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Ballmer dismisses Google Android
Written by Daniel   
Thursday, 06 November 2008 10:54
November 6, 2008 5:37 AM PST
Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer on Thursday dismissed the Android mobile operating system, saying he believed that building it was financially unsound for Google.
Posted by Suzanne

Speaking at Telstra's annual investment day, Ballmer said designing Android wasn't easy for Google. "They can hire smart guys, hire a lot of people, blah dee blah dee blah, but you know they start out way behind, in a certain sense," he said. He questioned Google's ability to make money with Android. "I don't really understand their strategy. Maybe somebody else does. If I went to my shareholder meeting, my analyst meeting, and said, 'hey, we've just launched a new product that has no revenue model!'...I'm not sure that my investors would take that very well. But that's kind of what Google's telling their investors about Android," he said.

Ballmer said that although the idea was that Google gives away the operating system and in return gets to put its search on devices for free, he believes that telecommunications operators were smart and would still ask to be paid to carry search.

The lack of certainty around money would mean that the improvement of the operating system would be neglected, according to Ballmer, who said that in the whole scheme of things, there was other competition he was more worried about.

"Google doesn't exactly bubble to the top of the list of the top competitors we've got going in mobile. They might someday. But right now..." he said.

Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo also jumped in with his opinion. "My view is, (Android is) interesting, not compelling," he said.

The Telstra leader also wondered if Google has the expertise to follow through, saying there are always issues in a first-generation device that have to be ironed out. "Yes, first generation, you make the sale. The question is when you get into the second, third, and fourth generation(s)," he said. [C/net News...]    [Comments...]

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