Microsoft head-honcho Steve Ballmer has once more declared a war of words on Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS platforms.
Speaking during a special event along with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Ballmer branded the Android ecosystem as ‘wild’ and ‘uncontrolled’ from ‘an app compatibility perspective’, which he claims is ‘not always in the consumers' best interests’.
He went on to slate Apple’s products ‘highly controlled’ and ‘highly priced’, pointing to the preposterous $1,000 price tag for iPhones sold in Russia.
"Maybe because we live in a country where every phone is subsidised you might forget it,” he added.
Ballmer is perhaps best known for his rib-tickling, over-exuberant displays more than smart business wisdom, but on the topic of Android at least, we think he actually has a point.
It’s no secret that Android is still a very fragmented platform and has a notorious reputation for malware infestation no thanks to Google’s laissez-faire approach to vetting app submissions.
While that’s no excuse for what Russians have to pay for an iPhone, the fact of the matter is that it keeps selling by the bucket load, and often because Apple’s ecosystem, draconian as it may seem at times, is inarguably securer to those of its rivals.
"How do you get quality not at a premium price with not quite as controlled an ecosystem?” Ballmer asks rhetorically.
"The best of both worlds is available to us”, he answers, referring quite clearly to Windows Phone, which has had moderate success so far since its complete makeover from the olden days of Windows Mobile.
Obviously Microsoft wants a bigger share of the smartphone (and tablets) pie. Ballmer’s self-assured pitch is not necessarily directed at those already on board with Apple or Android, but at the millions of consumers who have yet to make up their minds and that’s exactly who it needs to target with its mammoth-size marketing budget.