Andy Rubin

Speaking at the Web 2.0 conference yesterday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer didn’t hold back when asked for his take on phones running Google’s Android operating system, calling the user experience inconsistent and difficult to learn.

“You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone,” Ballmer said. “I think you do to use an Android phone.”

So how does Google feel? Answering questions on stage at the AsiaD conference in Hong Kong today, Google mobile chief Andy Rubin called the Metro user interface and guidelines for Windows Phone a “bold move” typical of an underdog. But he said it “could be very dangerous for Microsoft,” restricting the ability of app developers and designers to express their own creativity.

In other words, Rubin thinks Microsoft is being too consistent.

Google’s approach is winning so far, as low-cost Android devices rise to the top of the market. Microsoft, which reset its user interface with the Windows Phone 7 launch, is banking on the new “Mango” update and a partnership with Nokia to reverse its fortunes.

Comments

  • http://twitter.com/paulbz Paul Murphy

    I actually think Andy’s response is as much of a compliment as you could expect for Windows Phone.  I think the Microsoft strategy is worth riding out – playing the middle ground between iPhone and Android… simplicity while providing much more empowerment than iOS.

  • http://twitter.com/paulbz Paul Murphy

    I actually think Andy’s response is as much of a compliment as you could expect for Windows Phone.  I think the Microsoft strategy is worth riding out – playing the middle ground between iPhone and Android… simplicity while providing much more empowerment than iOS.

  • Guest

    “You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone,” Ballmer said. “I think you do to use an Android phone.”

    And once again Steve proves just how far out of touch with reality he is. Android phones are imminently usable by average people. Hence the reason they now control 40-60% of the smartphone market depending on whose figures you want to believe. It’s really kind of scary that MS is run by someone who has such strongly wrong beliefs. I suppose that explains why MS got beaten in mobile in the first place.

  • Anonymous

    OK is the consensus that Android is winning because people are doing their homework and found out that Android offers the most flexibility or is it because most times Android is the ONLY option on the low-end.  Or they just ask the store clerk to give them the “best phone” and not actually asking for Android by name (the best phone being the one that gives the clerk the most commission that day).

    Not saying Android isn’t a good choice for some people. I’m just saying if there were iPhones available were some of these lower-end Android phones are dominating, the market share story might not be so cut and dry.

  • Guest2

    “You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone,” Ballmer said. “I think you do to use an Android phone.”

    My 16 and 20 year old daughters use Android phones (neither have ever taken a CS class and typically haven’t got a clue how to do anything more than open and close a program).  My wife has an Android phone (she too is clueless about just about anything computer related).

    The value are the communication tools (yes, all Google products) for mail, messaging, voice and Google+ (for private family online sharing).  That and one app, Scrabble.

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