Ballmer admits poor mobile effort, queries Android

Ballmer admits poor mobile effort, queries Android

Robert Clark  |   June 04, 2010

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer admits the company has “missed” opportunities, but questions Google’s strategy in running two operating systems.
He said in an interview at the D8 conference yesterday that the software firm had “learnt the value of excellent execution” in the mobile business.
“We were ahead of this game,” he said in an interview, “and now we find ourselves number five in the market, with still tens of millions of units a year, but not anywhere near where we ought to be or should be.”
“We missed the whole cycle,” and as a result he had “made a set of leadership changes” of in the Windows Phone software group, which now reports directly to him.
The good news was that mobile was a dynamic business, where the market leaders had shifted twice over the past six years.
“I have to view it as our opportunity.”
Asked about Android as an operating system for smartphones and tablets, Ballmer said: “I don’t know if these Android-based things would matter…  they’ve got to prove themselves in the market.”
He said he didn’t understand why Google had two operating systems, Android and Chrome.
“We spend most of our lives trying to get more coherence in our operating systems,” he said. “You need some coherence.”
GigaOm blog said Android had left a “gaping wound” in Microsoft’s business that “looks difficult to patch.” 
“Tablets, powered by low-cost ARM-based processors and the free Android OS, are creating a new class of computing devices that will take away opportunities from Microsoft.”

Robert Clark

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