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Ballmer disses Android as cheap and complex

Reckons Windows 8 can beat iPhone’s popularity

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Web 2.0 Summit Steve Ballmer has predicted that the new line of Windows Phones coming out this Christmas can establish the company’s operating system and beat Apple and Android devices.

Speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, an ebullient Ballmer enthused about the forthcoming phones, saying that the new handsets would be as well designed and attractive to consumers as anything Apple could put out. Redmond recognizes that people want their phones to look pretty and was aiming for that target group. He also took time to diss the leading smartphone operating system Android.

“The biggest advantage we have over Android is that you don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone,” he said. “But the cheapest phones will be Android, and we are going to have to look at bringing the cost of our handsets down.”

The new handsets are presumably coming from Nokia, but Ballmer didn’t rule out Microsoft developing its own phones in the future. When questioned he has simply said that Microsoft was “focused on enabling hardware innovation,” and repeated the same line when pressed. In a wide ranging discussion Ballmer asserted that Microsoft was beating Google in the cloud applications market, and the launch of Windows 8 would increase Redmond’s lead in the area.

Ballmer predicted that the move to the cloud by organizations would be much slower than some were saying, and the process could take years for many companies.

When asked if he was considering buying Yahoo he appeared to indicate that a purchase wasn’t in the cards, saying “Ask me any day of the week if I want to buy Yahoo and you’ll get the same answer.” He declined to say anything further. However he praised Yahoo for having one of the most engaged internet audiences, and mentioned that he was glad Microsoft’s original offer to buy the firm for $44bn hadn’t been accepted, given that the deal would have been completed as the stock market crashed. ®

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