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"They start out way behind:" Ballmer on Android

updated 02:50 pm EST, Thu November 6, 2008

Ballmer criticizes Android

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Thursday said at an annual Telstra investment meeting that the Google-designed Android operating system debuted in the T-Mobile G1 handset won't make the company money. According to a report originating from an event held by Australian cellular provider Telstra, Ballmer believes Google is essentially telling its investors the new product has no revenue model; he doesn't understand the strategy.

"They can hire smart guys, hire a lot of people, bla dee bla dee bla, but you know they start out way behind in a certain sense," Ballmer reportedly said.

The CEO expressed his belief that telecommunications companies will ask to be paid to carry out searches, despite Google trading the operating system for being the default search browser in the sold devices. According to the Microsoft CEO, this lack of money-making abilities means improving the Android OS will not be a focus, and there is other competition Ballmer is worried about for its Windows Mobile operating system, which is widely believed to focus heavily on Apple and RIM.

This is hardly the first time Ballmer has made unkind comments about a competitor's product, criticizing Apple last year for its money-making software scheme for the original iPhone. At the time, he was persuaded the device would never sell due in part to its steep price.

At the same event, Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo partly mirrored Ballmer's views regarding Android, calling it "interesting, not compelling." He also questioned Google's ability to bear with its new OS and help it successfully grow into future product generations.

by MacNN Staff



  1. gambit-7

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Here's the thing about Ballmer: he's quotable to the extreme, but he's a frackin' idiot.

    He's not understanding the revenue that will be generated by having millions of phones using an ad-sponsored OS. Google has created the opposite of the iPhone model and as the OS provider, they can link their services directly into the phone. The most popular search service pushing their own services into a mobile OS and handing that out for the cost of the hardware..... man. This is the type of integration that Ballmer can only dreams of, no wonder he doesn't understand how to make money using this method!

    Me, though? I like Android's open approach to everything, but that has downsides, too. I'll stick with my iPhone, thank you.

  1. ericfickes

    Joined: Dec 1969


    give me break

    Ok, Google is a search engine that released a new web browser and a mobile phone this year. What has MS done to shake up the mobile or internet industry this year? All I can think of is TV commercials trying to convince people that Vista doesn't suck, and screenshots of Vista's successor.

    And MS does have lots of practice, but too bad they spend so much time catching up and not leading the way.

    Developers, developers, developers, developers!!!!

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    More BS from MS

    And yet more bullshit flows from the mouth of Monkey Boy.

  1. colinet

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That would be the same Sol Trujillo who said the iPhone would never sell and Telstra wouldn't touch it. The same telstra that screws us all with their outrageous broadband costs,

  1. malax

    Joined: Dec 1969


    all about the FUD

    Somehow Ballmer's speculation doesn't convince me that Google doesn't have a plan. He's just trying to do what little he can to scare people away from trying a competitor's product. I got a Windows Mobile phone (from work, after asking if an iPhone was available) about six months ago and it's terrible as a phone and terrible as a computer. IE is pathetic. So I can see why they want to talk down other products: their's just plain sucks.

  1. boris_cleto

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This from a guy who sells a game console that has lost hundreds of millions.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ballmer's Bull

    It must be great to be a billionaire. It obviously leads to losing touch with reality and to say c*** like this. If this guy had to start all over, he'd be some junior exec at an company like Google trying to push andoid.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ballmer's Bull

    It must be great to be a billionaire. It obviously leads to losing touch with reality and to say c*** like this. If this guy had to start all over, he'd be some junior exec at an company like Google trying to push andoid.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    windows mobile

    Sounds like he's talking about windows mobile

  1. nativeNYer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I increasingly wonder what it will take for the MS board to oust this fool from his position. Every single time he is asked a question about a competitors product, complete uninformed BS comes out of his mouth.

    What in the h*** is it going to take for the board to realize this guy really doesn't understand this business? He simply inherited a legacy from the Bill Gates era, that is beginning to show decline by the way. He's done nothing significant to keep Microsoft relevant since taking the CEO position there. I guess he just hopes to continue to fake it and people will still throw money at the Redmond company. That strategy is not working though, as MS is beginning to lose customers over to competitors products, like Apple et al.

    Maybe they're too scared to oust him, lest he throw chairs at the board members.

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