updated 02:50 pm EST, Thu November 6, 2008
Ballmer criticizes Android
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Thursday said at an annual Telstra investment meeting that the Google-designed Android operating system debuted in the T-Mobile G1 handset won't make the company money. According to a report originating from an event held by Australian cellular provider Telstra, Ballmer believes Google is essentially telling its investors the new product has no revenue model; he doesn't understand the strategy.
"They can hire smart guys, hire a lot of people, bla dee bla dee bla, but you know they start out way behind in a certain sense," Ballmer reportedly said.
The CEO expressed his belief that telecommunications companies will ask to be paid to carry out searches, despite Google trading the operating system for being the default search browser in the sold devices. According to the Microsoft CEO, this lack of money-making abilities means improving the Android OS will not be a focus, and there is other competition Ballmer is worried about for its Windows Mobile operating system, which is widely believed to focus heavily on Apple and RIM.
This is hardly the first time Ballmer has made unkind comments about a competitor's product, criticizing Apple last year for its money-making software scheme for the original iPhone. At the time, he was persuaded the device would never sell due in part to its steep price.
At the same event, Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo partly mirrored Ballmer's views regarding Android, calling it "interesting, not compelling." He also questioned Google's ability to bear with its new OS and help it successfully grow into future product generations.