Steve Ballmer Jabs Android for Fragmentation Issues

Steve Ballmer is hilarious. At a UK Tech Days event, the Microsoft chief hyped up Windows Phone 7, a platform that has yet to prove itself in the market, by basically back-handing Android for its fragmentation issues. While it’s great that Ballmer is looking to the future, he’s quickly forgetting that Windows Mobile was plagued with the same issues, albeit more pathetically.

Ballmer said that Android had issues with fragmentation, app development and OS updates. Whenever there is an update, developers have to follow suit with their apps for compatibility, he says. And when Google releases an update to Android, not all phones get it.

It’s true: Android is suffering from some fragmentation issues and all the points that Ballmer made are viable. But it’s tough not to get past the irony here. Microsoft has virtually no mobile presence right now, and the last time Ballmer boasted about Windows Mobile global numbers, Apple and the iPhone chewed him up and spit him out. I can’t think of a better example of fragmentation that Windows Mobile.

Is his new game plan to trash an operating system, whose market share and sales are quickly casting a huge shadow on its competitors, for fragmentation?

“Unlike Google, if you write an app for Windows Phone 7, it will work on all Windows phones,” says Ballmer. While that’s great and all, it’s unfortunate that it took Microsoft several years to realize this as he continues, “We got ourselves in to a little bit of a pickle with phones, but now we’re on track.”

Glad to see you back on track, Steve, but don’t get ahead of yourself.

The only thing consistent about Ballmer seems to be his hubris, and history shows that it really hasn’t gotten him anywhere in the mobile space. If Microsoft expects to remain relevant and to thrive, Windows Phone 7 is going to be it. The platform is what’s going to make or break the Redmond-based software company.

[Via: WMExperts]

  • MacBastard

    I think that Microsoft should be more concerned with Windows Phone 7 potentially sucking hard issues. I have seen the interface (not the final build, I’ll grant you) and it is gimmicky. Their tiled layout with the widget-like actions takes up too much screen area, and it looks like it’s hard to organize once you get more than 20 tiles.

  • Larry

    I dont get it. What happens when they release 7.1 and I choose not to update? I have solely created a fragmentation issue for Microsoft…muwahahaha.. Same is true for Apple. There is fragmentation. It’s user driven, perhaps, but the same compatibility issue applies.

  • Confused

    If they publish 7.1 and 7.0 can run everything a 7.1 application can, than your just updating themes.

  • Jordan

    “Is his new game plan to trash an operating system,”
    That’s the game these days, and it always has been, Marc.
    While Microsoft has yet to prove itself with its new mobile OS, look back a few years. You’ll see how popular Windows Mobile was. Today it’s just a joke, but that’s only because standards changed.
    Look at Motorola. They were a joke up until the Droid was released, yet they make some of the most popular Android phones on the market (at least for Verizon.)
    Sometimes you have to downplay a competitor’s success to draw attention to your own product. It’s that simple, really.

    • John L

      Oh? Standards have changed? Do you mean Apple came along and raised the bar by putting out a well polished, stable OS along with a completely new interface that simply showed everyone the joke Windows Mobile really was/(is)? I’ve got news for you.. Windows Mobile always was a joke. Just like everything else, once someone else gets in the game, everyone notices what a piece of s… Microsoft products are.

  • greg newman

    I will soon upgrade from my plain jane only make a phone call cell phone to a Smart Phone so I am checking out as many as I can. some of the Android phones are great products. The Windows phone 7’s has a lot of great features to it I like but lacks a whole lot of features that even windows mobile 6.5 phones have which kinda blows my mind. The windows Phone 7 has 2 main things going for it 1-the tile hub interface because you can set this
    phone up the way you like to use it and 2=the fact that if Microsoft which is a powerful company says they will stick by this product and will upgrade the windows phone 7 OS to address it short comings. The windows 7 PC OS
    vast improvements over the Vista OS shows that when Microsoft Technical staff wants to do things right they will get it done right so if they want this Windows phone 7 to be a great phone it will become a great smart Phone
    they have the money and talent to get it done. mean while I’ll wait until Verizon gets The Windows Phone 7 before I buy one

  • jabba52

    Mobile making or breaking Microsoft? I don’t think so. Windows is on 90 percent of the world’s computers. Isn’t that what matters?

Back to top ▴