Sound bite heaven...?
Yes Microsoft CEO and chair chucker Steve Ballmer has picked up where he left off by battering Google Android and revealing future company plans.
Sticking it first to the new open source G1 OS Ballmer typically didn't hold back saying "You've got to remember Android is version one....and it looks like version one. They've got one handset maker, we've got 55. They're available through one operator, we've got 175."
To be fair, he has a point but like the rise of the Google search engine its radically different approach to Microsoft could see it build up momentum very quickly. Besides, there's a big difference between "one handset maker" and "one operator" and the fact other models for different networks simply aren't out yet. That said, much as I have high hopes for Android it does currently look like v1.0 software - then again that's exactly where you guys are meant to come in...
More constructive however was Ballmer's admittance that the Zune brand will be incorporated into both Windows Mobile - in a similar vein to how Apple incorporated the iPod brand into the iPhone - and, rather intriguingly, Windows itself. "The Zune software will also be ported to and be more important not just with the hardware but on the PC, on Windows Mobile devices, etc" he explained casually.
This would make sense. Zune software version 3.0 has been generally well received and while Windows Media Player has undergone something of a successful reinvention in recent years in the computing space Windows Mobile's version remains woefully underpowered.
Anyone care to speculate that this will ultimately be the future for Zune and - in time - the death knell for its dedicated hardware line? Hmmmn, I think I just did that.
So, as usual, big words from Steve but the industry will be a more exciting place if Microsoft can kick its current let-down status and start to deliver once again...
via CIO (Zune Comments)
via BBC (Android Comments)