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Steve Ballmer: iPhone? WinMo is Where It's At!

Steve Ballmer has said and done some nutty things in the past (developers, developers, developers, anyone?) and his latest comments about the iPhone are definitely raising a few eyebrows.

PCWorld reports that at a recent midyear update in New York, Steve Ballmer told analysts that the iPhone does not have the same market potential as handsets running other, more open operating systems. "The real market momentum with operators and the real market momentum with device manufacturers seems to primarily be with Windows Mobile and Android," explained Ballmer. According to PCW, while the Microsoft CEO acknowledged that Apple's iPhone has "consumer market mojo," he suggested that it does not have the same market potential as the mobile platforms controlled by Microsoft and Google.

With Windows Mobile 7 coming out next year, it’s natural that Ballmer would want to talk up his own product. However, what surprises us (okay, not really) is he seems to just be damning the iPhone. Not only does he claim phones running WinMo have more potential but Android too. We think that’s a little unfair. The iPhone is definitely popular and with rumors that the next iPhone will be out this summer, it’s anyone’s guess as to what Apple will come out with next. What do you think? Do WinMo and Android have anything on the iPhone or is Ballmer just full of hot air?

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  • tenor77
    I guess it's more a question of what you want the phone for. If you're doing business and need an office suite for your phone I guess WinMo is what you need. I'm more of a minimalist when it comes to my phones. I hate the fact I have to have one. If I'm out of the office....I'm out of the office. Wait till I come back. But that's just me.
  • sfiorito
    I've been a WinMo user since the beginning, but I'm getting tired of waiting for Microsoft to catch up. WinMo 7 should've been out (or the features at least) 2 years ago. The platform is lagging behind in terms of usability. I love my Blackjack II and TyTn, but for usability they don't come close to the iPhone. As a developer, obviously I prefer WinMo, but as an end user I'm seriously leaning towards moving to the iPhone.
  • g-thor
    At this point, I'd sit on the fence. Android looks and sounds good so far, but it is still in the ramp up phase. Can it live up to what Google sees it being? It really needs to see better acceptance from phone manufacturers (and I wouldn't mind seeing some of our mobile service providers in Canada joining in as well). That said, I am excited to see what innovations it brings to the market. I do think it has the chance of driving innovation and competition.

    WinMo 7 - still an unknown to the public. Hey Microsoft, show us what it will do (as in Final Release version - the one that counts) and then we can actually do a comparison.

    iPhone v3? We all know Apple. Whatever changes they make won't be known until it is released. (I'm pretty sure Apple has a chip they implant into all employees that keeps them from telling anything to anyone.)

    Currently I use an HTC TyTN (old stuff) with WinMo 6 and it is adequate. That's all it will be because of the age of the hardware. I have used Blackberry and liked a lot of things about it, especially the battery life and reception range. I'd love to try out the G1 and see what Android has to offer, but that's a very expensive test run (maybe we need someone who rents them out for a week, or something).

    What really counts, though, is usability. How well does it do what I want, and how simple is it to start the functions? WinMo needs to improve in those areas. RIM may have improved a lot with the new Bold/Storm combo, but they're way out of my price range at the moment.

    I like the fact that the competition is heating up. This should lead to better choices for us, the consumers, so I don't care who wins or who raises the bar to the next level.
  • "The real market momentum with operators and the real market momentum with device manufacturers seems to primarily be with Windows Mobile and Android," explained Ballmer."

    This statement betrays Ballmer's blind spot. With PCs, this was good strategy because IT departments made the majority of purchases in the early days when PCs were expensive. But with cellphones, the average consumer is going to decide, NOT the "operators" or "operators."
  • eccentric909
    The IPhone would be much cooler if they lifted some of the restrictions on it and was more open-ended. Especially in the US, which I don't know if it's the case anymore, where you have to use AT&T.. at least that's how it was when it launched. AT&T is pretty terrible in my area, so the IPhone for me is a no go unfortunately.
  • bunnyblaster
    Let's put it this way. Blackberry's main focus is email and online access. Apple is positioning its iPhone to be the all purpose mobile entertainment and platform that happens to have phone functions.

    What do you think corporate executives want their employees using? A phone that can be modded full of games or a workphone if they are subsidizing the bill? The reality is most of the upper smart phone users are still corporate subsidized.
  • Airrax
    I've got to say that the real determining factor is pop culture. Techies make up a small portion of the populous, even though it does seem that the majority of the population is starting to swing toward technological advancement, as seen with choosing Blu-Ray (Please do not start a war with this, mainly all I'm saying is that people decided on a format that holds larger capacity, unlike VHS vs. Betamax), and the popularity of digital distribution. The problem, though, is that most of the people in America will still choose hip over functional when it comes to a product that is 'attached' to them. Most people don't care if it's faster, or has a better camera, or is a better phone in almost all long as it increases their social standing in the 'fashion' world, and is easy enough for an untrained monkey to use.

    I guess I can summarize this with the following: What's the difference between a $10,000 phone that Bill Gates buys and one that Paris Hilton buys? Most people wish they had the Paris phone. It doesn't matter that Mr. Gates' phone is capable of running his 'Sky Home' from anywhere in the solar system, has 7680x4800 resolution, and can play Crysis at 263 fps. Paris's is made of gold and has diamonds. It sparkles.
  • jarnail24
    I'm a die hard windows fanboy but I can't help playing with my girlfriend's iphone. windows mobile can do anything the iphone can but on the iphone its enjoyable and so easy to use.
  • theuerkorn
    There are those that would never accept anything Microsoft and there are those who don't think MS could ever fail. For the rest of us it's all about functionality and price. (These days mostly the latter.) The iPhone has a strong multimedia and ease-of-use aspect, while still lacking some business apps. Apple may not fix that even in the rumored next generation, but most people won't care and it sure remains strong. WinMo 7 is a lot of me-too and it will please those who want/need Windows. For me, after Palm it's now the iPhone and I have no immediate need to jump ship one way or the other.