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Ballmer Calls Android a "Press Release" 270

Bergkamp10 writes "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer tried to shoot down Google's new mobile platform at a press conference in Tokyo. Ballmer called Android a mere 'press release' at present, and said the mobile platform market is 'Microsoft's world.' Ballmer dodged requests to comment on specifics of the Android software platform, preferring instead to highlight the successes of the Windows Mobile platform which he said is on 150 different handsets and is available from over 100 different mobile operators. 'Well of course their efforts are just some words on paper right now, it's hard to do a very clear comparison [with Windows Mobile],' Ballmer said. 'Right now they have a press release, we have many, many millions of customers, great software, many hardware devices and they're welcome in our world,' he added."
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Ballmer Calls Android a "Press Release"

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  • Vaporware? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:39AM (#21280271)

    Ballmer called Android a mere 'press release' at present

    That's rich, coming from one of the greatest producers of vaporware in the world.

    • Re:Vaporware? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Da Fokka ( 94074 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:59AM (#21280515) Homepage

      That's rich, coming from one of the greatest producers of vaporware in the world.

      Be that as it may, Windows Mobile is in widespread use and Android isn't yet. I have little doubt that it will be adopted with great speed, but currently Mr Ballmer does have a point.

      • Re:Vaporware? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <aussie_bobNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Thursday November 08, 2007 @10:12AM (#21280627) Journal
        Windows Mobile is in widespread use

        As an ex-user of Windows Mobile and now on Symbian, I'd say the market is still wide open for someone who can do it well.

        WinCE is still crash-prone, clumsy and ugly on a handheld. Symbian is more stable and looks better, but still has glitches, and is much harder to develop for. Apple iPhone's locked down nature isn't suited to creating a new mobile software ecosystem, so if Google gets this right, they may have a new wave to ride.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Aladrin ( 926209 )
          On the other hand, maybe OpenMoko will be the one to 'get it right'.

          I used to always believe that Open Source was a neat thing, and a good idea... But not terribly effective at being cutting edge. That has changed lately, at least in my eyes, and I see OS taking over. Compiz on Kubuntu is very, very nice, if not yet perfect. I can do things on it that make my Mac co-workers a bit jealous (Yakuake, desktop cube, scribbling on the screen) and it's getting better all the time. ATI has been releasing their
          • Re:Vaporware? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by alienw ( 585907 ) <alienw DOT slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday November 08, 2007 @01:52PM (#21283469)
            I don't think you quite understand the situation here. Linux on the desktop was a hobbyist project until very recently. Hobbyist projects rarely amount to much: good programmers usually don't have a whole lot of spare time. Novell and Ubuntu/Canonical/Shuttleworth started pushing desktop Linux a couple of years ago, and it's already made tremendous gains. Linux is certainly pretty successful on the server, which is where 98% of the development effort was going. IBM and Redhat don't care about the desktop; they needed a server operating system, and they were quite successful at creating it.

            The fact is, open-source is a highly efficient way to collaboratively develop software. It is a great framework for collaboration on a corporate level: it's simple and lightweight, with no complicated corporate agreements and resulting conflicts of interest. This is what Google is trying to accomplish here. If a few of the major 5-10 handset vendors gets serious and hires a few developers to push this platform along, it will quickly surpass anything Microsoft or Symbian can come up with, simply because the handset vendors know how to make phones and Microsoft doesn't. Google is just trying to kick-start the process.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by wfWebber ( 715881 )
          Let me start by saying I welcome any initiative to make it easier to develop software for phones. Let me continue by saying WM6 (atleast to me) is a great platform albeit a tad slow. I've yet to experience my first phone-crash, something I've seen more then once while running symbian.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Llywelyn ( 531070 )
          Apple is releasing a SDK in February. It remains to be seen exactly how locked down it will be after the SDK comes out.
        • Re:Vaporware? (Score:4, Informative)

          by notaprguy ( 906128 ) * on Thursday November 08, 2007 @12:12PM (#21282037) Journal
          I wonder whether you're being honest. I've used several Windows Mobile phones and can't think of a single crash - ever. Maybe I had one about a year ago when I installed some wierd app. Also, Windows Mobile has improved greatly in UI and Microsoft gives the handset makers pretty much total freedom to customize as they see fit. Windows Mobile is just a platform. It's the handset makers who do interesting things with it.
        • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )
          WinCE is on par with Windows 95 when it comes to stability and security. And the functionality is about the scale "one size fits all", which means that it's not really possible to tweak it so it suits your particular preferences.

          The old PalmOS was a little better in some parts, but it was even less stable and couldn't cope with the mobile phone pda functionality.

          The whole phone industry is really about not really providing a stable base for developers, just because there is an urgent need to really push

      • Re:Vaporware? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Damastus the WizLiz ( 935648 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @10:16AM (#21280671)
        This just in, Loud mouth CEO down plays and insults competition. Really people, This is in no way suprising, of course Ballmer is going to insult anything that isnt microsoft. At this point I think we should all do our selves the favor of ignoring anything that comes out of his mouth these days. Except maybe to have the occasional laugh at something wildly outrageous.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Fred_A ( 10934 )

        That's rich, coming from one of the greatest producers of vaporware in the world.

        Be that as it may, Windows Mobile is in widespread use and Android isn't yet.

        Apparently Windows mobile has a little more presence on phones than Linux has on the desktop. "Widespread use" doesn't seem to be a very good way of characterising it.

        Granted Windows Mobile has seen the Real World (tm) and has even been through a number of iterations which made it somewhet better (hopefully). It also has the theoretical advantage of being able to communicate more easily with the dominant desktop system and to share applications with it with a recompile (and possibly a few tweakings).

        Note h

        • Re:Vaporware? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by topham ( 32406 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @10:30AM (#21280833) Homepage
          Windows Mobile is on 150 different phones; and every one of them sucks.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by notaprguy ( 906128 ) *
          You said: Note however that with those pretty massive advantages it still remains a very marginal player on the phone market. Well, change "phone market" to "smartphone market" and the picture changes. Windows Mobile is doing very well in the smartphone market overall, especially in the US. That's where the innovation is happening. Anybody can build a basic little toy phone OS/experience.
      • I recall watching Ballmer making comments about the iPhone, too. Haven't heard anything from him since the iPhone actually released. But given his prediction ability, I would say that this is really a non-event. That is unless you want a record of the statements for future comedy efforts.
    • He's right in this case though, isn't he? I'm amazed that Google is quickly overtaking Microsoft in the vaporware business.
  • by HBI ( 604924 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:39AM (#21280277) Journal
    This is the same guy who at one point ran around a COMDEX crashing OS/2 systems with a custom made application to put the lie to IBM's touting of its "crashproof" nature. He's been Microsoft's attack dog for the last 20 years and that's pretty much been his only role in the industry. What is the reason that I, or anyone else, should care what this professional troll thinks?
    • by eebra82 ( 907996 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:50AM (#21280427) Homepage
      You are correct about his role at Microsoft. He really is Microsoft's attack dog, but regardless of what you and I think of him, he is correct. Microsoft has a great share of the mobile market and their software is actually quite good nowadays. And yes, Google's announcement is sort of a press release at the moment.

      To sum things up, competition is good and Microsoft is going to get a taste of a company that can do more to mobile platforms than Symbian can (or so I expect).
      • by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <{atd7} {at} {cornell.edu}> on Thursday November 08, 2007 @10:19AM (#21280709) Homepage
        Microsoft has a pretty good presence in the mobile market, but it is most definately not "Microsoft's World".

        Steve is running scared. I'd say that over 75% of the Windows Mobile market consists of handsets manufactured by HTC and Motorola, with a good chunk of the rest being Samsung. Guess what - those two companies are part of Google's OHA. (I can't remember, is Samsung involved? Microsoft is really screwed if they are.)

        Steve should shut up and stop attacking Android and figure out how to compete before Microsoft loses one of their largest handset manufacturers.
        • I really hope he doesn't compete. I would love it, LOVE IT if there actually was a dominant open platform. Especially the emerging cell phone market. To be able to do whatever the hell you want with what you buy..... how novel.
        • I'd say that over 75% of the Windows Mobile market consists of handsets manufactured by HTC and Motorola
          Interesting...as Motorola uses a lot of Linux stuff for the handsets too. So even with Motorola, Windows Mobile is not the majority of what they ship. ;-)
        • I'm old enough to remember when Apple ran an ad in the NY Times "welcoming" IBM to the PC business. The ensuing competition didn't quite turn out the way Jobs hoped it would.
      • Microsoft has a great share of the mobile market and their software is actually quite good nowadays.

        Nice astroturf attempt, but too many people here have tried to use Windows Mobile handhelds.

        Their software is not good. It's not stable. It's resource hungry. The interface is intrusive and ugly. The only advantage for users of the platform is the development tools available.

        If Palm hadn't dropped the ball, Google might have had a fight on their hands. As it is, the field's open.

      • by uradu ( 10768 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @11:26AM (#21281445)
        Yes, Microsoft are the dominant smartphone platform right now, and Android is nothing more than an announcement. But that doesn't change the fact that Microsoft have seriously rested on their laurels with their pocket OS. For a company that likes to include the word "innovation" in just about any phrase they utter, there's not much of that going on in the mobile arena at all. Their most cutting edge and innovative effort to date has probably been the Windows Mobile Search app. Perhaps if they let those guys loose on the OS, we might actually see some real innovation. They've just dicked around with the look of WM, without any significant changes of any sort. Adding HTML email support to Pocket Outlook and calling that a significant OS enhancement, just because those apps are bundled with the OS, is skirting the issue that they have no real will to make any serious OS advances. They're pretty much stagnant and at a complete stand still. WM6 is still clumsy and helpless with regards to resource use. It needs a complete overhaul of how it handles application life cycles. Starting apps and having no real concept of when to stop them again--because hey, you might need them again, and keeping them loaded will improve loading times--is hardly a viable approach when PIE plus another app (say mobile search) will often exhaust available memory and prevent you from even popping up the Contacts list to make a call (this IS a phone, after all!), let alone the camera or any other such unnecessary luxuries. I don't know how often I've tried to pop up the camera app on my HTC Dash to capture a quick moment, only to be told that there's not enough memory and basta. Only extreme self control and the disdain for blowing $200 in a flash have prevented me from smashing the phone against the nearest wall in such moments. Microsoft, that's not how a mobile OS is supposed to behave. If Android does better than that, you will be pushed into total irrelevance within a few short years.
        • by sarhjinian ( 94086 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @02:09PM (#21283737)
          I agree with everything you've said, except for "resting on their laurels". WM hasn't been given any laurels. At all. We're in the middle of a deployment of these units to our sales staff and they're outright awful, regardless of the vendor source. Applications hang and lock the whole device, database stores get corrupt (oh, good job on persistent storage, guys--next time, how about an FS that doesn't cheese files on reboot) phone functionality is iffy and the hardware runs the gamut from "okay" (MotoQ, iPaq 6900) to outright awful (some of the dime-a-dozen Taiwanese makes). There are bugs in the platform that make, say, mail so bad that you pretty much have to use Exchange or replace Pocket Outlook with a third-party mail client. The aforementioned cemail.vol corruption problem is astounding: you can pretty much cheese your mailbox just by resetting the device while checking mail (which you will have to do because it will crash). It took a lot of digging to find out that the only option is to blow away the mailbox, which is really hard to do as the file is locked on device bootup. Exchange makes this a little less painful, but only slightly. This behaviour exists in any app on any WM5+ handheld that uses Microsoft's database volumes (eg, any app that wants to keep client-side data) and is a side effect of adding persistent storage without a decent FS. Before WM5, your handheld would self-erase upon power loss or hard crash. WM2003 was about as safe as it got, but with WM2003 you don't get push mail, persistent storage and a whole lot of other services. Contrast this with BlackBerry. Then there's device management (or rather, there **isn't** device management). You have to buy Exchange to do remote-wipe and SMS (or a third party app) to do anything else, and even then it barely does anything. And then there's ActiveSync, which is a tool of Satan. I can think of no other better evidence of Microsoft's monopoly effect in action than WM: no other company could have released something as patently awful and sucker so many people into using it unless they had another market they could leverage. It's especially amazing when in the other corner you have BlackBerry, which provides a rock-solid experience, great management tools and perfect push/sync (MS' push/sync is a nasty hack, by comparison. Sure, you can Frankenstein your implementation with third-party tools, but by that point you're in interoperability hell and the devices are still hanging and pissing users off. And god help you make third-party WM software to overcome MS's problems, because if you get wide enough adoption Microsoft will either buy you out (if you're lucky) or release a shoddy competitor (if you're not). WM is simply a vehicle to enable developers to take the path of least resistance. If it wasn't for the huge Windows developer base (and Microsoft's combination of deep pockets and sheer bloody-mindedness), this platform would be dead. It's scary to think that WM6 is, what, the eigth iteration of this product and it still can't hold a candle to the Newton Messagepad 2000, let alone BlackBerry.
      • by Wylfing ( 144940 )

        "Microsoft has a great share of the mobile market and their software is actually quite good nowadays"

        You mean so good that when I was shopping for a new phone last month, the sales rep told me to stay as far away from the Windows phones as possible. Or how about this: on a separate occasion, my wife (who was also shopping for a phone recently) had a sales rep tell her that he would refuse to sell her a Windows phone because 100% of them got returned within 2 weeks, and he was sick of having unhappy custome

      • by Kirth ( 183 )
        Microsoft has a great share of the mobile market and their software is actually quite good nowadays.

        Oh yeah? First show me the code!

        I don't believe in any of this cargo-cult-mumbo-jumbo, I believe in computer-science.
      • Microsoft has a great share of the mobile market

        They have a great marketshare unless you include Symbian and the Blackberry OS. Oh, and Palm too.

        and their software is actually quite good nowadays.

        Sucking less than before is not the same as good. Good is good.

        And yes, I've used Windows Mobile 6. That's why I have an iPhone now.

      • he is correct

        No, he isn't, and repeating spin doesn't make it come true.
      • by m2943 ( 1140797 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @02:04PM (#21283675)
        he is correct. Microsoft has a great share of the mobile market and their software is actually quite good nowadays. And yes, Google's announcement is sort of a press release at the moment.

        Have a look at the market share figures:

        http://x.msmobiles.com/portal/images/other/symbian-market-share.jpg [msmobiles.com]

        Microsoft's worldwide presence is a joke. In fact, Linux is already far more widely used worldwide than Microsoft, Palm, and RIM combined.

        And yes, Google's announcement is sort of a press release at the moment.

        It's a press release for something that is going to be available in less than a week for developers, with a dozen industry heavyweights behind it. That's not just a press release.
    • To be fair (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Xest ( 935314 )
      He's one of the more influential voices in the IT world. Whether that's good or bad, the fact is he has a lot of power, so as much as it would be nice to, we can't simply ignore him.

      Be it corruption, cheating, lies or whatever that got him where he is, the unfortunate fact is that he is there.
  • Wel... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Foolicious ( 895952 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:39AM (#21280283)

    "Right now they have a press release, we have many, many millions of customers, great software, many hardware devices and they're welcome in our world"
    Ok - Ballmer's a nut job sure, but is he saying anything absolutely, quantifiably wrong or deceitful here? The only part anyone could have any contention with is the "great software" part, I suppose.
    • Re:Wel... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ejdmoo ( 193585 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:41AM (#21280315)
      My thoughts exactly.

      The title of the story made it sound like he said, "Android? That's just a press release, nothing more!"

      Instead he made an insightful comment about MS's position in the Mobile OS market compared to Google's.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Ok - Ballmer's a nut job sure, but is he saying anything absolutely, quantifiably wrong or deceitful

      Absolutely, quantifiably wrong? No. Deceitful, maybe. If Google has announced this technology, which has been only rumors for a very long time, you can probably bet that it's more than 'just talk.' Google probably has some code and maybe a prototype. Of course, since Google haven't shown anything, quantifiably, it is just talk.

      But he definitely overstates Microsoft's success on the mobile platform. Microsoft, is at best, a bit player on the global stage with Symbian currently dominating.

    • Re:Wel... (Score:5, Funny)

      by FredDC ( 1048502 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:55AM (#21280477)
      A translation might be in order:

      "Right now they have a press release" means "their design is already better than ours".

      "we have many, many millions of customers" means "alot of people are looking for an alternative"

      "great software" means "bloated software"

      "many hardware devices" means "we're still trying to build a good one"

      " and they're welcome in our world" means "they're violating our patents!".
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by AbbyNormal ( 216235 )
        More importantly, from an industry stand-point, I find it turning into a very interesting chess game. Google's press releases the past two weeks have just been about introducing new systems. Every single release has caused Microsoft to go on the defensive. Google releases a new kit for an open social network, and Microsoft has to keep defending their Facebook investment and also downplay Google's product. Google releases a new mobile kit and is immediately attacked by Microsoft (and Symbian). I don't r
      • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )
        Say what you want about Windows Mobile, but there are some GREAT hardware platforms running it.

        "many hardware devices" means "lots of hardware for our handset manufacturers to port Android to" - Note that two of the largest manufacturers of Windows Mobile based hardware (Motorola and HTC) are part of the OHA, and in fact HTC appears to be the company that will be doing the initial "reference hardware platform"

        For example, AT&T Wireless' Windows Mobile lineup consists of handsets from:
        Motorola (part of O
      • What is it that you think the gPhone will do that the MS Mobile platform can't? The iPhone's multi-touch interface is certainly a new development, but MS has been playing around with the same tech with their "Surface" coffee table. Do you really think MS won't have multi-touch in their next version of Mobile PC?
        • I mean, Apple has this tiny, thin, sexy iPhone. Microsoft has a coffee table. There's got to be a joke in there somewhere.

          Anyway, MS doesn't build phone or PC hardware. So any implementation of their "surface" work would have to come from them passing the tech on to their manufacturing partners.

    • Re:Wel... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Thoguth ( 203384 ) * on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:56AM (#21280483) Homepage

      Ballmer's a nut job sure, but is he saying anything absolutely, quantifiably wrong or deceitful here?
      Well, it's somewhat deceitful to try to sound like MS owns the mobile space, when really they're 3rd or fourth place. "Welcome to our house?" Yes, welcome to last place in the smartphone OS marketplace.
    • Re:Wel... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mspohr ( 589790 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @10:10AM (#21280609)
      Phone software can be much better... perhaps Google can help make it better.

      For a good review of the latest Windows Mobile version 6 on state of the art hardware, see the NYT. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/08/technology/personaltech/08pogue.html?ref=business [nytimes.com]

      I especially like his simple list of suggestions to Microsoft to fix severe usability problems such as: 'If it takes four presses on the More button just to see everything in the Start menu -- and you provide no direct way to get to the first page from the last -- you need to redesign.'

      And... '...over all, it's a shame that such bloated, baffling software runs a phone whose hardware is so close to perfect.'

      • I think most of his article is spot on, with the exception of this:

        A locking feature, which prevents the buttons from being pushed accidentally in a purse or pocket, is nice. But it should be optional. And one button press should suffice to unlock it; two in sequence is just annoying.

        The two-key sequence is the whole point - if only one key unlocks the phone, it could easily be accidentally pressed.

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )
      Or in other words, he is right. It was a press release. Heck not even a screen shot. Right now it is all buzz and no substance.
      The great software part... Well there is MAME for WinCE/Mobile. There are some very good applications for Windows Mobile. They do have millions of customers and many devices.
    • Ok - Ballmer's a nut job sure, but is he saying anything absolutely, quantifiably wrong or deceitful here?
      Not deceitful but very hypocritical.

      "Well of course their efforts are just some words on paper right now, it's hard to do a very clear comparison [with Windows Mobile]," he said.
      That's never stopped Balmer from comparing their vapor products to products already on the market.
    • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @11:08AM (#21281273) Journal

      Right now they have a press release

      TRANSLATION: so here is one my own. Their contains dates and promises with a history to back it up. Mine contains nothing.

      we have many, many millions of customers

      TRANSLATION: we got less then 10% of the market, we are so small Apple might overtake us with just one phone.

      great software

      TRANSLATION: Oh come one, am I trying to kid. It is the sucks and the only people that use Windows Mobile are those who absolutly have too. If it was so great we wouldn't be such a small player. Really, go to a european or japanese mobile phone dealer and try to find a MS phone. Thank god for our lock on the desktop or we would really be nothing. Curse you blackberry!

      many hardware devices

      TRANSLATION: we just can't shift them so we keep trying with lots of new devices hoping one day to get it right. Curse you steve jobs for doing it in one!

      they're welcome in our world

      TRANSLATION: and in our world the sky is pink with polka dots Wheee! I am not crazy, I am an airplane!

      So no, nothing he says is actually a lie, it is just... man it is hard to remain serious about this. The symbian one was laughable enough, this is just, it is almost sad.

      I have to keep telling myself it is his job to say that and that he probably knows that it is all a big lie, because if he really believes what he says he really needs to seek proffesional help.

      Some people point out that he has no choice but to say this, he needs to reasue stockholders. That is true. Up to a point. But if you are a MS stockholder, does this reassure you? Because it just sends up a huge red flag to me that this guy has no clue how to deal with the fact that MS Windows Mobile just ain't doing that well and is now facing two new competitors (Apple and Google) who seem to have a very big clue, wrapper around a stick and are paddling his flabby ass.

  • by BcNexus ( 826974 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:40AM (#21280295)
    I've been sorely disappointed by each version of Windows CE/CE.net/Mobile. I've got many gripes including battery life, locking up when the battery runs down, losing everything when the battery runs down, wifi issues, inability to play video despite 400 MHz ARM processors, no upgrades to the OS are available to consumers, features are tied to OS upgrades... Windows PDAs stink for all those reasons!
    • by Ajehals ( 947354 ) <a.halsall@pirateparty.org.uk> on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:51AM (#21280441) Homepage Journal
      Upgrade to something like Familiar, (or anything down the Open Embedded line) pretty much everything you mentioned goes away, battery life improves, you can watch full length DVD's (albeit at a small resolution), plus as a bonus you can use the unstable releases and retain those MS random lock ups, but in exchange for more features. Oh and if you use a PDA for reading Ebooks, then Opie-Reader is definitely the way to go, the best reader, once you have converted them all to text or html of course (but then I do that whenever I get an ebook anyway).
    • i have got a completely different experience.
      the battery life isn't that great, but then again, 520 mhz xscale and a big vga screen are eating a lot (and i do tend to listen music via a2dp and reading books on my windows mobile phone, and all that at the same time).
      nothing locks up when the battery runs down, the phone just shuts off. as soon as you begin to charge it, you can use it again. every cell phone does that. losing the data when the battery is empty happens no more since wm5. before that you had t
      • by phorest ( 877315 )

        but then again, name me please just one pda where you get operating system updates directly from the operating system vendor and not from the device manufacturer.


        If you want to brick your ****ed IPhone anyway

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by dunkelfalke ( 91624 )
          wrong. you get the update from the device manufacturer (which is also apple).

          microsoft doesn't make their pdas themselves, they sell the operating system to different oems instead.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by incer ( 1071224 )
      Well, Windows Mobile is just like normal Windows: it isn't great, but the real value is in third party apps and mods.
      I own an HTC Trinity (P3600) with WM5, and I like it, even though the OS has some real flaws and isn't really as user-friendly as it should be.... Still, there are thousand of modifications, and that to someone like me is very important.
    • by Alioth ( 221270 )
      I've not used it on phones, but we do have it on some hand held data terminals at work. I agree, it's molasses slow. It's like it's been designed for 2GHz Intel space heaters. The 400 MHz ARM has plenty of power. RiscOS flew on a 6MHz ARM in 1989... there's just too many layers of abstraction and bloat for the job - and Moore's law won't be helping here: low power devices will necessarily keep relatively low clock speeds - and won't be a multi-core space heater than Windows CE really needs to not have a dre
  • What happens... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EaglemanBSA ( 950534 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:41AM (#21280305)
    ...when the 'press release' takes as much market share from Microsoft as, say, Google's search engine has? Investors try to plan ahead - customers now aren't as important as customers tomorrow. Honestly, if I had my choice I'd picka Google-run mobile simply because I trust them more to be innovative and customer-centered. I think vista has shown us that simply 'owning the market' so-to-speak isn't going to get you incredibly far anymore.
  • by empaler ( 130732 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:41AM (#21280313) Journal
    Like when he faked laughter at the iPhone [youtube.com]. What can you do? The guy has to try to sell his cruft, and when his competitors get a lot of attention, he has to do something.
    He obviously can't upstage them with functionality or stability (I have a Windows Mobile lying on a shelf, gathering dust), so he'll have to try name-calling.
    • Yeah, that interview was pathetic. BUT... that was about the only time when I thought he was actually right about the iPhone, being way, way overrated and over over over expensive.
  • just how many handsets have the Symbian platform and how many out there are based on Linux in one form or another??? Just why does he have to "trash talk" the competition at every opportunity? Me thinks he's getting desperate
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:43AM (#21280335) Journal

    First Symbian now Microsoft. It sure has the two competitors in a uproar.

    You want to know the really funny thing, although I heard about the google phone, it is through this press release by MS and Symbian I learned that it is called Android and that it was officially announced. Thanks to these nice companies for helping me spot that I missed the original press-release by google itself (surely the world ain't so ironic that the original story never made slashdot?).

    Okay, enough fun, on with a serious comment.

    Taking bets, when a MS employee leaves to work on the google phone, what will Steve Ballmer throw, shouting "I will fucking bury Google, I failed to do so once, and I will fail to do so again."

    • A chair (it didn't work before, but hey, give the guy credit for persistence)
    • His desk (He has been working out)
    • A hissyfit
    • CowboyNeal
    • by Yer Mum ( 570034 )

      Their competitiors have to reply saying they're not worried. How else could they reply?

    • First Symbian now Microsoft. It sure has the two competitors in a uproar.

      Agreed. Microsoft seems rather defensive compared to their usual, given that they are supposedly in a strong market position:

      Right now they have a press release, we have many, many ... customers, great software ...

      Gee, what's this, Mr. Ballmer? You mean you don't like it when a Big Company announces way ahead of time that they're coming out with A New System? You're worried that customers will wait and hold off on buying the compet

    • First Symbian now Microsoft. It sure has the two competitors in a uproar.
      Not that they count for much more nowadays, but Palm has no plans to join Google's open handset alliance [palminfocenter.com].
  • It is a press release. No product was unveiled. So, what's the point?
  • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:48AM (#21280415)
    Yes it's a press release, made 7 days before the SDK is released on Monday. How long was Vista a press release for?
  • Its funny how people forget that EVERY project starts out as just an idea. Considering Google's size and apparent commitment to this, I'd say its a pretty large chance that at least SOMETHING will happen. Maybe it'll be as big as the iPhone's hype... or maybe it will suck. Who's to say, lets wait and find out!
  • Except in press releases, we never get to know what's inside Vista! In the good old DOS days, there used to be fat manuals explaining the commands in the OS, but these days, press releases are full of features LEFT OUT in Vista. Nobody can program for Vista except with approval and continuous monitoring by Microsoft - Android is atleast much better in this aspect.
  • Yesterday I posted This comment [slashdot.org]:

    nowhere.elysium writes

    "Microsoft has suggested that Google is not experienced enough or capable of fully developing a workable platform. Microsoft's vice president, Steve Ballmer inferred that Google's interest in the field will also wane due to it being 'deeply unsexy', and that development is not likely for such a platform because "You have [...] a lot of zeroes in your sales figures before a developer gets out of bed." In the same series of statements, Linux is likened to

  • Methinks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wonkavader ( 605434 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @10:05AM (#21280563)
    When I first heard the form that Google's entry into the mobile phone market would take, I was disappointed. But after seeing this reaction, and to a much lesser extent Symbian's, I'm all of a sudden thinking there must be something to Android.
  • M$ and Apple and Nokia and now Google are all going to be in the mobile phone business. It doesn't matter as are their target markets are all different. On the one hand you have the fashion/ordinary (Nokia) phones and on the other the business (M$) smart phones. Somewhere in the middle you have the iPhone. Unless Android is skinnable I can't see it appealing to the fashion brigade and unless it syncs with Exchange I can't see it going down well with businesses. It would have proprietry e-mail and a few
    • by Svartalf ( 2997 )
      Skinnable it probably will be. As for syncing with Exchange...there's vendors that do this for Symbian, Palm, and WindowsCE clients of all kinds; why would this be any different. You don't sync with Exchange, you sync with Outlook which actually has a fairly well defined API for doing this sort of thing if you're willing to roll the sync conduits for your device.
      • Syncing with Outlook is, as you said, not too much of a biggie. Syncing with Exchange (skipping Outlook, i.e. push e-mail), however, isn't that simple apparently.
  • What Google has right now is just a press release. It might or might not evolve into a threat to WinCE (aka "Windows Mobile").

    But the fun thing is that this is traditional Microsoft strategy. Microsoft has crushed many companies with press releases stating that they will "soon" release something, which will obviously become the strategy, and investing anything in the existing solutions will be a waste of time. So rather than buy a solution now, companies wait for "the standard" to come from Microsoft. W
  • by spookymonster ( 238226 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @10:13AM (#21280639)
    That's just unnatural...
  • Good old Steve, it seems has no idea about mobile technology or his platform would be the world leader.

    The Windows Mobile department has a fairly management steady staff turnover, almost like it's a training ground for executives. They jumped into the mobile market just like they jumped into the browser market all those years ago. Windows Mobile is (like IE was) getting a bit stale now, they can only reskin the interface so many times and get away with it.

    If Windows Mobile was a mobile device sensation then
  • Heh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn ( 203771 )
    Translation: We are fucking scared to death here folks.
  • Here are a couple of points, in no particular order:
    • Symbian and Microsoft talking smack about Android seems quite reminiscent of Sony and Microsoft talking smack about the Wii. Oooh, our consoles are better, they said. The Wii is a toy, they said. But people wanted the Wii because it actually innovated in gaming instead of trying to take over the universe.
    • The mobile market is not "Microsoft's world." Microsoft is #3 in handsets, behind Symbian and the collective versions of Linux.
    • The fact that so mu
  • As subject says, MS announced their HealthVault which isn't even built yet!!
  • Looks like Ballmer's poor attempt at creating a reality distortion field, particularly with the, "Windows Mobile rules the phone scene" comment. Seriously, does it now? Or do you just wish it does, Ballmer?

    I suppose if CEOs were made to be reasonable and only say truthful things that they wouldn't say very much after all.
  • and now, he is threatening it. seeing a pattern here.
  • Did anyone else read the headline as "Press Release calls Ballmer an Android"?
  • When the competition starts to trash Googles mobile initiative before its even out the door they must be very very afraid. The smart thing would have been to just shut up about it. Microsoft is clearly worried wich gives tremendous amounts of free PR to google. Its like setting up a big sign infront of every possible competitior to Windows mobile / Symbian and screaming "Work with Google!".
  • said the mobile platform market is 'Microsoft's world.'
    Comments like that will make me enjoy watching Google eat their lunch.
  • As someone who's been forced to support and develop for WM devices, I think I'm at least semi-qualified to make the judgement that Windows Mobile is complete and utter shite. Even latest versions running on 600 MHz+ Xscale processors are slow, crash prone memory hogs with an interface that must have been designed with pricipals created by Josef Mengele.

    Beyond this, we've been screaming to various vendors for similar form factor devices running Linux, or at least *not WM*, but I keep hearing the same excuse,
  • With hand-held computing never catching on simply because it's "too many devices" making your phone into the hand-held computer would be just the way to make it appealing. (And let's face it, the iPhone proves it.)

    But even with small laptops, desktop computing on the go is clumsy and inconvenient at best. I'm sure confident that we have all the other supporting technologies in-line yet, but having an open-development platform for which to write apps could go a long way to moving useful software from the d
  • How often does microsoft make press releases?
  • I'm tempted to say I believe him. I mean, if there's one man who should be able to tell when something is Vaporware it's him, he has maybe the most experience with that kind of spin in the IT biz.

    But if it is, why bother commenting on it? Why not just shrug the shoulders and, if asked, say something like "I'll comment on it when I see it, so far, there ain't anything to be seen for miles." and leave it at that?
  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @12:26PM (#21282229) Homepage Journal
    ... but things went very wrong and got released. May God have mercy on your soul, Ballmer.

Recent investments will yield a slight profit.