Ballmer: Android Does Not Compute

    November 6, 2008

CEOs can be terribly stiff, always either reading from statements or phrasing things in the most cautious and neutral way possible.  Steve Ballmer doesn’t suffer from this problem, however, and the Microsoft CEO mocked Google’s Android operating system while at an investor briefing in Australia.

These quotes are good enough to be both understandable and amusing without much explanation.  Credit goes to Jesse Hogan for capturing them.

In terms of Google seeking a short-term financial gain, Ballmer said, "I don’t really understand their strategy . . . if I went to my shareholder meetings and my analyst meeting and said, ‘Hey, we just launched a new product that has no revenue model – yeah, cheer for me’ I’m not sure my investors would take that very well, but that’s what Google’s telling their investors about Android."

As for the idea of long-term brand adoption, he continued, "If somebody thinks the formula is you give away your operating system to get search (usage), the operators are much too smart; they’ll know they can still ask to be paid to carry your service."

And all things considered, Ballmer isn’t much worried about Android in any way whatsoever.  "They’ve got some smart guys and hire a lot of people – blah-di-blah-di-blah . . . .  Google doesn’t exactly bubble to the top of the list of the toughest competitors we’ve got going in mobile."

Bookies should be taking odds on whether these statements manage to set off a sort of mobile arms war.