Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer Calls Android Tablets A Weird-Looking Collection, Would Be Shamed to Not Be Able to Compete


Microsoft’s CEO – Steve Ballmer – is right back on his Android hate campaign, again. This time, he speaks out on the soon-to-be-exploding Android-based tablet market expressing distaste for the inevitable introduction of our “weird [looking] collection of Android machines.” Speaking on Apple, he is careful to not underestimate them as Apple still beautifully holds their own throughout several markets (even when their market share for personal computers is nothing compared to Microsoft’s).

But when it comes to Android, he just doesn’t see a need to worry. Citing his company’s backlog of tools and their Windows-loving user base, Ballmer said he and his company would be shamed to have to actually compete with Google. I’m sure Microsoft thought the same thing when Google started out as a simple-looking search engine (little did they know it’d explode to become one of the biggest technology companies in history with a wide array of successful revenue-generating products and services).


Microsoft’s stance against Google is undoubtedly a mistake. Their “wait-and-see” approach to most of the markets they have a hand in (namely with Windows Mobile and their slow rate of innovation) has already come back to bite them in the behind as Android’s taken over as a more appealing alternative (both technically and visually). Did Microsoft see no cause to worry after Android – in just a year and a half – surpassed Windows Mobile in overall global smartphone sales? What about loads of third-party hardware manufacturers dumping Windows-based offerings for Android for their own rounds of “weird-looking” tablets and netbooks? (Even if bigger names like HP doubled back due to a very fortunate [for them] circumstance.)

I have one thing to say to Ballmer and Microsoft: try and reclaim your market share before you count Android out. The fact that you let your hold on the market slip is already a great testament to how your once-innovative model quickly became defunct and irrelevant. You wouldn’t know innovation even if it slapped you in the face, replaced your brain with an artificial intelligence chip (that was actually smarter than yours), and cured world hunger. Get over yourselves and get to town on your own products before you find yourself in a position where you would never get the chance to reclaim any glory you think you have left.

Phanboy rant is officially over.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Sorry Ballmer but Windows tablets will be bumptopped off the market.

  2. ballmer is a joke,just see his face LOL

  3. They must be taking Android seriously. I think this is just big talk. It’ll be great if they are taking it seriously because it’s healthy competition that should force them to go all-out with Windows Phone. For my sins I do enjoy the (occasional) intuitiveness of MS products.

  4. He just said they look weird coz of the reflection :)

  5. Microsoft needs to stop making their mobile software look and behave like a desktop computer…..its a loser. This attitude of Ballmer’s reminds me of stories of GM execs were overly cocky toward Japanese auto makers in the late 60’s. GM was on top of the world and they sat on their hands and let the competition beat them at every turn. I see a same parallel here with Microsoft in the Mobile market.

  6. OK I’d first like to thank the author for the “slap in the face”. But really can we get an email address for this guy and show him what the android community is all about we are a dedicated group that is here to stay. If they want to laugh at us go ahead, but it’s always about who has the last laugh. GO ANDROID

  7. They have to compete with google but they don’t want to. It’s almost insulting. Google had zero experience with OS’s while both Apple and Microsoft have both been around for decades. That’s why I think that Apple, after trouncing WinMo, felt that everything would be a walk in the park and they would completely own the smartphone market. If there’s no Microsoft in the game then who else could be there to challenge them?

  8. Luckily, Google will not rest on their laurels if Microsoft don’t bother competing. That seems to be the greatest thing about open source — what you want, you can have.

  9. Oh my god, what is that, a quadruple chin?

  10. Even if google wipes iPhone and WP7 off the map, they will still compete for the millions and billions still on feature phones.

  11. I have one thing to say to Ballmer and Microsoft:
    Continue, you’re doing a great job staying behind ;)

  12. They are beating Mac again with Windows 7. Apple had its fun with Vista but they’ll need some new tricks.

  13. microsoft is right, android is no good on a tablet for now. On a tablet, it is the IPad which is the gold standard. On phones, it is IPhone and Android based phones which MSFT needs to tackle

  14. If someone is talking about you, it means they know you exist. That’s a good thing for Android.

    Whether or not Ballmer believes his own words, Android doesn’t need Microsoft’s validation to keep building it’s market share.

  15. @Ben. You are right that its no good now. Wait till Google TV launches and stabalizes and then see what happens. MS doesn’t even have an OS that will fly on tablets so really its the other way around. MS is the joke to compete with on tablets. When will the shareholders get tired of Taller doing a whole bunch of gum bumping only to get blasted in a market where he said the competition sucked. You eventually have to come up with a product ya know.

  16. balmer.. shut up, n eat your own shit.. jerk

  17. As much as we hate Steve Jobs, largely for his arrogance, he his a very shrewd businessman, and knows how to build a company. Ballmer reminds me of a cheesy TV salesman, not a proper CEO. Microsoft needs to put someone like Steve Jobs in charge. By that I DON’T mean an arrogant jerk, but rather somebody who can actually take charge and grow the company, not somebody who dances around a stage, making an absolute fool of himself.

  18. Ballmer’s an idiot. Remember almost exact two years ago when he said he couldn’t see how Android could work giving it away for free? If not, let me refresh your memory:;contentBody;5n

    Ballmer’s a bonehead. If Windows Phone 7 doesn’t succeed, it’s because of head cases like him and his underlings.

  19. Ballmers Christmas List:

    2.Jenny Craig
    3.Crest whitening strips

  20. Balmer is oblivious. He probably still thinks that Android phones are just a fad that manufacturers are using until Microsoft releases Windows 7.

    Also – anyone that thinks Windows will run tablets effectively has done NO customer research. The people buying iPads are doing so because they are easy to use, they don’t want all of the Window crap on them, they just want email, media, etc.

  21. His picture made it hard for me to read this article, brush your tongue dude. WM7 = ROFL

  22. Steve Ballmer aka Monkey Boy. It never gets old.

  23. perfect. another year or two and we might be able to do anything that matters on non-MS platforms with non-MS apps. this day has been coming for a log time.

  24. Get a grip kids. What with all the Venom? Pendulum swings and all that. What is done by you is eventually done to you. I wonder if Ballmer remembers Netscape? The minute MS gave away Explorer, Netscape was dead. Now Google is giving away Android and MS is feeling the pain. I’ve never used WinMo, but I see it as the Netscape of today. Mind you I do use Netscape’s descendant Firefox as my main browser.

    But c’mon guys no need to heap such hate.

  25. Steve Ballmer is a horrible CEO he really needs to step down

  26. The more you tighten your grip lord Ballmer, the more market share will slip through your fingers.

  27. Steve Ball-mer… I weep for you!
    Steve Ball-mer… it’s all I can do!
    He’s like the kid on the playground that says he can do all this and what not to sound all B.A. but then when actually asked to do it, he’s like: “Well, I’m not really up to it right now.”

  28. Yeah, well, he’s currently right. Android tablets currently consist of a weird offering of Chinese iPad knockoffs.

    That doesn’t change until Dell, Notion Ink, and others stop dragging their feet and start offering viable tablets.

  29. Remember Microsoft’s Zune? Was that MS response to iPod after waiting and seeing…The only chance MS has is to create and release a Bing OS…Anything that doesn’t start with “Windows”…And why am I getting invites to join a BREW developer’s conference ?!?

  30. I agree with the comment number 13, Android its not good for table PC, well its functional but its not stylish and there are lack of application for the PADs but i think this wont stay like this for so long, Google is propoting new application that will be launched by the beginning of next year and i really think they will be lauching the google PAD, im sure they are working on that, and it might be probably comes with one of the version of Gingerbread. So wait, Google TV and Google Music also are coming, next year i guess will be enjoining an stylish Android :)

  31. It is evident that Microsoft needs Bill Gates back at the helm. Gates was one of the most visionary people in technology and Microsoft thrived while he was running things.

    Microsoft could be at the forefront of the tablet business. I saw a demo of the Courier and it looked awesome and way better than the iPad; but Steve Ballmer junked it. Maybe he secretly is getting paid by Apple to make sure Microsoft doesn’t come out with anything too revolutionary.

  32. As far as the comments about the iPad, the iPad is not revolutionary. Apple just has a bunch of fan boys that will buy anything with the Apple name on it. Proof – the iPhone. The iPhone is one of the worst cell phones on the market. Yes, it is a cool device; but it is a bad cell phone. Everybody blames AT&T for this; but I know people who switched to Android AT&T devices (why anyone would want to run Android on AT&T is beyond me) and say they have no phone issues since they switched. So, are the dropped calls really AT&T’s problem or are they Apple’s problem? Seems to me that AT&T is too scared to say anything to blame Apple because they don’t want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

    Also, why hasn’t Apple made an iPhone for any other American carrier? Maybe they know people will realize their product isn’t really that good when they drop just as many calls on the other carriers.

  33. I think this article forgets the broader picture. MSFT is still making money and buckets of it. Their products are still king in business and consumer pc’s. They made some strategic blunders but I wouldn’t count them out just yet.

    That being said, MSFT needs to be very aware of the tidal wave that is Google (and Android) or they risk becoming irrelevant in the mobile sector. I personally believe that in 5 or so years laptops/desktop will be on the decline.

  34. @wolverineguy55. The Apple crowd have already created an excuse should the phone go to another carrier. They say the popularity of the phone causes the At&t system to be overwhelmed. Should the iphone show up at another carrier, it will sell so well that they too will be overwhelmed and the poor connections and dropped calls will surface there also.

  35. It amazes me this guy is still running MS

  36. @ wolverineguy55 the iPad may not be “revolutionary”, but it is pretty damn useful and convenient for me and the other 2.5 million people that own one. Comments like yours don’t help the Android community at all, and by that, I mean comments consisting of fanboy fodder with nothing useful to offer. The reason e iphone isn’t on any carrier is because Apple has a contract with AT&T, which everybody else knows but you. And sure, the iPhone really isn’t that great, but for some people, it’s all they need. I’ve shown my girlfriend my MT3G and my Galaxy S, and she thinks it’s cool, but she doesn’t need all of those features. She just needs a couple apps and something to browse the internet when she’s bored. Sure, i love Android and I hope it wins the smartphone battle (and it probably will), but not everybody needs what Android has to offer. My mom doesn’t need anything more than something that makes calls a d receives texts

  37. The only issue I have with the article is the assertion that Microsoft was ever innovative. With the exception of that first Basic interpreter, I’m not sure MS has ever innovated. They bought DOS, they copied the Mac OS, they didn’t create the word processor, or the spreadsheet or the browser.

    MS used the millions they made off DOS to buy their way to control of the office market.

    About the only real innovation MS has brought to the industry is in the business approach. Other than that, their approach to innovation has been to buy it when they see someone else who has it.

  38. @meyerweb

    The big Apple lie is the Mac. The whole concept of the Mac, the Mac OS, and the mouse were all created by Xerox. Apple just took Xerox innovations and acted like it was all their own ideas. If I am not mistaken, Mac OS X is a UNIX variant. Apple’s innovations usually how they put things together. Apple places a priority on style over substance. This is not necessarily bad because they do create solutions that are very user friendly.

    Microsoft has innovated plenty in many different many. If I am not mistaken, Gates was promoting tablets long before anyone else was.

  39. @Presto117
    You missed my point. I remember reading reviews and listening to podcasts regarding the iPad. Everyone seemed to thing is was cool but could not see a real reason for anyone to buy one. Yes, the device is cool, but Apple has a way of making you think you need something you really have no use for. The iPad is device that kind of sits between a smartphone and a netbook. If you have either, you really don’t need an iPad.

  40. He also said this about google almost 2 years ago.

    “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 was right, they didnt bubble to the top. They exploded!

  41. Steve Ballmer takes a lot of slack from the online community, namely gadget blogs! What Ballmer said on this topic was spot on. I mean, he could’ve said it nicer, but it was correct nonetheless.

    And when you say Google has “a wide array of successful revenue-generating products and services” what are you exactly talking about other than search? Successful, yes! Love me all my Google products, even Buzz! Revenue generating, no!

    Still, my dream phone would be Android skinned by Microsoft with all the Windows Live products! :p

  42. I don’t like Microsoft as much as the next one but let me remind you of a few things:
    Microsoft are the 800 pound gorilla in the room and they can bleed cash for a very long time to gain market share if they need to.
    Microsoft have a significant patent portfolio which can keep the OEMs in check and they have the best Windows PC/mobile phone integration.
    Google only make any serious money in search and if they lose their only significant cash cow they and Android will quickly be in trouble.
    Google are as big and bad as the rest of them…they are all as bad as each other. Google are only interested in making money…they lost their altruistic intentions after they made their first billion dollars.

  43. I love reading articles that show Ballmer talking nonsense.

    – He criticized the Ipod and brought us the Zune.
    – He criticized the Iphone and brought us Windows mobile.
    – He criticized the Iphone and brought us Windows 7 mobile.
    – He criticized Android phones and brought us Windows 7 mobile.
    – He criticized Linux and lost half the worldwide server market and ALL the super computer market.
    – He criticizes Android Tablets and brings us what?

    At some point Microsoft is going to have to realize that their business models is crippled. Where before they could get away with charging exorbitant fees for locked software, Open source software (and especially Linux and its derivatives) has come such a long way, that they are now more than a valid alternative to microsoft – and not just at a tech geek level, but at as a regular user level. It is no accident that so many companies have embraced the promise of Android, that so many companies have switched their servers to Linux, or that computer makers are starting to offer computers prepackaged with Linux.

    Apple does very well because it is a hardware manufacturer and because they tightly control the user experience. When people buy into apple, [people are buying the entire user experience. Microsoft, on the other hand is primarily a software company and one that no longer has a clear lock on the market. I think that users and manufacturers have long resented being stuck having to use microsoft products, and product category by product category both users and manufacturers are starting to reject their offerings.

    I doubt Microsoft will ever flounder, but they really need to reconsider their approach to business and perhaps take a page from their X-box success, and start pushing the hardware side of the business.

  44. He should be making that stupid face… mob 6.5 sucks….I have many friends that bought HD2 and hate them….very slow…keyboard freezes……etc!(not to mention the GREAT KINDLE) GO ANDROID!!!

  45. oh yea the “ipod killer”ZUNE has rocketed to the top huh??? LOL

  46. they may be the 800 pound beast in the room, but what have the brought to market that they did not steal or attempt to copy from others??? Any Microsoft market inventions?

  47. Looks to me Ballmer licking someone ass in that picture. How the hell he say something bout ANDROID tablet when his Windows 7 table ain’t selling if it is then I’m mistaking. Even his Windows 7 mobile phone not even out in the market yet probably won’t do as much as ANDROID.

  48. Microsoft is the 800 pound gorilla – Apple is it’s 700 pound brother who lost a fight against it but is starting to gain again as the other gorilla ages…
    And finally, Google is the young gorilla who outsmarts, outruns and runs circles around it’s larger rivals.

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