Recently Steve Ballmer talked to Linkedin co-founder Reid Hoffman at a Churchill Club Event. While the conversation mentioned Steve Sinofsky’s departure (though gave no reason), that was far from all that was asked. Hoffman asked Ballmer how he thought Microsoft was doing in the mobile space. Steve used that as opportunity to explain exactly how Windows Phone differs from the competition.
First he spoke about Android stating that “the ecosystem of Android is a little wild”. Ballmer said that the nature of Google’s OS was one that was not only affected by malware issues but by wider compatibility problems due to the fragmentation that comes with having so many supported versions of Android out in the wild.
As for Apple’s ecosystem? Ballmer felt the system “looks highly controlled and [has] quite high prices.” Ballmer that asked, “How do you get quality not at a premium price with not quite as controlled an ecosystem”? The answer, Windows Phone 8.
Steve Ballmer asserted that the best of both worlds if found with Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Windows 8 ecosystem. He also mentioned that Windows Phone gives people an alternative that aren’t satisfied with Apple, Samsung and the others.
Does he have a point? I actually agree with him for the most part, Windows Phone 8 is the best of both world’s in many ways. It isn’t as open as Android, which helps keep malware out due to third party marketplaces and apps.
It also isn’t as closed as the iPhone, allowing more customization. Windows products fall somewhere in the middle, balancing closed and open choices to give you the information you need without all the hassle and control that comes from other choices. Keep in mind that is just my opinion.
As for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 taking the market by storm? Ballmer says he doesn’t expect the OS to be an instant hit. It just provides an alternative that will fit for those that aren’t happy with Android and iOS. You have to start somewhere. The challenge is to keep growing and solidify their place as a third place contender. They aren’t there yet, but Windows Phone 8 could have the potential to finally get them there.
What do you think of Windows Phone 8? Is it the “best of both worlds” like Ballmer suggests?