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Ballmer Calls Android a "Press Release"

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the laugha-while-you-can dept.

Microsoft 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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270 comments

Vaporware? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

warning, new url spoofing... sort-of. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21280353)

This site [google.com] although it says [google.com] actually links you to goatse.ch.

It's completely off-topic, I know, and it'll make a lot of people unhappy with me showing this, so I'm posting this as AC.
In any way, This link makes use of the "I'm feeling lucky" function.
You can search for anything with a certain url, using inurl:"[url]" in the search field. if you then use the IFL button, you'll end up on the first page of that url.
This IFL button can also be inserted into the url-bar by adding the parameter "&btnI=I'm%20feeling%20lucky"

Previous link to goatse thus as verbose: "www.google.com/search?q=inurl:"goatse.ch"&btnI=I'm%20feeling%20lucky"

and yes... I could've used a different link to hide, but if I'd forward you all too dell.com, it wouldn't nearly have as much effect... or perhaps, with this crowd it would. Dell is as hideous as goatse for a lot of us...

Re:Vaporware? (4, Interesting)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280515)

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? (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280627)

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:Vaporware? (3, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280867)

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 specs and I expect Linux to soon (read: a few years) have better video drivers and capabilities than Windows.

OpenMoko could do for cellphones/mobile-devices what Ubuntu is doing for the desktop. If they get it right.

Re:Vaporware? (3, Interesting)

wfWebber (715881) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280923)

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:Vaporware? (4, Insightful)

Damastus the WizLiz (935648) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:Vaporware? (2, Interesting)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280677)

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 however that with those pretty massive advantages it still remains a very marginal player on the phone market. This hints very strongly at a problem with Windows Mobile. If it's Microsoft's World it's full of dragons.

Disclaimer : Looking at that market from the outside, not a Microsoft user, my phone is dumb and the PDAs I've used were Palms.

Re:Vaporware? (5, Insightful)

topham (32406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280833)

Windows Mobile is on 150 different phones; and every one of them sucks.

Re:Vaporware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21280975)

Maybe they're appealing to the wrong people.

Just imagine the synergy that could be had from combining Windows Mobile with say a Dyson. Imagine all those maids, cleaners, housewives/husbands who could have increased productivity from all that suckage.

That's funny.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21280275)

Hilarious. Microsoft, Google, Apple, Palm, in fact all pretty much all american companies I can think of apart from Motorola are currently also-rans in the global mobile OS or hardware arena. Remember, the USA is a true technological backwater (compared to places I've been in AFRICA, ffs!) when it comes to cars or mobile phones.

Re:That's funny.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21280473)

Motorola is quickly heading towards also ran status in this market too. The RAZR kept them going a little longer than they otherwise would have, but they've milked that to its fullest extent now, and don't have anything new to offer.

Does anyone care what Ballmer thinks on this? (5, Interesting)

HBI (604924) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280277)

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?

Re:Does anyone care what Ballmer thinks on this? (5, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280427)

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).

Re:Does anyone care what Ballmer thinks on this? (5, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280709)

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.

Re:Does anyone care what Ballmer thinks on this? (1)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281077)

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.

Re:Does anyone care what Ballmer thinks on this? (4, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280887)

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.

They suck and it's time for them to go. (2)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280927)

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

M$'s vendor manipulation has done to the mobile market what Vista is doing to the PC market. Their ability to push crap onto "willing" partners kills markets and the partners eventually. People don't buy stuff that does not work and Windoze mobile is the pits. CompuUSA [slashdot.org] and DSG [slashdot.org] are good examples.

It's all downhill for M$ at this point. Vendors and handset makers are tired of losing money for M$ and are jumping on free software. Google is going to clean M$'s clock in mobile computing. M$ will soon be driven out of the PC market as well. Non free software can not compete. Sucktard owners like M$ never did anything for anyone and need to go.

To be fair (2, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280501)

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.

Re:Does anyone care what Ballmer thinks on this? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21280667)

If he did crash the OS/2 boxes he proved they were not "crashproof" as IBM falsely claimed though, didn't he? I don't think you can call him troll. I'd call him a debunker in this case. Actually, I'd call you troll.

Re:Does anyone care what Ballmer thinks on this? (2, Interesting)

alexhs (877055) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281167)

You might be right, but I would say "it depends".
No system is crashproof if you have root access
You can write to /dev/kmem to crash a Linux system...

The GP is light on details but you can interpret it as "They found a flaw working as an unprivileged user, and wrote a program exploiting that flaw, crashing the system" or "They wrote a program requiring root acces that would purposefully trash the system".

With the 2nd interpretation, Ballmer didn't prove anything else that "don't run your system as root/admin".

Re:Does anyone care what Ballmer thinks on this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21281127)

Yeah he sure is a freak. And what does he say himself? 'Bill's the visionary - I'm the enthusiast.' Such enthusiasm. He's going to wake up one day and realise people don't buy his bullshit anymore.

Wel... (5, Insightful)

Foolicious (895952) | more than 6 years ago | (#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... (4, Insightful)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:Wel... (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280467)

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... (1)

Foolicious (895952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280681)

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.
Yes - you are correct. My point, which has more to do with slashdot than Windows C, I suppose, is that execs overstate and bluster all the time, but it's only when a Microsoftian does this that people get all up in arms.

Re:Wel... (1)

jomas1 (696853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280827)

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.
Yes - you are correct. My point, which has more to do with slashdot than Windows C, I suppose, is that execs overstate and bluster all the time, but it's only when a Microsoftian does this that people get all up in arms.
So I guess you did not read the slashdot article posted two days ago in which Symbian blasts Android? http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/11/07/142247 [slashdot.org] I think people got as up in arms with Symbian as they did with Microsoft.

Re:Wel... (4, Funny)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:Wel... (2, Interesting)

AbbyNormal (216235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280777)

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 recall this happening with any other product released by Google, including Google Docs. The two giants are facing off.

Re:Wel... (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280837)

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 OHA), HTC (part of OHA), Samsung (Role unknown - but they haven't spoken out against OHA and I wouldn't be surprised if they'll join in.), Pantech (new player in town, just released their first WM handset this month, bet you a small player like that is interested in Android.), and Palm (the only member of this list to speak out against Android, and generally considered to be a has-been in the market nowadays.)

T-Mobile's Windows Mobile lineup:
HTC - Nothing else. None of Moto or Samsung's WM entries.

Verizon's WM lineup:
HTC (less prominent than in AT&T's lineup, just because they are taking an eternity to release the XV6800 which Sprint has had for nearly nine months), Motorola, Samsung, Palm - basically same as AT&T, although with older phones from all manufacturers involved. PN-820's origin is unknown to me, may or may not be an HTC device. Carrier branded WM devices usually are HTC though...

Sprint:
HTC, Moto, Samsung, Palm. HTC and Moto figure much more prominently in the lineup than AT&T and VZW it seems.

Re:Wel... (1)

Jennifer York (1021509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280937)

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?

Re:Wel... (5, Funny)

Thoguth (203384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280483)

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... (1)

preem (1077475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280605)

Yes, in deed, why else do you think people moan. I think Ms Win Mobile is the biggest piece of crap ever. I would not buy a device with thah on it in a million years. Just the other day, I toyed around with this GPS receiver which had Win Mobile on. The thing hung on me 3 times in half an hour beyond all recognition. Had to take battery out to reboot it. Yea, next thing we need is brand new Microsoft's breaking system for vehicles....and guess whats gonna happen when you will have to break in front of a jammed crossroad or red light. ....Please wait....

Re:Wel... (5, Interesting)

mspohr (589790) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.'

Re:Wel... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280999)

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.

Re:Wel... (1)

SeanAD (743296) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281033)

It's not the facts that Steve is using, it's how he's using the facts. i.e. "Our software is better because theirs isn't even out and you shouldn't use theirs coz we're better." What I find immensely disappointing -- and sad, really -- is that Microsoft can't even handle the concept of competition. How often do you hear anyone from Ford disparaging a Toyota car, or Ralph Lauren saying, "That Versace creation is monstrous!" Competition in all industries is fantastic and the advances all companies make to their benefit for profit and our benefit for better products helps everyone. Disparaging a competitor who hasn't even said boo about Microsoft's products is childish, and that's what people have an issue with.

</rant>

Re:Wel... (2, Funny)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281043)

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.

Their world? Yeah right! (4, Interesting)

BcNexus (826974) | more than 6 years ago | (#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!

Re:Their world? Yeah right! (4, Interesting)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280441)

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).

Re:Their world? Yeah right! (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280529)

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 the same problem with other pdas (palm, ebookman, you name it).

wifi works well and i sometimes watch videos over wifi and 400 mhz are enough for that - i have done it with my good old toshiba e800 (400 mhz xcale, vga).

the only one more or less valid point is that with os upgrades - you can only get an upgrade from the manufacturer of your pda, but this happens only because you can only upgrade the operating system by flashing the firmware and this can only work when the firmware image has got all the vendor-specific drivers in it. 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.

Re:Their world? Yeah right! (1)

BcNexus (826974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280675)

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

Re:Their world? Yeah right! (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280733)

I was going to say the Newton, but that's both cheating and dating me.

PS, I own two, they both still work more reliably than portable versions of Windows.

Re:Their world? Yeah right! (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280767)

as far as i remember you've got to get the updates for sony clie from sony and not from palm.

Re:Their world? Yeah right! (1)

phorest (877315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280835)

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.

APPLE

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

Re:Their world? Yeah right! (2, Informative)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280891)

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:Their world? Yeah right! (2, Insightful)

incer (1071224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280645)

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.

Re:Their world? Yeah right! (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280689)

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 dreadfully unresponsive UI. The applications writers don't exactly help, either.

hmm (0, Troll)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280303)

im afraid for once i have to agree with balmer :(

android is in the realm of vapourware now

did anyone notice google stocks dived after announcements of their facebook killer "open social" and the much buzzed about gphone (which turned out not to be a phone at all!) "android", investors must realise at some stage that google is a marketing company and their market cap is build on clever hype generation

Re:hmm (4, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280339)

I am not a huge fan of google these days (various reasons) but I was there for an interview and I was not allowed to 'see' things in certain buildings or offices. they all told me there was some hardware being worked on and that if I even saw it, I'd 'know' what they were working on. this was a few months ago.

I now 'get it'. its the phone they were working on.

I think its real. and they seem to be putting a LOT of energy into this project, too.

I doubt its vaporware.

Re:hmm (1)

reabbotted (871820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280763)

But don't you see. They are a marketing company and that's why this is likely to work. Their job is to get as many eyes as possible to view advertisements. If they could take information from your phone (location, what you receive in text messages, maybe even what you say) and directly advertise to you, that is very effective. The real question is when will we as consumers get tired of having adverts invade every portion of our lives. It's also a little scary to think that Google will now be able to go beyond just your Internet activities to build information about you. They may not be evil now, but there is nothing to say they'll stay that way.

Re:hmm (1)

mr_gerbik (122036) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280991)

When did Google's stock dive? Last I saw it was hitting record highs...

Did any of these announcements happen on any of the days the market has fallen by 200+ points? Because that has happened about 4 times in the last month.

Re:hmm (2, Insightful)

residieu (577863) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280995)

Vaporware is were a product has been heavily hyped, but ultimately never actually produced. "Android" has just been announced, of course it is still in design phases. This should not be surprising or disturbing. If in a few years we still don't have it then you can start calling it vaporware.

What happens... (4, Interesting)

EaglemanBSA (950534) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:What happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21281047)

Honestly, if I had my choice I'd picka Google-run mobile simply because I trust them more to be innovative and customer-centered.


Google isn't customer centered. Or rather they are, but you just don't recognize who their customers are. It's not the consumer of their search. It's not the consumer of their utilities. It's the advertisers. Google's products have one purpose and one purpose only: to increase what they can sell to advertisers. That's why they have such a shitty perspective on privacy.

He's always trying to steal the hype (4, Interesting)

empaler (130732) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280313)

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.

remind me again... (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280321)

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

Re:remind me again... (4, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280345)

LOOK OUT!!!

(grabs advocate_one and pushes him to the floor as a chair whooshes overhead)

Hmmm (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280331)

Technical yellow press.. That's the sad state of many IT sites now day (not only, but especially /.)... Who said what, who bashed who... Stuff that matters. Bleh

Wow, it must be good (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280335)

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

Re:Wow, it must be good (1)

Yer Mum (570034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280503)

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

Yeah, cuz MS itself never made empty promises (1)

KWTm (808824) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280703)

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 competitor's systems? Do you find that it sound familiar?

Maybe, Mr. Ballmer, at the next press conference you can say, "Yeah, their promises sound good, but what if they pull a Vista?" Then maybe the general public would become a bit more inured to the time-tested MS strategy of marketing semi-vapourware against products that exist already.

Re:Wow, it must be good (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21281163)

This is slashdot. CowboyNeal will win regardless of whether or not he would actually throw CowboyNeal

Helmets mandatory (0, Redundant)

HansKloss (665474) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280355)

All reporters are now required to wear protective helmets.
There have been reports of flying chairs during heated press conferences.

Product release Monday (4, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | more than 6 years ago | (#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?

Microsoft, Gphone, Openmoko, opensource phones (1)

basiles (626992) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280417)

Apparently, Microsoft cares more about the Gphone (i.e. Android [openhandsetalliance.com]) than about the Openmoko [openmoko.com] probably because Google is behind (not just some obscure company). It could happen that Android is just an announcement to impress future stockholders or clients. But it is more probable that it is a real threat to Microsoft phones' OS. Maybe there is some alpha code already? What I don't understand is the relation between Gphone/Android and Openmoko. I hope Openmoko will succeed still! Again, the fact that Microsoft reacted to Gphone/Android but not to Openmoko (AFAIK) is significant.

Sour grapes, and audio captchas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21280461)

Those that have most to lose, those that compete, rubbish the competition. This is unfortunately not a surprise.

Makes them sound arrogant to me, especially the quotes given.

Captcha was Whimpers. A Whimper from Microsoft perhaps. I wonder how long before someone thinks of running the audio captcha through a voice recognition system and automating it, especially as its pronunciation is quite deterministic. How long before you need to put in background sound effects? (And can I patent either the idea of playing the captcha into voice recognition or the ways of getting around it?) Not a bad voice though.

150 handset... (1)

scafuz (985517) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280465)

...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...
and it doesn't work in anyone of them.... seriously: the big difference between Google and microsoft is that when google announce a new product to be out on a certain date, you can be sure you'll find that product out on THAT date, With microsoft you usually get to wait one year or more. Let's see what's gonna happen next week

WinFS Press Release (1)

j_l_cgull (129101) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280471)

was about a decade or so ago. Perhaps Ballmer doesn't have to worry about an Android device until 2017 (at the earliest) if Google runs at MS speed :) Don't anybody remind him of iPhone's pace.

Wasn't Windows CE at one time just a press release (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280499)

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!

So, Android is like Vista? (1, Redundant)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280533)

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.

Boy was I early! (2, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280539)

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 a cancer: "About every three months this year there has been a Linux initiative of some sort launched. It's a bit like cancer. It keeps coming round and then we die.""

Yeah I was joking... and here it is today and the joke has become real. Or surreal.

Balls of crystal, I tell ya! Where's that Randi guy?

-mcgrew

Methinks (4, Insightful)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Ballmer is "Afraid" (1, Funny)

jb.cancer (905806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280571)

mobile computing is their world is it? now let's see..

- everyone had hotmail ids once; it would seem webmail was /their/ world. no one would say that now.
- most people never heard of another OS than Windoze. it would seem PCs were /their/ area. i doubt it now.
- IE was the browser king. it would imply that they owned all of www. is IE doing that well now?
- let's not even get started on zune..

The only thing that I can say MS has a decent product is their Office package (at least for now..); everywhere else they suck - big time.

Re:Ballmer is "Afraid" (1)

NekSnappa (803141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280933)

Hotmail wasn't started by Microsoft. They purchased it in '97 after it already had millions of users. And it took them years to get it fully transitioned off of FreeBSD, and Solaris onto Windows. Just another example of them being behind the curve, buying their way into the market, and then dicking it up.

Re:Ballmer is "Afraid" (2, Insightful)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281093)

- everyone had hotmail ids once; it would seem webmail was /their/ world. no one would say that now.
- most people never heard of another OS than Windoze. it would seem PCs were /their/ area. i doubt it now.
- IE was the browser king. it would imply that they owned all of www. is IE doing that well now?
- let's not even get started on zune..


99% of people pick the email provider based on the name part of the email. If you go to hotmail looking for firstname.lastname@hotmail.com the odds are really good that somebody already has it. So check yahoo. So check gmail.

Microsoft owns the PC market. This is a simple fact. Anyone who says otherwise is delusional.

IE is by far still the #1 browser. Again a simple fact.

Yeah, they're having problems with Zune.

Apples and Oranges (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280611)

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 search map apps.

Anyway a phone with the Google "look" about it would be so fugly that no one would buy it.

Re:Apples and Oranges (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281157)

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.

He is right, you know. (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280633)

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. Which come late, and is horrible broken for the first few releases, but that doesn't matter, for meanwhile the competition has folded.

Hopefully lots of customers will treat Microsoft the same way, skip WinCE and wait for "Google Mobile" instead. That would serve them right.

He is correct. (1)

cuby (832037) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280673)

Even if we don't like him, he is correct about the android vaporware.
It is getting very common to do a lot of noise about a product/platform without releasing something solid.

I wish the best luck to android, but to get developers attention it needs to deliver something, not just a website with a lot of abstract intentions about java (what version of java?) or SDKs (how?, in what IDE?, how many APIs? to do What?).

He's a Twit, but ... (1)

Bob(TM) (104510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280813)

... the cellphone dynamical system is less straight forward than the desktop. Cellphone subsidies and long-term contracts play heavily into the success of a particular platform. The incumbent has a clear advantage but not an insurmountable one.

Let's consider Palm OS. It is still out there on MANY devices and actively peddled by cell providers. They really stopped innovating - maybe - 4-5 years ago. It has taken that long for others to eat their lunch. Even a minor amount of work to really stay current and they would still be plugging. They simply stopped paying attention to the important bits (interface is critical, display usage is important, speed is a concern ...).

Now, that's not to say Microsoft isn't guilty of not paying attention (IE, for example). But, they do watch the trends and will throw MAJOR horsepower at catching up after a stupid decision.

Long term relationships with vendors help them because it gives them time to recover and they KNOW how to do that. Shoot, they practically invented it and they certainly perfected it. You can absolutely bet that the non-committal public attitude by Verizon and AT&T is playing to that - they smell a deal to be made. They want to see how sweet it can be by playing Google & Microsoft against one another. Microsoft is not afraid to spend lots of money; they are experienced with how to turn a lost leader (XBox) into a money maker.

The bottom line is that, short of a critical miscalculation on the part of Microsoft, Google's battle will be very tough indeed. They are going to have to expend a lot of capital to keep the pressure on and produce something real - assuming they aren't just generating hype.

Actually, I think classification standard of vaporware has to be expanded a little to include this.

Re:Critical miscalculation ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21281181)

Well, that's the very definition of Excel's, no ?

Nokia (1)

Poorcku (831174) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280865)

Nokia has sold 252 million handsets in Q1 2007 and has 36 per cent global share. Apple expects to sell 10 million iphones next year, and i am still waiting for the SDK for Android. /this will not be like the fight for searches. /much much harder.

Not their world at all (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280881)

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 why didn't use it for the Zune?

Symbian has a greater market share and I can't see that changing anytime soon.

Plus there's Linux alternatives that will become popular at some point.

methinks the monkey doth protest too much (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280979)

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 much negative noise is being made tells us that Microsoft knows Google is going to kick its ass.
  • We really don't want to hear what Ballmer has to say unless there is an accompanying flight of chairs.
That is all.

Oh yeah? And HealthVault is the exact same thing (1)

Blahbooboo3 (874492) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281089)

As subject says, MS announced their HealthVault which isn't even built yet!!

Ballmer's sucky reality distortion field (1)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281097)

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.

Ballmer Calls Android a "Press Release" (1)

aardwolf64 (160070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281147)

Did anyone else read the headline as "Press Release calls Ballmer an Android"?

It has to be good. (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281177)

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!".
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