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Ballmer: Computer Scientists Needed to Use Android

During the annual Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was asked to compare the appeal of a phone powered by Windows Phone to one with Google's Android OS installed. Naturally Ballmer removed the gloves and used his fists of steel against the rival operating system, indicating that users need to be a computer scientist to navigate through its interface and sea of icons.

"You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows phone and you do to use and Android phone," he said. "It is hard for me to be excited about the Android phones."

Recent numbers seemingly disagree. In August, around 43-percent of smartphone owners actually owned an Android device. During a three month period prior to that, 56-percent of smartphone buyers chose an Android device followed by 28-percent that chose Apple's iPhone. Trailing behind Google and Apple was RIM's BlackBerry with a 9-percent share. Microsoft's Windows Phone and other mobile operating systems fell within the "Other" 6-percent chasm.

Does that mean 48-percent of smartphone owners are computer scientists, or is Microsoft's Windows Phone geared towards the simple-minded? To Ballmer's defense, Android is installed on a huge number of smartphones whereas Windows Phone is currently limited to ten devices. Still, Apple has managed to retain second place with just two or three active models on the market.

Following his comment about Android, Ballmer said that Apple is a good competitor, but a different one, praising the company's latest innovation, Siri. But he also said that Windows Phone devices are better because they put the user's need right on the device's front page.

"Both [an iPhone and a Windows phone] are going to feel very good in your hand and both going to look very beautiful physically," he said. "But when you grab a Windows phone and use it… your information is front and center… and you don’t have to scroll through seas of icons and blah blah blah."

"A Windows phone gets things done," he added.

Ballmer also admitted that Windows Phone needed to compete better on price with Android handsets and start supporting cheaper models. He also said that Microsoft has no plans to produce its own smartphone to go head to head with Apple, but will instead remain focused on "enabling hardware innovation."

  • AbdullahG
    You just suck at using phones Ballmer. You're a MS CEO, so you're going to be bias when comparing Windows phones to Android phones.
    Reply
  • husker
    "But he also said that Windows Phone devices are better because they put the user's need right on the device's front page."

    Last time I checked, my android phone has all kinds of widgets and icons to put anywhere I want. And how does he think he knows what my needs are anyway?
    Reply
  • jacobdrj
    husker"But he also said that Windows Phone devices are better because they put the user's need right on the device's front page."Last time I checked, my android phone has all kinds of widgets and icons to put anywhere I want. And how does he think he knows what my needs are anyway?Steve Jobbs did, why not Stevie B?
    Reply
  • mlopinto2k1
    husker"But he also said that Windows Phone devices are better because they put the user's need right on the device's front page."Last time I checked, my android phone has all kinds of widgets and icons to put anywhere I want. And how does he think he knows what my needs are anyway?Why even use "he" if your going to address Ballmer personally anyway? You would have saved 5 spaces just addressing him in the first place ;)
    Reply
  • legacy7955
    I like these stories on Ballmer just because I get to see his many goofy photos .

    Hey Tom's can you create an article specifically focusing on Ballmer photos?

    BTW I am a Windows OS fan, but I think Ballmer is a wacky guy for the CEO of Microsoft.
    Reply
  • badaxe2
    Isn't it kinda ironic how Windows used to be the most user-unfriendly platform back in the 90's? Then with Xbox 360 it seems they started going the Apple route.
    Reply
  • soo-nah-mee
    I really like my WP7, but I only got it because I got a new phone off contract for $100.

    Android is awesome. It's not hard to use. Okay, it may not be quite as intuitive as a Windows phone (or iOS for that matter, but it is far more versatile and fun to use IMO.

    ICS is the SHIT.
    Reply
  • soo-nah-mee
    BTW, I'm glad that the newest android version can be shortened into an acronym. I was sick of talking about desserts.
    Reply
  • 13thmonkey
    I tried to help a friend with a modern windows phone, really difficult to get to grips with imho, put me off there and then, I wanted a nice big settings button i could have a look around inside of.
    Reply
  • MS under Ballmer has become an embarrassment.

    Someone give this bozo the boot now, for the sake of Windows, for the sake of Microsoft, and for the sake of the evolving web.
    Reply