Microsoft boss on the BlackBerry

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microsoft-logo-large.jpgI think someone had a nice big bowl of delusional flakes this morning (part of a complete breakfast, by the way). In an interview with ZDNet, Microsoft head honcho Steve Ballmer weighed in on the smartphone market, examining the major players. He starts with “When it comes to smart devices, there really aren’t that many players. Basically, you have Nokia/Symbian, you’ve got us” – and it kinda goes downhill from there.

“Actually, I’ll be so bold as to say that the two of us stand out in that area. Then you have some guys who are more niche players–Palm is more of a niche player, (Research In Motion’s) BlackBerry is more of a niche player, those Linux devices from Motorola, particularly in China, (mean it) is more of a niche player.

You have some things intermediate between dumb and smart devices–kind of the J2ME-type phones–but when you talk about real smart devices, there’s really two guys who I think are broad frontline players and have most of the share. It often surprises people when we tell them how much we outsell BlackBerry. BlackBerry, because they are more popular in the United States, people assume that they’re quite popular. The truth of the matter is we actually outsell BlackBerry many factors to one, that’s worldwide, yeah, absolutely.”

That’s nice, Stevie. But guess what… there’s no MicrosoftCool.com (now trademarked, by the way) now, is there? The fact is, you’re losing supporters by the day with people going to these more “niche”-styled devices. How’s about taking your head out long enough to take a peek? Read his full spiel here.

  • http://globelogger.com/moonwatcher Charlie Wood

    Uh, that would be Steve Ballmer.

  • http://globelogger.com/moonwatcher Charlie Wood

    Uh, that would be Steve Ballmer.

  • L. M. Lloyd

    I hate Windows Mobile, but in a way he is kind of right. The one thing Microsoft is really good at, happens to be the one thing RIM is really bad at, and that is encouraging development for their platform. If you look at the available software for the Nokia, MS, and Palm platforms, then look at the available software for the RIM platform, it becomes pretty obvious that RIM just isn’t really in the same game as any of those other companies, at least not yet.

    Sure, the BB does what it does brilliantly, but it just isn’t as flexible, or widely supported, a platform as Symbian, Palm, or MS. A large part of this has nothing to do with the capabilities of the device or OS, but rather with the development model. Both Nokia and MS (in their own very different ways) support third party development on their platform, and to differing extents try to keep the platform pretty open. Palm of course used to be really good about this as well, but they have been so confused and stalled out as of late that who can tell what they are doing now. RIM, on the other hand, seems to make it as hard as possible to develop for their platform, and actively avoids open standards, preferring to keep everything locked to their server software.

    RIM is getting better, but they still have a long way to go before they are really offering an open platform like Nokia, MS, or Palm. At the moment, they are really selling a device, a service, and some software, not a platform. I suspect that as RIM pushes more and more into the consumer market they are going to have to change that, but it is my impression that is not only going to require technological changes, but a change in their corporate culture as well.

  • L. M. Lloyd

    I hate Windows Mobile, but in a way he is kind of right. The one thing Microsoft is really good at, happens to be the one thing RIM is really bad at, and that is encouraging development for their platform. If you look at the available software for the Nokia, MS, and Palm platforms, then look at the available software for the RIM platform, it becomes pretty obvious that RIM just isn’t really in the same game as any of those other companies, at least not yet.

    Sure, the BB does what it does brilliantly, but it just isn’t as flexible, or widely supported, a platform as Symbian, Palm, or MS. A large part of this has nothing to do with the capabilities of the device or OS, but rather with the development model. Both Nokia and MS (in their own very different ways) support third party development on their platform, and to differing extents try to keep the platform pretty open. Palm of course used to be really good about this as well, but they have been so confused and stalled out as of late that who can tell what they are doing now. RIM, on the other hand, seems to make it as hard as possible to develop for their platform, and actively avoids open standards, preferring to keep everything locked to their server software.

    RIM is getting better, but they still have a long way to go before they are really offering an open platform like Nokia, MS, or Palm. At the moment, they are really selling a device, a service, and some software, not a platform. I suspect that as RIM pushes more and more into the consumer market they are going to have to change that, but it is my impression that is not only going to require technological changes, but a change in their corporate culture as well.

  • C. Waters

    Silly me, I thought most people got BlackBerrys because of the phenominal, dependable e-mail service they provide.

  • C. Waters

    Silly me, I thought most people got BlackBerrys because of the phenominal, dependable e-mail service they provide.