features, is the fact that is has a small marketshare. According to Tom's latest article, Google's Android currently has 72.4 percent market share.
  • -8 Hide
    Anonymous , November 16, 2012 2:10 AM
    I'll take My PC with a type 1 hyporvisor and run any OS available for install on my PC, and each OS will run under My type 1 hyporvisor's VM. The type 1 hyporvisor will controll the hardware and the drvers! The OSs running under the type 1 hyporvisor's Virtual Machines will think they are the only OS installed and running, but they will be running on the virturalized PC, under complete controll of the type 1 hyporvisor!
    Abandon Hope All Ye Ballmers and minions, of ever controlling the virturalized zone!
  • 0 Hide
    tomfreak , November 16, 2012 2:25 AM
    here is the thing MSFT, be generous, make more free useful apps for win8 then u got a winner.
  • -2 Hide
    bigdragon , November 16, 2012 2:29 AM
    Android and Apple each have a problem. MSFT has both problems! Products are priced at Apple levels and their app store is as barren and desolate as the wild west was. Ballmer should research glass houses and stones.
  • -8 Hide
    Anonymous , November 16, 2012 2:34 AM
    Lold at 1000 usd iphone in Russia. Who buys them, bears?
  • 4 Hide
    thillntn , November 16, 2012 2:41 AM
    I had to read that a few times over, it was weird reading M$ bashing someone for overcharging, as well as driver issues and malware!!! LOL.
  • -2 Hide
    nameon , November 16, 2012 4:24 AM
    bebangsLast time i checked MSFT phones are also expensive and aint worth compared to android and apple products. They are also so wild that i couldnt find anyone using it.


    When was the last time you checked...2006?....
    Windows phone 7/7.5 and Windows phone 8 are flippin awesome, the day i got mine, both my bros wanted to trade me their iPhone 4's, yeah few else people know about them coz, they aren't inundated with marketing or crap from the likes of Apple or Google, Microsoft is playing it safe for now....
  • -1 Hide
    somerandomasian , November 16, 2012 4:27 AM
    iphone 5 is $1k in Russia?????
  • 1 Hide
    nameon , November 16, 2012 4:34 AM
    thillntnI had to read that a few times over, it was weird reading M$ bashing someone for overcharging, as well as driver issues and malware!!! LOL.

    Dude..Come on, you got to admit WP7/7.5 & WP8 are awesome, i have two phones, 1 HTC android and 1 samsung WP7.5, the android came out a year after the windows phone and it has the specs to beat WP7.5 to a PULP, but guess what, it doesnt coz even though it got twice the RAM, twice the CPU power, its still android and we all know bloated the android experience is, now im about to put up the HTC android up for sale and stick with the trusty WP7.5!!! Dont knock it till you try it.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 16, 2012 5:02 AM
    Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says "Apple products too expensive" while "Google's Android too wild" and for "Microsoft Is Filled With Loopholes For Hackers To Crack".

    So his suggestion is "Don't Buy Anything".
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