Steve Ballmer Trashes Chrome OS, Safari
With fists of steel, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently gave Apple and Google the one-two punch in the gut, talking trash about the Chrome OS and Safari browser, calling them "rounding errors." But to his credit, Ballmer did have a few positive things to say about his competitors, saying that Mozilla's Firefox browser is actually the most successful so far. Although he claims that Microsoft holds a 74-percent marketshare overall, the company is "competing like heck" to keep its reigning crown.
But what seemed to really rattle his cage as of late was Google's recent announcement concerning the Chrome Frame plugin. Essentially Google's software would replace Microsoft's browser rendering engine, claiming to speed up Internet Explorer. The revelation took Microsoft by surprise evidently, with Ballmer calling it an "unanticipated competitive attack factor" in that Chrome Frame replaces Internet Explorer "without telling you."
"I mean that’s how I would say it," he told Tech Crunch in an interview. "For all intents and purposes of what they’re doing, IE is not there. It’s their operating system. Instead of now masked as browser, it’s masked as a plug in basically to IE. So, you know, we’re going to have to compete like heck and you know, see where things go. The one thing that’s unclear is what’s the economic play for anybody else competing with us at the browser level. Is this all about kind of controlling the search box or is it about something else?"
He goes on to assume that Google must have gotten Android wrong by shifting focus on the Chrome OS. He said that it's generally advisable to get the software right and stay right, especially in the OS business. He expected to see PCs running Android this fall or by the end of the year, but when Google decided to work on the Chrome OS, he assumed something wasn't quite right with the first OS. "I think that’s a little tougher for them now because they basically tell the hardware community Android is dead, Chrome is the thing or maybe Chrome isn’t the thing," he said. "Maybe it is Android."